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Thursday, 27 October 2011

... because i must leave you today ...

From 1933 until 1938, Mr. Stern had 2 department stores in 2 towns in what is now the Czech Republic, Děčín & Litoměřice.
He had more than 30 employees and became the biggest tax payer in Děčín at that time.
Here his entry in the register of the town (number 918):

In 1938... his life changed... like million of others.
The Munich Agreement allowed the annexation of Czekoslovakia's Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.
Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive), Bild 183-R69173
Mr. Stern who was of Jewish confession, left Litoměřice on the Day the agreement was signed - the 29th of September 1938, and fled to Prag.

All he achieved at his young age of 31... he had to leave behind him.

The peaceful town of Litoměřice ( here on a picture from the 1920's):

became this, nearly over night:
Pictures date 12th of October 1938... not even 2 weeks after Mr. Stern left!

On the last picture... you might notice something.

This was Desider Stern's shop, now covered with Nazi Swastikas.

And here a picture taken at the end of the month of October:
(The name Stern replaced by another word my czech colleagues couldn't decipher)

What happened with his business?

It got liquidated by a Nazi lieutenant in 1944 (number 178).

I really thank the German Federal Archives as well as the people who helped me in Děčín & Litoměřice. It has been a pleasure to be in contact with such nice and helpful people.

At the time of my research in the Czech Republic, i was listening a lot to the Comedian Harmonists and their huge repertoire. Some time later, i was privileged to go to a concert of Mr. Max Raabe and his Palast Orchestra in Vienna's Konzerthaus.
The last song of this concert was first sung by the Comedian Harmonists in 1932 and is called "Auf Wiederseh'n, My Dear". The pictures i posted today were the ones that came to my mind when the first notes were played...

The Comedian Harmonists:

Max Raabe:

Give me the last parting kiss,
because I must leave you today,
and I say goodbye, Farewell.
We've loved so passionately
and our happiness was never misty,
therefore I tell you goodbye,
goodbye, goodbye.
Whether you want to be faithful to me,
Thou shalt not tell me.
Someone who really loves,
doesn't make such stupid questions.
Give me the last parting kiss,
because I must leave you today,
I'm looking forward to meet again, goodbye.

We have found ourselves,
Loved and kissed passionately.
We spent nice hours together,
which we can not forget.
A fairy tale comes to an end,
Therefore give me your little hands.

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