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Re: Berglas interview

Posted: May 28th, 2007, 9:07 am
by Guest
I was a member of the Magic Circle,and working in Spain when the dirty tricks campaign to oust David from his position of President started,i would receive a letter every other day,with some reason or other why i should vote against David remaining in his post.The mail ranged from downright lies to total hate mail against whom in my humble opinion was one of the best Presidents and most respected world wide in Magic,and i think the respect in which he was held was partly the reason The Magic Circle was able to obtain so many loans and donations to enable us to buy our own property in which to house The Magic Circle clubroom,stage etc:Until then we existed in leased property.Even though many magicians do a "memory act" a lot of them posess a "very short memory"when it comes to remembering what a great performer/President/and Ambassador for magic David was.I have put my tin helmet on and now await the bricks to fly!!!!!

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: May 28th, 2007, 6:09 pm
by Richard Kaufman
John, when I was recently with David Berglas at one of his now-rare Monday evening appearances at The Magic Circle he was greeted very warmly by many members who feel the way you do.

Many saw the letters that were sent out during the election which you refer to. I don't think you'll need a helmet here. :)

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: May 28th, 2007, 6:56 pm
by Pete Biro
I can understand the stupid folks with an agenda writing hate letters filled with outright lies.

This happened to me (and the other members of our Convention Committee for the IBM). The lies were incredible. One guy even circulated a letter giving a show we produced a terrible write up and it turned out he wasn't even there.

Another letter claimed we kept monies paid for TV Rights when, in fact, all TV monies were direct wired into the IBM's master accounts.

The main reason? I believe jealousy and desire to gain power.

That's why we all said, "Enough, adios." And the conventions have LOST tons of money since, while we kept things in the black.

Stay tooned...

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: May 30th, 2007, 7:59 am
by Danny Archer
Busy schedule means I just finished the Berglas issue last night...

Two thumbs way up to Richard and all involved with this issue...

reading about his life was truly inspirational...

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: June 11th, 2007, 11:48 pm
by Timothy Hyde
Brilliant, brilliant issue, thank you Richard.

Like Danny above, I find David's life and thinking inspiring and will often turn to his book just for encouragement. A lesson in "thinking big" for us all.

Timothy Hyde

P.S. I may be the the only one who has the "big book" , but has never read the ACAAN chapter

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: June 15th, 2007, 12:41 am
by jjsanvert
I will simply say that: the Berglas issue in Genii was the VERY BEST magic magazine issue I ever read in my life. Period.
I am so fed up with variations of variations, it was THRILLING to read such a great life, such great effects, and the number of things Mr. Berglas used in his life: hypnotism, mentalism, pickpocket, magic, memory, publicity - you name it.
Obviously a book covering the work of this genius is going too much higher for many of us.

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: July 20th, 2007, 2:36 pm
by Guest
Dear Richard,
The Berglas interview was outstanding!

I have a question about a line of thought that I guess had to be abridged due to space(?)

David mentioned in some detail his initial reluctance to work with Kalanag because of all the rumors about Kalanag's acquisition of props from Jewish performer(s) during the third Reich & the alleged opportunism or heartfelt Nazi sympathies he exhibited.

Then, finally, after their work collaboration became real, you quote David to the effect that at one of their meetings Kalanag took him aside and told him in effect, "Don't believe all the stuff you may have heard about me."

I'm curious, did Kalanag ever say anything else substantive on the topic which led David to believe that perhaps Kalanag wasn't the [censored] we tend to think he was? He could certainly help rehabilitate Kalanag's reputation if he can share some positive insights here......otherwise, the abrupt silence on the topic results in the construct that we are left dangling with the subtle impression that nothing really changed in David's opinion, merely that he felt their joint TV project a worthwhile venture.

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: July 20th, 2007, 5:53 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Gale, I really don't know the answer to your question. We didn't cut anything out pertaining to that topic, however we also had issues of space so I didn't pursue things as deeply as I would if writing a book.

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: July 21st, 2007, 2:58 am
by Matthew Field
Gale -- There's a lovely photo of Kalanag entertaining Der Fuhrer in the current issue of Cabinet ( ), an arts magazine published in exotic Brooklyn, NY. The issue, guest edited by Jonathan Allen (whom you may remember as Tommy Angel) has Magic as its major theme this quarter.

I don't think there's much doubt as to Herr Schreiber's allegiances.

Matt Field

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: July 21st, 2007, 11:17 am
by Guest
Schreiber's history, like that of many Germans of his generation, is quite complex. He was a member of the Nazi party, but he did not join until quite late, when his professional ambitions in the film industry would have required it. He performed for Hitler on several public occasions, and privately at Hitler's mountain retreat, Berchtesgarten. He also curried favor with Goering and Goebbels (the latter being his superior in the propaganda ministry to which the film industry became annexed). He ran the German Magic Circle on the Fuehrer principle, with himself at the top and used his influence to aid and impede careers. After the war, he curried favor with the Allies and built up a large show in a short period. One classified Allied report from the period describes him as "an opportunist of the worst order" and that is probably pretty accurate. He seems to have been a Nazi by association and opportunity, not conviction, which is no excuse for his actions. After the war, like many, he produced documents (possibly forged) showing that he had secretly harbored Jews and communists during the Nazi years. By then, those he harbored had disappeared and could not testify on his behalf. One exception was French magician Jac Olten, on whose behalf Schreiber interceded to get him out of an enemy alien camp and set him on his feet as a performer. Jac Olten remained understandably grateful to Schreiber for his kindness and testified on his behalf after the war. Olten is sometimes described as Jewish, but I believe that is mistaken. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone with information on Olten, who is rumored to have emigrated to the US in the 1960s and worked in the hotel industry...

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: March 25th, 2012, 11:55 am
by Radicchio
I am a descendant of Jac Olten. Contact me if you would like to discuss his history.

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: March 25th, 2012, 12:18 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Radicchio, please post your information on Olten's history!

Re: Berglas interview

Posted: March 25th, 2012, 6:26 pm
by Radicchio
Hi Richard,

Please see the separate forum thread that is specifically about Jac Olten / Alfred Mihiel: ... Post263614

PM me for more info off-forum.