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Author Topic: Gerhard Eisenstaedt 1949  (Read 379 times)
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« on: February 06, 2010, 09:24:22 AM »

There's an article in a 1949 Hoof Beats (which I'm some weeks away from archiving) about a horseman who was actually a Jew hidden in Berlin during three years of WW II.
 The Nazi's hauled off his parents and he was able to escape unnoticed. The young man went to German horseman Hans Frommel (sp?) who was able to obtain some fake papers and hid the young man until the was ended. Course he worked for the Frommel during that time, even drove in some races during the war.
 He had a brother in California and was eventually able to make his way to the U. S. and Roosevelt Raceway.

 from April 1949 Hoof Beats:


He No Longer Faces Fear Of Capture by Nazis

IN war time Berlin there was one unpardonable crime, that of having been born a Jew. Gerhard Eisenstaedt committed that crime, but, unlike many others of his race, lived through the horror that was World War II in Berlin to achieve freedom in a land across the sea and a place in the harness racing life of that country.

At the Mineola Fairgrounds, close by Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, Eisenstaedt, now 28, is proudly training his first horse, a sixyear old pacing gelding which was placed in his charge by a Long Island owner.

The young man would like to win races and make a name for himself in America's fastest growing sport. But that doesn't really matter. What really matters is that he is a free man again, thanks to one of Europe's leading horsemen who took him under his wing and shielded him during the dark days that possessed the German capital during the recent conflict.
The story of the young man's fight to preserve his own life and to learn a new trade began one spring day in 1942 when German storm troopers broke into a home in a fashionable Berlin suburb and dragged his mother and father off to a concentration camp.

In pre war days, Gerhard's father had been a Berlin lawyer and a good one. He had been a horseman, too, owning several harness horses. The youngster bad picked up a working knowledge of the sport and bad become keenly interested in it.

He had attended races at Berlin's Mariendorf Track and had seen such famed American bred horses as Walter Dear, 1929 Hambletonian winner; Tara, the great race mare, and Muscletone flash their championship wares down the home stretch. And he had gained the friendship of the best known Berlin driver, Hans Froemming, top sulky pilot of Germany and for several years the driving champion of all Europe.

It was only natural then that Eisenstaedt should turn to Froemming in 1942 when friends came to warn him that his mother and father had been spirited away and that he, as their son, was high on the purge list. The parents were never heard from again but Gerhard went under ground and lived to find new vistas in a free country.

Just turned 21, young Eisenstaedt found his way to Froemming's quarters and told his story. The German driver was a horseman before he was anything else. He patted the boy on the back when the interview was over and told him not to worry, that he, Froemming, top driver of all Europe, would hide him from the Nazis.

And he did. Eisenstaedt took the name of Schultz and though without identification papers managed to escape the Nazi drag net until, one day in 1945, allied troops came storming into Berlin and the Third Reich crumbled before their advance.

By that time Eisenstaedt had picked up a wealth of harness racing information from his friend, Froemming. He had been a groom for three full years and be had learned how to care for a horse, how to train one, and, most important, how to drive one.

The name "Schultz" was dropped and the perpetual fear of being taken away to a concentration camp disappeared. Otherwise, life for Eisenstaedt remained about the same. He stayed with Froemming and as travel regulations became less strict, made the circuit in Germany. He drove his first race in Berlin in 1947 and before the year was out had piloted winners in the German capital and in Munich.

All that time, a brother, residing in Long Beach, Long Island, was trying to get him into the United States. In March of 1948 he succeeded and Eisenstaedt came to this country as a permanent resident. The second day he was here he visited Roosevelt Raceway and vowed that he would continue the career he began in 1942 under Hans Froemming.

First of all, he hired out as a stable boy at the Raceway working for such top flight drivers as Frank Safford and Henry Thomas during the 1948 racing season. When the campaign was over and the horses went into winter training, Eisenstaedt picked up employment as groom for two of Joel Jason's horses, Adam Scott and Crestlawn Adam.

Then, one December afternoon, the dream began to materialize in earnest. Henry J. Buser, a resident of Mineola, approached the youngster and asked whether he would be interested in training a horse owned by him.

For an instant Eisenstaedt could say nothing. Buser frowned thinking it might be a refusal. But his fears were groundless. As soon as the lump cleared from his throat, the young refugee made it plain that there was nothing he would rather do.

So that's why a young German born Jew goes early to the Mineola Fairgrounds these spring days and stays late. He has a horse to train and it's a reputable one. Blitson is the nameóBlitson, 2:092/5, by Calumet Adam Biltwyn by Mr. McElwyn, winner of four races at Roosevelt Raceway in 1948.

And if the Raceway programs make their way to Europe this year it is not illogical to presume that they will be scanned with great interest by Hans Froemming, the man who made it possible for Gerhard Eisenstaedt to become not only a free man but a competent trainer and driver.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 09:27:06 AM by wilderness » Report to moderator   Logged

Regards Don
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 09:30:11 AM »

Great read  thumbs up thumbs up
Makes me think how lucky we are.  Tx.
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 11:21:19 AM »

my wife worked for hans froemming. she calls him the classiest man she ever met. she had one horse in vienna austria near the end of hans storied career. won the prix de amerique with the great delmonica hanover for del miller and during his prime was considered one if not the greatest driver to ever live.ive raced at both berlin mariendorf and on the east side of the wall berlin karlhshorst. the wall was down but the gun towers were still there. on the communist side is was like a time capsule with cobblestone streets and it felt like it was frozen in time compared to the west side. i took a horse over to race  for two weeks and stayed 4 years working for the greatest set of hands ive ever seen heinz wewering. the all time winningest driver in harness racing. over 16,000 wins. all trotters. 
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010, 11:41:54 AM »

         I've some Euro and even German old articles most from the 1927-32 period, however even some later.

 I've been passing these on privately to a small Euro group.
 If your interested or aware of somebody overseas interested?

 Contact me through PM with your email and I'll include you for future mailings.
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Regards Don
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