The same fellow who had introduced me to the princess also introduced me to the painter Ludwig Haller who had come to Kitzinger from Dresden. Could I help him a little bit? He lived in poverty because he had been ostracized by the Nazis because he was a cubist and therefore considered degenerate. But he had won the prestigious Prix de Rome, and that and other things were enough for the Germans to make a sizable restitution (after we had left), and then a count who owned several castles gave him an apartment and an exhibition hall in one of his castles
[On the first concert of what became the Israel Philharmonic, Toscanini conducting Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony] “It was broadcast and became practically a national holiday. Everyone who had a radio had it on and the windows open. Every radio store was open and had the radio on. No car was driving and no buses were in service. Max, Adi and I walked down the main street and we could listen to the entire concert. We walked into a small coffee shop that had the radio on. No word was spoken – we communicated by hand signals. You can see how important history is…
When the bell rang, I opened the door, and there she was, a skinny girl with a prominent nose and large eyes – Lotte Kirsch. I don’t know how exactly it got to that point, but at some point I said that I had planned to visit the Hayden Planetarium and would she want to come with me. And she said ‘yes’ – and it has been ‘yes’ all the way for the past 71 years – so far.
Length of complete piece: 8:30 Recording artist: Monica Bunch
It so happened that Marlene Dietrich came to Nancy to entertain our troops. They put her up in a hotel in Nancy. And I said to the guys, wouldn’t it be fun If we had her here to our place for a visit. And they said, yea, right. But I went to her hotel and asked to see her. And I told her that we had met in Berlin at the UFA (movie studio) when she was doing the Blue Angel. She would not remember me because I was a kid then. I had just made a movie in Danzig and came to Berlin to be introduced to Emil Jannings, to see if he could help me with my career. It was a good story, and she had no reason not to believe it.
[Wagner’s Festpielhaus] Except for the instruments there is not one piece of metal in the building. He explained how the pit is constructed to project the sound out evenly through the theater. He also told us how all this may come to an end, as an American Army unit was moving into the place. He showed us that they had already moved in their kitchen equipment. I told him not to worry – we would take care of it. And we did go to the Miliary Governor (one had already been installed) and told him what was happening, and that the opera house was an historic landmark and needed to be preserved and protected. He understood that perfectly and said he would attend to the matter immediately. He must have done so, since the building still stands.
The captain starts to inspect the motorcycle which he wants to take with him. I, being also a documents specialist, go through the dead man’s pockets to find out what I can. He is – was – a 45-year old truck driver, who had a letter from his daughter in his pocket that says how happy she is that he will be home for Christmas. And I am thinking: war is not a nice business.
One day I am playing the piano, and the doorbell rings. A tall guy is at the door, and he says: “Was that you playing the Rhapsody in Blue?” I said: “Yes.” He said his name is Kenny Steele, he has a small band, and they just lost their pianist – would I join them? I said: “What if some old lady had played and opened the door?” He said he would have complimented her and walked away. The members of the band were the nicest kids one would care to associate with. It lasted until the War. Kenny got killed early in the war.
Length of complete piece: 4:45 Recording artist: Monica Bunch