Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947) was the charismatic & energetic Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945. He was a staunch anti-Nazi but there is a little-known sidelight to this part of his amazing career. His sister, Gemma LaGuardia Gluck, had married a Hungarian and was arrested by the Gestapo on June 7, 1944. She was eventually sent to the notorious Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Her husband perished in Mauthausen Concentration Camp. She was fortunate enough to survive and write about her experiences in her book Fiorello’s Sister…
Danbury Library recently received another volume in the definitive biography of Franz Kafka. This volume is actually the last volume in what will be a trilogy. It is entitled Kafka: The Years of Insight by Reiner Stach. It follows Kafka: The Decisive Years which was published in 2005. The reason why Reiner Stach is publishing the last two volumes first is in itself Kafkaesque. When Kafka died he made Max Brod his literary executor with the instruction to burn all of his work. Brod did not follow his instruction and published a great deal. But there is still a large amount of Kafka material which is in Israel and for which there is a legal fight underway. Stach wants to view this material and use it to write the first volume on the early life of Kafka.
One of the great gaps in the history of Danbury has been remedied thanks to the efforts of Bill Devlin & Herb Janick. They are the authors of the new volume entitled Danbury’s Third Century: From Urban Status to Tri-Centennial. This volume has been needed for a long time and covers many important themes about Danbury. One of the most important is the foresight of Frank Lee, one of the largest hat manufacturers, who was instrumental in founding the Danbury Industrial Corporation which led the transition from hatting as the leading Danbury industry to becoming a haven for high-tech industry.
March 2013 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Thomas Pynchon’s first novel V. In the interim Pynchon has published a corpus of work which make him arguably the greatest American novelist of this period. New York City serves as one of the locales for the novel. Pynchon, one of the world’s greatest recluses, reportedly lives in New York City. Penguin Press has recently announced the Pynchon will publish his next novel in September, 2013. It is titled Bleeding Edge and is eagerly anticipated.
Ruben Tucker was born in Ansonia, CT on 29 January, 1911. He graduated from West Point with the class of 1935. He was known in his military career for his aversion to paperwork. He joined the 82nd Airborne and rose to command of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He won a bevy of medals for heroic service at Sicily, Anzio and Normandy. His commanding officer, Gen. James Gavin later said in a 1982 interview that “when Tucker left Italy, he had an orange crate full of official charges against his soldiers and he just threw the whole crate into the ocean.”