From the Reference Desk

The Lookies

My childhood heroes: The Lookies! They don’t guess, they look it up in their new World Book Encyclopedia!


Dr. Michele K. Troy of Hillyer College writes: Rob Wagner (Red Ink, White Lies) recommended I contact you with an odd research question I have regarding the original L.A. Daily News. He said if anyone would know the answer, you would.

Thanks Michele! Nothing quite makes my day like an odd research question.

imageMichele is wondering about a fellow named Wolfgang Krause-Brandstetter, a German writer who was in the U.S. as a representative of Tauchnitz, which was affiliated with Albatross Press  “a British-owned firm that printed and sold Anglo-American paperbacks in English from German in the 1930s.”

At least that was his cover story. According to Michele, Krause-Brandstetter might have been using his journalist’s credentials to gather intelligence on military activities in Los Angeles.

She explains: He later claimed that he wrote for the L.A. Daily News while he was here.  I know he was in the U.S. from February 1936 to August 1936, spending the beginning in New York, but the bulk of his time in California. He returned to California again around July/early August 1938 and stayed in California through December 1938, when he returned to Germany.

Sure enough, he turns up in a Lee Shippey column from May 11, 1936.

I already checked Google’s news archives, but didn’t find too much. Now I’ll throw it open to the brain trust.

And some folks say research drudges lead uninteresting lives.

email me

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1936, Books and Authors, Brain Trust, Columnists, From the Reference Desk, Lee Shippey, Libraries, World War II. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From the Reference Desk

  1. Frederic Martini says:

    Not sure if you are interested, but the fellow you are describing was SS Hauptmann Wolfgang Brandstetter, who became part of the SD in Paris. In mid-1944 he was posing as “John”, an American from Pasedena who had enlisted in the French air force and who was helping Allied airmen escape occupied France. In reality, the airmen would up at Gestapo HQ, thence to Fresnes Prison, and finally on to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in the last train to leave Paris, on 20 August 1944; the train carried 169 airmen and 2354 French civilians. I have not yet determined what happened to him after the war; I am hoping it wasn’t particularly pleasant, but one never knows. FYI, my dad was one of the airmen.

    Like

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