Hans was an excellent artist, and in the photo above, he is sketching Connie.
(Photo courtesy of the Marlies Natzler collection.)
Hans Grohman was a political writer, journalist and artist who was brutally murdered by the Nazis in 1933. He was the son of a Protestant Minister. Marlies Natzler recalls that Hans was a very dear friend of her father, a famous German orthopaedic surgeon. Hans Grohman created a number of beautiful portraits of the Natzler family; of Marlies, of her favorite dolls and Teddy Bears, and of her father, Adolph. He also gave Adolf some early Japanese prints, and other priceless works of art, which Marlies still has.
Hans was also a close friend of the German actor, Conrad Veidt, so it was inevitable that the Natzlers knew Connie as well. As a correspondant, Hans travelled a lot, spending some of his time in France, where he had a French friend. During one of his frequent returns home, he was picked up by the Nazis, taken to the nearby woods, and sumarily executed. Probable causes were, “consorting with the enemy” - meaning his French friend; his position as an anti Nazi journalist, and possibly because he was gay. The official cause of death was "Suicide".
This is why I think Connie left Germany with a bitter hatred of the Nazis, even before he married a Jewish woman. It's a sad story, like so many others from that time, but I think it did much to shape Veidt's attitude and his destiny.
Submitted by Pete Vanlaw
Many thanks to Marlies Natzler and Pete Vanlaw for
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