In the heyday of the early years Georg Wertheim and his brothers recognize an unprecedented business idea and start in the late 19th century, a department store with a large, wide gefächertem offer at reasonable prices. The idea quickly developed a large group with numerous subsidiaries. This success story and its historical environment is the substance of the novel “A paradise for all” by Justus peacocks.
Georg Wertheim was born into a poor draper family. With his brothers he founded in 1888 the first department store in Berlin.
It is the largest in the world. Everything is offered for sale – at fixed prices (because “time is money” – haggling costs only time) and exchangeable. No junk – for the upscale clientele is offered luxury. Especially shopping should be an experience. Helps its revolutionary architecture with plenty of natural light: Under a vaulted, dome-like glass roof you meet Mittenmang at the champagne bar. The scantily clad “girl next door” by the new American Coca-Cola advertising smiles the reigns to.
Poor or rich, in such stores the Berlin love to stay
And not only that: Even the monarch William II has the honor – his visit is a highlight for the citizens, but remain at George.. costly imperial donations demands depend from New York to make the rich entrepreneurs Bloomingdale on the way to Berlin. He is impressed and congratulated George with the words “We Yanks have plagiarized their ideas.”
For years back are the Berliners often lining up to buy at Wertheim what is en vogue.
Everyone wants to look like Marlene Dietrich in the film “The Blue Angel”. From the hairstyle to shoes – from head to toe in love.
Daily Georg Wertheim appear on time in the office, studied the business and sales figures , His beloved Hanna Berger inspected Meanwhile, the department store. Everything must be neat and friendly: “The customer is king.” In addition to the profit maximization Georg has a keen sense of social responsibility. His employees he pays relatively good wages, they share in the profits. It can build social housing, and in the years of World War II, he distributed feeding the poor. But that is quickly forgotten because of poor Mob runs in pervasive Nazism a Pied Piper behind. Then the novel jumps back to 1871 to Stralsund. In chronological order, the family history of Wertheim is described in full detail. . First, the brothers George and Hugo go to Berlin to study the rich uncle Wolf from scratch all over the cloth trade
Then they return to Stralsund to here – and later in Rostock – their businesses to open. A fortune make them only with their department stores in Berlin. There, they are among the richest citizens of the city. 120 wealthy are 80 Jewish origin. This creates in the atmosphere of a warming Semitism bad blood. Thus Georg Wertheim leave many baptized; then it is less difficult to obtain building permits.
envious competitors have no inhibitions to demolish his store. Semitism and other prejudices find the most fertile breeding ground in the circles where it goes bad; the NSDAP and newspapers newly established as “The Truth” fuel hatred systematically, in their own interest. “Hep, Hep, Jews dirt” is a exciting fear popular slogans.
The power of the Nazis forcing Wertheim finally, his shares to “arisieren”, but the “final solution”, he did not experience more, because he dies 1939 of pneumonia. Justus peacocks has been able to write a novel that combines fiction and reality so close together that you can hold it almost for a factual report. His speaking style is smart and sophisticated. The history of the dynasty Wertheim is exciting. In Stralsund they were dirt poor, and mother Ida always had the shots. Son Hugo, the heartthrob, and Wolf, the gigolo, the family worry about. George loves the anonymity and enjoys his life with Hanna, the woman who goes with him through ups and downs of life. Why he can not marry her, is late, enlightened by accident. As all of these family members (including “upstarts” and “new rich”) live, how they deal with their property and the like through continuous management of relations, at receptions, hunting parties multiply or gamble away – all that is fascinating to read.