Archive for the ‘1933’ Category

My highly esteemed friend,

A dear letter of yours dated December 3rd is on my desk before me. The letter was more than a fortnight in the mail and it is about 10 days in my possession. It, as you say yourself, again enclosed 15$ and I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful kindness, for your wonderful generosity and for the great great help to me. Doubly to be appreciated as you yourself are in trouble and perhaps, Heaven forbid, in want and the sense of your letter seems sad. I am so very sorry about it. I wish I could help, but alas never felt so crippled in my life. That I, a woman of my reputation and standing, who all her life has been such a hard worker and big earner, that I would end my life in misery and poverty. I surely never thought it! It is really not my physical strength that has left me. I am capable of teaching and capable of showing how every note ought to be sung, so that is not the cause of bad business, but the cause is the war!  People have no money now to study, alas, and every blessed thing goes wrong.

The Austrian Embassy wrote to me 2 weeks ago to remit 10 International Answer receipts. That means instead of money (cash) or stamps, 10 international stamps, 25 pfennigs for each letter, consequently 2 marks 50 pfennigs for 10 letters, that is the amount their correspondence costs; then when I have sent that money, then they will let me know the contents of the New York Ambassador’s letter. Pray, dear friend, do not misunderstand me, this would be terrible. I am not writing this to ask you indirectly for the 2 marks 50 pfennigs. I am only telling you this to let you know how terribly hard everything is and how everything goes against me about this Hauszuissteuer (balance of rent that the government ask—nothing is decided yet, I am going tomorrow forenoon very early to hear the result—maybe I can give you definite news at the end of this letter.

I have hesitated writing as I sent you on December 8 a small registered package with return receipt—it contained a nice silver pencil which I hope will please you. I have been waiting for the return receipt. And now, dear friend, before I continue, a world of thanks for your dear picture. Goodness, in looking at the picture my heart throbbed with joy! I myself could not believe that I am near 80 years old. What more can I say than a million of thanks. You dear good soul, you don’t begin to know the pleasure you made me—you don’t begin to know how happy I am to be able to look into that dear good face of yours! It is a splendid likeness, a delight for me. Ever so many thanks.

How I should love to talk to you. I don’t suppose I shall ever have that delight. To pen all the misery I am going through is not a nice thing and it is so hard to express everything correctly—rightly. My house at present is anything but cheerful. I have no more house, no more room for myself. My writing desk stands before the window in the dining room—there I sit and write. I sleep on the lounge in the piano room, rather studio, and have to lug pillows, blankets, etc. from the back corridor (servant’s room) to the front room. Mornings I have to lug them back. I dress and wash in the little place intended for the servant—no heating in the place. We have no servant, but a very civil woman daily, who comes at 9 and leaves at 4. She does the house work and helps cooking. So actually I have no house—no tiny corner that belongs to me! And the treatment! I would rather not speak about it. I am sure, dear friend, you would not believe me! I must repeat it—I never thought I would end my days like this! No veneration—no regard—no consideration—no respect—no courtesy—nothing whatever. I think the 4 years that they spent in Russia have hardened their hearts and spoilt their character—they are rough and rude, selfish, disrespectful. So now you can have an idea of my unhappy life.

Yesterday evening, the eve of New Years, I was all alone. Heard the bells and cheers at the radio. My folks were invited to supper, left the house at 9:30 and came home January 1st at 8 in the morning.

I hope and pray to heaven that 1933 will bring you a world of happiness and bliss, good health, contentment of mind. Pray for me, dear friend, that better days may come for me.

Oh, I must tell you that in the month of November I went round the whole month with 2 marks!!! in my pocket. My son in law paid the rent 76 marks, but he did not let me have one penny. Nevermind, I am brave and endure. Something better must surely come. Perhaps a pupil, that is all I want. Work, occupation.

I have had dear New Years greetings from a dear friend in Evanstone, from a Mr. Hall Lippincott. These greetings came yesterday on Dec. 31st. Then I had Chicago greetings from Prof. Dr. Elmore Pettyjohn. Do you happen to know him? He is an eminent man, came over here with the American Legion. He is a man of my age, knows me since years, thinks the world of me. In this case Phillip, the pupil that owes me such a lot of money—nothing new alas. I think he will be forced to take the poor debtors oath now.

Please excuse my writing, but I am writing on my lap and the light is in my back as the radio is on. God bless you, dear dear friend and a thousand thanks for the 15$ you again so kindly sent me in your dear letter of December 3rd, 1932. All the blessings of Heaven on your dear person. Lots of love and lots of thanks from your sincere, truthful and most grateful friend

B Corelli

January 2nd. 2 in the afternoon. Went to the Steuerhasse F.C. this forenoon. No decision yet—am perfectly desperate about it. But I told the official that I cannot understand the matter as it is a great injustice to demand (now it is nearly 500 marks) for apartment taxes as every kind of taxes for 10 years. Heaven help me. It is too hard in this life. My son in law may not interfere. According to law he is not compelled to help me, but if he interferes in this matter, he has to pay the whole amount as he has a position, is living here, and earning money.

My highly esteemed friend, Dear, dear Mr. Lippincott,

Your dear letter dated December 31st and mailed January 3rd, 1933 is before me. The dear letter arrived January 15th but it has been impossible for me to write before—I will explain later.  But before all let me thank you with all my heart for the darling photo, my delight!! and for the wonderful generous donation of 15$. You say, dear Mr. Lippincott, you are sorry it is not more. Why goodness, it is a royal gift and perfectly miraculous that you are able to share even one dollar in these times! and now what am I to say? what can I say to such a generous dear soul as you are? You must certainly be gifted with second sight. I am sure that you know exactly all the misery, trials, and misfortunes I am passing through. Last but not least I fell down in the staircase 3 days ago—from my staircase landing 8 steps down. It was about 10:30 P.M. and the night light—the light which lights the staircase when one presses on a nob, and that light was not in order, and looking for that light, feeling for the nob, I missed my footing and fell down. I fell with my head downward and it is my hear and the side of my neck where the artery is that I have great pain, then I must have wrenched my left ankle. I am hardly able to walk, however, these are only external pains. They don’t hurt as bad as internal pains of the heart—matters that go on all the time, that almost tear my heart to pieces.

The New York Austr. Consulate General has written to the Berlin Austr. Comsulate on 23 September 1932 that with the aid of a lawyer free of charge they could get a look into the will of the late Mrs. Herrmann, a will dated January 27, 1928, that she left Mrs. A.O. Smith 3/4 of her inheritance and 1 quarter for her nephew John Kretschmann. Mrs. Smith inherits 1,275 dollars, the nephew 425$. My name does not appear at all in the testament. They write furthermore, if after receiving this I care to have a copy of the will, to write direct to New York to the Austr. Consulate there. But I have quite enough of it. It is useless to spend any more money there.

But it seems to me incredible! I am so very glad that you spent such a happy Xmas and New Year. It is glorious to have family and loving people around you. Xmas was very quiet, a Xmas I had never witnessed before and New Years Eve I was quite alone. My daughter and son in law were invited out to business friends which I am not at all acquainted with. They only left the house at 10:30. It was exceedingly dull and lonesome for me but it was the best so. There is a great deal in solitude, I have learnt its value. It is better to be alone than not to be understood.

Daughter and husband are still here, but expect to leave for Russia again any day. It will be far better for all of us.

Oh by the way, I think that this affair about the rent will come out all right. My guardian was here last Tuesday and told me so, but I do not quite understand it. When I do understand it, then I will let you know and explain as good as I can.

I am unfortunately not feeling well at all. I probably hurt myself more inwardly more than I know. Should I get worse, dearest friend, there is a letter addressed to you in my desk, in case of a calamity.

God’s blessing on your dear head, God be with you and protect you, wherever you go! A thousand thousand thanks to you for all your goodness. I am going to bed now, but before I will embrace my dear picture, it is mine now, and pray for you. With a world of good thoughts and thanks, believe me your ever grateful Corelli

My highly esteemed friend,

Dear Mr. Lippincott,

Thank Heaven I am in receipt of your dear letter dated February 2nd enclosing again your wonderful generous gift of $15 for which I can only say most sincere heartfelt thanks! You dear, precious, good hearted soul! How will I ever be able to reward you? surely not on this earth—but if there is such a thing possible, I will guard every one of your steps and protect you from all harm and evil when I shall be in a far better land than here. God really sent you to me, as my guardian angel. God bless you, dear friend, and God repay you all your goodness to poor me. Once more, a world of thanks!

In the beginning of my letter I said that thank Heaven I am in receipt of your letter dated February 2nd. I was already very anxious since it was more than a month since I heard from you, dear friend, and the daily papers bring distressing, alarming news from the States, about the weather, the blizzard, snow storms, and I always pray to God that he may guard and protect you.

And no letter came for my birthday, my 80th birthday, which distressed me a good deal. Did you receive the newspaper I sent you February 6th? Mr. Ullstein, owner of the B.F. wrote and begged me to allow him to sent his best photographer to me, to take my photo in my studio, and to allow him the honor to bring my picture on my birthday in his paper. I suppose I received about 100 congratulations from all parts of the world. On the 4th precisely a registered letter came from St. Paulo, Brazil from Dr. and Mrs. Haas enclosing a 20 mark note begging me in their letter to kindly accept those 20 marks for flowers. A bouquet of lilies of the valley came by mail from Essen/a.Ruhr from Dr. and Mrs. Mücke—ever so many telegrams, letters, and callers! I have about 120 answers to give and I think will do it publicly through the same paper that brought my picture, the B.F. You see, dear friend, that I have a rich, an artistic life behind me—esteemed and honored by everybody—only these wretched times—politics and the dreadful whirl in business have ruined me entirely! This very month I have again lost 100 marks in my business and this horrible thing about the Hauszeissteuer is not yet settled! Quite incredible!! But I am willing to bear anything and everything in my life—sleep on bare wood—eat almost nothing—just vegetate—but only not have disagreeableness in my house. That just kills me! I must say I am too good natured—I have never harmed a fly and here to all insults and bad expressions I have learnt to keep my mouth shut—not to answer anything. I think that makes them wild. I have one great comfort and delight and that was that my son in law was ordered to leave for Mostram [?] on February 1st. He left on the 2nd inst. and consequently was not in Berlin on the 4th. That was my greatest happiness. Today is the 15th and thank Heaven he is not back yet! and it seems he will be gone yet another week. I have never read of such goings on, not even in a novel.

The affair Herrmann-Smith is done for. I must send you the letter from the New York American Austrian Embassy so you will see for yourself.

Another terrible news for me is I had a letter from Mrs. Clinton Burgess telling me of the death of her husband Mr. Burgess. Too bad! I did not know him personally, only through correspondence—if you remember, dear friend, I wrote to Mr. Burgess and thanked him for the article he wrote about my aunt Mrs. Herrmann in the Magicians paper. I think it is called The Missing Link.

My left foot has been pretty bad. I had no treatment and did nothing whatever—since yesterday there is hardly any pain and I can walk surer, but when I see the staircase, I feel anxious and shy, like a horse does before a fence.

The evening paper brings a picture of the Chicago Exhibition which I enclose here—it is to be opened in June. That will surely bring visitors and I hope business. Business, so people say, is decidedly picking up, but political riots which end in death occur daily! Everyone has great faith and hopes in Hitler.

My lawsuit against Mr. Philipp, who owes me money for tuition, has been postponed twice. Why? that I do not know. He is to take the poor debtors oath now. I suppose that is the reason of the postponement.

Well, dear good friend, thanks a thousand times. I only wish you would have been here on my birthday. I think then you would begin to know who I am, but alas, I am poor! Poor through these abominable political times. I hope I shall live to see better times yet and to prove my gratitude to my guardian angel Hall Lippincott. Take good care of yourself. If the weather should change and become warmer, please please do not change to lighter underclothing. Be sure, dear friend, to keep on your winter garments.

Lots of love and lots of thanks from

Your ever grateful, sincere


My highly esteemed friend,

Dear Mr. Lippincott,

I have been worrying to death about you, dear friend, no letter such a long time, no letter even bearing good wishes for my birthday. I see you wrote February 2nd and March 3rd—in each of those letters you so generously enclosed again 15$, and I must say dear good soul, I do not see how you can do it in these terrible times. Your letter of February 2nd I answered February 15th thanking you a thousand times for your kind heartedness. Your letter dated March 3rd arrived March 18th. What can I say to you!  God bless you and reward you for it, for the good you are doing me by helping me in my old days.

The daily excitement, the daily goings on—my brain is too poor to tell you about it but surely you have pretty well all the news in your daily papers and as here the American news the change in your President. I heard his speech on the radio (a Schaub apparatus) as my son in law was on business in Russia again. I could go into his room and hear the station, otherwise I never enter that room.

But I feel happy now about your letter. You seem content and more hopeful. So do we over here, although present laws are pretty vigorous. I must confess my heart aches on account of the dreadful misery and poverty existing beginning with poor me and seeing it all around me. You are an angel sent to me from heaven!

Today, this very day I received the news through the phone that my pupil Werner Philipp, who owes me 1374 marks, has taken the poor debtors oath There’s another blow! My lawyer says of course this means no money now, but the claim is good for 30 years.

I take the liberty to enclose you a copy of a letter which I wrote Mrs. Israel who is a friend of mine 25 years. I am sending you this copy to let you know how state of affairs are within my 4 walls instead of holding together and consoling each other, I have learnt to be silent and learnt to allow people to bully me. Do give me a kind word, dear friend, to cheer me up! I really never was bold, was I? I never asked for anything, but now I beseech you, do not desert me, please dear. I go about in my 2 rooms, like in a prison and hardly utter a word. Please excuse this short letter. I am feeling tired and weary and wish I could see you!

Did you get the newspapers? I took the liberty to address them to your house, not getting any answer from you, I feared your place of business might be closed. I hope you are not angry.

Once more a world of thanks for your wonderful kindness. Rest assured that my last thought on this earth will be blessing and thanking you.

Most grateful your very old


Please excuse writing.

Copy of a letter written to Mrs. Israel, March /33

A woman suffering.

How can a person possibly be so stupid, as I was, to have people come and occupy my rooms, to crowd me out of every corner, to do all they can to displease, annoy and insult me? They are rude, I am sorry to say, vulgar! 5 weeks ago he came and help up his finger in my face saying What do I hear? You complain that we ill use you? Take care! I have commanded other people, than you are. I can command 40 people, if I hear that again, I will not know you any more. Besides, I do not wish to have my meals with you any more. So look like a marble statue. I did not answer one single word. Ever since that day I have to have dinner and super alone. I have my meals served in the piano room. The dishes are first brought in to me, to help myself and they have their meals in their bedroom.

Another day passing me whilst I was sitting at my desk writing, he came up to my chair saying Of course you (meaning me) have to pay the fire insurance! Tell me what have you paid until now? Nothing. For the money you have cost me I could have 3 apartments! I never answered one single word.

Another time he came to my desk whilst I was writing. I only want you to know that we move from here on Febr. 1st. I did not answer one single word. It is surprising to me how I can bear all this and now answer. But February 1st came and they never left—he was sent to Russia again the end of February and was gone 6 weeks. Thank heaven! It was the greatest boon from Heaven that he was not here on my birthday. I have not told any of my friends that I go through all this trouble. I bear it alone, but the Wegeners, they, themselves, are the people who tell it! They invite my friends—families who I have known since their infancy in Vienna. Mr. Schab who I know since his 6th year and led him to the altar the 2nd year of the war, representing his mother as she could not come on account of the war, they invite these people and exclude me and had supper brought in their bedroom but that evening I was so wrought up about this behavior that I told Mr. W. my son in law that he certainly cannot be accountable for his doings and telling him he was a drinker. I was not sorry that I said this, he deserved—and deserved more for all the pain, the disgrace he heaps on me in my old days. And Olga! I could say a good deal: On dit cherchez la femme! et c’est bien vrai! Olga does not give me one kind word Olga has really beaten me several times in my life—has punished me and twisted my arms and hands, but I will say no more and cover up the rest with my maternal love and be silent. My sufferings, darling, are intense. I did not dream of ending my days this way And what do I do? nothing, nothing whatever. I help where I can and do many a thing which is unworthy for me to do. I am reserved and polite, he does not care for all that, he does not like my looks nor my religion. I really have no character to remain here, I ought to have made an end and long ere now! But I am always yet clinging and hoping that some money may yet come to me from that house in Paris, Rue Malevelle 2. Pray for me!

The rest of the letter is not of interest to you, dear friend—it is simply personal.