Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

By this time she had married a man named Stern who called me up five minutes later to inform me, “I'm on my way down to punch you in the jaw.” He never showed up.

The reason I mention Martha is that I went over to Europe in 1935 after my marriage to Sylvia had gone kaput, and while I was in London, Martha tracked me down. She called me up from Berlin and invited me to come over and visit her at the American Embassy in Berlin. So for ten days I was at the embassy in Berlin. Hitler was then coming up very strongly, and Nazi banners and goosestepping soldiers were all over the place. They were cleaning up for the 1936 games in Berlin-- this was the summer of 1935. We'had to whisper because we knew the embassy was bugged. Nobody talked in their normal tone of voice the whole ten days I was there. Ambassador Dodd was home reporting to Washington, so I was the man of the house; and I escorted Martha and her mother to a party given by Goering and other nauseating Nazi bigwigs.


What did you think?


Frankly, I was panicky. Don't forget I'm Jewish. The whole campaign against the Jews had started, and I never knew when somebody might grab me. And Martha was a very cruel girl. She laughed at my fears. This was part of her sadistic nature. One Sunday Goering gave a picnic on the Wansee. We had a great big boat, and Martha and I went and lay in the sun on the deck near the bow. Every time the wind blew, a big Nazi

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help