Two Freds

Germany 1930s

The way they have parted their hair, the short back and sides cuts, and the style of their Black Tie formal wear, puts these dapper gentlemen and this photo firmly in the 1930s. They remind me of the gorgeous, super talented dancer of that era Mr Frederick Austerlitz. (See photo, below)

The expression on the gentleman on the left’s face suggests to me that these two may not have been purely friends. His gaze, plus his lips pursed in a gentle and knowing smile, suggest deep familiarity with and a strong admiration of his companion. His friend’s attention is occupied by someone else outside of the booth, but his closeness to his partner is evidenced in his relaxed demeanor in the confined space of the booth.

As occasionally happened in the USA at this time, this booth was probably in the foyer of a dance venue or club of some kind. If the gentlemen looked this smart one can only imagine how wonderful the gowns and jewellery of the ladies might have been. The dance floor must’ve been a riot of moving colours and spangles!

What happened to these two during WW2? Were they in thrall to the machinations of Nazi Germany or victims of it? I hope they escaped the worst of it and lived long and prosperous lives.

Mr Frederick Austerlitz, better known as Fred Astaire.

  1. Oh My….. prior to reading , my first thought is that they were brothers. I see a resemblance, at least I ‘think’ I do. O.o After what you read in their body language though, now I certainly hope they aren’t brothers. YIKES!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, but I’m just guessing, so they could still be brothers. Just very close ones! 😀


      • LOL… good point…… lets go with the non brother thing, cuz otherwise it’s simply creepy as all get out! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think they look like lovers for sure. Someone was probably keeping watch outside the booth so that they could be photographed together safely; one of them may have kept this snapshot in his wallet next to his heart for the following 50 years…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me, too Catherine, and the true story of this photo will remain one. I do hope that the emotions that I see here are less mysterious. I really adore this image!


  3. They looked like they just stepped off the dance floor at Berlin’s Moki Efti!


    • Ooooh!I want to go there on my time travels! I Googled the name. I’m looking forward to Babylon Berlin even more now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The show is fascinating and I love the way photography runs through it as a theme. How can you go wrong with a show set in the 1920s!?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree! It is the era of my grandparents’ youth and has always fascinated me. Mind you, Berlin was a lot more exciting than Melbourne in those days.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know much about Melbourne. Was it anything like Sydney with the Razor gangs? If so it must have been a wild place! Did it have sly grog shops (I love that term). In America we used “speakeasy” (so boring by comparison)!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m sure there would’ve been a lot of illegal booze around then, possibly even now. We didn’t have prohibition but pubs had to close by 6:00 pm and legal alcohol could only be bought in up-market restaurants after that hour, as far as I understand.

              Regional slang for alcohol and places that sell it (and names for various levels of drunkenness) are interesting and almost infinite around the English-speaking world. I wonder if that is universal or do the common cultural roots that lead us all to have English as our native tongue, also lead us to be booze obsessed?

              Liked by 1 person

              • It’s not just alcohol-related! I’m fascinated by the different names we use for the same things in the English-speaking world. I say sweater and you say jumper? You say crim and I say criminal (that one’s kind of obvious). I love all the “way-out” signs in the London tube. That one might really confuse Americans of a certain vintage! Travel to Australia is on my bucket list and when I get there I’m going to bask in all the different words you guys have for things (and visit a sly-grog shop or two)!

                Liked by 2 people

                • Oh, yes, of course it is! I agree it is fascinating. Yep, we say jumper. Crim isn’t so prevalent to my knowledge. I’d never thought of way out signs having another meaning! 😆. Yes, visit Australia! You’d be a “dag” not to!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Well if you make it to Australia, and IF you find yourself in a pub,listen for someone to yell out **“it’s my shout“**, make sure to order a drink! (It means they’re buyin’ – don’t wanna miss out on that!) 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Oh, I hadn’t realised that wasn’t an international expression, Vin. What would you say in the USA?


                    • Well there are a couple things actually, depending on where in the US you’re from: 1) “Drinks on me”, 2) “Next round on me” or “Next rounds mine”….. I’m sure there are more, but none as creative as yours. That’s a good un mate’…. lol

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. For me, it is just the desire to perpetuate a moment, perhaps magical, and both sense that it will not happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • KATHERINE? No, no, no, Tedlette. That sounds all wrong coming from you! 😱 🤪

      I love this photo so much, Ted. I do feel really lucky to have it. X x x Kate ☺️


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