- Scenes shot on the latter part of the Weinlaubs' trip from Los Angeles to New York, including street scenes in Chicago (see highway sign at 01:01:44) and views of Washington, DC (01:04:13 to 01:05:15). The couple was travelling cross-country because Kurt's company had transferred him back to New York (see Biographical Notes field for more information). The Washington scenes include the Washington monument, the White House, the National Museum of Natural History, and other famous buildings. Lily (Rehfisch) Weinlaub first appears at 01:01:35 and Kurt Weinlaub at 01:01:38. From 01:02:36 to 01:03:29 there are shots of Kurt, Lily, and another couple onboard a ship or boat. These scenes are out of sequence and may not be from the cross-country trip (see Notes Field about chronology of this footage).
01:05:19 to 01:07:56 The film's edge codes indicate that the film was produced in 1931 (see Notes Field). 01:05:32 Lily and some other people come out onto a balcony on the upper floor of a brick building. Various shots of Kurt, Lily, and the unknown group of people standing in front of the brick building. One of the people, an older man with gray hair, walks down the block and toward the camera. There are no leaves on the trees and people are dressed warmly (suggesting wintertime). Dark shots of the Manhattan skyline. Camera pans up the Empire State Building. 01:07:12 Crowded Manhattan street scenes. Views of the New York Public Library. There are now leaves on the trees. 01:07:46 Kurt walks down the street with some other people. 01:07:53 Lily reads a book in front of a wall decoration showing birds in a landscape. This section of footage must have been taken sometime after Lily's arrival back in New York from Germany in January 1931.
01:07:57 to 01:08:36 Kurt and Lily in Manhattan. They are dressed for warm weather. Kurt walks toward the camera, smiling, and Lily points up at a tall building. Dark shots of Lily standing in front of a ticket booth for Eastern Steamship Lines, which offered boat trips to Cape Cod, Maine, and other Eastern seaboard locations. 01:08:31 Kurt onboard a ship, presumably one of those shown on the ticket booth in the previous scene. Dark shots of Lily and another couple walking toward the camera. Scenes of water and shore from the boat. Overhead view of porters removing luggage from the ship.
01:09:26 The edge code on this part of the film indicates that it was manufactured in 1930. The next scenes most likely show Lily's solo trip to Germany, which she undertook from October 1930 to January 1931. The open ocean with other ships in the distance. Lily appears on deck, dressed warmly. Panning shots of a shoreline and a biplane in the sky. Lily smiles and runs toward the camera. Aerial view of the gangplank after the ship has docked in Bremen. 01:11:16 Mostly blurry shots of Lily's in-laws and other family members at the Stadtpark in Hannover, Germany during Lily's visit. Lily is visible at one point, as is her mother-in-law, Gertrude Weinlaub, who holds a small child by the hand. 01:11:48 Gertrude with Lily's mother, Bertha Rehfisch, standing side-by-side. Lily was able to get her parents, Bertha and Louis Rehfisch, out of Germany to New York in 1940 but she never saw them after that.
New York, NY,
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Peter Vanlaw
Kurt Weinlaub (later Vanlaw) immigrated to the United States from Hannover in 1926. In 1929 he married Lily Rehfisch, whom he had known since childhood, in Germany, and the two returned to the United States together. After the stock market crash, Kurt was transferred from Los Angeles to New York by his employer, Kentucky Needlecraft, a firm that produced luxury bedding items. The couple began the drive from Los Angeles to New York in September 1930. Feeling homesick, Lily decided to visit Germany, and she boarded the SS Europa N. Chatham. She left on October 26, 1930 and sailed to Bremen for a visit. She returned to New York aboard the SS Europa, arriving on January 10, 1931. By 1932 Kurt had lost his job and the couple returned to Hannover, then moved to Berlin, where they lived with Lily's relatives. Hitler took power in January 1933, and Kurt's mother Gertrude committed suicide about three months later. Kurt and Lily fled Germany for good, settling in California and changing their name to Vanlaw. Peter Vanlaw, Kurt and Lily's only child and the donor of this footage, did not know he was Jewish until he was an adult. See USHMM Photo Archives for prewar photos in Germany, especially photos of Lily's family.