Tuesday, 31 January 2012


So - this is it. That was January 2012.. I promised you the CASABLANCA factor post about this month's theme "On The Run".

Just by the way - it was so much fun to see it in cinema - with some people in the audience who didn't know CASABLANCA (1942) before.. 

Can you imagine how wonderful that is when people hear those great lines for the first time? 

Especially my beloved Claude Rains made a deep impact there..

One of the connections of CASABLANCA to my On The Run Series is quite obivous: It's a film about people trying to escape from the Nazis - on their way in to a new life - the other connection is nothing to actually see: Most of the cast (and I love the cast - it causes my love for this film) actually were refugees or emigrants:

There are of course Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) - a famous resistance fighter on their way to America to go on fight against the Nazis (well.. she is more or less "just" his wife..)

~ Paul Henreid (who is one of my favourites) was really an avid anti-fascist. ~

Even Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is running away from his past - and maybe his love..

Ugarte - a criminal - is not running fast enough.. He is personated by Peter Lorre - who was a guest before on my On The Run Series - what I forgot to mention there: He also used another way to run away: he was addicted to morphine..

Conrad Veidt (another one of my favourite actors.. he played Major Strasser) fleed Germany with his then wife who was Jewish. 

Michael Curtiz who directed this film moved to Hollywood in 1926. 

The pickpocket was personated by the wonderful Curt Bois - another great comedian Germany lost because of the Nazis.

There are of course more characters on the run like a young couple trying to get enough money:  Annina (Joy Page) and Jan Brandel (Helmut Dantine)

Helmut Dantine (Jan Brandel) was born Helmut Guttman in Vienna, Austria in 1917. He lead a Anti-Nazi-youth movement there - but when Austria was annexed he was arrested - and sent to a concentration camp for three months. After that his parents made sure that he left to live in America with a friend. They themselve died in a concentration camp later..

Have Herr & Frau Leuchtag (Ludwig Stössel and Ilka Grüning both were also emigrants in real life) here in one of my favourite scenes of this film:


- as much as I love it - it breaks my heart. Can you imagine to leave your home, your friends, your language? I don't want to use ageism - but I can imagine that Herr & Frau Leuchtag didn't plan to leave their home (country) at the age they are now..

Back in those days AUFBAU the monthly German Jewish magazine (setted till 2004 in New York, USA - it moved then to Zurich, Switzerland) told it's readers who were in the main German Jewish imigrants (as obviously were it's writers..) not to speak German in public. So for they're home country didn't accept them as one of them anymore - in their new country they still were Germans - which was much too easily of course taken as a pseudonym for Nazi.. 

~ common sight in WWII  - this picture was taken in Germany - but does that matter at all? ~

A classic question from German journalists nowadays is to ask people who fleed the Nazis and came back later, why they returned to "the land OF the comitters". This actually made my grandfather angry whenever he heard it - and makes me still sad: So it was after all NOT the land of the ones who had to leave it? It is after all the land of the Nazis? As my grandfather used to state: "So the Nazis after all have actually won the war..". It is just a question of phrasing - I know.. but still..

And the trouble is - and I know I might sound a bit shizophrenic: If you're leaving your home you can't come back. It might be the same place - but it isn't home anymore. You have changed - and the people you knew have changed too. If you leave you'll leave forever. But that is no question which was actually to consider if you were Jewish/homosexual/or-what-ever-else-Nazis-think-is-not-good-enough-for-"their"-country  in 3rd Reich. 

I could of course go on and on with all those cast members and their connection to January's series - but I fear that January will be gone before I have finished this post.. And I fear that I might have already put some of my readers off with all those refugees talk in the end of this post..

So: thank you all for listening!

Hope to see you next month again at Rick's Café Américain - here at my blog!

Yours very well and truly



  1. I think one of my favorite scenes from Casablanca, is when the Germans have taken over Rick's place and Paul goes to orchestra leader and asks him to lead La Marsellaise. With the ok from Bogey, the orchestra plays and the rest of the non-Germans in the cafe join in.

  2. Terrific post Irene! Very well done!

  3. Dawn: I love that scene, too. There are so many great scenes in it.. But I try to do one CASABLANCA Factor post each month - so I am pretty sure to post some more scenes here..

    Thank you, Monty.

  4. I will be looking for it..

  5. Great! I am curious about how my next CASABLANCA Factor post will look like.. ;") Looking forward to "meet" you here again, Dawn!


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")