The Nitty Systers; Nannÿ and Margot Tÿralla

THE NITTY WHO?
    The ‘Nitty Systers’ was a phrase coined by Margot and Nannÿ Tÿralla’s step-father, Albert Petzold, who was an inventor of household gadgets.
     The Nitty was in fact a cigarette holder, however the name stuck as a label for Margot and Nannÿ, probably once they became part of the same acrobat act from 1927.
     However, Margot and her siblings endured a difficult start to life since a great deal of their childhood was spent under the guardianship of their authoritarian grandparents.
    In 1922 Margot explained:
     “I was punished almost daily, typically for little things. For example, I’d use too much water for washing myself. I was not allowed to use soap every day. [Once] I received a near deadly beating. I ended up with bumps on my head, while Theo was soon beaten blue.”

     Fortunately the Weimar Republic’s welfare officers ‘rescued’ her and Theo, but neither settled thereafter nor had families of their own to speak of.

LEIPZIG, BERLIN, AMSTERDAM, LEEDS
Margot in Hallo Hierheen
  MARGOT (4th from right) AS A ‘DICKSON (CHORUS) GIRL,’ 1932

    After retiring from the Dutch stage in 1935 and moving to the UK (and then divorcing), Margot continued to work in the entertainment industry. By the age of 24 she’d lived in four countries, learning their languages too.
     However, she wasn’t done with migrating and after meeting a Hungarian emigré who fled the aftermath of World War II, she married Clark Gable-lookalike, Francis Haris.

    One couple after another left Leeds for the prospect of work in Canada, rather than return to homes now behind an 'Iron Curtain.'

Uranium City, Saskatchewan   WELCOME TO URANIUM CITY

AMERICAN DREAM
     Margot’s travels led her and Francis to Uranium City at the northern tip of the province of Saskatchewan, six degrees south of the Arctic Circle. Having done sufficient time to qualify for entry to the USA, the couple realised their American Dream by moving to San Francisco in the mid-1960s.
    Perhaps they liked Dylan Thomas:“Here in Canada, five hours away by plane, you wouldn’t think that such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes.”

    They became res-
ident managers of an apartment complex until early 1990, the year elder sister Nannÿ passed away in Amsterdam and der Vaterland was re-unified after the Berlin Wall fell.
 Margot Tÿralla and Francis Haris, Mid-1960s   CELEBRITY COUPLE
     That was some journey, which may have prompted Margot’s nieces’ moves from Holland to England and her grand-nephew’s to Leeds and Hungary.
    Could her father or grandfather ever have foreseen inspi-
ring all of that, even my chronicling it?!

WANT TO
KNOW MORE?
   The Nitty Systers’ life stories in detail:

  - NEW! Flight, Expulsion & 'Resettlement': 1945-49
  - Love's Great Adventure(s): 1950-62
  - Living the American Dream: 1963-69
  - And Then There Was Me! 1970-82
  - Winds of Change: 1983-90

   ‘Wandervögel: A Prussian Family’s Passage Through Leipzig’ is a historical study now being researched and written by a Nitty Syster’s 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. Follow it on Facebook here.