Germany: Oldest message in a bottle shown to relative

A fisherman holds the world's oldest letter in a bottle The bottle turned up in a fisherman's net

Perhaps the world's oldest message in a bottle, cast into the sea near Germany 101 years ago, has been presented to the sender's granddaughter, it's been reported.

Last month, fishermen in the Baltic Sea pulled an old beer bottle out of the water, along with their catch. Inside they found a postcard, dated 17 May 1913, from a man called Richard Platz asking for his message to be forwarded to his address in Berlin, the Local website reports. The letter might be the oldest message in a bottle ever found.

Researchers at the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg were eventually able to track down Angela Erdmann, 62, who lives in Berlin. Platz was her grandfather. She visited the museum last week and was able to hold the bottle.

"That was a pretty moving moment," she tells German news agency dpa. "Tears rolled down my cheeks." Erdmann says she never knew her mother's father, who reportedly died in 1946 when he was 54 years old. But she says the discovery of his message has inspired her to find out more about him.

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