Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

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Bill Mullins
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Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby Bill Mullins » April 14th, 2016, 1:45 pm

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is supporting a crowd-based project to see to what extent the American press covered the Holocaust in the Nazi era (1933-1945).

I looked in AskAlexander to see what might be relevant. The Linking Ring Apr 1933 p 91 describes a letter from Bartl:

"We have just received a letter from our good friend, Janos Bartl, Hamburg 36, Jungfernstieg 24, Germany, in which he advises that while in many of the foreign newspapers stories are carried of unheard of cruelties and mistreatment to Jews and foreigners in Germany, that as a matter of fact, there is no foundation for this and that the Germans are not responsible for these reports which are sent out by those who want to profit by these statements."

Which is a hell of a thing to say.

Was he oblivious to what was going on? Was he a Nazi true believer, and lying to cover up for them? Was he just trying to play down bad press about his country?

The only biographical material I find of Bartl is an article in "Perennial Mystics", which does not address the Nazi era at all.

(A small note in TLR Jul 1945 indicates that Bartl himself was Jewish.)

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Sigmagier
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Re: Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby Sigmagier » April 14th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Just at the moment I'm not able to answer your questions completely. I assume that just a month after Hitler finally getting elected a decent person would just be unable to realize what was coming and could not believe it. Maybe his letter would have been completely different one or two monthes later.
I gladly will try to find out something more.

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Sigmagier
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Re: Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby Sigmagier » April 14th, 2016, 2:38 pm

BTW Not definite about Bartl himself, but his wife Rosa was jewish. Nevertheless they came quite good through the nazi-era and WW II.

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Re: Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby performer » April 14th, 2016, 3:22 pm

I once met a German Jew who lived openly in Berlin throughout the war. I was astonished to hear him say this and I asked him how he had survived and not been rounded up and deported to a death camp. He responded, "They needed me. I was of great use to them". It seems he was a chemist of some sort and this was valuable to them in some way but I am hazy on the details so I am not sure in what capacity he was useful to them.

Did you know that Goering's brother was very anti nazi and saved hundreds of Jews using his brother's name to do so? Albert Goering has even been considered for "righteous gentile" status by Vad Yashem in Israel. I suspect he won't get it though.

Oh, and I have already mentioned in a previous post that Hitler banned exposure of magic secrets in newspapers, possibly because of the influence of Kalanag. This was mentioned by Hitler's press secretary in his memoirs.

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Re: Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby Richard Hatch » April 14th, 2016, 4:08 pm

Here's a nice, short article about Bartl (in German):
http://www.zauber-pedia.de/index.php?ti ... 1nos_Bartl
It mentions that he spent 4 years as an English prisoner of war in the first world war. It also mentions that his magic shop in Hamburg survived the second world war, even though his wife Rosa (nee Leichtmann) was Jewish, from which reference I assume that he was not.
Here's a link to a video featuring her (she continued to run the Hamburg magic shop after his death):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMFg57Di50U

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Sigmagier
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Re: Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby Sigmagier » April 23rd, 2016, 5:32 am

Birgit Bartl, the granddaughter of János Bartl, is just working on a chronicle of the family and she replied that there is no hint at all, that János Bartl was sympathizing with the nazi regime. Especially in the years 1942/43 she was in trouble because of her jewish background. She refused to take on the first name Sara, as the authorities demanded. Two years long the officials searched between Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Vienna to proof that jewish offspring. János supported his wife all the time and had a lot of correspondence with authorities, which is partly still existing and will be documented in the chapter "The Rosa Bartl files in the NS-State".
By the way it may be of interest, that also the sisters of Rosa where active as magic dealers. Their father Joseph Leichtmann opened a magic shop in Vienna in the year 1880. 1884 he moved to Munich and launched there and in Berlin shops called "Zauberkönig".
Later the the daughters ran the magic shops: Leonie in Munich, Charlotte in Berlin, Melanie in Cologne, assisted by Rosa until she married János Bartl.
So my first comment on the topic seem to be valid. 1933 János Bartl may really been unable to imagine, where the journey was going to.

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Re: Janos Bartl and the Holocaust

Postby Brad Henderson » April 23rd, 2016, 12:23 pm

erik Larson's in the garden of beasts tells the story of Hilter's rise to power through the eyes (and diaries) of the american ambassador at the time and his promiscuous daughter. it is a fascinating read (in part because Larson is a great writer). You see how many living in Germany sincerely did not 'see' what was going on right in front of them.

bartl' statement echoes those of the ambassador.


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