Archive for the ‘Olga and Max Wegener’ Category


1931 – 3 July

   Posted by: admin   in 1931, Olga and Max Wegener

Dear Mr. Lippincott,

It is alas nothing good I have to communicate today. Trusting that you have not forgotten the old lady that showed you kindness and courtesy when you were in Berlin, I venture these lines to ask you kindly to help me if it is in your power. I am alas a victim of these disastrous times! I am of course still teaching singing. So many meant to profit from my art, so many are learning, but not one single pupil has the cash to remit.

I have given notice (a 3 months notice is necessary and legal) that I wish to quit this apartment Oct. 1st now that my daughter has married and is in Russia with her husband since last February with no possible way of returning for the present, there is no need of my keeping this large apartment of 6 rooms any longer. I must look for a small flat of 3 rooms. I do not need and cannot afford any more, but how will I be able to manage? That I do not know.

Before the war my house was a large house, friends and acquaintances came in and out and I was able to show hospitality to everyone! Today? I am crippled. After residing in this flat for 30 years! Today one has no friends, especially when people know that I cannot even offer a cup of tea today! It is sad and distressing, dear little friend. I turn to you, dear Mr. Hall, begging you—yes, imploring you to kindly help me! It is no shame to be poor, is it? I am not poor through carelessness—you know I do not drink a drop of anything, only tea and coffee—you know I do not smoke, have never touched a cigarette!—no, I am poor because people do not pay me!  Maybe they will remit tomorrow or the day after, then I will only be too happy to repay you, dear friend.

If you are kind and generous enough to help me, please send me a check or the money on the Deutsche Bank—Behrenstrasse, Berlin, the bank where we first met. Name and address must be correct. Madame Blanche Corelli, Nürnbergerstrasse 1, Berlin W.50. Please help.

I hope these lines find you in excellent health and spirits and I hope you are not vexed at me. At any rate, please answer this by return of mail, if the answer be good or bad for me.  You can imagine that I am almost desperate—spare me saying more—spare me giving details. I only beg you, help me! Thanking you in advance for your wonderful kindness, especially your answer by return of mail, believe me yours in gratitude,

Madame Blanche Corelli


1931 – 30 August

   Posted by: admin   in 1931, Olga and Max Wegener

My very dear friend Mr. Lippincott,

Before me is your letter dated August 17th which arrived yesterday morning (it took 12 days) enclosing 15$ for which I say a thousand thousand thanks. You don’t begin to realize what is going on in Germany. You do not begin to know the wonderful help you have been for me! I wish I could express my feelings better, so that you may know what is going on in my heart and mind, how I pray to Heaven for your success and health. I have been quite alarmed about you, not hearing from you. This is the 2nd letter from you—one was written July 17th and the 2nd one August 17th. I have written 4 letters, this is letter No. 5. I wrote on July 3rd to Evansville, July 30th to Chicago, Aug. 7th to Chicago, and Aug. 22nd to Chicago registered. Please, I only meant to know whether all my mail reached you safely and whether you only sent 2 letters. Please, please answer this question.

It is nice of Miss Dunbar to speak so kindly of me. I am sorry not to have seen more of her and I repeat it, had it not been for you, dear friend, for your kindness, I could not have shown Miss Dunbar the good breakfast and the choice fruit, so once more most heartfelt thanks.

Now, about my apartment and I hope I can make myself understood. About 4 months ago when business was horrible already all around, I wrote to my landlord asking him whether he would not divide my apartment. I begged him to let me have 3 rooms, bath and kitchen, told him that everyone was doing that now in Berlin, really everybody. But my landlord would not agree to it. So I did the next best thing, I gave him 3 months notice, which is the legal term for yearly contracts. He accepted my notice, but since June 30th so many unpleasant things happened in this house—3 other families moved, and with my notice he would have 4 flats empty this month of October—it was the landlord who came to make me the proposition of asking me if I would not stay if he divided the apartment. I was of course only too happy and willing to consent.

Beginning October 1st I shall only occupy 3 rooms instead of 6. Thank Heaven! and the rent a wonderful reduction. I shall only have to pay 130 marks a month. What a relief. All last week I have been hard at work moving. Moving the furniture of 6 rooms into 3. I have had a man there last 3 days, bringing trunks and furniture in the attic, things I have no room for now. Some things I have sold—a bed with springs and mattress for 15 marks. Don’t laugh at the price! That 3-cornered yellow Biedermeier cupboard in my parlor, I sold the same today for 30 marks. 1 mirror 10 marks. One cannot get any prices, times are execrable.

Then a little more good news. A lady pupil with whom I have been corresponding since six months regarding lessons has written that her father is going to bring her (he comes from Manhattan) on the 1st or 2nd of September and her pay will be 150 marks a month All this I shall only believe if I see Mrs. Fasenmeyer on Sept. 2nd and if, rather when, she had paid her 150 marks—you see I have been disappointed so horribly and so often in business, that I cannot conceive any good news, but rest assured that I will let you know, dear friend; I hope to Heaven she will come.

This moving into the 3 rooms is quite a difficult thing. I keep parlor, studio and dining room of course servants room, bathroom and kitchen and as they have to pull down the door which stands now connecting parlor and balcony room, they have to build a wall and then plaster the room and whitewash the ceiling. The work begins tomorrow, so until this parlor is finished, I shall only have my studio and dining room and both rooms are so full of furniture, I don’t know where I shall be able to sleep for several nights. The great expense is the moving of the electric fixtures, the moving of the telephone, the moving of the radio and the decorator to put up the curtains—for everything had to be taken down. And just now when this new pupil is coming, it is a pity that I have to receive her in such a disorderly house. The entry to the apartment will be terribly small, that is the only drawback. But I am happy that I can stay—already for business sake as everybody in the States knows my address. And then the expense of this change is about 150 marks and moving away from here would have cost 300 marks and more!

About my son in law, I will tell you all about in my next letter as I want this to be off as quick as possible. He is not in Dipl. service but he is a diploma-ed engineer and is an employer [employee] at the A.E.G., that means Allgemeine Elecktricitäts Gesellschaft. The present moment he is in Russia with my daughter building paper machines which the Soviet government ordered at his firm. He supervises the whole thing. He took 4 monteurs [mechanics] with him—the town is Wischersky Sorvad. Geolikamisk Kreis Ural.

So much for today, my very dear friend. Once more a million of thanks. Please acknowledge this by return of mail and please answer my question whether you have received all my letters and how often you have written.

Lots of love and a world of thanks from your true grateful motherly friend


My highly esteemed friend,

Mr. Lippincott,

Your dear letter dated January 2nd enclosing 15$ and my old letter regarding the coin is before me. I am really at a loss what to say! Where to find words for your generosity, for your benevolence, and wonderful good heartedness and kindness. To know that you yourself are dependent on your salary and to have that big heart to help a woman who is almost a stranger to you! Thanks a thousand times. The simpler my words of thanks are, the truer and sincere they are, believe me! I am only formenting my brain what I could do for you?? I return my silly letter regarding the coin. I see the account of its origin is all right, I did not leave out anything. Please excuse me troubling you about it. If I make mistakes, it is not to be wondered at. I have my work, my household, and my correspondence to attend to. Besides, if I live to see the day, the 4th of February I shall be 79 years of age. I suppose you will receive this letter on or about February 4th. Please, Mr. Lippincott, say a prayer for me on that day. Will you kindly?

Imagine of a woman of my age 79 having to work for her living! I love to work, love my lessons,  and thank Heaven through my art can sing every note clearly and perfect like a woman of 30. That bad spell of kidney trouble has left me entirely, but now my poor limbs do not obey any longer. They are beginning to be lazy. I don’t think I would be able to take a little walk through the Zoological Garden with my dear little friend Hall Lippincott. It is a sweet remembrance I am carrying with me! That is all we have today, the dear remembrances.

A great event happened Sunday last, January 17th. My daughter and husband returned from Russia after an absence of 11½ months! They arrived at 7:20 A.M. station Zoo. I got up at 5:30 A.M. so as not to miss their arrival. Of course I went to the station to meet them and they came with their Coupé baggage to my house and had breakfast. Altogether we were 9 people at the breakfast table. All had tea and rolls, butter, and sausage, one for Olga and her husband as they had no sausages in Russia. Olga and Max are residing with a very dear friend of mine, as my apartment, as you know, only consists of 3 rooms. I am happy to know Olga safe at home. The journey took 9 days!! a longer journey than to New York. How long their stay will be here, they do not know it. Maybe he has to fulfill another order for his firm, so build another machine in some other part of Russia. I hope not.

Kindly give Miss Dunbar sincere greetings. I thank her for her New Years wishes and reciprocate heartily. God bless you, dear, dear friend. God reward you for your goodness. Keep well and happy. Always remain as you are. Loyal, diligent and faithful. God’s blessing on you. Once more, may God bless you.

Thanking you once more sincerely, believe me as ever your true and very grateful

Blanche Corelli

[Ed: a little background about the following story: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor August Ernst, Crown Prince of Germany (Marmorpalais, 6 May 1882 - Hechingen, 21 July 1951); married in Berlin on 6 June 1905 Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Schwerin, 20 September 1886 - Bad Kissingen, 6 May 1954)

Rubbing of Moroccan coin

The Marokko Coin

Kronsonprince Wilhelm married May 6th, 1905. He married Cäcilie, the daughter of the Grand Duke Friedrick Franz III of Mecklenberg Schwerin.

Krosonprince Wilhelm is the oldest son of the late, rather ex, Emperor Wilhelm, now residing in Doorn, Holland.

There were great festivities in town and many sovereigns of other countries came to be witness of the great ceremonies, of the pomp and the parade which moved along Unter the Linden. To see this wonderful train I was invited by my lady friend Mrs. Dora Bauer Sachse to come to her apartment Under the Linden No. 13 in the house of the Bankhouse Bleichräder. My lady friend had a wonderful balcony and it was really a marvelous sight—the state carriages, the horses, the pages, and all the guests, everybody in festive attire. And on that day, May 6th, 1905, on my lady friend’s balcony, I made the acquaintance of the Embassy of Marocca, both in full dress attire, a sight for itself. My name Corelli was quite familiar to them and when the procession was over, the Marokko people asked permission to drive me to my apartment. It was a large 4 seat Landau, 2 horses (so fancy) and these people in their national dress and I in plain civil dress, it was quite a sensation Unter the Linden. To return this compliment in some way, I arranged a nice concert for them the next day in the hall of Sterns Conservatory. I had fine carpets and low stools for them to sit on. It was quite a success. The 3rd day of their Berlin stay, the 2 Ambassadors and their interpreters were my guests for 6 o’clock tea. The interpreter told me that I must buy my meat at the at the Genisch[Jewish?] butcher, that they would not touch any other, and begged me to buy veal.  So I bought veal cutletts and lettice—they do not use knives nor forks, but eat everything with their fingers. They have some person cut their meat and after every bite they use a finger bowl to cleanse their fingers. Lettice was also eaten that way. After that little lunch I had some more music and then the ambassador made me a present of the coin in your possession, telling me that it was the only coin of its kind existing, that the Sultan himself stamped—coined it.

I am more than happy to know the coin in your possession. You are really the only deserving person in my acquaintance  worthy to possess it.

[It is likely that the above coin is a common one rather than one struck by the Sultan. Check out this web site. In any event, we can't find the coin in Hall's coin collection, so it is likely that he tracked down the ID and then, uncharacteristically, didn't take care to keep the coin.]

Chevalier Ernest Thorn, a conjurer, whose name is surely familiar to you, had a great collection of coins, silver and gold, and begged[?] the life out of me to let him have the Marocco coin—he even offered me 100 marks for it, but you see, the money did not tempt me, I did not let him have it.

My very dear friend Mr. Lippincott,

Most gratefully do I acknowledge your dear letter dated March 1st. The letter arrived here Saturday March 11th, wonderfully quick! and once again I have to thank you sincerely and with all my heart for the enclosed 15$. You say you did not receive an acknowledgement for the last 15$ you so generously sent me? As I keep a list of all letters that I send away, I can say it positively that I wrote February 21st and thanked you, oh so many times, for the 15$ you kindly enclosed. I also sent a registered letter January 1st returning the Morocco story. I hope you have received it.  Not hearing from you for one month, I thought surely that you have moved to New York with your firm, as I understood you to say that the gentleman who owned the business was moving to New York, that therefore you have lots to do, to finish your work, or your accounts.

Ere I continue, let me say may God bless you for your great great kindness and repay you a hundred fold! for unless marvels or miracles occur, I shall not be able to repay the sums you so generously let me have.

I have begun again, after letting it rest for years, to fight for my father’s inheritance. My father Professor C. Herrmann the Great and only Herrmann, the Magician, who died as multi millionaire—I have been shamefully cheated out of almost everything. I think I never told you anything about it, dear friend. I am now trying to find out if a millionaire lady cousin of mine, Madame Lucy Dollfus in Paris living 94 Boulevard Flandrin is still among the living. If so, I will write to her—perhaps she will help me to my rights, and then I hope to be able to return your kindness in some measure, for it is you and only to you that I am indebted to.

I could not answer before today as Sunday the 13th was election day and I was at my radio till 2 in the morning, very much excited, to learn the results. I confess I gave a sigh of relief at the result and think that all civilized good people did the same.

Then my daughter left again for Russia on the 15th at 7 P.M. She reaches her destination this very night. This time she will reside in Swanka, 5 hours distance from St. Petersburg (Leningrad), all in all 30 hours distance from Berlin. Last winter she was in Wischersky (Ural); letters took 15 days! to reach her and 15 days back—it took 1 month to get an answer.

So besides all the excitement, annoyances of business and house, I have gone through a pretty trying time, dearest friend. What is the world aiming at? Why do millionaires like Eastmann and Kreuger end their lives? Why? Have they no religion? no heart? Could they not have done a world of good in the United States for the poor unemployed? Is it a singular world?

I wish I could see your dear face again, your dear kind face, ere I close my eyes forever. I hope I will.

My little house, my 3 rooms are really lovely and as small as it is, yet there is always room here for my dear dear friend Hall Lippincott. I know you would feel happy and comfortable here. I would do anything in the world to make you feel at home and comfortable, and if you come to Berlin, be sure to come with your luggage direct to Nürnbergerstrasse 1. Won’t you? Where I can eat there is always enough for 3.

My pupil Mrs. Fasenmeyer is still learning. She has remitted everything till April 15th. I suppose she will learn till the summer vacations begin, which is July. I have another pupil, Miss Rose Meri, studying without pay as she really promises to become a prominent singer. If I live, I hope to receive my reward from her later on. I know her 2 years, she seems true and honest.

Heavens blessings for you! You dear dear friend! I always enclose you in my prayers, morning and night, begging the Almighty to guard your steps, to give you the best of health, long life, and prosperity, a host of good true friends! Such are my true wishes for you! Once more a world of thanks for the 15$ you so kindly enclosed in your letter dated March 1st. Believe me as ever your exceedingly grateful, true and sincere friend,


Kindly answer soon!