Betty Jane Hermann
Betty Jane Hermann, a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor, died at the Hamptons Center in Southampton on December 12. She was 75.
Mrs. Hermann was born in Sag Harbor on July 8, 1938 the daughter of Louis and Hilda (Loper) Bennett. Mrs. Hermann was a member of Pierson High School’s class of 1958. Before her retirement she worked at Sag Harbor Industries.
Mrs. Hermann is survived by her husband Donald Hermann of Sag Harbor and her daughter Debbie (Lucia) Rumrill of Claremont, New Hampshire. She is also survived by seven nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her sister Florence Squires of Riverhead and brother Frank Bennett of Dunnellon, Florida.
Her remains were cremated. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation or the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Jutta Rose was born in Hanover, Germany January 17, 1918. A holocaust survivor, she died last week at 95 of natural causes.
Her last five years were fraught with pain and suffering from falls and deteriorating scoliosis. Her spouse of 33 years Romany Kramoris cared for her at home, along with East End Hospice the last 10 days. Her father Fritz Nathan Rose, Jewish, and brothers owned an industry that sold heavy equipment for farming. Her mother Franziska Meyer Rose, a Christian, assumed the position of wife and mistress of a large household with servants and nannies. Her mother was trained as a mezzo soprano, fine pianist, and lieder singer. In 1924, at age 6, childhood education began at the exclusive Victoria Lyceum. By 1934 at age 16 anti-Jewish sentiments were growing in all levels of German society and Ms. Rose was thrown out of school by Nazi Law as a “mischling 1st grade,” half-Jew (Jewish father, Christian mother) and out of her sports clubs tennis, skiing and mountain climbing. She and other Jewish children were abused and mistreated, many sent out on the “Kindertransport.”
During her school years a non-Jewish, blonde, blue-eyed friend Hilde Domeyer and her family protected Ms. Rose in school confrontations and eventually hid her in the Alps in their small mountain summer house.
In 1938, when 20 years old, she met Henri Nannen a student, with whom she became engaged. He was a staunch anti-Nazi activist, and after Ms. Rose’s testimony in his favor as an anti-Nazi, he founded the world famous magazine “Der Stern”.
On November 9, 1938 — Kristal Nacht (The Night of Broken Glass) —, the Nazis came to the Rose residence, dragged her bleeding father down the steps and put him into a truck with his brothers going to Buchenwald Konzentration Kamp. Franziska Rose demanded the Nazis leave as she was a Christian. Their home was confiscated, later. This Mischling status kept her out of conservatories and universities. Mrs. Rose was put into forced-labor in Hannover.
Franziska’s status as a Christian enabled them to flee to Bremen where her sister Darce Meyer helped them and where Jutta continued private singing studies in 1940. They then fled to Berlin where Ms. Rose studied with Professor Emge at the Musiche Hochschule, and then both were put into forced-labor at Telefunken, Berlin, getting miniscule pennies as pay, not enough to survive on, from the German government.
In 1942 they escaped Berlin and went to a friend’s ski and summer hut in The Alps. In 1944 Telefunken was bombed, crippling all transportation. When word was received that all “1st Grade mischlings would be put away in Konzentration Kamps,” Hilde Domeyer again rescued Ms. Rose while her mother was pulled to Chicago by family friends.
After the arrival of the American troops, who ended the war, Ms. Rose returned to Bremen State Opera performing as a Walkyrie, Wagner. Meeting renowned teacher and singer Kathleen Kersting, they joined forces and created The American Opera Co., based in Milan. For seven years they toured throughout Italy, Spain, Germany, and Austria. Ms. Rose’s most famous role was Salome, in R. Strauss’ opera “Salome.” She also sang major roles in Manon, Tosca, Carmine, Aida, Ariadne, Zauberflote, Rusticana, The Medium, Merry Widow and many others.
In 1957 the Kersting/Rose studio set out for New York City (Yonkers), with the help of pianist Mary Van Ness, then Carnegie Hall. On Kersting’s death in 1960, Ms. Rose taught at The Manhattan School of Music, relocated on Bleecker Street for 14 years, when she made the most dramatic change in her teaching style from opera to the American Broadway Theater. She specialized in the Broadway repertoire and songs through her last days of teaching. She then moved to a 14th Street studio where she taught for 26 years.
She participated in a three-hour interview for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Project. In their 33 years together Ms. Rose and Ms. Kramoris enjoyed traveling to Salzburg, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Egypt, and various parts of America, including Milwaukee – Ms. Kramoris’ hometown.
Ms. Rose kept lifelong friendships with first students including Nathan Lane, Frank Langella, and Maria Tucci and many members of the Choral Society of the Hamptons. Three of her local students won first prize over three consecutive years in the singing competition at Mirra Banks and Richard Brockman’s Annual Playhouse Project – Louis Murillo, Elizabeth Oldak, and Kyra Christopher.
Thirty-three years ago, in 1980, Ms. Rose bought her dream – a little white house by the sea reminiscent of Italy, in Bay Point, The Muschelhaus (Seashell House). Participation in the Bay Point Property Association, long walks and swims at Long Beach in Sag Harbor which she adored kept her busy with Ms. Kramoris, whom she lovingly married as official spouse eight years ago. She is survived by cousins Donald Rose, of Long Island, and David Rose, of Tennessee.