Sunday, December 1, 2013
Staff Sergeant George R. Schnitman -- A Man With A Sense of Humor
In August 1945, after Germany had surrendered but many American soldiers were still in Europe, Staff Sergeant George R. Schnitman sent a postcard to his girlfriend, Rose Silver, in Hartford, Connecticut. The card had a picture of the “Porta Negra” (black gate), built by the Romans around 200 A.D. in the town of Trier, Germany.
The message said:
“Honey, You can quickly realize my love for you and my solicitude for your welfare when I highly advise you not to see Laurel and Hardy in ‘The Bullfighters.’ Love, George”
The writing struck me as very clever, and my suspicion that George was an educated man was confirmed when I checked his enlistment record and saw his educational level was “post graduate.”
The movie he mentioned, “The Bullfighters” featuring the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, was released in 1945. Apparently George didn’t think much of it.
My research on Ancestry.com showed that George and Rose got married. They are listed as husband and wife in the 1946 city directory for New Haven, Connecticut. His occupation is shown as probation officer. Sadly, Rose died in 1952 at the age of 35. George appears to have remarried and died in 1991 at age 79.
The postcard has been listed on e-Bay for many months. I didn’t buy it because I found no record of George having children with Rose or his second wife, so there was no one to return the card to.
Here is an image of the postcard and a movie poster from “The Bullfighters.”