GITTA ALPAR: RISQUE PORTRAIT OF GERMAN ACTRESS

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alger2 This vintage real photo postcard features Hungarian actress Gitta Alpar (1903-1991). She starred in operas and operettas. This photograph is risque relative to the time it was taken. Miss Alpar is wearing a tight bathing suit. Note that the swim suit has a nice design on it’s front. She is posing in front of a large rattan chair. Gitta was born in Budapest, Hungary. She was the daughter of a Jewish cantor. From an early age, she studied singing and piano at the Academy of Music. In 1923, she made her debut at the Budapest State Opera House. She had a long career and she performed at the great opera houses of Vienna, Berlin, an many other international venues. Alpar’s first films were made in Germany. In 1931 she married an actor, Gustav Frohlich. Their marriage ended in 1935 because Alpar was Jewish and the marriage was against the law in Nazi Germany. A related fact is that both of her brothers, a pianist, and a violinist, were concentration camp survivors. Alpar appeared on Hitler’s anti semitic “hit list”. She left Germany in 1933, and then did some globe hopping. She first went to Austria, followed by Hungry, England, and the United States. She continued her singing and film career in the US. The IMDb credits Alpar with nine acting credits from 1932 through 1941. Alpar’s accent ruined her chance to be a successful Hollywood actress. After the war, she primarily worked as a singing teacher. For a sample of Miss Alpar’s singing voice and acting, click on the YouTube segment below. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no.6683/2). Alpar’s photo was taken by FFG  (Froehlich-Flm GmbH). This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

 

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Published in: on December 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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PRETTY ACTRESS HERTHA FEILER AND HER ADORABLE WIRE HAIR TERRIER

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Hertha Feiler (1816-1970) was an Austrian actress. She was of Jewish descent. Feiler was married to comedian Heinz Ruhmann. The pair starred in several films together. The IMDb credits Feiler with appearing in 33 films between 1937 and 1968. Originally, Feiler wanted to be a pianist but a medical problem (inflamation in her arm) caused her to look for another artistic profession. She made her film debut at the age of 21. Over time, she became a popular actress. She often played “ladylike and cheerful roles with charm”. She fell in love with Ruhmann while he was directing her in “Louder Lies (translation)” (1938). The Nazis considered Feiler to be one fourth Jewish so there were limits placed on her acting opportunities. In the 1950’s she took on more mature roles.  She tended to play women who were confident and cheerful but pragmatic. She retired from acting in 1968 due to illness (cancer). Feiler was known to be an excellent swimmer and equestrian. Miss Feiler is very pretty in this photograph. Her dog, possibly a wire haired terrier, is adorable. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag as part of a series (no. A 3077/2). The photographer was Ludke. There is a logo of a film studio in the lower right hand corner of the image. Look below to see a youtube video featuring Hertha Feiler and Heinz Ruhmann. This portrait postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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THE TRAGIC LIFE OF STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS MARIA ORSKA

This vintage real photo postcard features stage and film actress Maria Orska (1893-1930). She was a major star in Germany during the 1920’s. She was born in Russia and her birth name was Rachel Blindermann. She was born into a Jewish family that lived close to Odessa in the Russian Federation. Today, her birthplace is located in the Ukraine. Her father was a lawyer. Just prior to World War I she moved to Vienna, Hamburg and Berlin. Orska must have been bright because she was fluent in German, French, Italian, Russian, and Polish. In Berlin, she worked with Rudolf Bernauer, Max Reinhard, and other well known directors. She became popular in Germany for her film parts, though she favored theater. Her first movie was “Damon Und Mensch” (1915) and it was produced by Jules Greenbaum, a pioneer of the German cinema. Oscar Kokoschka, an Austrian artist, drew Orska’s portrait, and lithographs of the work are now part of several museum’s collections. Orska married a much older man who was an influential Jewish banker from Berlin. They married in 1920 and divorced in 1925. Her next significant relationship was with a wealthy Jewish industrialist and geologist named Julius Heinrich Koritschoner from Vienna, Austria. In 1928 he fatally shot himself, leaving Orska a letter. Koritschoner’s morphine addiction was thought to have led to his suicide. Orska’s sister had committed suicide just two years earlier. She committed the act of self destruction just after having an intense argument with Maria. Orska was extremely popular in Central Europe during the 1920’s. The IMDb credits Maria Orska with 14 movie appearances between 1915 and 1923. She was seen as an extraordinary actress and her photographs appeared on many magazine covers and postcards. Suicide had taken the lives of her ex husband and her sister; and she too, eventually succumbed to self-annihilation. She committed suicide in 1930 while in Vienna. It was speculated that, like her ex-husband, morphine addiction resulted in her suicide. Here is some information about this postcard. It was published by Film Sterne. Around 1916 Rotophot began publishing three series of postcards with the RPH logo (see bottom left corner of above image).The first series was called “Buhnen-Sterne” (stage stars) and was comprised of German stage performers. The second series was named “Film Sterne” (film stars) and this postcard portrait of Maria Orska is part of that series (no. 118/1). The third set of postcards, “Film Sterne” (film scenes) showed scenes from German films and identified both the film and the performers. The photographer of this postcard portrait of Miss Orska, was the Becker & Maass studio, located in Berlin. This real photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF A JEWISH COUPLE IN DOBRIESEN, HUNGARY (1927)

An older Jewish couple are featured in this vintage real photo postcard. An ink caption on the bottom front of the postcard states “Debreczen, Hungary, October, 1927).The couple are well dressed. The woman is wearing a double chained locket and the man is wearing a shirt with a wing tipped collar, a tie, and a yarmulke (kippah). A yarmulke is a jewish traditional head covering worn by most Jews in synagogue and worn by Orthodox Jews all the time. The photographer of this photo is Liener Bela, who operated a studio in Debreczen, the second largest city in Hungary (Budapest is the largest city). One can only hope that this Jewish couple left Europe before the Holocaust. In the first few decades of the 1900’s, Jews made up 5% of the Hungarian population. They had managed to achieve great commercial and professional success. In fact, their success was disproportionate to their numbers in the general population. Their accomplishments fostered resentment and the 1920’s were stained with much anti-semitism in Hungary. By 1920, Jewish enrollment in Hungarian universities were restricted by a quota.  Admiral Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, was a self-proclaimed “anti-Semite”. Repressive anti Jewish policies were adapted and fascist groups flourished. Hopefully, this lovely couple survived. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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THREE YOUNG SIBLINGS (POSSIBLY SCOUTS) IN POLOTSK, BELARUS

This cabinet card features three children, likely siblings, posing for their portrait at a photographic gallery in Polotsk, Belarus. The young girl in the photograph is holding a ball held inside netting. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can provide more details about this toy. The previous owner of this cabinet card is from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has provided the photographers location, as well as the photographers name, Bernstein. He also contends that the way that the subjects are dressed in this image, indicates that they are scouts. In addition, the previous owner also asserts that the photographer of this image was Jewish. In fact, research reveals that the population of Polotsk in 1897 was over 20,000, and more than half of those residents were Jewish. There was a strong Orthodox Jewish community there.  The “Jewish Virtual Library” indicates that in the late nineteenth century, the city became embroiled in anti-Jewish agitation.

EXQUISITE LOOKING “JERSEY GIRL”

An exquisite looking teen beauty poses for her portrait at the studio of Fieldman. Fieldman had two galleries, and they were located in Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey. This Jersey girl has a fine hat and a fine figure. The photographer of this cabinet card photograph was Isidore Fieldman (1869-?). He was born in Russia and arrived in America during 1891. He was listed as a photographer in the 1900 through the 1930 U.S. Census. He and his wife Rose (born in Poland) spoke Yiddish, indicating that they were of the Jewish faith. During at least some of their years, the couple and their family lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Their children included Esther (born 1890), Milton (born 1901), Margaret (born 1901), Herman (born 1906), George (born 1914). Milton and Margaret were likely twins. Herman joined his father’s photography business.

Published in: on January 5, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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HANDSOME BEARDED OLDER MAN IN CORTLAND, NEW YORK

This cabinet card features a handsome older man. He was photographed by Louis Silverman of Cortland, New York. The gentleman has a well groomed beard and hairstyle. Louis Silverman was a native of Poland, and emigrated to England, and then, Cortland. He was married to Rachel (Gans) Silverman. He was of the Jewish faith. The photographer was known for other reasons besides his photography business. It appears that Mr. Silverman decided that there was more money to be made in banking than in photography. He became a banker; the owner of Fidelity Bank in New York City. Also of note is that Silverman’s son, Sime Silverman (1872-?), founded and published Variety Magazine in 1905. He borrowed the seed money from his father-in-law. Sime’s father did not approve of Vaudeville Reviews and refused to back his son’s venture.

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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JEWISH MAN IN NEW YORK CITY (MAYBE)

A long bearded gentleman with a black hat poses for his portrait at the studio of H. O. Eichler. It is likely that Eichler was the proprietor of Eichler Artistic Portraits, located at 3 Avenue A, in New York City. However, there is no identifying information about the man in the photograph or the location of the studio. Amazingly, this gentleman could pass for a rabbi or Orthodox Jewish man living in modern day New York City.

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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FAMILY PORTRAIT IN PAPA, HUNGARY

This family portrait cabinet card was photographed by Sorensen Bela in the city of Papa, Hungary. Due to the age of the seated man and woman, it is difficult to determine the family constellation. Is this a photograph of parents with two daughters? Perhaps its a photograph of a set of parents, their daughter, and their granddaughter? The community of Papa is a historical town in northeast Hungary. The town is noted for its baroque architecture and for being the center of the reformed faith in Transdanubia. In addition, Papa was the third to largest Jewish community in 19th century Hungary.

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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LILY HANBURY: ENGLISH THEATRE ACTRESS

Lily Hanbury (1874-1908) appears on this Cabinet Card by Sarony of New York City. Sarony was one of the celebrated photographers of Theater Stars of the day. Hanbury was an English Stage Performer. She was born and educated in London. Her theatrical debut was in 1888 when she appeared in W. S. Gilbert’s “Pygmalion and Galatea” at the Savoy Theatre. She played on most major English stages and in such productions as “The Three Musketeers”, “The Stranger”, “Lights O London”, and Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People”. She became very popular with her performances in Shakespeare, acting in plays under the management of both Wilson Barrett and Beerbohm Tree. Tragicially, Hanbury lost her life at a young age when she died of complications after delivering a still-born baby. She was cremated and buried in the Jewish Cemetery at Willieden, England.