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Kurt Moser July 8th 1984 Andover, Mass U.S.A. - Introduction to the Family History of the Moser and Benedict families living in Karlsbad, Bohemia from appr.1830 - 1930:
As I am no particular expert in writing history (even the family type one) I had to invent my own "scheme" to record the personalities and events as systematically as possible. After a short preamble of the times before my Grandparents I start to describe the persons of my maternal Grandfather and his nearest contemporary relatives. Then I repeated the procedure exactly the same with my paternal-grandfather. I then followed with the history of the 6 offspring’s of David Moser and the same of the children of Ludwig Moser. Then the lives of all the 8 children of Veit Benedict were accounted for. First the 4 boys plus my mother Emmy Moser, born Benedict. I hope these few words will make it a little easier to understand the following "Saga"… Kurt Moser
May 25, 1984 Andover Library: As (vaguely) promised, I am getting down to attempt to write an "up-to-date" family history of the Moser-Benedict families, roughly starting with my maternal and paternal grandparents. My first recollection of my ancestry was a visit to old, very derelict Jewish cemetery-- Lichtenstadt (an insignificant, very small town 15 miles north of Carlsbad). Here I did find gravestones dating back to the early 18th Century of both Mosers and Benedict, names fairly clearly legible.
Jews, I believe were only allowed to live permanently in Carlsbad (according to my mother Emmy's statement), from the mid 19th century onwards; and according to Emmy, the first two Jewish families to do so were the Benedicts and the Mosers. By the way, all Jews got their family names under an ordinance order issued by Josef II, the son of the great Empress Maria Theresa. Now both my grandparents’ families must have been quite well off because most officials issuing these family names, accepted bribes and according to the amounts given, the names were respectable or funny, at times even nasty. For instance my mother's mother came from Teplitz of Jewish family, (about 120 miles east of Karlsbad) and her maiden name was Rindskopf (Oxhead). Maybe they did not have enough money to pay to the officials when they got their names allocated.
Back to the Benedicts (at first). By the way - I never saw or spoke to any of my 4 Grandparents - Helas. My maternal Grandfather's first name was Veit, my grandmother’s (also maternal) one was Elise (born Rindskopf). Veit had a number of brothers (no sisters I believe). 2 lived next door to us, when I was at the age of 5 -12 years old. I can only remember the name of one of them, which was Edward, who was a bit of a practical joker. I liked both these old bachelors. Then there was Josef Benedict (whom I also never met) living 2 Houses down in the Morgenzeile in Haus Teplitz. (We lived in Haus Mendelsohn a nice big corner house with 3 fairly big apartments, Ground floor, 1st floor, and second floor, which we occupied. (Sorry the chronicle might read a bit disjointed once or twice). Now Veit, (my maternal Grandfather) must have had 1 or 2 more brothers, one was definitely called Norbert. He lived in Vienna and I was greatly impressed when Mother and I visited him in his opulent apartment right opposite the Vienna University on the famous Ringstrasse. Norbert in Vienna and Veit plus Edward in Karlsbad were well established and respected Bankers. I think that Veit's Grandfather must have been a simple moneylender. Now the Benedict Bank in Karlsbad not far from the famous Sprudel geyser was the only one which honored foreign letters of credit in the Spa and my mother told me on several occasions, how King Edward Vll of England when she was a young girl had to have his letter of credit presented at the Benedict Bank. Sorry I cannot use this true information to increase my own credit ratings. Veit must have been a bit of a Tyrant until the last 2 or 3 years of his life. He sadly became mentally unbalanced. (Elise, his wife apparently died a few years earlier so my mother and Leo Benedict (more about him later), legally appointed guardians to Veit and his whole (already very substantial) estate. He died shortly after this (making my mother the sole Executor in his last valid will)
For the simple reason of not forgetting the following particular item, I want to go back to House Teplitz Morgenzeile and my Granduncle Josef Benedict. I also did not know him personally but according to reports he was one of the few tall and handsome Benedicts (Norbert in Vienna was the other one). Josef with obviously plenty of means of his own must have been a rather gay and carefree person. He had a liaison with a tall good looking waitress who managed to get pregnant by him. This lady's name was Hansi and later on she became the senior member of the whole Benedict clan as Tante Hansi. Well after the birth of their daughter Lilly, Josef obviously had to marry Hansi. Sadly - and my mother swore it was the honest truth - Tante Hansi managed to poison her husband slowly and unobtrusively when she felt that she could not sort of handle him anymore. Josef must have been also a member of the Benedict Bank in Karlsbad as Tante Hansi and Lilly were well known to be very wealthy.
May 26 1984: I will start my report on my parental Ancestry, that means Grandparents and their relatives as far as I can remember them. Grandfather's name was David, the paternal Grandmother's first or family name is unknown to me - so 1/4 of my ancestry helas is an enigma to me. I think her name was Fluss and she came from Northern Moravia. So one could safely assume that David's Nuptials were a prearranged affair. David must have been a very handsome physically strong Despot and gave his wife plenty of Hell during her lifetime. Known to my mother and plenty of other people in Karlsbad, he had a considerable number of affairs with only too willing young ladies (mostly chambermaids etc.). So I cannot safely say how many blood relatives I have round Karlsbad even in 1984. David was a successful and wealthy property developer, no doubt helped by the surely substantial dowry he received on his marriage. He also owned a small farm of appr.50 acres of land, plus a Mineral Water Spring near that Farm called Neudorfer Sauerbrunn which produced the best tasting Mineral Water in the whole of Northern Bohemia. This was also my favorite Nonalcoholic drink. Grandfather David did produce with his legitimate wife 6 sons.(more about them later ).
David also had a number of brothers (no sisters to my best knowledge). One with the name of Ludwig became the Founder of the famous Moser Glass Factory in Meierhoefen outside Karlsbad. That's by the way the place where I was born in 1906). He (Ludwig) was apart from being a good business man, also an Inventor of a sort and did, (so I was told) perfect a successfully method of Copper engraving on Crystal Glass with registered motives of classical relief ornamentations applied on Tumblers,Wine and Spirit Glasses and Decanters etc. His Factory was very successful and profitable for a number of years and even now in 1984 the Moser Glass Factory is the only one in the whole of Czechoslovakia allowed to carry on business under its own name. (All the others are known by their number only). Then there was another brother of David, called Sigmund who moved to Vienna early in his Adult life. If possible I will say a few words about his Grandson, Prof. Dr Berthold Moser who is a very successful lawyer in Salzburg Austria, and teaches Atomic Law at the Vienna University. Some Mosers seemed to have moved from Karlsbad to Berlin, but I have lost track of them.
May 29, 1984: Today I will record my father's side of the Family Tree including his 5 brothers. Their names in sequence of appearance on this earth is as follows: Otto, Max, Hugo, Felix, Paul and lastly Eugen. The oldest and the youngest were definitely Otto and Eugen. After Grandfather David died there was a very serious dispute about his lost will, and Otto plus Eugen sided against Hugo, Felix and (I think) Paul, whilst Max sort of sat on the fence. The 2 groups did not speak to each other for years and years at least until I was appr.15 years old. Then the family became reconciled in a way, and Eugen was really quite friendly towards me. He inherited the small farm and the Neudorfer Sauerbrunn. I was twice invited to spend a weekend there and enjoyed myself in Neudorf, even doing some rabbit shooting quite successfully, I recollect.
Otto married a Miss Hermine Geist from Steinamanger in the Burgenland. They produced a girl named Margit. An arranged marriage for sure, with plenty of dowry I am sure. Hermine was thoroughly (and quite disliked rightly so by Hugo, Felix and Paul and according to Emmy was the main instigator of the afore mentioned Family dispute-) unpleasant person. Hermine's father was a rich Jewish Grainmershant in Steinamanger of mixed business reputation. When I was a young adolescent, mother and I were invited several times for afternoon coffee to Otto Mosers. They had a large comfortable apartment on the 3rd floor in a nice building facing the small river Tepl near the Main Post Office. These were rather formal and to me uncomfortable visits. Margit (their daughter) I only properly met long after her parents death.
Max, I only saw him once in my lifetime. He struck me as being rather aloof and really only fond of his brother Paul (because they were the 2 Moser brothers only who made their lives solely by their own efforts). Max married a non-Jewish girl. He was good looking in a sort of academic way, must have been charming and clever, studied Law and Accountancy at the Prague University and reached eventually the position of Chief Income Tax Inspector of all of Northern Bohemia. His office was in Reichenberg (now called Liberece). He had a charming pretty very frail daughter I liked, (name forgotten). I met her twice, unfortunately she died of Tuberculosis at the age of 22. Max seemed to me completely assimilated (he and Otto did not show any Jewish features at all). My father talked about Max mainly in sort of hushed tones and gave the impression that he was awed by the job Max was able to hold for a considerable time. Especially as Max reached his eminently high position only by his own hard work and efforts (no family connections involved).
Paul Moser (my favorite uncle on my father's side) is next in line for being reported on. I still carry a warm feeling for him to this day. He was the discoverer of the first effective serum to cure Scarlet Fever and for a number of years Primarius and Head of the important Children's Hospital in Favoriten on the Southern Outskirts of Vienna. He married Eugenie Fluss from Moravia - a childhood sweetheart and first cousin also, when they both were very young whilst he was studying Medicine in Vienna. I was told by him that he was only able to register at the University after he and Eugenie had converted to Catholicism. She held a well paid secretarial job to help them financially. They produced a son named Willy (who died only 3 or 4 years ago in Sidney Australia and was 1 year younger than I). Willy was brought up first in practically sterile conditions - nobody was allowed to shake hands with him. Willy later was enrolled in the famous Schottengymnasium, in the Schottengasse run by the Jesuits.
Felix is my father's 4th brother and was all his life a strong favorite. Both were ardent Anglophiles and were sent in 1896 or even a few years earlier by their father David to make their fortunes in London. Each had 5000 Guineas credit letters in London to help them in their start. (A fair number of sons of well to do Central European Jewish Families came to England at that time and made their mark even to this day.) Helas not Felix or my father did. Felix, medium height, of average appearance, very practical minded, even tempered most of the time I saw him, but ready for a practical joke any time the opportunity occurs, more English than a truly born Englishman. He has married twice. The first one was arranged by both parents between Yerta Popper of Pressburg (now Bratislava). Her father was a very rich and influential property owner and dealer. This union (if one can call it such) produced a son named George. That marriage split up soon after George was born. Yerta left her son with foster parents in Styria, where he stayed until he went to the Technische Hochschule in Vienna and got a degree in chemistry. Felix moved to London started up a quite successful business in better class children's wear, had his office on Oxford Street right opposite Bourne & Hollingsworth efficiently advised by the buyer of children's wear of that store, with whom (I mean the buyer) he was very friendly for a number of years. He also had a partnership in Moser Bro's the China Factory in Meirhoefen which went insolvent in 1910 (shortly after Grandfather Benedict was supposed to have exclaimed that he will instruct the local Artillery to mount a destructive shelling of the Moser factory for the benefit of its numerous creditors. Felix married the second time a Childhood sweetheart (so he informed everybody) which gave me my first chance to attend a Jewish Sephardic wedding in Vienna-very emotional and in a way impressive. His second wife's name was Paula, widowed Tedesko. A well known Sephardic family in Vienna. She had a son by her 1st marriage named Vicky whom I got to know quite well in London. Well Felix and Paula set up home life in Arkwright Road Hampstead, London, where George and Vicky joined them until Paula died of leukemia. It was a rather hectic and a bit disorganized Household-what with 3 medium size rooms and an extra small bed room plus a huge dog also. The cleaning and dusting was never done before 1-2 o'clock in the early morning hours. Paula was quite a nice dark haired buxom person with pleasant pronounced oriental type Jewish features-I liked her. Felix had a lot of prominent friends in London. I recollect specifically a Mr. Bailey (managing director of the well known Pilkington Glass factory) who helped Felix on many times in Business and socially too. He Felix was quite a positive character and I can well understand why my father was so fond of him. He had to join my parents and the Eislers at 38 Westbourne Terrace Paddington. London where his life ended comparatively peacefully in 1944. He was the first Moser to be cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium.
June 16, 1984: Eugen, Hugo's youngest brother, who according to my father was a very naughty little terror, and my father, got blamed and punished for a lot of pranks his younger brothers committed. Eugen had definitely the Moser Nose, was not too tall but quite handsome, clean shaven. (By the way Otto was the only Moser who sported a beard). Known to be of lower middle intelligence, he was the only bachelor all his life of the 6 Moser brothers. He inherited the small farm and the Mineral Water Springs in Neudorf, what other assets he possessed I do not know. He was also like Paul and Max not a practicing Jew. He had a long standing liaison with a nice lady cashier of the local theatre. I got to know Eugen only in my late teens. He never showered me with any presents (like all other Moser brothers except Paul). Eugen must have been at least 10 years younger than Hugo. He was really more an acquaintance than an uncle to me.
My father Hugo Moser, last but not by any means least. I really do not know if my account of him will be accurate, fair and sufficiently informative. One of the first facts has been already told: namely that he had to take a lot of often, even corporal punishment for the misdeeds of his younger brothers so suffered a lot and very reluctantly so. I do not think he was very ambitious to study hard. There was never any mention or record that he attended Grammar school, but he did speak perfectly English and a reasonable French too. He was definitely handsome very formal and in retrospect also very insecure. A strict formal disciplinarian. Not really ambitious business wise. Rather soft and gullible if approached in the, (to his way of thinking) right way. Sadly he could not establish a successful business career on his own in all his lifetime, (the opportunities were there alright because plenty of people took them). As mentioned already in the chapter on Felix, he and Hugo got each substantial sums of money on or before 1896 which must have been spent mostly on good living and impression making. Both brothers did speak fluently English and especially Felix with hardly any foreign accent. My father cut a very good figure especially in Uniform. He was a Sergeant Major in the Austrian Army but I do know that a number of people assumed that he was a fully fledged major, because he did have the bearing, especially if he made an effort-of a real officer. I saw him being saluted by a lieutenant very smartly and he returning the salute nonchalantly. In the later part of the 1st World War he was stationed in Kragujewotz somewhere in present day Yugoslavia and we received a number of very welcome food parcels from him. Apart from disciplining me mainly for formal misdemeanors sometimes a long time after the event he was never a proper father figure to me, but I am told that now at 78 my outward appearance is very similar to my father's. Still I maintain that my inner make-up is 100% different to my father's. Hugo was born in 1871 in Karlsbad and died of heart failure in London in 1953 - 82 years old. He was always an early riser, a very good salesman, worked (even if not always successfully) until very late in life. In London Hugo had a nice office in No.1 Golden Square, just behind the Regent Palace Hotel near Piccadilly Circus in partnership with Robert Spitz, a distant relative originating from Teplitz. They had very good Glass and China Agencies for Britain such as the Epiag and Slanina (a very competitive and inexpensive Glass factory from Czechoslovakia). Both partners made a fairly good living until nearly the outbreak of the second world war. Owing to his charming manners he could easily make friends, was overgenerous often not at his own expense, very hospitable in inviting people to meals in expensive restaurants, often exploited by the wrong people, prone to flattery, but willing to please people who did not deserve his attention helas. In fairness to Hugo (whose narrative will continue a little more), it must be stated that Bertie (my older brother) understood him much better than I did. My father was religious in a very private way and laid Twillem nearly every morning at least when he was in Karlsbad. He also was an active member of the Freemasons in the local Lodge. (We still have his regalia in our loft somewhere), but he never emphasized his Jewish ness in public and never provoked anybody to make any anti semitic remarks in his presence. Still he could be very rude, inconsiderate and fully misunderstanding at times: one illustration only.
I was about 12 years old (near the end of the 1st World War) father came home on leave and saw me reading Pinkerton Detective stories ( in the installment form,as was usual at that time) without much ado he gave me first a good hiding and then took the lot to the local police station (why I do not know to this day). He seemed to have been under the impression that these Pinkerton stories might demoralize me. As there was a terrific amount of anti semitic undercurrent about, especially among the lower Sudeten-German bureaucrats the police officer took the whole bundle to my school where my (also anti semitic) form-master handed them back to me with some snide remarks to my great humiliation. I will never forget this unnecessary, stupid incident. Hugo could also be very generous, he might even have loved me more than Bertie who was 5 years older than I and played when he was only 20 years old a sort of Father figure vis-a vis Hugo owing to the very special and peculiar circumstances occurring at times in my Father's life (especially business wise). Hugo did love Emmy quite a lot in his own way. She was very hard of hearing already when they got married in May 1900. Grandfather Veit Benedict offered them a choice of either a posh wedding or a Grand Tour of Europe. They went amongst other places to the World Exhibition in Paris in June l900. Bertie was born on March 26 in 1901. Sadly when I reached the earliest age of understanding at appr. l0 years old I had often to witness loud and unpleasant arguments between my parents which once or twice ended up by him beating my mother in front of me. When I was 18 years old I restrained him by force several times and once gave him a good hiding which I think he never really forgave for. Whilst I must have inherited his physical genes (that explains why a number of older people think that I look very much like my father) but I must insist that my "mental" genes are completely different. Hugo had a number of fixed "dogmas" to guide him and his children through life such as: children should be preferably seen and not heard. Or his great preferred emphasis on correct and formal behavior under most circumstances (when in England one should try to speak and act as near as possible like a good well bred Englishman. He was always very punctual, well shaven and properly dressed and groomed (shoes shined too). But Form was generally much more important to him than content, therefore a man with mainly formal principles but at times also simply a man of practical convenience. So has been a complex person and I suppose it depends a lot from which point of view one judges a personality for the end result. Hugo liked singing and often did in the bathroom, he had a pleasant Bass voice and his "piece de resistance" was the famous Zaratostra Arie: "In diesen heilgen Hallen kennt man die rache nicht". So that was my father Hugo Moser.
June 12, 1984 Andover: I might come back to Hugo if and when I will write about my own generation. Today I will concentrate on the sons of my grandfather David's brother Ludwig. He was a very dignified personality and as President of the synagogue in Karlsbad he cut a very imposing figure on High Holidays.
Ludwig Moser was married twice. His 1st wife must have died after having produced 2 or 3 sons for her husband. I know only 2 by name: Gustave who established himself successfully in Paris and had a profitable shop called "Chrystallerie de Carlsbade". His daughter married a man who was a very good photographer but world famous for having been accused of murdering his own father by pushing him over a precipice in the Alps somewhere near Innsbruck, but as it was never proved if the father slipped or was pushed, the case was dismissed out of court. The Moser dynasty in Paris disappeared as Gustave had only daughters. Footnote: Ludwig Moser had one girl and six boys with Lottivulpa Sarah Benedikt, and four boys with Julia Meyer.
Berthold Moser one of the founder members of the Glass factory and a very good friend of my parents. My mother spoke all her life in very nice tone about them (I mean Berthold and his wife - who came from a very rich Jewish Textile family in Moravia). They had 2 daughters whom I liked quite a lot. One was ugly but a brilliant concert pianist who sadly died in her early twenties. The other one was vivacious, pert and a quite good painter, she became a very active communist, lived with another (well known) painter in Grasse, married after his death the Maire of Grasse and died herself there only a few years ago. Her name was Paquita and Bertie was really friendly with her for a number of years. Both these "girls" caused a lot of family gossip, but I do think they were very positive characters. Ludwig's second marriage was to a very handsome Lady, who reigned after Ludwig's death in Haus Columbus, next to the Synagogue in the Parkstrasse in Karlsbad, with friendly firmness over the Ludwig Moser clan. After she died, her son Dr Karl Moser took over the running of the huge "Haus Columbus" which became under his direction a sort of very good class sanatorium for especially better Jewish middle class patients especially from Berlin I recollect.
The 3 sons of Ludwig's 2nd marriage were the above mentioned Karl, then Leo and Richard. I knew all 3 brothers quite well. They were prominent members of the higher echelon of the Karlsbad society (of all denominations). Dr. Karl Moser, a general medical practitioner of the best type ( he also helped to bring me into this world on March 5 1906) everybody who had medical or private contact with him liked him a lot. At first he resided in Meierhoefen near my father's China factory ( he became one of my first adult friends while I was still a growing child and adolescent. He treated me with efficiency, calm confidence and good results for my usual childhood illnesses and frequent bruising's. He married Hermine Zentner whose brother was his best friend and also a good medical doctor. They had 2 daughters who at times were playmates to me in a harmlessly nice way. I liked them both. The younger one was pretty and vivacious, unfortunately she got killed while her father was driving a brand new car collecting her from skiing weekend in the Iron Mountains not very far from Karlsbad. The older one called Eva was not pretty, rather frail, but very much liked by everybody who had contact with her. She married a Bulgarian really for the main purpose of saving as much as possible of her father's substantial financial assets from falling into Nazi hands. Sadly this fellow was a crook and cheated them of as much as he could escape with to Bulgaria. Eva came shortly after this nasty experience to London where her parents had arrived already one year before via Switzerland. She Eva, sadly died shortly after her arrival in London. Karl (who was an honorary British Consul in Karlsbad after his brother Richard had given up this position) was received with obviously great advantages in Britain and lived with Hermine quite comfortably in Shrewsbury (where I visited him a few times), until he died there quite an old man. Hermine moved to London and bought a very big house in Kilburn where she managed a private Old Age Home quite successfully until she died round 1969.
Richard Moser (also one of the offspring's of Ludwig Mosers 2nd marriage). He was the Playboy of the David and Ludwig Moser clans. Very handsome and knowing it perfectly well, he had innumerable affairs with mostly all too willing partners carried on quite openly and enriching the gossip activities of the many people who engaged in it quite considerably. He officially worked with some success as a sort of Public Relations Officer with the emphasis on Sales activities for the Moser Glass works. He married Marie (maiden name unknown to me), a pretty, typical Berlin Jewish young lady of upper middle class background, she seemed to have condoned all her husbands extra marital activities. Marie and Richard had 2 children; a pretty girl who died in early adolescence and a boy who to my best knowledge is still alive and works in some capacity for the Social Security Dept of New York City. A really ackward and unfriendly type also not over clever but strongly self opinionated. I recollect when in 1964, Hala (my sister-in-law), arranged a gathering of all Mosers living in New York, in their apartment so that we could meet them. This arrogant young man who came with his mother Marie (who was properly divorced from Richard already), refused to eat any prepared sandwiches or pastries because he did not know how they were made or what was inside them. Marie died a few years. Richard was very friendly with my father and often helpful too. He also got me a good job with a big firm named Jepa in Prague and later a successful branch in Aussig an der Elbe (the first true Uni-Prix Store in Czechoslovakia).
I was in charge of the Food department and enjoyed my work there until Richard parted company with the Jepa and I as his relative was simply dismissed only for that reason. Richard was also a well known and successful Bridge Player. He died about 6 years ago in Sao Paolo Brazil. He owned a Bridge Club there and must have been in his early nineties when he passed away. What a larger than Life character he was; I will be thankful to him for what he did to help me. God rest his soul, wherever it might be..
Leo Moser (the last Ludwig Moser off-spring I will talk about) was a frail man as far as I can remember. He studied Glass technology and became a well known expert in the subject in Central Europe. After Ludwig's death Leo was appointed Managing Director of the Moser Glass factory. His very specialized knowledge was later on fully recognized in the States too. He was all his life very aesthetically inclined, had a big library of precious Art Books in his sumptuously furnished apartment in Karlsbad situated fashionably where the river Tepl joins the River Eger. I never had much personal contact with him (he always struck me of being objectively aloof vis-a vis most people he came in touch with, but I fully recognized his obviously very good qualities too. He married Paola (her maiden name was unknown to me) the daughter of a fairly rich Jewish merchant of Milan. She had a quite openly carried on affair with a middle quality painter called Egon Adler who even emigrated with Leo and Paola to New York where he died 4-5 years before Leo did. Egon Adler was really a better cartoonist than anything else. The whole set-up was the first menage-à-trois I encountered. Just the same Paola was the first big snob I met in my life and sadly became after Leo's death (which was fully reported in the New York,Times with complete account of his achievements in an half page article at the time of his cremation). Leo and Paola produced 2 offspring's: Andrew who is still alive and owns a small restaurant somewhere in Florida, and Lia, quite a pretty and charming person, who was married to a Jewish man who is a clerk in one of the Grocery chain stores in New York. Lia spoke with the possibly strongest Yiddish accent I ever heard in my life, obviously picked up in Brooklyn and not from her parents. Lia was truly a poor soul (she died 2 years ago).
Veit Benedict my maternal Grandfather, (whom I also never knew) had 4 sons and 4 daughters (to my best knowledge and belief). Even if it sounds as if I am digressing I will shortly repeat as already stated on page 1. that Veit's and all his possessions were looked after for the 2 or 3 years of his remaining life, jointly by my mother and her then living oldest brother Leo, who practically took over the running of the substantial Benedict estate. In his last will,Veit appointed Emmy (my mother who was his favorite daughter) as the only executor of his testament. Sadly mother declined on account of being married to Hugo whom she considered too unreliable to help her efficiently to carry out such a complicated and giant task as to administering and fairly dividing such a great estate. (I can only guess but it must have been at least 2-3 million pounds in present day values). Leo took over quite efficiently and (I am sure) at times ruthlessly. He did keep his promise until 3-4 years before he died namely to see to it that mother and her FAMILY WILL NOT LIVE IN DIRE circumstances whilst he is in control of the Benedict affairs. Back to sort of chronological reporting.
Elise Benedict (nee Rindskopf, born in Teplitz) must have presided over a very lively and interesting household. She was according to my mother, extremely well educated for her time, was well read, played the piano quite passable. Sadly she and Veit were both badly affected by bad hearing. She died a number of years before her husband shortly after Justly their youngest son was born. Veit (I think) died in 1908 or 1909 having been completely deaf the last 4 years of his life.
Berthold, the eldest died before I was born at about 30 years old (I just remembered being told that Berthold Benedict was the same age as my father). According to my usual information source (my mother) he was a financial genius and one of the youngest members of the Stock Exchange in Vienna. He was very much in Banking affairs, altogether involved. That might explain why Leo after his death, (Leo was the next in line and also by far the cleverest of the Benedict brothers) sold the thriving Banking business lock stock and barrel to the Credit Anstalt in Vienna, probably with the help of Veit's older brother Norbert who was then already a Director of that important financial establishment. Berthold was greatly admired by his sister Emmy for his integrity, financial expertise and his human personality all round. Hugo and Berthold were good friends too and my brother was named after him.
Otto, I definitely knew him, liked him too, but for a very short time only. He died when I was 12 years old under tragic circumstances in great pains of Stomach cancer. About 1 year before his early demise (40 years old) he got officially engaged to a charming and well acclaimed Soubrette (operetta singer) of the German Theatre in Prague (I saw her twice, and approved). Otto (one of the dark Benedicts) was not very good looking but kind, and an efficient partner to Leo in running the Benedict China factory. He was operated on his stomach twice and died 3 weeks after the 2nd, operation. I was quite sad about it for a long time, I remember. Bertie was at 17 years old immediately taken in to the business and started his career at the Benedict China factory. He was adopted by Leo and his family name became: Moser-Benedict officially. Otto was a very good administrator, and in charge of all financial transactions in the factory and he was really friendly towards me (I was then a little wild boy and socially a bit lost - also nobody in my immediate family had much time for me) in fact I would have liked to be under his guidance and influence for a much longer span of time than I had a chance, so I might have completely differently turned out to be than I did.
Justl, (Julius was his proper name). He was the youngest of the 8 Benedict children and his mother died very shortly after his birth. He was in practicality brought up by Marianne and my mother (the 2 older Benedict sisters). Justl was one of the 3 blond Benedict children in hair coloring and temperament too, very good looking and rather small of stature like most Benedicts) he was also very vivacious, full of fun, but quite often irresponsible at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons but overwhelmingly charming. The girls of all ages must have simply swarmed around him. My mother surely did spoil him a lot and often made excuses for his frequent escapades. He was in a way bubbling over with "Joie-de- vivre". 2 incidents in my life sort of link me to uncle Justl. Nr 1. was a life present he gave me personally in the form of a nice friendly small dog named Lola (with a proper pedigree too), it was near the end of the 1st World War. Jet black with standing up ears, the dog pleasant and at times interesting company for me. Unfortunately owing, to generally terrific Food shortages we could not get the proper feeding material for my Lola. She died of a sort of stomach ulcer and I had to bury her in great sadness in our back garden next to the 2 big Pear Trees. I also never will forget a "Fun duel" Justl fought with Pep Riethof (his friend and 1st cousin from Teplitz) in the Backyard of Haus Mendelsohn with proper sharp sabers watched from every kitchen and loo window on 3 floors by at least 1 dozen spectators fascinated by the noise of the clashing sabers and the shouts of the combatants and some of us onlookers. Suddenly accompanied by a loud yell from Justle we all saw to our horror that he had a cut thru his left wrist with blood spurting out from the main artery. Bertie quick witted as he always was in an emergency applied immediately a tourniquet and Justl was safely dispatched to the Hospital to have his cut properly stitched up. After having obtained a degree of Doctor of Law at the Vienna University Justl also joined the Benedict china factory. Leo was an extremely hard taskmaster to him and Justl was very unhappy at his work and became seriously depressed and melancholic. He went for treatment to a well known Sanatorium in Bayreut, Bavaria. There sadly after a while he literally drowned himself in a big pond in the gardens of the establishment. This was obviously a great shock to the whole family and one of the occasions when I was very proud of my father. With my mother blaming herself that she had been negligent in her attention to her youngest brother's great needs for for love and Sympathy: Hugo took charge quite efficiently of all the complicated arrangements to have Justl's body safely shipped back from Germany to Czechoslovakia.
Leo Benedict, of dark brown hair medium height was mentally the most pronounced dark Benedict of all the 8 children. He was the first "larger than Life" person I met in my life. The at first reluctant but later on (quite enjoying himself) quarrelsome head of the Benedict Family died only 53 years old. One could easily write a book about him and still not have uncovered all aspects of his ever so complicated personality. Square shaped sharp lined etched ears, a crooked nose (not a broken one like Hugo's), of medium height and build, not very good looking that was the outward appearance of Leo Benedict. But in speech and action he was very quick and impressive. He was extremely technically orientated and brilliantly quick in grasping complicated problems of any kind. An incessant and effective doodler. (I learned from him instant drawing of faces and items such as trees etc. not for artistic but "self" recreational purposes). He was and I feel he had a very restless mind and could never be without some action either via his mouth or his hands. Leo had an intimate friend (like Eckermann to Goethe) who was his best companion in some aspects. This Dr. Albert was a great improvisor on the piano. I will never forget the rare occasions when mother and I were invited for lunch at the "Villa Benedict". Leo doodling to his hearts delight whilst talking nonstop and (I must admit) logically, intelligently plus also emphatically, and hardly conceding a point to anybody else. Dr Albert unperturbed by any conversation around him, playing on the Ehrlich concert piano, nice melodious (appetite encouraging) music, whatever came to his mind. A large buxom friendly housekeeper served ceremoniously the sumptuous meal, like in a true patricians home, I presumed. I was truly awed at times in Leo's company. I. should really be grateful to him all my life as he paid fully for my complete Grammar School and University education. In retrospect I presume he did it because he felt that he owed it to my mother (not to me). Leo also adopted my brother Bertie after Otto's death. He (Leo) was President of the Federation of Sudeten German Industries for a number of years, also Chairman of the China Manufacturers Association. He was at the same time feared and admired by many people, also hated by quite a few. He was awkward when he was in a good mood; Leo got engaged to a pretty and charming young lady whom I have seen several times. Nothing further developed from it. Leo was mostly stern and grumpy. I cannot remember ever having seen him smile. He will be and stay an enigma to me for the rest of my life. I do not hate him like some people still do, but very few people could get "warm" with him either. Just the same he had such a lot to give in knowledge, experience and simple earthly wisdom. He was very ambitious and at the same time aware of his non handsome appearance and very alert how people reacted to him. He did have a lot of positive and also negative influence on peoples lives, inside and outside the family. Uncompromising and often doctrinaire he hated to be contradicted, but he did not like "yes men" either. He did love Bertie for quite a while and favored him in comparison to any other member of our family (I do mean all the Benedict offspring's) until the very last few years of his life when he disinherited Berti in punishment for marrying Hala. He was obviously equally unhappy as he was unconditional, in most of his dealings in business and family affairs. My mother loved and feared him (I think in equal proportions). So,uncle Leo, your soul might rest with inner peace where ever it does that, in this year of 1984 and evermore. These notes do not attempt to be a fully penetrating personality study of Leo Benedict; but it will have to do, otherwise he might disappear in oblivion.
June 27, 1984 Benedict Girls:
Marianne, the eldest I do not know at all. She married Sigmund Hirsch, a prominent resident of AACHEN. He was an important, rich, and imposing Woolen cloth merchant in the Rhineland. My mother was the prettiest female Benedict and could not get engaged or married before the older sister was safely "disposed" of. I was told I might have become a Kahn (instead of a Moser). They are now a very rich banking family of great importance, but "destiny" did not will it that way. Sigmund and Marianne Hirsch (nee Benedict) produced one daughter and named her Ada, who now in 1984 is 88 years old, was until very recently a very prominent Psychoanalyst of the Karen Horney Group in New York and still lives in 955 Park Avenue, New York City. Ada is exactly the same age as Justl Benedict and they seemed to have good friends in their young days. I was told only this year by Ada that they were often riding in the Karlsbad Woods together. Marianne was petite, frail, of average appearance but quite a personality in her own right. Sadly she died only 3-4 years after Ada was born. Sigrnund married a few years later a very tall handsome young lady who turned out to be a truly lousy stepmother to my (only surviving) cousin Ada.
Milla was definitely the unluckiest of all the 8 of Veit Benedict offspring's and even today I feel very sad when I think and write about Milla. It proves how terribly cruel Destiny can be in its dealings with some of us human beings. She was definitely a dark Benedict in outward appearance, but was just the same a kind person with great intelligence and good general knowledge, no beauty but a very positive character with firm and precise way of expressing herself despite all the truly bad luck she had, in her married life. She was very "gebildet" (culturally well educated) be it about Art, Literature or Music. She married her first cousin Emil Rindskopf, a very learned and quite successful Corporation lawyer in Teplitz. They produced 2 children: Karl and Marianne. He (Karl was an ugly, very clever but also very unhappy child, he developed severe epileptic fits in early adolescence, felt extremely unhappy and embarrassed about it. He managed to escape the Nazis and came late in1938 to England. He died in London shortly before the Blitz and was cremated in the Golders Green Crematorium. Marianne (Karl's sister), about 5 years younger developed as a very young child muscular dystrophy, could never walk in her life. Permanently strapped up on a sort of table with matchstick legs and spindly arms (which seemed to get broken once a month she led a hell of an existence, which I would not wish on my worst enemies. Marianne had a nice face and, a pleasant smile when she was not in one of her frequent and obviously excruciating pain periods. Her so called life was (unnecessarily) prolonged as Mila and Emil were members of the Upper crust Jewish families of Teplitz. So no expense was spared to ease the girl's suffering (obviously to no avail) and prolong the agony of her frightful existence. The whole family lived continuously in the shadow of Marianne's imminent death. I admired (and still do) Milla and Emil a lot, for their fortitude and effort to have some sort of a "normal" life at all under these most trying circumstances. I spent a number of weekends as an adolescent in their home in Teplitz encouraged by mother for the purpose to cheer them up as much as humanly possible, which I did succeed with in my own small way.
Rosl a small, gay, blond, vivacious not very pretty blond Benedict that was Rosl. She had unfortunately in addition to an obviously neglected Polio, one of her legs broken (I do not know how it happened) in 2 places. The doctors saved the leg but it was wrongly set, so poor Rosl had to walk about for the rest of her life with one leg shorter than the other one. But she kept her jolly and cheerful disposition all the time if possible at all. She was several years older than Justl but must have been good company to him in her younger days. She married Georg (see Neuburg family) when she was about 22 years old. He came from an important Northern Bohemian Jewish industrial family lived in Leitmeritz. His brother Fritz and Mr. Taussig founded and managed a great Tannery works there which did provide a very good living a great number of years for the 2 big families. Rosl and Georg had 2 children (whom I liked both very much. Their names were Franlz (who escaped the Nazis eastward and was never heard of again) and Liesl one of the prettiest young ladies I have ever seen. George went with Rosl (why I do not know, but the family kept very close and friendly) to Vienna for a while where he held an important job in the administration of the Southern Railways. They lived near the Hochschulefuer Bodenkultur and whilst I studied there, I became very good friends with Franzl and Liesl. George was a very pleasant and fun loving person who could imitate a clown perfectly (somersault and all) any time he felt like doing it, to everybody's (who was present) great amusement. When they moved from Vienna to Bodenbach where George became Managing Director of an important factory producing solely wrapping paper, he got marvelous testimonials from the Southern Railways for his valuable services rendered there. Rosl was a very positive person and fond of me. I can only keep pleasant memories of her. George died of a weak heart a few years before the Nazis overran Czechoslovakia. Rosl moved to Prague managed to get Liesl out with the positively last available plane to London. I hope she died peacefully before the Nazis could drag her to a concentration camp.
My mother Emmy Moser, born Benedict. She entered this world on the l9th February 1874 and was cremated on the 20th May 1963 in London. Definitely a blond Benedict in appearance and all mental aspects too she was definitely the prettiest of all Veit Benedict children, the only one who reached a ripe old age, she was also her father's favorite child plus very broadminded all her life. Unfortunately Veit and his wife were both very hard of hearing from middle age onwards and became completely deaf later in life. Emmy caught measles followed by scarlet fever in her late adolescence and with the inherited disposition to add on she became deaf partly, and in her old age completely. This very serious predicament did not prevent her from enjoying very much to listen to classical music may it be solo or full orchestra performances, and playing the piano too, quite expertly. I will always gratefully remember when she took me to the Friday afternoon concerts at the Posthof (the 1st stop for Spa visitors to have refreshments after they have "imbued" the hot medicinal waters spurting in geyser form from the famous Karlsbad Sprudel), when the Music Director Manzer wielded his baton and gave me my first introduction to the sounds starting with Vivaldi via Handel, Beethoven, all the other Viennese classics and romantics, Wagner etc. up to Bruckner and even Mahler, also the four hand piano music performed by mother and Frau Engel, when they played quite efficiently and pleasantly compositions by Brahms or Mendelsohn; fol1owed by coffee and Vanille Kranzerln; what a treat for mind and stomach.
Extremely alert despite her serious handicap and considering the many obstacles she had to face and overcome too, what with a great family she felt for many years responsible for (nearly until she finally came to London) why - I still do not quite comprehend. I consider her quite a good mother despite the fact that she did not allow me to study medicine, because I had somewhat sweaty hands. She suffered with a (in reality) non comprehending husband who was too rigid for her open personality. She had to put up with a very rebellious second son (me). But I know for a fact that we loved each other dearly. To this day I often wonder how she did manage to lead the active and truly interesting life she did. Rosl, Milla, and even Justl visited us frequently to "bother" her with their problems. Emmy was overall very well organized mentally and acted extremely efficiently in an emergency. Only one example to illustrate this point: This incident was told by mother and fully confirmed to me by Milla. Justl as a young boy caught diphtheria (at that time a very dangerous illness) when he was about 11 or 12 years old. My mother was alone with him in the house and could see that Justl had great breathing difficulties, she quickly called her cousin Dr. Rosenfeld (who lived in Haus Rossini a few houses down the Morgenzeile) to come immediately. He saw the emergency of the situation and simply said to Emmy: scrub your hands thoroughly and sterilize quickly the sharpest available kitchen knife, bring Justl here into the Kitchen and lay him on the Table and hold his head firmly; without further ado he took the knife and cut a hole in Justl's windpipe, thus saving him from chocking to death. Mother did not bat an eyelid during the whole incident and simply helped without any fuss to keep her brother alive. She was a lady of the grand old style in the best tradition. Larger than life in some aspects but very human just the same, she was often laughing. Mother suffered fools not too easily, had with her being rather small just the same, a rather respect creating bearing, whenever she felt it was necessary to show it. On account of her hearing disabilities she had difficulties in spelling even in German correctly but could speak and read and write tolerably well in English, despite the fact that she never heard it spoken in her whole life. I still miss her a lot at times, and will continue to do so. One day I might continue more in detail to report her life story. Let it suffice today (July 8th 1984) to report that she died (so I was told) in her sleep at the ripe old age of just over 89 years old and may her soul rest in peace deservedly for ever more.
Footnote: This, the first part of my father's memoirs was originally typewritten. What follow is the second part of the memoirs. For the most part unless his meaning was difficult to understand, I have left as is, his original punctuation and spelling. All else remains unchanged. Addendum: I very recently received updated information about Rosl and Franzl. Rosl died in the gas chamber in Auschwitz, and Franzl was shot by the Nazis whilst trying to escape from Auschwitz. Erica Kahan, October, 1996.
P 13: My name is Kurt Moser. I am the son of Hugo and Emmy Moser. I will begin my autobiography by writing first about the lives (as much as I can recall) of my parents and their respective families. Let's start with the wedding of my parents. As far as I know they were married in a very private ceremony, because my Grandfather Veit Benedict asked Hugo and Emmy if they prefer a big reception or an expensive honeymoon, to which they answered: " A honeymoon", which they spent in Paris and saw the 1900 Paris Exhibition in great luxury. I think my Father was quite in love with my Mother for at least the first 10 years of their marriage and I presume she with him too, despite the fact, that she could have married a very handsome young man named Kahn, who came from a very rich Berlin banking family. He I understand emigrated in 1900 to the U.S.A. and founded a multimillion banking organization, which apparently still exists (maybe under a different name). But helas, Jewish family tradition in those distant days did not allow a younger daughter to marry before her older sister has been taken care of. So Marianne married Sigmund Hirsch (an important Textile Merchant of Aachen) and they produced a daughter named Ada (who became my favorite cousin), whilst I became a Moser instead of a Kahn, (so reported several times by my mother to me). Hugo was definitely handsome and caring plus understanding, as my mother was very deaf since the age of 18, after having contracted German Measles, plus having inherited the deafness disposition from both her parents. She was tiny, had a very pretty face, good figure, and a vivacious personality, very musical, (inherited from her mother (Elise Benedict born Rindskopf).
September 27, 1989: Accidentally my one and a half typewritten page about Emmy was wiped off I have to try to recreate it as good as I can. Mentally she was much larger than LIFE in many respects (in my humble opinion). "Responsibility" and "Duty were some of her favorite words and concepts, but by sheer necessity she was also very tolerant in specific cases. How she compensated for her severe deafness, and was able really to impress people around her as a good organizer when required, was remarkable. She was amazingly aware of her capacities to handle or not to be involved in, complicated issues very early in her married life, and the following (often to me repeated} story illustrates it perfectly. Her father Veit Benedict made her his sole heir of his considerable fortune, with the express proviso that she provides adequately to all her sisters and brothers from it also. She promptly renounced her position as sole heir and distributor to her oldest brother Leo Benedict, (5 years younger than herself), for two, (to her) obvious reasons namely 1. that she was married to Hugo (who sadly already had proved himself to be financially rather irresponsible), and she had no intention to divorce him, and 2. by the law of the country at that time he would have taken over the whole estate of Veit. Also she felt strongly the necessity to be fair to her brothers and sisters and rightly thought Leo more efficient and cleverer than herself. So on the clear understanding that Veit's wishes would be carried out, she officially handed the management of the vast Benedict estate to Leo. He seemed to have carried out his obligations relatively fairly, and gave immediately to each of his 2 brothers (Otto and Julius), and his 3 sisters (Emmy, Mila and Rosl) a considerable sum of money in cash, provided that more financial help would be forthcoming if really necessary and essential. I think that's how Emmy got Leo to pay fully for my Gymnasium and University Education (that is my living expenses for 14 years of my adolescent life). Still Leo managed to leave a considerable fortune in a very complicated will, when he died at the age of 54 in 1935 (I believe). Helas he was very often over-clever and very self-opinionated too. There were definitely "blonde" Benedicts, my mother's way of expressing her thoughts if somebody had a pleasant character (Emmy, Rosl and Justl-Julius), and "dark" ones, Leo definitely, and Otto (my favorite " Benedict" uncle who was dark in hair colour but "blond" in mind. Berthold Benedict, also dead before I was born, (the oldest of Veit's children), was according to my mother a financial genius and in charge of the Benedict Bank in Karlsbad (the only banking establishment existing in that town in the late 19th and early 20th century. According to Emmy, the British Royal family visited Karlsbad fairly regularly (to take the "waters"). So when Edward the Seventh came there, he had to present his letters of credit to the Benedict Bank, because there was nowhere else to do it. The Bank was later sold (I am sure at a good profit), to the giant "Credit ANSTALT'of VIENNA. Marianne the oldest sister, I did not know either.
My mother seldom complained about her health and mood, nearly always showed a keen interest in the people and scenery around her, unless she was irritated by some actions or words. Later on in life I sometimes even observed her to switch off her hearing aid, because she simply had enough of listening to anybody. She was rather conscious about her appearance and was quite aware how well she could look even when already an old lady. Ada (Marianne's only daughter and my favorite cousin), treated her as a very much loved older sister. Her mother sadly died (I believe), 4 months after she was born when she (Marianne) contracted German Measles with complications resulting in her unfortunate death. Ada became very close to Emmy, when there developed very negative and quarrelsome relationship with her stepmother Alice, (a stately, tall and rather handsome lady, not very clever it seems, but very self righteous). I think they did not speak to each other for the last 5 or more years of Alice's life. Sadly the distance between Aachen and Karlsbad was so far, that only frequent long letters could partly compensate. Luckily both loved to write letters and also Leo became very fond of Ada. (I wish I could find some of these epistles). It's a bit sad that I cannot present a better "Word" picture of my mother, but when I say that she is still part of my life I can hear her voice, hear her also playing 4 hand piano with Frau Engel, (preferably Brahms or Schumann) some 70 years ago. Imagine, I can faintly even smell her. She definitely was a mentally large and physically strong person so alive, until she died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 89 years old at the " Leo Baeck House" in Bishops Avenue, London. She had stayed with us for 8 years in our house in Finchley, but it sadly became much too difficult for Miriam to cope with. So luckily all round she was accepted at the Leo Baeck House where she could spend the last few years of her life in fairly good health and quite happily too.
September 28, 1989: Berthold Moser was born on March 26 1901 in Meierhoefen 2 miles west of Karlsbad in the compound of the Moser Brothers China Factory. A well planned arrival (as stated already somewhere before). He must have had a very good, attentive and in a way, pampered 5 first years of his life. I believe he (like me) had a wet nurse, an arrangement which was very customary at the beginning of the 20th Century amongst the upper middle classes in Central Europe. To the uninitiated it means he sucked his milk not from his own mother, but from a female who also just had a baby and milk enough to feed 2. This procedure enabled Emmy to keep her perfect figure until the end of her days. Naturally only for the 1st year of Bertie's life was he "wet-nursed". He was a very good and attentive student in Primary and Grammar school and achieved average good marks all the time. Like myself he finished Primary School at 10 years only (1 year ahead of most other children). He was an easy going sociable personality, made many good friends who did keep good contact with him, practically until Hitler forced him to leave Czechoslovakia. That is as far as I can type today, the bulk of Bertie's Life Story I will attempt to do tomorrow.
September 29, l989: I just looked at a nice photo of Bertie and myself aged 5 and 10 years old. I look straight into the camera whilst Bertie has a semi-whimsical, semi-boring sideways glance, sort of predicting our private attitudes to LIFE in the future. I consider him having been a good brother even at times a sort of semi-father too. But equally he was very wrong in some of his "judgments". When I was 12 years old (1918-a very disturbing time for anybody), I got into trouble with the Gymnasium Authorities in Karlsbad, because one morning I threw Stink bombs around my classroom, (egged on to do so by some other boys). The Director suggested to my mother that she took me to another Gymnasium to finish my "Grammar school" education. So I transferred to Kaaden 20 miles east of Karlsbad also on the river Eger. Luckily (for me), from the Autumn term 1918 onwards for 6 years I stayed with Director and Mrs Klima at the Villa "Rosina" on the outskirts of Kaaden. Well, on being introduced to the Klimas by my mother and brother -Bertie said in front of me to Mrs. Klima: "my brother can be a little monster and needs strong handling all the time". After mother and Bertie went home I settled in immediately and on our first evening meal Mrs Klima gave me a thorough look and pronounced firmly: "You do not look like a monster at all to me". Bertie never "identified" with me in my ideas or attitudes and considered me a sort of harmless rebel but definitely his brother too.
My truly first wedding ceremony I witnessed in the Registrars office of the Karlsbad Town Hall. Leo even nastily disinherited Bertie and my mother too, which naturally caused great financial problems to the "Emmy Moser Family". But Bertie was luckily already very well established in his business career and as mentioned before, became Managing Director of the whole Epiag Empire. I admired and also feared Bertie, because he was so much better organized than myself in many ways, less mixed up about LIFE and very single minded if necessary. Very "earthy" circumstances permitting it, he was not really a great talker but a good listener. But he had also unchangeable attitudes and opinions until political events forced him to change them. For instance he strongly believed in the unavoidability of the assimilation of the Jewish Race until he realized that the Hitler's of this world did not want him at all.
September 30, 1989: Rosh Ha Schona, I will try to continue my family "Saga". Bertie was indeed a good and helpful brother, and sent me the sum of 160 pounds sterling for us to survive as a family. I really was in great financial need and working in a dairy in Windsor in a very strenuous and lowly paid job, whilst Miriam and newly born Erica struggled hard to cope with daily LIFE in Beaumont Avenue St. Albans. Naturally I will never forget this, despite the fact that it occurred in early 1941.
Bertie moved with Hala and their 2 sons first to Ecuador and then 2 years later to Colombia where he built a factory specializing in the production of Industrial China, only in his case, "Refractory "Tiles only. His older son John got a Masters Degree at one of the Canadian Universities and left Colombia for good and took up a very successful academic career in the North Western University in Chicago. Whilst Andrew (his second son) after obtaining a B.Sc. degree at McMaster University in Canada joined Bertie as a full partner in his China factory in Bogota, Columbia. The enterprise must have been quite successful for a number of years, because Emmy, on Bertie's specific invitation spent about 6 months there. (I cannot exactly remember the year now). Sadly eventually Bertie caught a tropical variety of multiple sclerosis and could not stay any longer in Colombia. He and Hala moved to New York at 205 East 82nd Street, where she still lives today. Bertie suffered terribly (physically and mentally), in the last years of his life, which were spent in Locarno Switzerland, where he died in 1974. I will never be able to forget his face (like very cross Pope of the Middle Ages), as he lay in his coffin before he was ceremoniously cremated in Bellinzona. His ashes were flown to London where they were interred for ever in the burial grounds of the Golders Green Crematorium, next to the ashes of my parents.
September 30, 1991: I will try tonight and tomorrow morning to recreate my past in the same as written before. But I feel a few rough notes before typing will improve the quality of its content. Because I am too sort of mixed up with slightly unimportant problems right now.
October 1, 1991: I will try to continue my typing as well as I can. Lets say the last 55 years of this "existence" of mine. Maybe there is already some "record" in existence of this period (unmarried time and also up to 1961. By that year I seem to recollect, that I was earning my living being an independent Sales Agent for a number of Ladies Wear Firms (Philps Knitwear-Mr. Bellak, a Manchester Skirt Manufacturer the boss whose name I cannot remember just now became a very prominent member of the English Zionist Organization, Sidgreene and one or two others. I must have been a rather "psychological" Salesman and tried to build up some kind of "personal" relationship with my (business) clients - an often (time and money wise) wasteful process because the bulk of my customers were quite decent folk but rather slow paying clients. Therefore often half the orders I took were executed owing to imposed credit limit. We struggled very hard at times, but Miriam, I and the children too survived quite well (without any noticeable psychological scars). The main reason might have been that I was not ambitious enough (business wise). I believe since 1964 I concentrated on working only for Sidgreene Fashions and made a fair living doing that only until (I believe) 1973. Then I sort of retired from "roadwork" but carried on working at Sidgreene's offices in RICHMOND ROAD HACKNEY EAST LONDON on their sales records (officially still being an independent Sales Agent). Maybe we organized our lives correctly, maybe not. Erica and Paul were brought up to think and act as independently as possible but also to be fair in all their dealings. Lacking power ambition I continued to be more interested in an "objectively" successful life (Chairman of the Finchley branch of the "Workers Educational Association for more than 25 years) than in "money" and business ambition. Was I wrong? What is "Quality of Life? I wish I could define it properly and not in (possibly) meaningless semi-long sentences. We traveled (independently and together) quite a lot in our lives but I would need our photo albums and Miriam's diaries to give a really interesting account of the scenery, buildings and people we encountered on our holidays. Last sentence today: Life is and was and (I hope) will never be boring, irritating, tiring, exciting at times or just pleasant - YES, Finis for today. 9.35 p.m.
October 2, 1991: notes taken at "De Moulas: My probable plans for the near future? Try not to miss daily planning. A) Weather wise outside and inside (the premises and self). B) Must Items. C) Mood conditions D) Responsibility items + Economic Dues. E) Read the TV and Radio Programs in the daily Times and pencil mark interesting events. F) Try to calculate "Timing" for whatever is to be done or enjoyed. Once a week try to work out a "rough schedule" for all events and "Doings" considered important by me to be done. Once every 2 weeks give myself an account of what has been done and what has been missed. Thinking "specifically". There are routine matters to be considered (IN and OUTput control), regular events (U 3 A, JACS, Concert rehearsals, Choir practice, Psychology meetings, Visits to and from Family and or Friends E T C. Special Events such as Theatre Outings. 4.30p.m. time to end as we have to leave number 24 at 5.00p.m. to catch a plane at 7.50 p.m. on October 3rd 1991 at Logan Airport, Boston, MA USA.
Footnote: My father wrote nothing more about his family. The rest of his stories were told verbally. Maybe some day I will write them down. He passed away December 21st 1993 in London, England. October, 1996, Erica Kahan. If, when you read these memoirs you find some corrections may be needed, or additional information is available that maybe my father was unaware of, please do notify me so I can add an addendum for posterity. (As Kurt used to say). Please also feel free to send me any additional names, addresses, ages, dates of birth, marriages etc. I am looking for the French and South American side for the family history. I.E. Gustav (France) and Richard (South America). This is a fascinating hobby which can consume all of ones time if one allows it to! Correction: Berti had Lou Gearing’s disease, not “a tropical form of multiple sclerosis” as my father thought. My thanks to all of you who have been so patient with my umpteen phone calls. If there are any of you (listed or otherwise) who have E-Mail, please send me your addresses. It is a really efficient way of communication in this so busy time in which we live. Thanks Erica Kahan1234@aol.com
Footnote-2: In 1997 my Husband David and I visited the Moser Glass Company at their invitation for the 140 anniversary of Moser Glass. There for the first time we found out that Richard Moser had a son Antonin. Antonin age 73 came to the factory to meet us. He had been in Dachau from age 14-18. Upon being released he tried to go to America, but none of the family members he contacted would sponsor him. My parents had never known of Antonin’s existence. It was sad to hear this and know that he basically was abandoned by his father Richard, and his uncle Leo Moser. Antonin eventually married in the Czech Republic and had 2 sons. The sons were understandably very angry at the Moser family and wanted nothing to do with any of them.
August 2008: - I found some handwritten pages my father wrote and I have added them to his memoirs.
June 20 1992 - K. Moser, Tape recording: The next event I would like to put on record happened – (I think) May or June 1935. I had left the Jepa – Aussig, as Richard Moser fell out with Mr. Braum & Mr. Glacek – the principal shareholders of Jepa. I was dismissed from my job (for no real official reason just being related to Richard Moser. I went to Karlsbad, stayed with Berti for 2-3 months, made friends with some ardent Communists. Did never join any political party. My mother was officially in charge of the Sales office of the Epiag- Vienna and I foolishly gave the business address in Mariahulfe Strasse for Post Box purposes to 2 of these young radicals in Karlsbad if they should need any contact point in Vienna. I moved to Vienna and sold China & glass for the Epiag there. It was officially my fathers Austrian Office. A very beautiful Jewish left wing girt Marietta whom I had met several times in Prague had mean while also moved to Vienna and we sort of remembered our friendship. Which was very objective on her side, but sadly more subjective by me. She was truly the first girl I proposed marriage to, but was promptly but very politely and firmly refused. In Vienna at that time under the Prime Minister the Government Party was strictly illegal. Suddenly Marietta phoned me “you must leave Vienna immediately, otherwise you will be arrested for political reasons. I left by the next available train to Lundenburg the Austrian Czech border town. On arriving there a message was handed to that my mother had been arrested instead of me and was in Police Custody. Naturally I promptly returned to Vienna to free my mother and surrendered voluntarily to Police Custody – which I had to endure for 6 weeks- without ever being charged with any offence at all. I wrote my memoirs regularly on toilet paper. I had food parcels from my mother.
Berti and Rudi Eisler intervened on my behalf. I got free but was evicted from Austria until the end of World War 11. My father accompanied me to Bratislava where I worked in a shop (I believe) for about ½ year. The last 2 weeks in Police Custody I had to share my cell with a confessed Currency smuggler who also admitted to have syphilis. You can imagine the tension I lived under for these 14 days.
On the 16th September 1936 I finally managed to arrive in London.
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