At the Ref Desk (7/2/19): Weird Request of the Week (WRW): patron needed help logging into a pc workstation with scanner. After I helped her log in she asked, 'can I fax from here?' [more...]
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Personal/Family

Class List from My 2nd Year in College

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 4/16/19 (10:10pm)

Spring Quarter (from an old letter):

  1. Shakespeare
  2. Latin 102
  3. Populism & Progressivism in America
  4. French Literature 201
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Grandfather's Diary Entry (Berlin, 1917)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 11/11/18 (4:18am)

Grandfather Leopold Klein, born in Chicago but too sick to leave Berlin at the U.S. entry into WWI, wrote in his diary:

"This 'World War' must end soon. When it does come to an end, the principles of justice, mercy and, above all, reason - which dictates all the rest - must guide the nations concerned in the establishment of peace. Otherwise, these nations will only lay the foundation for later, and greater, world conflict.... If a true peace is not made when the shooting stops, the result may be a truly worldwide conflict - thrusting its horror to the four corners of the earth, a World War which will be the greatest catastrophe humanity has yet experienced." (Berlin, 1917)

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Mentioned in Book

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 5/25/18 (5:55am)

I see I was mentioned in a book (link). The book's title (translated) is "Spirited Resistance from the Outside: Austrians in US Propaganda Units in WWII", written by Florian Traussnig (source). Mention of me comes from a blog post I wrote a few years ago where I discussed my father's role in the allied broadcast program called ABSIE. Interesting. Daddy is mentioned often in write-ups like this; first time however that I ever saw a reference to me.

90th Anniversary of 1st Foreign Language Radio Show in Chicago/USA

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 7/9/17 (1:45pm)

Just a reminder: July 24 marks the 90th anniversary of the Germania Broadcast, one of the first foreign language radio shows in the U.S. Starting in 1927, it was produced in Chicago by my father William L. Klein. The program ran for more than 40 years and was an integral part of Chicago cultural life (particularly German-American, naturally). More info here: http://www.germaniabroadcast.net/ 

Cover of the 1952 Anniversary BrochureLeading up to the event, I'll be posting on a number of topics including what kind of music and entertainment they actually played plus a look at all the amazing events they sponsored including concerts, festivals and even trips abroad: [link]

Finally, I'll be publishing the complete brochure which they put out in 1952 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary: [link]

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Staats-Zeitung, My Uncles and Abraham Lincoln

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 6/15/17 (9:08pm)

I saw Sidney Blumenthal discuss his book "The Political Life of Lincoln, 1849-1856" at Printers Row Lit Fest over the weekend. He talked about the critical role local newspapers played in the anti-slavery movement -- some of which Lincoln wrote articles for. One newspaper in particular was the Chicago-based "Staats-Zeitung". This rang a bell for me as I recalled my uncles Julius and Ernest being involved with the same paper in the late 20s early 30s. Below is a copy of the newspaper's listing from the "Illinois Newspaper Directory & History" (1934).
IL_newspaper_directory_1934.jpg

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Looks Like Uncle Julius

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/10/17 (8:48pm)

Found this picture in a book titled, "German Chicago: The Danube Swabians and the American Aid Societies". That older fellow with the bowtie sure looks like my Uncle Julius.

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First Seven Jobs

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/22/16 (10:09am)

Okay, since everyone's doing it:

  1. Sales Assistant (Radio Shack, Chicago) - 16 yrs old.
  2. Print Shop / Mimeograph Machine (Small indy business selling mailing lists on magnetic tape*, Playboy Tower, Chicago) - High School.
  3. Customer Service, Credit Dept. (Carson, Pirie, Scott, Downtown Chicago) - College.
  4. English Teacher (Year Abroad Program, Paris) - Post-College.
  5. Manager, Hot Dog Stand (Fullerton Ave. Beach, Chicago).
  6. English Teacher (Rome, later West Berlin).
  7. Construction/Rehab Worker (West Berlin).

*Computer storage 70s style [source]:
magnetic_tape_1970s.jpg

Site Launch: GermaniaBroadcast.net

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/3/15 (4:00pm)

Today was the official launch date of GermaniaBroadcast.net. I announced it on all the usual social networks.

It's actually been up for maybe a month -- with me fiddling around, adding content, rearranging it and the like. I guess, an alternative name for the thing could be, "Fun with Drupal and Content Management".

The site is built around various digital records that we have of daddy, William Klein and his radio show, "The Germania Broadcast" (1927-1970). Working with the data, I managed to organize everything into four principle categories, Events, People, Places and Library (or 'Documents').

The neat thing with Drupal is how you can connect one item in one category with items in any other. Say, the name of a singer pops up in the description of a concert in 1928 which happened at the Auditorium Theater; You can relate the person to the event and location going backwards and forward. The magic is called "Entity Reference" but again, I like to call it, 'Fun with Content Mgmt".

In any case, there's a slightly fuller explanation of the original radio broadcast plus background here: The Germania Broadcast : An Introduction.

Daddy in Wartime London with the ABSIE Team

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/24/15 (1:43am)

Amazing picture of daddy along with what looks like the rest of the 'American Broadcasting Station in Europe' (i.e. 'ABSIE') team in London in 1943 (see larger image). I just came upon it after going through a box of old pictures. Note, daddy is in the back with the headphones next to the guy in a sweater.

New York Times from Sept. 30, 1943.
The picture above is a close-up (flipped) of the New York Times that the fellow on the right has on his desk. It dates from Sept. 30, 1943 and has the headline: "Naples' Fall Near as Allies Break Line and Pursue Fleeing Germans on Plain; Russians in Kremenchug, Aim for Baltic".

Here's a write-up I once put together on his tour of duty: "Daddy Was a DJ to the Germans in WWII" (6/9/07)

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What with all the talk of the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, I recalled an episode that happened to me a bit earlier while visiting East Berlin.

The way it worked is you got to spend a day there but had to be back by midnight or they'd make you pay a fine. Normally we'd go there, visit the sites (such as they were), head to a couple of bars to spend the practically worthless East-German marks, and then head back to Checkpoint Charlie.

One night as we were racing back, we got stopped by an East-German policeman or border guard or I don't know what -- on the final street right before Checkpoint Charlie. "Why", I asked the guard.

"Because you crossed the street against the light," he explained. The fine for this trespass was 20 marks (West German of course). Naturally I grumbled as I handed over the ransom money.

"But," he said by way of defense, "we have our laws, you have your laws. It would be the same in Chicago."

I looked at the deserted street I had just crossed and then the huge forbidding Wall stretched left and right with watch-towers, spotlights and men armed with machine guns -- all to keep their own people trapped inside.

"No," I assured the guard, "this is nothing like Chicago."

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