No, it’s not Harold Lloyd, it’s Simon Rosner!

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.

Click on picture to enlarge!

Released by Edgar Hauster by courtesy of Charles Rosner. Click here for Charles Rosner’s biography. For book orders please refer directly to Charles Rosner (contact details available upon request).

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5 Responses to No, it’s not Harold Lloyd, it’s Simon Rosner!

  1. romers says:

    It’s now on the home page of Ehpes… a great picture in many ways!

  2. Bucovinian says:

    You forgot to mention what was the reason of his arrest: the murder of a student of philosophical department of the university of Czernowitz by a gang of Zionists. The other person attacked was heavily wounded.

  3. Charles Rosner says:

    It is correct to say that a Rumanian student died on July 4th in the Volksgarten. He was part of a group who attacked some Jews who decided to resist the fascist’s decision to forbid them entry to the garden. There was a fight and the Rumanian student was stabbed to death. The problem is that all those who were arrested next day, including Edi Wagner, among them also Non-Jews like a German called Johann Schlamp, were not present at the time in the Volksgarten and were not at all Zionists but members of the Bund! Edi, considered as the leader, was bound into ropes, tortured – they tear-out his nails – and beaten near to death. In the evening, not being able to make him acknowledge “his crimes,” the Siguranta threw him out of the highest window of the police headquarters. Later, in an attempt to save face, the police did pretend he tried to take his life and ran himself through the window. No one was allowed to see him except his mother. In his pockets she found a note with the inscription “Wagner judän mortratur!” Wagner, a Yid, shall die.
    After the death of Edi Wagner, most of those arrested were released, because the Siguranta feared possible local consequences of its acts. The German Johann Schlamp was taken to court near Bucarest and got accused of “having brought shame on Rumania because of his Jewish frequentation”! Finally, he was condemned to spend one year in prison and to pay a 10.000 Lei fine.
    This is History

  4. Bucovinian…

    Your comment covers less than half of the story and it’s above all beyond any historical integrity. You are deliberately insinuating an ethic and/or juridic responsabilty for the homicide of the student, but at the same time you are supressing the fact, that there is no evidence at all for the culpability of Edi Wagner or any of the other young guys, arrested, murdered as Edi, or terribly tortured as the others by Czernowitz police authorities. Keeping in mind the political circumstances of the year 1936 and the ferocious Romanization of the Bukovina, there can be no doubt whatsoever, that the Romanian prosecution authorities would have used each and every opportunity, to accuse the young guys of the homicide. But none of them has been capable sentenced. Whether you like it or not, I’m going to close this thread now, as I don’t intend to pursue battles with a historical delay of 74 years.

  5. Lydia says:

    Bravo Charles,
    I was very interested to read all this again.
    Best regards.

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