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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Stan Osborne

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About Stan Osborne

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    San Francisco, USA

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  1. Wow! and many thanks! Carl Somers was my great uncle. In late 1973 I moved to San Francisco to attend SFSU. Carl and Eva were my only relatives in the SF Bay Area. I made a point of visiting from time to time. We talked about many things. They were brought up to be conservative, but Berkeley's liberal nature affected them. Carl did not tell me about serving in the Australian Army. He did tell me about his WWI military service as an artillery spotter positioned slightly in front of German lines. His job was to observe the shelling and report corrections to gun operators. If he or the gunners made a mistake, the shells could land on him. Being the closest soldier to no mans land, he was an easy tarket for snipers. Lucky for him he was not wounded, though he did acquire PTSD. After WWI he was apprenticed to a large bank in Berlin. At the end of his apprenticeship he was put in charge of the bank's foriegn exchange branch office in Munich. After this he worked for an accounting firm that sent him as part of audit teams to locations around the world. After this he returned to Hamburg to take over operation of the small private bank, Solmitz & Co., that had been started by his father. When life became difficult for jews, he decided to hide the bank's trust records. He then left with his sister for England. When she continued on to New York, she took his possessions with her. When he returned to Hamburg in 1958, the trust records had not been disturbed. The preservation of these records helped former bank clients obtain resitution. Carl was proud of his work as a German banker. He met his wife Eva in Australia. She told me he was always invovled at the internment camp with keeping the others busy. After the war their internment camp was converted to living quarters for now free Germans refugees. To make money they started business. They bioth learned to sort perls from the South Pacific. Carl used his previous travel experience to become a traveling salesman for Australian products. Both Carl and Eva talked well of their treatment by Australia. In 1958 they were able to return to Germany. They both sought restitution. By the early 1960s they were living in Berkeley, California. For many years Carl worked as a real estate broker. Carl's brother, Robert Solmitz, had settled with his family in Lost Angeles. His sister, Eva Solmitz, lived in New Yortk City. The family archives currently kept by his niece, Ursula Osborne (my mother), has more information and photos of him and his branch of the Solmitz family. http://www.hrsolmitz-archive.org/
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