Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kaj Munk Sermon December 1943

If you haven't read the first post about Kaj Munk, I suggest you do that before you read this one. Kaj Munk was killed by the Gestapo in January of 1944, so this would be a copy of one of his last sermons. I found this typed copy of his sermon just after I found the photo and headline of him I posted previously. They did not come out of the same book. I wish I knew how old this copy was. Was it typed up shortly after he died? The paper certainly seems old enough, faded and worn. He was such an interesting person. I have really enjoyed learning about him. Sorry I haven't translated this, but as you can see, it's quite long. I am hoping that the Danish readers will enjoy reading it and that the rest of us will enjoy its historical significance.

New York City 1957 Post Card

Love the Post Cards! Here's one from 1957 sent to someone in Copenhagen Denmark from a vacationer in NY! They ran out of room and wrote all around the edges. We all do that, right. We have a great view of the George Washington Bridge and the Hudson River. You can kind of make out the older cars on the bridge. Get a good look at that stamp. Love it! I swear we don't have cool stamps like this anymore. I can almost hear the stamp collectors around the world gasping at that last sentence. Alright, I take it back. But it is pretty cool.

Pall Melsted- Historian 1812-1910

This is the oldest obituary I have found to date. The newspaper says February 16, 1910. Pall Melsted actually passed away on February 9th. Mr. Melsted was an Icelandic historian, editor and member of the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland. He worked editing papers, served as a sort of sheriff, went on to get a degree in law, and worked with his second wife to open Kvennaskolinn, the first girls' school of Iceland. From 1862 to 1885 Páll worked as a lawyer in Reykjavík. In 1868 he started teaching part time at the Learned School and in 1885 he became a full-time history professor. In the 1860s Páll wrote and published a multi-volume work on world history, Fornaldarsagan (1864), Miðaldarsagan (1866), Nýja sagan (1868). In 1891 his Norðurlandasaga ["History of the Nordic Countries"] was published. He also wrote a number of historical articles in various periodicals. Páll's historical writings were praised for their lively and lucid writing style.
This article says that he died at his home in Reykjavik and was one of the islands most deserving men. For more than fifty years he had worked for enlightenment and education among his countrymen, usually without the second salary. The paper is really thin and soft. I was really surprised to find an article this old. I found this today.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen. I see many of his books come through Book Decor. We all know who he is but a little refresher never hurt. (1805-1875) Danish writer famous for fairy tales. Most famous were The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, The Emperor's New Clothes, and Princess and the Pea just to name a few. This is kind of a fun article. The headline reads, storyteller practiced long signature. In a copy of one of his books, My Life Adventure, were two portraits of Mr Andersen. The lithographer who had been working on the book, summoned the poet so that he could imprint his signature below the portrait in the book. When H. C. Andersen arrived, he signed his name several times until he felt it looked just right confessing vanity in the process. The lithographer found this funny and kept the journal which is now exhibited at the Royal library. You can see the drafts and the final signature there. I thought this was a cool glimpse into the person that H. C. Andersen was, someone with some insecurities and a sense of humor. A much better sense of who someone was than anything you would find in a history book.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ivy and a Tie

Our man in a tie, by a house covered in ivy. No name, no dates, nothing. These pictures that give me nothing are just a killer. I'm pretty good at making up their story, I can make up several, actually. But I wish I had the truth. Even a piece of the truth would be nice. Let's see. Not too old, the clothes always throw me. Men dressed so well back in the day, it's easy to make them older than they actually are based on the clothes. He looks rather serious. I think I will put him in his early 20's. Home from college? Off to get a job? Meeting his gal's family? Oooh, I wish pictures could talk. What is that? A flag pole? The lawn needs to be cut.

Tree's Significance in Religion

Here is a short, fun article about the significance of tree's in religion. I liked the drawings. I don't have a date, but it doesn't look especially old. The article talks a little about the Assyrians and Egyptians and used trees in their culture and worship. In the bottom right drawing from Egypt is shows how they thought that they banana plants fertility is due to divine beings who lived in the trees, and the picture on top shows a simple, beautiful drawing from medieval times, how God creates the first human in the Garden of Eden between tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Kind of interesting, at least someone thought so.

Life's Not All Pie

A local political cartoon. Apparently the Dejbjerg
parish council decided, for cultural reasons, to refuse to authorize a spatially patisserie and this was the cartoon in the paper after the decision was made. The words underneath seem to be a sort of poem about whipped cream and such. The moral of the story translates:
diligently with the cream always be, it gets upset when local councils are near. I'm sure it actually translates better than that if a Dutch person were doing the translation, but you get the idea. I just thought the cartoon was cute. Wish it had a year. I've always loved political cartoons, politics on a level I can relate to. Ha!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kaj Munk

Kaj Munk (13 January 1898 – 4 January 1944) was a Danish playwright and Lutheran priest. The dramas of Munk were mostly performed and made public during the 1930s, although many were written in the 1920s. Much of his work is a contribution to the "philosophy-on-life debate." On one occasion, in the early 1930s, in a comment that came back to haunt him in later years, Munk expressed admiration for Hitler (for uniting Germans) and wished that the same kind of unifying figure could be found for Danes. However, Munk's attitude towards Hitler and Mussolini turned to disgust, as he witnessed Hitler's persecution of the German Jewish community, and Mussolini's conduct of the war in Ethiopia. In 1938 the Danish newspaper Jullands-Posten published on its front page an open letter to Mussolini, written by Munk, criticising the persecutions against Jews. Munk was a strong opponent of the German Occupation of Denmark (1940-1945). His plays Han sidder ved Smeltediglen ("He sits by the melting pot") and Niels Ebbesen were direct attacks on Nazism. The latter, centering on the figure of Niels Ebbesen, a medieval Danish squire considered a national hero for having assassinated an earlier German occupier of Denmark, Count Gerhard III was a contemporary analogue to World War II-era Denmark. He was arrested and subsequently assassinated by the Gestapo on January 4, 1944 at Hørbylunde, near Silkeborg.

This was a lot of information, but what could I have left out? If anything I should have said more. This picture was taken as he was exiting the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen after one of his shows. I have to assume it was somewhere in the 1930's. One of those amazing people I have loved learning so much about.

Merry Christmas 1958

Yay! A postcard from 1958. The front of the postcard says Merry Christmas. It doesn't look like this was mailed even though there was a stamp placed on it. A stamp and a half actually. There's a half a stamp on the side of this card as well for some reason. Love the stamp. Santa looks contemporary and classic at the same time.

Girls on the Playground 1947

This card fell out of one of the books at Book Decor and didn't have anything else with it to give me any idea of what it might come from. And I haven't had any luck translating the back. I can read the name that looks like Karen but then I am at a loss. Anyone out there who would like to translate this one for me, I would love to find out what it says. It's after WWII and it looks like we are at an all girls school, they are all wearing the same kind of style of dress, a uniform perhaps?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Murals in Kongsted Church

This article ran in the paper December 23, 1961. Conservator Olaf Hellvik from the National Museum in Copenhagen was putting the final touches on a restoration of some murals found in Kongsted church. They had actually been found six months before but had been kept a secret from the public until now. They were found under a centimeter thick chalk layers which had effectively protected them. They murals were thought to be painted around 1500 and have imagery from both the Old and New Testaments. The murals were hidden under a protective lime coating which helps it retain the color and the results were, apparently, amazing. The murals were unsigned and conservator Hellvik said, " the unknown painter has expressed itself with unparalleled artistic force. Despite the almost 500 years of distance in time, he speaks highly to the present." I had the translate the entire article. It was just too fascinating not to.

1970 Christmas Stamps

A full sheet of stamps! Someone is sad they left these in a book. Angels, angels everywhere. Angels singing, blowing trumpets, wielding swords, holding candles, beating drums, and altogether making merry and announcing the birth of the Lord. If you look closely you can the the babe in his mothers arms in a small window on the bottom right hand corner.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Erik Zahle

Erik Zahle 1898-1969, was a Danish art historian. From 1931-1949 he was inspector at the National Gallery of Art and from 1949-1966 he was the Director of Art & Design. He specialized in Italian 1500 art but was also involved in Danish art and artists of his time. He edited a number of books on design and you can still find his work being published today. This article is celebrating 50 years of his work both as a librarian at the Museum of Decorative Arts and now as an inspector at the State Museum of Art. The article goes on to talk about his wonderful qualities. I will admit I had not heard of him and was surprised at how many times his name popped up during my internet search to find out more about him. He has certainly left his mark in the design world.

1918 Photo's

These were taken out of a photo album for some reason and placed inside one of my books. What you are seeing is the front and back of one piece of paper. I am thankful we have a year, 1918! Aren't these photo's wonderful? Check out the bonnets on our girls, wow. Look at the hemlines on all the womens skirts. All the way to the ground. How nice in some ways, shaved legs always optional. Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a time when everyone dressed up like that every day? Except the women get to wear pants. Oh, and except when it's really hot. I guess there's a reason we don't dress like that anymore. Back to our pictures, the man driving the horses is really seated high. I'd hate to fall off that wagon! It's amazing to look at these people and think, you don't even know what's in store for you. We just came out of WWI and are heading into the roaring 20's, sliding in the depression, and landing into WWII. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who looks at these pictures and sees the history that surrounds them. And perhaps everyone else just sees some cool old photo's of people hanging out in 1918.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in the 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary and philosophical existentialism. Whew! Catch all that? He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964 but refused it. In all fairness, he had written them a letter saying that if he won he would refuse it so they may as well take him off the list. They had never read the letter. During WWII he was captured by the Germans and spent nine months as a prisoner of war. He later wrote a trilogy called The Roads To Freedom which drew upon his experiences during the war. This article is about this trilogy of work. I didn't translate the entire article, but it did say that The Roads To Freedom were originally intended to have a fourth volume that was never completed. He was such an interesting man. He was once arrested for civil disobedience when French President Charles de Gaulle intervened and pardoned him, commenting that "you don't arrest Voltaire."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brother and Sister

They look like brother and sister to me. No dates, of course. No names either. Adorable children though. The little girl can't be too old. She still has the little chubby knees and cheeks. Baby brother looks like he's not quite sitting up on his own. I love how she is holding his arm up and has her other arm around him. If you look really closely you can see the little dimples on the boys hands next to his fingers. Between those and the sparkle in her eyes, I am bewitched. Two sweet, darling kiddos.

Le Chateau De Versailles

Yay, Paris!! As you can see, this postcard is a little more recent, 1972. I have been fortunate enough to walk the hallways and grounds at the Versaille and was not disappointed. Beauty, history, art, all wrapped up on amazing grounds with it's own lake, multiple fountains with music, and gardens! And on our stamp we have the beautiful Sainte Chapelle. A gothic chapel that lies in the heart of Paris and was consecrated in April 1248. 1248!! Can you imagine! I have been there as well, like stepping back in time. Beautiful. Sigh, now I miss Paris.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Karin Michaelis

Karin Michaelis was born in 1872. She was a Danish author and journalist. She first trained as a piano teacher but finds her true calling as a storyteller. One of her books is The Dangerous Age. It seemed to push some boundaries and caused quite a sensation. It has been translated several times over and has been made into films several times as well. She married and divorced twice and never had any children. What I found interesting about her life was her political activity. She had warned people early on about Mussolini and Hitler and in 1932 she took part in an anti-war congress in Amsterdam. In 1933 she took in German emigrants. In 1940, with the invasion of Denmark, she herself emigrated to America. She returned to Denmark in 1946. This article is telling us that she had been sick for a week or so and that she passed away at her home, most likely from a heart attack. She died January 11, 1950.

1947 Letter

Look at this letter. Notice anything interesting? This letter was obviously mailed, the stamps were used. Look at that address. Where's the street number? House number? Amazing this made it to its final destination at all! No complaints to this post office, they can perform miracles! And the letter, you need a magnifying glass to read this thing. I will give our writer props for handwriting. Beautiful penmanship. On our stamps we have Christian X, the King of Denmark from 1912-1947.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Personal Note with a Drawing 1949

We all personally draw on our notes, right? Well, maybe you do, but I leave that to the people at Hallmark. This person was so talented. I wonder if the recipient is the fellow on the front of the card? Balding, no chin? I'm digging the cigar and curly chest hair. Woohoo!! See comments for a translation of the letter.

Ethel Rosenberg

This newspaper clipping about Ethel Rosenberg doesn't have a date on it, but it's safe to assume it's pretty close to her execution date. The article is talking about Ethel losing her appeal. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. The charges related to passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. This was the first execution of civilians for espionage in United States history. She stayed in Sing-Sing, I had no idea. Sing-Sing reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffany's! But back to our article. It kind of amazes me that the person who placed this article in a book was saving the big news of the day and I look at it as this amazing bit of history. Do we keep news articles anymore? I think the time is quickly coming when there will not be articles to keep at all. Or books to keep them in for that matter.

Niels Bohr Vs. Albert Einstein

A newspaper clipping from 1949. Around Einsteins 70th birthday, Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein did a radio show together and this clipping was giving the reader a kind of play by play of what was said. Einstein and Bohr had a long history of good-natured arguments over parts of physics that I cannot even begin to understand. Something about Einstein preferring the determinism of classical physics over the probabilistic new quantum physics. Like I said, no idea. It was very interesting to look up Niels Bohr, I am sorry to say I knew very little about him. Who knew blogging could be so educational.

Visiting the Countryside

Ok. Maybe it's not the countryside, but it looks like it to me. Look at those white washed walls, and the framing around the windows. This does not look like a city home. And ms. fur collar in the back there has had enough and is quite ready to go back to civilization, thank you very much. The youngest boy seems to be having a great time. I cannot say that about the oldest young man. He looks positively uncomfortable. The clothes? Being squished on the bench next to his younger siblings perhaps? I'm going to place this somewhere in the 20's based on the clothing and ms. fur collar's hair style. I poke fun at their expressions, but I love that this picture has captured true emotion. It feels like an actual moment in time, not a staged event. Nice.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Letter

It has no date, but the paper looks fairly old and feels soft and almost cloth like to touch. I can make out only a few words well enough to even try to translate them. But isn't it beautiful.

London Times September 20, 1944

One of my favorite things to find. Also one of the most difficult things to post. This newspaper is likely a reproduction as it is only about 9 inches tall by 5 inches wide. It is 20 pages long, so choosing which pages to post was very difficult. I decided on pages with the most pictures. The whole "a picture is worth a thousand words" theory. Some of the ads are a lot of fun to look at, but I will admit my favorite parts of this are the news stories about the war.

Here Comes The Bride

A very lovely picture of our bride. And added bonus, our bride has a name. Lilian! What she didn't come with was a year. The hairstyle doesn't scream 60's yet but it doesn't quite say 40's either. So I am going to take an uneducated guess and place her somewhere in the 50's. I could be totally off. Love the dress, no matter the decade it sprang from. I am assuming the book she is holding are scriptures of some sort although I can honestly say I have never seen a bridal picture with the bride holding a book before. A tradition that has gone out of style?

Did I Win?

Danish State Lottery of 1959. Here we have a lottery ticket from the 50's that has the big payout in 1973. That's quite a wait to see if you win. There goes the instant gratification. But, it is for 100 million Kroner. Not too shabby. I haven't been able to find out too much about the lottery system in Denmark so if anyone has any information to share, I'm all ears. And if this just happens to be a lost winning lottery ticket, let me know! I am a very generous person!