La Jana (1905-1940) was an actress and dancer. Her nationality was Austro-German. She was the illegitimate daughter of a master gilder and his housekeeper. Her parents wed four years after her birth. Her family was Jewish. She went by the name, Henny.. She trained as a dancer at the Frankfurt Opera Ballet and her first stage appearance was at the age of eight. She later began dancing in revues. She was “discovered” in Paris and brought to Berlin to meet with Frederic Zelnik who got her into films. The film director who “discovered” her said that the first time he saw her dance, “that woman possessed the most attractive body that I had set eyes upon” in my not all that long life. He went on to describe her as simple, nice and approachable. He added that she “had as much interest in sex as in Immanuel Kant” meaning, none at all. As her career advanced, she danced in revues in Berlin, Stockholm, London, and many other cities. When she appeared in “Casanova” she viewed by the audience semi-naked and on a silver platter. In Berlin, she began an affair with Crown Prince Wilhelm. There were also rumors that she had an affair with Joseph Goebbels. Charlie Chaplin was also one of her lovers. Clearly, her attitude about sex changed from the earlier days of her dancing career. In 1937, her performance in a film catapulted her to film stardom. In 1940, while touring Germany, entertaining troops, she fell ill with pneumonia and passed away. The IMDb gives La Jana 23 film credits between 1926 and 1940. La Jana’s portrait for this postcard was taken by the Manasse studio in Vienna, Austria. The Manasse studio was in existence between about 1922 and 1938. The studio was run by Olga Solarics (1896-1969) and her husband Adorja’n von Wlassics (1893-1946). Olga was known for her interest in photographing nudes. The studio flourished in Vienna during the 1930’s. Many of the portraits taken by the studio had an erotic flavor. The studio attracted some of the leading ladies of film and theater. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag (no.7043/1). This vintage postcard has a small imperfection located under La Jana’s left elbow. (SOLD)



This vintage real photo postcard features American silent film actress, Fern Andra (1893-1974). Andra was one of Germany’s most popular actresses in German silent film. She also worked as a film director, script writer, and producer. The pretty smiling Miss Andra poses with a Borzoi dog. She was born in Watseka, Illinois. Her father died when she was five years-old and her mother remarried. Fern’s step-dad was a vaudeville actor, circus performer and tight-rope walker. By age four, Fern was part of a tight-rope act. She later trained in dance and singing. In 1899, at age six, she made her first film, a version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. She continued to perform with the circus and toured the United States, Canado, and Europe. She was a member of a famous troupe of wire artists. In Berlin, she took acting lessons from Max Reinhardt, prominent film and theater director. She appeared in several of his plays and films. In 1913, she acted in her first German film. In 1915, she was in her first Austrian film. Some believe Andra was an Allied spy in World War I. To deal with these rumors, she married a Prussian Baron. At some point, she stated that she actually was spying for the allies. This was her first marriage. He was killed in the war. Her second marriage was to a professional boxer. Her appearance in the film “Genuine” (1920) caused a great stir. In this horror film, she wore a costume that was simply, her painted body. She continued to make films in Europe but by the mid 1920’s, her popularity waned in Germany. In 1922, she was widely reported as being killed in a plane crash. In fact, she, and her companion, director Geog Bluen, survived the crash but according to one article, died the next day. However, the pilot, a former World War I fighter pilot and brother of the “Red Baron”, was killed. By 1928, Andra was working in the United Kingdom and the United States. She also expanded her acting to radio and television. Andra was married four times. She was widowed two times and divorced two times. Her fourth marriage, to a General, lasted about 35 years. She had no children. The IMDb gives Andra 51 acting credits between 1913 and 1930. She is also credited as a writer, producer, and director. An interesting side note is that when she was working as a producer, she interacted with a young German playwright named Josef Goebbels. Interestingly, she did propaganda broadcasts into Germany for the allies during World War II. Fern Andra died at age 80, in South Carolina. The stamp box of this postcard has an interesting story. “NBC” (Neue Bromsilber Convention) was a price cartel established in 1909 that continued until the 1930’s. The purpose of the cartel was to ensure that the minimum price charged for postcards was kept at a sufficiently profitable level. A number of postcard publishing companies joined the cartel in an effort to stave off the effect of competition on the pricing of postcards. This postcard is part of a series (no.131/1). The logo for the motion picture company, “Film Sterne” ,can be seen in the lower left hand corner of the image. SOLD



This vintage real photo postcard (Postcard 1) features pretty German film actress, Erna Morena (1885-1962). In addition to being a performer, she was also  a film producer and screen writer during the silent era. The IMDb reports that Morena appeared in 122 films between 1913 and 1951. Morena grew up in a middle-class family in Bavaria. At age 17, she attended applied art school in Munich. In 1909, after a short stint in Paris, she moved to Berlin where she worked as a nurse. She became a student at the German Theater’s drama school and in 1910 was hired as an actress by Max Reinhardt, Austrian-born theater and film director. She played a number of small theater roles and in 1913, Morena made her film debut in “The Sphinx”, produced by Leteraria Film. She was a “big time” actress. She worked under many well known directors and with some of the most well known actors in German film. Morena made a bid to become a film producer and formed her own film company which produced films in 1918 and in 1920. By the mid 1920’s, she was considered one of the biggest stars in German films. With the advent of talkies, her career declined. However, she did appear in supporting roles during the 1930’s.  Between 1915 and 1921, Morena was married to the German writer, Wilhelm Herzog. He was a historian of literature and culture, a dramatist, the author of an encyclopedia, and a well known pacifist. Their marriage ended in divorce. Morena appeared in the 1940 film “Jud SuB”. The movie was a Nazi Germany historical drama propaganda film. The film was produced on the order of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi politician and trusted aide to Adolph Hitler. The movie is considered one of the most anti-semitic films of all time. Postcard 1 was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no.1752/1). The company was located in Berlin, Germany. Morena was photographed by the German photographer, Ernst Schneider. Research about Mr Schneider yielded a great deal of information. He was considered to be one of the most celebrated studio photographers in Berlin during three decades (1900’s, 1910’s, 1920’s. He photographed many celebrities from the world of theater, opera, circuses, and film. He was also one of the most prominent fashion photographers in Berlin. In addition, he was well known for his nude photography and he published books showcasing his work in this domain. Sometime around 1908 Schneider began working with postcard publishers “Rotophot” and “Neue Photographische Gesellschaft” (NPG). In 1919 he began working with Ross Verlag. This postcard, a former resident of a postcard album, is in very good condition (see scans below).            

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Postcard 2

Postcard 2 also features the lovely Miss Morena. This postcard was published by Photochemie, located in Berlin, Germany. The card is part of a series (no.k149). Photochemie published postcards of only German film stars or European performers performing in German films. The postcards were published between 1914 and 1919. The firm also produced postcards of other subjects. The photographer of this terrific image was Alexander Binder (1888-1929). He had the largest photo studio in Europe during the late 1920’s and the 1930’s. Many of his entertainment star portraits appear on Ross Verlag postards. It is thought that Binder was of Swiss origin. He was of the Jewish faith. He studied engineering but did not complete his studies. From 1908 to 1910 he studied photography at a school in Munich, Germany. After the completion of his photography studies, he went to Berlin and in 1913 opened his first photography studio. Before long, he became one of the premier photographers in Berlin.  He primarily focussed on fashion and celebrity photography. Since Berlin was the capital of the European film industry, Binder photographed all the stars of the European film industry including, Lilian Harvey, Conrad Veidt, and Lya De Putti. Many of his images were used in popular film portrait postcards. His photographs could be seen in postcards published by Ross Verlag and Photochemie. Binder died in 1929 but new photo cards bearing his signature continued to be published until 1937. It is thought that the real photographer of these new postcards was Hubs Floeter (1910-1974) who was employed at the studio as an operator. The studio continued to be owned by Binder’s widow, Mrs. Binder Alleman and their two daughters. The studio was managed by the Jewish Elisabeth Baroness Vonhedlis Stengel who was later deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In 1938 the Nazi’s closed Binder’s studio and it was later taken over by an Aryan photographer, Karl Ludwig Haenchen . Haenchen continued to produce celebrity portraits for postcards. His publishers included Film-Foto-Verlag. After World War II the studio was taken over by the Hasse und Wiese company. This postcard has a Hamburg, Germany postmark and is dated 1918. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans)

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Charlotte Thiele (1918-2004) was a German actress. She was quite pretty. Thiele was born in Berlin and attended acting school at the “Schauspielhaus Berlin”. Her acting debut occurred in 1938 in a film directed by Kurt Hoffmann, a well known German film director that directed 48 films between 1938 and 1971. In 1939, she appeared in “We Dance Around The World” and the feature film made her an instant star. During the 1930’s and 1940’s she was often cast in roles where she played the “cool blonde”. In 1941, she appeared in a controversial propaganda film. The movie was a controversial pro euthanasia vehicle. The plot was about a successful doctor who is compelled to make a “heart wrenching” decision when his pretty young wife is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This movie was aimed at making the public more supportive of Germany’s euthanasia program and was a portend of things to come.  She is also known for playing a Lady Astor, in the film, Titanic (1943). In 1944, Thiele appeared in her last movie. Her career was ruined by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels because she had rejected his advances. She went as far as throwing the dedicated engraved powder box he have her, into the trash. Thiele’s first marriage was to a prominent surgeon who was an assistant to a famous German surgeon.Her second husband was a Croatian diplomat. The couple emigrated to Argentina in 1944. She returned to Germany in 1954 and failed in her attempt to resume acting. However, in 1956, she appeared in an episode of the American television series “Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Presents/ Rheingold Theater”. The IMDb reports that Thiele appeared in 7 films. She died in Berlin in 2004. This vintage real photo postcard was published by Film-Foto-Verlag and was part of a series (no. A3823/1). The photographer was Hammerer for Wien-Film. It was published in 1943. The postcard features Miss Thiele in her role in the Wien-Film “Am Vorabend”.  This vintage photo postcard is in excellent condition (see scans)

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