WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE CHILDREN?
Theo, Nannÿ and Margot Tÿralla
THEO, NANNŸ AND MARGOT IN 1913

   Following my great grand-
father’s
loss on the World War I battlefields, his three children spent their adolescence shipped between their mother’s flat in Leipzig and their Prussian grandparents’ villa in neigh-
bouring Machern. They also saw their fair share of foster homes across the country once social workers 'rescued' them from their authoritarian guardians. Civil unrest meanwhile engulfed Leipzig during the Weimar Republic’s early years.

KEITH'S THEATRE
     Despite that rough start, in 1923, aged 15, Nannÿ Tÿralla, my grandmother, sailed to the 'New World' to begin what would amount to a decade on the stage.

    ‘Keith’s’ were a chain of vaudeville theatres in the eastern United States which Nannÿ, accompanied from 1927 by her younger sister Margot, toured as part of The Six Rockets, an all-female acrobat troupe dubbed:“The only girl novelty act of this kind in the world.”

Keith's Theatre in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1929 KEITH’S THEATRE IN LOWELL, MA, 1929

     Until she retired in 1932 to become a mother, Nannÿ and her sister performed on New York's Broadway as well as in Canada, across the UK, Cuba, Holland, Belgium and in Germany, including their father’s birthplace, Silesia.
     Along the way they rubbed shoulders with stage legends including Sophie Tucker, Josephine Baker, Gypsy Rose Lee and Fanny Brice of the Ziegfeld Follies. A Wikipedia article has since been published on The Six Rockets.

THEO R.I.P.
    While Nannÿ and Margot spent the 'Roaring 20s' on the stage, their brother was sent to Berlin to train as a jockey. Tragedy struck when a fall left him epileptic, a disease that claimed his life in late 1929. Theo Tyralla in 1924, aged 16 THEO TŸRALLA, AGED 16
    His mother, stayed on in the reich’s capital, while Nannÿ and Margot settled in Old Amsterdam, relishing work at its principal theatre, Carré, as well as romance among its stars!

CLOUDS OF WAR
      Although Leipzig was fast becoming a memory, Der Vaterland would not be forgotton for long. Nazi terror quickly spread across the border when the Tÿrallas’ fellow countrymen occupied the Netherlands in May 1940.
Johnnie Riscoe and Margot Tyralla, May 1935.JPG
JOHNNIE RISCOE
AND MARGOT TŸRALLA, 1934

      Margot and her comedian husband, Johnny Riscoe fled to the UK, after which she and her Berlin-
based mother found themselves on opposing warring sides. Nannÿ and her young daughters meanwhile remained in Amsterdam, fighting for their survival in a land that became one of the Third Reich’s many satellites.

WANT TO
KNOW MORE?
   Nannÿ Tÿralla and her sister’s life story in detail:
  - What of the Children? 1920-23
  - New World Voyage: 1923-27
  - Die Goldene Zwanziger: 1924-29
  - Sea Change: 1927-31
  - The Prince and The Showgirl: 1931-32
  - Gentiles and Jews: 1933-34
  - The Last Leave Leipzig: 1935-39
  - Lives Less Ordinary: 1939-45: Part 1 / Part 2

   ‘Wandervögel: A Prussian Family’s Passage Through Leipzig’ is a historical study now being researched and written by Nannÿ grandson on seven generations of migration.

    Timeline: 1 2 3 4  Visit my Facebook page for regular updates  
    All text © by the author!

The website’s design is based on the Olden Times Newspaper PowerPoint template, available here. The site serves as a portal to Jerome Simpson's German history research project and some of its spin-off activities. Like it on Facebook here.