The Toronto Star’s European correspondent, American ex-pat Ernest Hemingway, 23, has been traveling and sending back reports about the current state of Europe. Today, the paper runs his piece about the difficulties of getting into Germany:
German embassy in Paris
Offenburg, Baden—In Paris they said it was very difficult to get into Germany. No tourists allowed. No newspaper men wanted. The German consulate will not visa a passport without a letter from a consulate or chamber of commerce in Germany saying, under a seal, it is necessary for the traveler to come to Germany for a definite business transaction…
“’We must preserve the utmost strictness,’ said the German consul and reluctantly and suspiciously after much consultation of files gave me a visa good for three weeks.
“’How do we know you will not write lies about Germany?,’ he said before he handed me back the passport.
“’Oh, cheer up,’ I said…
“Germany did not look very cheerful…”
Ernest Hemingway’s passport
Hemingway has to take a train and a tram through Strasbourg, France, to catch a military train to Offenberg. After he crosses the border into Germany, he stops at a hotel buffet and talks to one of the waiters, who tells him,
All the people you say you saw in July cannot come now. The French will not give them passports to come into Germany…All our factories here are shut down. No coal. No trains. This was one of the biggest and busiest stations in Germany. Now nix…We haven’t had any fun since 1914…’
“I looked up at the wall where the prices were:
Beer, 350 marks a glass
Red wine, 500 marks a glass
Sandwich, 900 marks
Lunch, 3,500 marks
Champagne, 38,000 marks
“I remembered that last July I stayed at a de luxe hotel with Mrs. Hemingway for 600 marks a day.
“’Sure,’ the waiter went on, ‘I read the French papers. Germany debases her money to cheat the allies. But what do I get out of it?’”
Ernest and Hadley Hemingway in Germany
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available at Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at email@example.com.
“Such Friends” will have a booth at the Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books on Saturday, May 13th, at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Highland Park. Stop by and receive a special Festival discount on your purchase of any “Such Friends” books!
In June I will be talking about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.