Gretchen Ziegler 1927 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT WISCONSIN TO GERMANY TRAVEL DIARY
Milwaukee, Wisconsin WI / Germany 1927 Full-Leather Very Good
This diary reveals the story of one young woman's trip to Germany in 1927. The diarist is Gretchen Ziegler from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Complete with what sounds like a ship board romance with the Captain of the S.S. Cleveland our young woman spends a good deal of time with him; not only on board but also after they dock. His name is Captain Stege and he even signs her diary in the front. She also has another man on board who is very interested in her and seems to be competing for her attention with the captain. Gretchen starts sailing on May 5th and her diary entries end on July 15th while still in Germany. The diary is fully written for 73 pages and then another 30 or so pages in the back where she has written addresses, hotels stopped at, cash accounts, etc. Gretchen is visiting Germany because of her family heritage there. Research indicates she is related in some way to the Oetker family, famous for baking powder. They are a very wealthy family, and many of her entries have to do with staying on their estate. Among many there is a wonderful entry about her riding a train through Germany and the little girl on the train gives her a four leaf clover. Excerpts from a mere 16 days: "May 5th A.M. Shulled by the mobs. Shared stateroom with a Mrs. Traeger of St. Paul, she was exceptionally nice. Table 21, second sitting. Companions Captain Stege formerly of Hamburg American line, now living in New York. Mansolff who didn't seem to notice us at lunch but spoke during dinner. Also Mr. Westendarf of Coldwater Mich. who was crossing for the 31st time. Capt. S. gave me a glass of wine at dinner. Uneventful evening, did not dance." "May 7th Became acquainted with more of the passengers. Moved my deck chair to the boat deck. Walked around all day. Had a cocktail with Captain S. before dinner. Mosel wine from Mr. M. at dinner, both of whom took me to the dance where I had three more cocktails (Manhattan). Purser wanted to meet me but did not go up on deck. We sat at the captains table for dinner and he is a charming man. Was down on the list as coming from Mexico. Weather ideal." "May 8th Played shuffleboard. Spent two hours on the bridge from 10 to 12. Capt. ordered a special dish for our luncheon "Schlesisches Himmelieich." consisting of speck prunes, dried apricots, dumplings and delicious gravy. Tried to sleep on deck but couldn't. My two Romeos took me to the dance. Met Dr. Schwartz who dances divinely. Mosel wine for dinner, Champaign for dancing. At dinner Captain S. said "Gott sei dank, hente ist Somitag und wird meht getanzt." He was fooled. (I probably spelled many of those German words wrong but some of them translate to, "God would not be, thanks to today" or something like that). "May 10th Were invited by the captain for tea at 4:30. Saw his "Parodies", Eva, serpent and apple, pictures painted by him etc. Captains said the Cleveland had never learned how to roll……Mr. M. & S. did not get to bed until the wee small hours of the morning. Spaniards on board." "May 13th Dolled up in my black dress for the captain's dinner which thrilled and moved me almost to tears. Captain S. seemed both delighted and moved by the Buergemeister of Bergdorf's speech and the wire sent to the Hopag, signed by six men, each of a different country. Costume party in the evening but did not dress up." "May 17th Up at five, sun shining, everything immaculate. Captain S. came to the hotel with me, there I had my first ½ l. beer……." "May 18th Met Captain Stege at one. Had lunch and rode around the city, coffee at Alster Pavilion, trip around the harbor, passed the Cleveland. Back to hotel on combination elevated and subway. Dinner at a hotel, then to Hausa Theater, very superior vaudeville, then to Kio, high-class cabaret, not home until two. Hamburg beautiful with many lovely canals from Alster. Weather cool but sunny. Lovely parks. Old town very quite. Charming restaurants, tables outside. Dresses fully as short as at home….." "May 20th Captain Stege stayed at a hotel and we had breakfast together at seven. People in Hamburg never seem to go home." "May 21st Captain Stege saw me off at 7:41 after breakfasting together. Arrived Bielefeld at one met by Tante Jakoli (?) chauffeur in lively Mercedes car and oh boy what a home, on a hill overlooking the entire town, gorgeous gardens employees four gardeners. Lina Oetker seems very nice, grandson Rudolph. Drove around beautiful country, out to their farm. This is the life, two maids, two horsemen. Talk about luxury, silver dishes, knives and forks, so I don't know what to use. Beautiful, hilly woody surroundings. Hope I don't disgrace the name Ziegler…… my figure causes increasing comments" (thought that was quite the comment). "May 24th ….. Visited the Oetker factory, which is immense. Everything is done there from washing and selling to printing. They employee 900 people and everything is so immaculate. The baking powder is put up in small packages that sell for 10 pf. Also many pudding powders are made. Rain and cold again. Walked around downtown, and saw the drugstore in which first baking powder was made." "May 31st …. concert on market Square in the evening. All the houses illuminated in Bann's colors, red and blue. People massed in square and neighboring streets. Dr. Gorg, Frieda and I went up for a private lane with the mayor and got away with it so that we stood right in front. Frieda's husband, Hugo was more communist than anything else and seemingly an exceptionally fine and intelligent man." "June 10th Today is the day of days, "Schwines Market" in front of the house. The pigs arrived in large baskets and squeak as they are unmercifully lifted by one leg…." "July 2nd Left Garmisch at 9:15 by motor bus to Landeck in Austria. Mr. and Mrs. Reisner of Hamburg only other passengers. Chauffeur a Viennese, was charming (37 years old) and philosophized about love and marriage. Read Upton Sinclair and Schopenhauer and said he would like to marry me. All the trip was delightful and Mr. Reisner invited the chauffeur and me to dinner but I had to rush to get to my train. "A kiss means as much to the human being as water to a plant. Home already, summer in Garmisch, etc." Really an exceptional man. Arrived in Zürich about 7:30.... New fallen snow on the mountain's gorgeous." "July 4th Wrote a long letter home in the morning. After an early dinner we took the steamer on the lake for an hours ride as far as Holbinsel Au where we had coffee and a delightful view of the lake and snow mountains in the distance. Rode together with a Mr. Banimann who spoke English, the greater part of the time. Back on the boat. Lake alive with sailboats and saw a beautiful sunset…." "July 13th …. after supper we took a walk to the flying field and arranged for me to fly on Thursday…." "July 14th ...flew to 25 minutes in a Daimler Klein Leicht Flugzeug 20 horsepower D980 over the hills and saw the Schlass Hohenzollern outlined against a beautiful red sunset and dark blue gray clouds. Simply gorgeous. So very calm, only sensation when swooping up and when coming down. Celebrated farewell with wine and cookies and the results were dire." Brown leather cover, measures 4" x 6 ½" and is in good condition. It also has its original pencil.