Groucho remembered that he had seen the grave of his great grandmother when he had visited the graveyard [in Dornum, Germany] as a boy. But it was not there now. Finally, we went inside the church with the pastor. … There was no Minnie Schoenberg in the birth registry, no Schoenberg nor any other Jewish names … for the record, it was as if they had never existed. …
Groucho hired a limousine for the trip to East Berlin … The chauffeur’s only instruction was to drive us to the bunker where Hitler was said to have died, and where, they said, he was still buried. … Groucho climbed to the top, alone, stood for a moment, and then danced his eccentric, frenetic Charleston. It was not a casual gesture.”
Standing very still, with his arms at his sides, and in a very, very small voice, he sang ‘Show Me A Rose,’ ‘Omaha, Nebraska,’ ‘Father’s Day,’ ‘Ach, How That Woman Could Cook,’ ‘Lydia the Tattooed Lady,’ and ‘Hooray for Captain Spaulding’ and remembered most of the words and hit every one of the notes exactly.
Then, about a half hour later, Liza Minnelli came in alone and knelt on the floor in front of him as he sang all the songs again just for her. I had the impression that all of the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in his audiences over the years had been reduced and concentrated into that one wonderful woman with the adoring gaze.”
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