The Work of the Wanderer
Posted on December 18, 2015
Given that the documentary The Teacher Who Defied Hitler is a documentary which deals with the plight of the thousands of German Jews who were forced to migrate and move across continents to avoid persecution, the choice of a Wanderer-Werke AG “Continental” standard typewriter was a more than apt piece of typewriter casting – and a complement to the elegance of the actress who played the role of Leonora Goldschmidt.
The fictional “Leonora Goldschmidt” and Continental
Throughout the documentary, real-life footage of pupils at the Leonora Goldschmidt School is interspersed with eye-witness accounts and a series of dramatic reconstructions.
The real-life footage was shot by American filmmaker Julien Bryan, who had been hired by the Nazi regime to provide footage that could be used for propaganda purposes. Bryan was under strict orders not to film anything that would reveal the Nazi regime’s military build-up or its harsh treatment of the Jews.
As soon as he saw what was happening, Bryan defied orders and smuggled reels of secretly filmed footage back to America, thus exposing Hitler’s regime for what it was.
Julien Bryan, American filmmaker
Bryan’s footage of the Goldschmidt School informed the costume and set design, as well as the actors who appeared in a series of dramatic reconstructions.
The Leonora Goldschmidt School was a private, co-educational Jewish school in Berlin founded by Dr. Leonore Goldschmidt in 1935 to provide a tranquil environment for Jewish students – who were being forced out of the public school system by the Nazi regime – to continue their education and prepare for emigration.
Goldschmidt (1897-1983) was a German Jewish school teacher who had taught both in England and Germany. Following her dismissal from her teaching post at the Sophie-Charlotte school in Berlin in April 1933, Goldschmidt taught at the private Jewish Waldschule Grunewald run by Toni Lessler on the Hagenstrasse.
The typewriter’s identity is revealed by a double-wing!
On May 1, 1935 Leonora opened her own school in rented quarters on the Kronberger Strasse. Her lawyer husband, Ernst Goldschmidt, served as its chief administrator. Soon after opening, the school was moved to a large villa on the Hohenzollerndamm Strasse in Berlin-Grunewald.
The real Leonora Goldschmidt
The school eventually expanded to include four buildings located on Hohenzollerndamm 102 and 105-110 and Berkaer Strasse 31. The buildings were elegant mansions with wide halls and tall windows that were surrounded by expansive lawns. The enrollment grew quickly, numbering more than 500 students at the height of its operation in 1937. Almost all the children were the sons and daughters of upper or upper middle class professionals and businessmen, whose families had lived in Germany for generations.
Few of the students were either ardent Zionists or Orthodox Jews. In February 1937 the school was authorized to give the English matriculation exam to its students, which allowed those who passed it to continue their studies in Cambridge, England, thereby improving their chances of emigration to England or the United States.
After Goldschmidt’s emigration to England in 1939 the school was run by one of its teachers, Dr. Kurt Lewent, until it was closed on November 30 of that year.
Leonora may not have directly saved the lives of her pupils, but she undoubtedly improved their chances of survival. Great woman. Great documentary. Great typewriter.
Manufacturers of bicycles and machine tools since the late nineteenth century, Wanderer Fahrradwerke front. Winklhofer & Jaenicke AG diversified their production at the turn of the twentieth century.
The company began the manufacture of its “Continental” line of typewriters in 1903.
By 1908 the company had changed their name to Wanderer-Werke vorm. Winklhofer & Jaenicke AG and focussed primarily on bicycle production.
1911 saw the design of an economical compact car with a four-cylinder engine dubbed the “Wanderer Puppchen”. Serious production of motor cars began two years later in 1913.
The name “Wanderer” was derived (by company founders Winklhofer and Jaenicke) from the translation of “Rover”, the name of a bicycle designed by Englishman John Kemp Starley, a man credited as the inventor of the modern bicycle.
The “Wanderer” double-wing logo was registered as a trademark in 1929.