1932 – 6 January

   Posted by: admin   in 1931

My highly esteemed friend,

My last message to you left here December 12th and I think I could have had an answer by this time. I beg you though to let me have just one single line on receipt of this. I am just dumbfounded—I may say crazy on reading the accounts in the newspapers what is going on in Chicago? Is that situation true? or is it exaggerated? They say that 14,000 teachers have received since April 1931 only a part of their salary. They say that in some of the suburbs affairs are so threatening that they could not reopen the schools after Xmas. They further say that the mayor of Chicago will travel to Springfield, the capital of the State of Illinois and ask—beg for help. They say that if the parliament will not dictate new laws, then may God help Chicago. I only want to know how you are, my highly esteemed dear little friend and beg you on my knees to send me a line by return of mail—just answering that one question.

A world of good true wishes, as ever your true and very grateful old


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.


1932 – 20 February

   Posted by: admin   in 1932, Conditions in Berlin

My very dear friend Mr. Lippincott,

Here I am at my desk trying to find the proper words to thank you sincerely for the enclosed 15$. You noble hearted dear little gentleman, how sweet of you to say that you are sure that I can put it to good use. A thousand heartfelt thanks! and to hear you say that you cannot afford the pleasure you could a few years ago and that it is no satisfaction to waste money on luxuries when one knows that others are needy. You noble hearted dear soul! God bless you! and repay you a thousand times for all the good you are doing to the poor. If everybody would think like you do, dear Mr. Lippincott  and all as you do, there would be no want in this world. People sigh for lack of business and wince not to be able to pay the necessaries of life, on the other side, cafes, kinos, concert, cabarets, theatres are thronged with people so I hear, so I am told. I have not seen that myself as I hardly ever go out to any place, firstly as I really cannot afford it, secondly my health does not permit it. I do feel my age forbidding me to do this and that. It is hard for me to go down the stairs and worse to go up—remember, I was allowed to celebrate my 79th birthday last February 4th. I believe I wrote it to you in my letter of January 21st, the letter in which I returned the Marocco story, it was registered. Your last dear letter enclosing the 15$ was dated February 1st; you do not acknowledge receipt of my letter written Jan. 21st and it ought to have been in your hands by Febr. 1st. Am I right! Do let me know if just that letter ref. with the Marocco story reached you. If not, please let me know, having the receipt of the post office I can ask them to search for the letter.

It seems matters are in the States the same as here, simply terrible! Imagine, the milk price is raised today 4 pfennigs a pint. Enormous for one day! and people say the butter will soon be 2 marks for the pd—that is outrageous. I say nevermind. I can enjoy a piece of dry bread, but only not freeze. I prefer a warm room to butter on my bread. I never expected to end my days like this, as you may well imagine.

My pupil Mrs. Fasenmeyer is still studying—her payday is the 15th of every month—she has paid till the 15th of March, but fickle minded as these ladies are, I never know when she will end her studies. She is progressing wonderfully and is delighted to get on so well. Her father came the middle of December /31 and heard her lesson—he was delighted—very well satisfied and said he would not take her away now, that she could end her studies with me. It is unfortunately an unreliable business, a bird’s cage where birds fly in and out. You also say the man under whom you are working is moving to New York and it is necessary to have your work completed before he leaves and then what will become of my dear little friend Mr. Lippincott? Are you going to transfer your business to New York? or will you continue with the same firm in Chicago? I hope so, for your sake,  so that you may remain near your dear parents.

I have lots and lots to tell you, but fear annoying you and with my tellings and fear taking up your very valuable time. Keep well my dear friend, look bright in the future for bright days—happy days will surely be yours. You are young, clever, bright, and honest, hard-working, charitable—happy days are in store for you! Once more a world of thanks for your great great kindness. Do please let me hear from you soon and let me know if my registered letter arrived. Believe me yours sincerely, your true, every grateful Corelli

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!