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Rick
ONE MAN SHOW

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GERMAN SIGHTSEEING SPAZIERGANG
OF LOWER MANHATTAN & SCHMOOZE

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A TOUR OR FOR QUESTIONS.
YOU MUST GET A WRITTEN CONFIRMATION BEFORE THE TOUR IS RESERVED.
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View of World Trade Center
This Sightseeing/Educational Tour is a unique experience for Germans who want to explore Lower Manhattan while hearing the personal story of the Tour Guide who not only lives in the area for over 30 years, but is also a vanishing part of German History. Some of the sights can include the World Trade Center area or a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall area, or the Battery or Battery Park City.

Have your own Personal Guide for your group, family or just you!

This Tour was created for Germans (or others) who want to experience all the sights of Lower Manhattan while also hearing about the personal story of someone brought up with a pre-war German Jewish culture. The Talk can be given in either English or German, or mostly likely a bit of each.

The Walk is given by Rick Landman, a First Generation American/German Jew brought up with a "Pre War" German Jewish Culture, who became a dual American-German citizen in 2007.

Flag of Germany

A DIFFERENT KIND OF SIGHTSEEING EXPERIENCE
CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR GERMAN TOURISTS AND STUDENTS


Social Work Students from Hamburg
Social Work Students from Hamburg 2013

THE COST OF THE TOUR IS $300 FOR AN 1.5 HOUR EXPERIENCE


POSSIBLE ROUTES THAT YOUR TOUR MAY TAKE:

Brooklyn Bridge
BROOKLYN BRIDGE - WORLD TRADE CENTER AREA - CITY HALL AREA

BATTERY PARK - BATTERY PARK CITY - FINANCIAL DISTRICT AREA

GREENWICH VILLAGE


Germania Building on Broadway
Cornice of the Germania Building on Broadway, now part of Century 21


SAMPLE OF PAST TOURS



ACTION RECONCILIATION SERVICES FOR PEACE
on January 9, 2011 in front of the Woolworth Building.


ARSP
Action Reconciliation


HOCHSCHULE BREMEN
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
URBAN PLANNING WALKING TOUR

Hochschule Bremen School of Architecture
This Tour was prepared for the Hochschule Bremen School of Architecture students in conjunction with their visiting the World Trade Center Memorial. We discussed the former and current World Trade Center plans by comparing what is there now to the Lower Manhattan Plan of the 1960's. We then discussed Transfer of Development Rights and Zoning Lot mergers by going to Zuccotti Park. We passed the world's tallest buildings; from 10 stories on. Namely, the Corbin Building, the current J&R Building, and the Woolworth Building. We also discussed newly constructed projects such as the Transit Hub and the Frank Gehry Building and explored City Hall Park on our way up to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Talk was in both German and English and we saw places where the word "German" is inscribed. The Tour ended up on a Tribeca roofdeck hearing the personal story of Rick Landman being a gay son of German Jewish Holocaust Survivors, who became a German citizen.

Bremen Hochschule School of Architecture 2013 Tour
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE Bremen Hochscule School of Architecture 2013 Tour



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Since 2010, Rick marched in the NYC Steuben Parade on Fifth Avenue
to honor German Jewish contributions to America,
as part of German-American Friendship Month.


lederhosen
Photo of Rick Landman in the Catskills in 1957
when he was 5 years old when he was wearing his lederhosen.
Note that everyone else is wearing typical American clothes.


"Reconciliation is a continuing march of little steps." Rick Landman


ABOUT THE TOUR GUIDE

Rick

BIO
Rick Landman is a dual American-German citizen, and a gay son of two Holocaust Survivors. He founded the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors in the early 1990ĺs and returned his Holocaust Torah back to Germany in 2005. He spoke at a conference at the University of London on the Holocaust in 1995, and fought to create several monuments for Jewish and other victims of the Nazi Era, including 16 year struggle at the NYC Holocaust Memorial Park. Since retirement, he volunteers as a pro bono attorney in Housing Court, and is the Lead Attorney at the LeGal Walk-In Clinic at the LGBT Community Center, and has volunteered over 1,000 hours at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in NYC. Currently, he conducts tours and lectures as seen on www.infotrue.com and still teaches one law class at New York Law School.


  • Rick Landman, Esq., a Native New Yorker, has been an AICP Certified Planner for over 30 years, and an Attorney since 1988.

  • He moved into a Lower Manhattan converted apartment in the 1970's, that is approximately 1,000 feet from the World Trade Center.

  • He is a licensed NYC Sightseeing Tour Guide. License No.: 1281818 exp. 3/31/18.

  • Rick has 3 Masters Degrees (M.C.R.P. in City and Regional Planning, Ed.M. in Curriculum Development, M.S. in Civil (Socio) Engineering) and a J.D. in law(cum laude). He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988.

  • He is an adjunct Professor of Planning at NYU's Wagner School and teaches a Land Use law class since 2003. His class is a required core class for the Urban Planning Masters students.

  • Starting in 2010 he is an adjunct Professor of a Land Use Law class at New York Law School.

  • He was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York for 5 years and was the Director of Real Estate Development at NYU for 19 years.

  • One of the Masters Degrees was an Ed.M. in Curriculum Planning, so if you want a "Tour in the Classroom" lecture that can also be arranged. The lectures will be age appropriate to your class's needs.

  • Rick was the chair of several committees of Community Board #1 Manhattan, including the chair of the Planning & Community Infrastructure Committee, the Tribeca Committee and chaired what is now called the Landmarks Committee when Tribeca was first designated in 1992.

  • He also has dual citizenship between the USA and Germany. He is the son of two Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and is active in several Second Generation programs.


  • TOPICS THAT CAN BE DISCUSSED DURING THE WALK, ALONG WITH A THEME TOPIC OF EITHER ARCHITECTURE OR URBAN PLANNING OR REMNANTS OF GERMAN THINGS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
  • The Birth of Reform Judaism- Many people are not aware that Reform Judaism has its origins in Germany, and that synagogues such as Temple Emanuel were started by German Jews.

  • What are the Chances?-How my father was both an 18 year old Jewish German inmate in Dachau in 1938 and then a 25 year old American soldier liberating Dachau and his hometown of Augsburg. This story involves all of the chance coincidences that permitted my family to get visas to come to America and how as enemy aliens they survived in London and New York during the war.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Modern Gay Rights Movement from 1897-1945- We will discuss how Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld not only fought to repeal the Sodomy Laws in Germany (the US Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional in America in 2003)in the late 1890's, but started an Institute to study sexuality years before Stonewall or Kinsey.

  • Jewish and Re-instating one's German citizenship-Why would a nice Jewish boy of two Holocaust Survivors want to re-instate his German citizenship? This discussion focuses on why I re-instated the rights that the Nazis removed from my family during Germany's Nazi era. I explore the historical and emotional reasons as to why I became a dual citizen.

  • The Holocaust Torah Goes Back Home to Germany-Returning a Torah that survived Kristallnacht back to Munich. The Torah that I brought to CBST and was there for years, was needed back in Munich to assist a Liberal congregation grow. So in 2006 the Torah went back to the city where my great grandparents were deported to their death so that Congregation Beth Shalom can now have its own Torah.
    chupah

  • Baby Boomers-Still harboring feelings of wanting to fix the world. This talk focuses on the left over feelings of the 1960's flower children and how they still want to fix the world.

  • Lebkuchen for Chanukah - Growing up in New York with German parents after WW II. This talk focuses on life in Washington Heights and Queens after World War II and what it was like being of German descent living in a Jewish neighborhood.


  • SOME GERMAN REMNANTS IN LOWER MANHATTAN

    A WALK FROM BOWLING GREEN TO CITY HALL PARK
    The first Germans to come to the "New World" went to the English colony of Jamestown in 1608. But by the 1680's, large numbers were present in New York. The period between 1840-1900 was the largest German immigration wave to America. Currently about 49 million or 17% of the American population can trace their ancestry to Germany.

    New York City was home to many famous German Americans. Babe Ruth, for example is of German ancestry as was the immigrant John Jacob Astor, and the immigrant John Peter Zenger (who fought for the freedom of the press), as well as the immigrant John Augustus Roebling who built the Brooklyn Bridge.

    The area in the East Village became known as Kleine Deutschland due to the large amount of Germans before the turn of the 20th Century. There are still many buildings that can be seen in this area with German signage on their facades. Other German areas of Manhattan included Yorkville on the Upper East Side and Washington Heights, which became the home of many German Jewish refugees.

    Before World War I, there was a clear German presence in New York City, with many buildings showing their Germanic roots. However, ever since the First World War, most things that showed anything German were removed from sight. Today, there is very little to see in Lower Manhattan that shows anything German. However, I did find the word "Germania Building" on the top of a structure built for the Germania Fire Insurance Company. It is not landmarked so its future is tenuous.
    Germania Building on Broadway
    Cornice of the Germania Building on Broadway, now part of Century 21
    customs house
    1. The Customs House Building is by Cass Gilbert. In an early nod to political correctness, many of the sculptors were from, or descendants of, the countries they depicted. The armed female leaning on an antique shield is German, even though it says Belgium on the shield. In 1918, America was at war with Germany, and patriotic societies, including the 'Sons of the American Revolution,' protested the public display of an enemy insignia. The shield first read 'keil' and represented Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm II, the last Kaiser and then Germany's ruler. The sculptor Albert Jaeger (himself German) suggested changing the name to 'Democratic Germany' but refused other alterations to the statue because he had been decorated by Germany and did not want to be disloyal. Interestingly, the Germanic Lion remained. Cass Gilbert, the architect, negotiated directly with the Secretary of the Treasury William A McAdoo over the final appearance of the sculpture. Belgium was considered to be Germany's first victim in WWI. The limestone statue of a Viking woman, 'Denmark,' was originally conceived to be that of 'Norway' but Cass Gilbert changed his mind and decided that 'Denmark' should represent the Norse people. The sculpture is by Johannes S. Gelert.
    customs house
    2. Close Up of shield showing Belgium instead of Germany.
    w
    3. Do you where this building is located? This is is the only place where I was able to find the word "German" on or in a building that was created in the 20th Century. While there are many buildings in the East Village (Kleine Deutschland) from the 19th Century with German inscriptions, I am still searching for anything German in Manhattan from after World War I.

    The stained glass skylight (was originally built as a functioning skylight until the additional floor was added over the skylight in 1919) was created by Heineke and Bowen, the same people who made the ceiling tile. The elevator door covers are by Tiffany. The skylight contains the date 1879 which was when the Woolworth company began and 1913 when the building was completed. It also lists the major trading countries in the world at the time.
    w
    4. Here you still see the words, "German Empire" (and the Eagle) on the periphery of the skylight with other countries such as France, United States, Russia, Great Britain, Argentina, Austria, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Japan and China.
    w
    5. There is also a stereotypical gargoyle of a Jewish banker, something that would in years to come become a frequent topic of ridicule by Nazis such as Julius Streicher in his Sturmer Newspaper. I have not found a definitive story about who this gargoyle represents.
    brooklyn bridge
    6. I have found the word German in another location in Lower Manhattan. It is at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. It relates the story of the building of the bridge and how John Roebling was a German Immigrant. This is a new sign that was installed recently.
    PARTS OF THE PERSONAL STORY


    Publishing Book





    Henry




    My father (1942) in his U.S. Army uniform three years after being released from Dachau.










    Landmanns









    My father (1938) and his sisters and parents in their last year in Augsburg.


    Deutches Haus
    THIS TOUR WAS FIRST HELD ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 MEETING AT THE ARCH AT WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK at 5 pm.

    This Walk was co-sponsored by NYU's Deutsches Haus.

    So what makes this Walk so different?

    First, the participants will be able to talk eye to eye with someone who was brought up in the pre-War German Jewish culture, hearing positive stories of his family living in Weimar Germany. While we cannot forget the atrocities of the era from 1933-1945 (including those perpetrated by the Nazis,Stalin, as well as some Ukrainians and Poles, etc.) we must also learn what Jewish life was like in Germany in the first half of the 20th Century and the centuries before. One should note how many Jews fled the Antisemitism of the other European cities to take refuge in Germany. Part of my own family fled Galicia in the 1890's and moved to Munich. Very few Jews living in Germany today actually lived in Germany before the Hitler era, and they cannot talk about Jewish Life during the Weimar years.

    Part of my family lived in Germany for over 400 years and my Opa fought in World War I on the German side. There are things that most people don't realize as to why they can be proud of even early 20th Century Germany. The modern "Gay Rights Movement" as well as Reform Judaism both started in Germany. I feel like I was born into a diaspora German-Jewish culture that no longer exists anywhere except in some second generation children of German Holocaust Survivors.

    The "walk" is being given by a gay son of two German Holocaust Survivors who will explain what it was like growing up in New York City with German Jewish parents during the years right after World War II, and why he later becomes a German citizen. The twists of his family includes having a father who was interned as a teenager in Dachau after Kristallnacht and then liberated Dachau as a US soldier; and was with the first Americans to enter his German hometown in 1945. It is a walk of reconciliation and looking towards the future. One can ask questions firsthand about the past, while we move forwards in time to be proud of what Germany has accomplished in our lifetime. Rather than being in a classroom environment, we will take a stroll and get a cup of coffee while discussing history with a look towards national pride and awareness.


    Landmanns

    The Landmann Family in 1919. The wedding couple in the center are my grandparents, who survived the Holocaust. The Ost Juden in the front are my great grandparents. Our family was a combination of Germans for hundreds of years as well as newly arrived Ost Juden.
    You will hear the thought process of someone whose family lost 17 members during the Nazi era re-instated his German citizenship in 2007.

    My father was one of the 20,000 Jews interned in Dachau on the day after Kristallnacht when he was just 18 years old. Upon his release in 1939 he eventually comes to New York and then joins the US Army and his battalion is the one that liberates Dachau and he is one of the first Americans to enter Munich and his hometown of Augsburg. The actual lederhosen that he wore upon his arrest and his US Army uniform were in a traveling Museum exhibit in Germany and several books have written about it. You can go back to the INFOTRUE.COM homepage to read some of these stories. Just click on the Landman Family and read some of the speeches that he has given at various Kristallnacht programs over the decades.


    My father speaking at a Kristallnacht Commemoration in Germany.
    Bobby in lederhosen
    My brother in around 1957 in the Catskill Mountains wearing his lederhosen. When I got older I wore them too, but no one has a photo.



    Opa and Torah
    My Opa standing next to a Torah that he brought to America.

    Opa as soldier
    My Opa in World War I fighting for the Germans. He is the one in the first row next to the arrow.
    . . . . .
    OTHER
    RELATED WEBPAGES
    Landman Family Stories
    Kristallnacht
    Torah Returns to Munich
    Oettinger Family
    . . . . .
    German Tour
    #1 Nice Jewish Boy turns German #2 Gay and Proud #3 Lesson of the Holocaust #4 Flower Power
    . . . . .
    SAMPLE OF OTHER WALKING TOURS:


    coverflower "NEW AMSTERDAM" TOUR


    FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON YOUR OWN "NEW AMSTERDAM TOUR" CLICK HERE


    Every year in November is "Dutch Days" in New York City with multiple events and exhibits held throughout the five boroughs. An annual highlight is the tour of ´┐ŻNew Amsterdam´┐Ż put together by Rick Landman, Esq., AICP, a longtime member of the NY Metro Chapter. Landman gave a tour to relate how early Dutch roots had an impact on New York City's physical form as well as its taxation procedures, zoning regulations and religious freedoms.

    The tour, which not only included the usual stop to the foundations of the old Dutch City Hall but included a walk around the borders of old New Amsterdam, seeing the Dutch memorials (most of which are on land-fill that didn't exist back then) and discussion of Dutch history and its impacts. Landman noted that the narrow tax lots and the subsequent sky-blocking towers were a direct result from our Dutch origins...


    Tour starts in front of the Customs House at Bowling Green in front of the eastern most statue and winds it way through Battery Park and up to Wall Street.
    dutch1

    dutch2

    Muni

    TOUR OF AMERICA'S ZONING ORIGINS:
    Real Estate Development in Lower Manhattan

    equitable This tour focuses on development in Lower Manhattan and includes a walking lecture of how America's Zoning started New York City because of the bulk issues created at the Equitable Building in 1916 and the tour winds its way past several of the World's Tallest Buildings up to City Hall Park and ends on the Brooklyn Bridge looking back at the Eastside of Manhattan.

    Once steel construction and elevators turned the real estate market upside down, and each developer tried to build the world's tallest building, New York City was forced to try regulating bulk and use. The Supreme Court upheld NYC's zoning regulations in the 1926 case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Corp. This tour gives the history while passing the actual locations. It also includes a city park created by the transfer of development rights and discusses several urban renewal projects in the area.

    The Tour starts at the former U.S. Customs House at Bowling Green and goes up to William and Beaver Street up to Wall Street and then over to Broadway and northwards to the Brooklyn Bridge.

    This is a double-tour for 3 hours. It can be broken up into two separate tours.

    Depending on time and interest, we can also include a short discussion of the World Trade Center as we pass by.

    7wtc WORLD TRADE CENTER TOURS
    View from 7 World Trade Center of Lower Manhattan. Tours can include the area from the Battery up to the World Trade Center, or the Financial District up to Tribeca or the Brooklyn Bridge.
    wtc I took this photo shortly after 9/11 showing "Ground Zero". Living in Southern Tribeca for 30 years, I was displaced from my apartment for approximately one month, returning home in October. I also have pictures showing how the neighborhood was powered and existed during the era when we were a "gated community". So this tour is given by someone who lived through the experience and rebuilding of the neighborhood. Asbestos

    GREENWICH VILLAGE- URBAN PLANNING TOUR
    macdougal macdougal 2007 These buildings on MacDougal Street were used as the poster pictures for the demolition of the Village as part of the Urban Renewal Plan in the 1950's. But they were landmarked in the 21st Century as being one of the few federal townhouses still left in Manhattan. The tour will include a walking lecture on Eminent Domain, Condemnation as well as the struggles during the Urban Renewal program in the NYU area.
    urban renewal This is the rendering from the 1953 Washington Square South Urban Renewal Plan's concept for Greenwich Village, pursuant to the Slum Clearance Plan under Title 1 of the Housing Act of 1949. Notice the Washington Square Arch (in yellow) in Washington Square Park. The "Tower in the Park" concept (which was also emphasized in the 1961 Zoning Resolution) included highways and apartment complexes to replace what is now the Village and SoHo.


    THE JEWS OF NEW AMSTERDAM/LOWER EAST SIDE:
    sherith cemetery 11 St. cemetery tenement
    Focusing on the early Jewish roots of New Amsterdam and New York City, including several Jewish cemeteries. The tour will discuss the treatment and contributions of the colonies' and America's earliest Jewish settlers, including both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews who came to the "New World" in the 1600's. The life of Asser Levy and the 23 Jews who came from Recife will be discussed. Lower Manhattan contains several memorials and actual locations (buildings now long gone) and remnants of several cemeteries at Chatham Square, West 11th and West 22nd Streets. In addition, we can extend the tour (especially if this is a bus tour) to go to the Lower East Side and see the Tenement Museum as well as several eateries such as Katz's Delicatessen and Russ & Daughters.
    katz russ

    GAY HISTORY TOUR
    anvil Learn about America's LGBT Hisotry as you walk by the long gone haunts of the West Village.
    For more information
    info
    Return to INFOTRUE
    CLICK HERE TO BOOK A TOUR OR FOR QUESTIONS. YOU MUST GET A WRITTEN CONFIRMATION BEFORE THE TOUR IS RESERVED. rick