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Hans Margulies (1889-1960)

Engaged, but ....

In 1919 Hans was engaged to be married.
How do I know this ? Because I read it in a book !
Or, to be more precise, because I read it in five books !!!!!

I recently entered Hans margulies in the "Google Books" search machine and was surprised to find references to five books about Joseph Roth, where Hans was mentioned. The books themselves weren't available on Google Books, but I managed to track them all down in the local libraries here.

Friederike (Friedl) Reichel

Kaffeehaus Herrenhof
The story is as follows:
In 1919 Joseph Roth was in his 'local' Café-House in Vienna, when he saw a young lady Friederike Reichler. She was engaged to a journalist, Hans Margulies. (Some accounts say Hans was with her at the time, others say that she was alone.)

Joseph started courting Friederike (Friedl) and she broke off her engagement to Hans.

Friederike (Friedl) Reichel

Joseph Roth
Joseph Roth, also a journalist at that time, was working for the "Neue Tage" newspaper, which went bankrupt, so he then moved to Berlin. Friedl went with him to Berlin for a while, but then came back to Vienna. Roth kept contact with Friedl, through letters and occasional trips to Vienna, but in 1922 she wrote to him, to say that her parents had been putting pressure on her, and she was re-engaged to Hans und would have to marry him shortly.
"Ich kann dich nicht vergessen, aber ich muß heiraten."
  (I can't forget you, but I have to get married.)
Letter from Friederike to Joseph Roth[1]

Roth came to Vienna immediately, and a few days later, on March 5th. 1922 Joseph Roth and Friederike Reichler were married in the Wiener Pazmaniten Tempel.

So far, so good, but there are a few "holes" in this story !

Marriage certificate, Roth/Reichel Joseph Roth married Friederike on 5th. March 1922 after her parents had put pressure on her, to marry Hans ...
Marriage certificate, Roth/Reichel
... but Hans married Maria Remenyi on the 26th. June 1920 !

All five sources say that Friedl was the fiancée of Hans Margulies. It is possible that one of these biographers wrote "Hans Margulies" without checking, and the others just quoted him, without checking, but I find that very unlikely !

Four of these books are "normal" biographies, but one book, by Soma Morgenstern was written by a friend of Joseph Roth's and consists of stories and reminiscences rather than a biography.
Morgenstern not only describes Hans accurately, but he also later accused Roth of "stealing" Hans' fiancée from him, not so much because he fell in love with her, but because Hans wore a monocle ! (see image 4, below)
In 1913, when he was a young student, Roth was often laughed at for wearing a monocle. Seeing Hans in the Café, wearing a monocle must have reminded him of this.
Da saß auch auch das Mädchen Friedl, an der Seite ihres Bräutigams, Hans Margulies. Das war ein junger Journalist, der zur Zeit, da Joseph Roth noch Polizeireporte für Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung schrieb, schmissige Sportberichte verfaßte, die er gerne mit englischen Fachausdrücke wie endspurt, grandioser finish und ähnlichem Zierat verbrämte. Er trug auch ein Monokel, was Joseph Roth, der am selben Tisch zu sitzen pflegt, nicht wenig ärgerte, obwohl - oder, wie man's nehmen will, weil - er selbst im Jahre 1913 als junger Student auch ein Monokel zu tragen pflegte, was bei seinen nächsten Freunden (zum Beispiel bei mir) nicht wenig Hohn erregte. Ich erwähne dieses eigentlich lächerlich belanglose Vorkommnis, weil ich im Ernst überzeugt bin, daß Joseph Roths Interesse für die Braut von Hans Margulies mit dem Ärger über sein Monokel begonnen hat. [4]

Friedl was also sitting there, beside her fiancé, Hans Margulies. He was a joung journalist, who at this time, when Joseph Roth was writing police reports for the viennese Arbeiter-Zeitung, was writing zippy/snappy(?) sports reports, trimming them happily with english specialist terms like endspurt, grandioser finish and simialr embellishments. He wore a monocle. This annoyed Joseph Roth, who liked to sit at the same table, although - or, as you wish, because - he uesd to where a monocle in 1913, when he was a young student. His friends (myself included) used to tease him a lot about it. I mention this minor occurence, because I am seriously convonced, that Joseph Roth's interest for Hans Margulies' fianceé began with this annoyance about his monocle.
Another "hole" ? : wrote snappy/zippy sports reports I have found nothing that confirms this statement, neither in his own CV or anywhere else.
(Memo to self: find the second quote !)

Hans' marriage certificate is not the original but a copy, produced in 1987.
Could it be that someone made a mistake, reading and transcribing the original ?
(Memo to self: try and get a copy of the original marriage certificate !)

Friedl Reichel and Hans Margulies [?]
Not necessarily proof of anything, but another mystery:

In Lunzer & Lunzer-Talos, 1994[3] there is a picture of Friedl with a soldier. The caption reads
Friedl Reichler mit Hans Margulies [?]
... probably with her first fiancée, Hans Margulies

Is this Hans or not ??
In the hope of finding an answer I published several pictures of Hans, together with this one, on a forum and asked for other opinions.

The consensus was, that this is not Hans because

  • The facial structure is different

  • Hans was decorated and promoted in the war, and his military photos show him with medals and officers uniform. The man in the photo seems to be an ordinary private, and it is questionable, whether Hans would pose for such a photo without wearing his dress uniform.

5 x Hans Margulies, or 6 x Hans Margulies ?
5 x Hans Margulies, or 6 x Hans Margulies ?

  1. Joseph Roth, Eine Biographie. David Bronsen, Kiepenheuer und Witsch, Köln, 1974
  2. Joseph Roth, Rudolf Koester, Colloqium Verlag Otto H. Hess, Berlin 1982
  3. Joseph Roth, Leben und Werk in Bildern, Heinz Lunzer und Victoria Lunzer-Talos, Kiepenheuer und Witsch, Köln 1994
  4. Joseph Roth, Flucht und Ende, Soma Morgenstern, Zu Klampen, Lüneburg 1994
  5. Joseph Roth, Helmuth Nürnberger, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1981

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