In 1932 Simon Rosner built an Eiffel Tower out of plywood, which was then exhibited for a whole year in a Czernowitz downtown shop’s window. The picture from March 14th, 1932 is showing him and the Eiffel Tower. And here is the English version of the two paragrahs in Charles Rosner’s book about the period in the early thirties in Czernowitz, when his father, Simon Rosner, got closer to his mother, Rusia Wagner:
“…From then on, Simon enters Rusia’s group of friends: he participates to their excursions and cultural outgoings, to their sportive activities – he is good at the vaulting horse – and does his best to get her to notice him. More a manual than an intellectual, he has some difficulties to express his feelings with words. By the end of 1931, he builds an Eiffel Tower – a sign of premonition? – made of thin plywood: it is 1.5 meter high, has the name Rosner inserted in the structure, and will be exhibited for a whole year in a Czernowitz downtown shop’s window. A nice illustration of the fame France enjoys in Eastern Europe.
The round and black frame of Simon’s glasses irresistibly reminds of Harold Lloyd, that American silent-movies actor [see below], whose character of a big clumsy boy is permanently and unconsciously running towards staggering adventures… It is certainly at that time that he got the nickname ‘Bumerl’: Rusia, as well as all his friends, will call him by that nickname till the end of his life. In ancient Viennese, ‘Bummerl’ stands for a puppy easy to fool; whereas, in informal German, it means a stroller or a slowpoke. As for Rusia, he calls her Mäderl, little girl, nickname that he will sole be allowed to use all their life long.”
Click on picture to enlarge!
At least, one of Rusia’s brothers was well known in Czernowitz in the thirties: Edi Wagner, who created a folkloric ensemble (Die Rote Kapelle) in 1934, trying to resist the Romanian fascist environment. Towards the end, the ensemble had about 100 young people from all ‘nationalities’ (Jews, Germans, Ukrainians, Romanians, etc.) who sang, danced and played balalaika and guitar. They gave a dozen performances in Czernowitz, Bukowina and also in the old Regat, encountered great popular success, but in August 1936, the Siguranta arrested Edi Wagner: he was beaten and tortured to death and finally thrown out of a second floor window at police Headquarters. Edi Wagner was not yet 26 when he died.
The photo below shows part of Edi Wagner’s orchestra: Rusia is second starting from right, Simon Rosner is standing behind her and Rusia’s sister (mother of Eduard Weissmann, Gabrielle’s husband) is sixth. If anyone recognizes someone in the picture, of course Charles Rosner would like him/her to let him know.