Thursday, February 12, 2015

Rothkirch Was Here


 
A recent comment posted here about "The Rickshaw Five" and their 1964 recording of “Skip School Flu” and “Jungle” prompted further research regarding this record.   According to that comment, it was not recorded in Hong Kong as stated on the label, but in Washington D.C. by a few local musicians put together by the producers, Encore Records.  The person who posted the comment is now 74 years old, and identified himself as the bass player in that recording session, almost 51 years ago.  He provided a number of details about the session, and sent me a scanned copy of the signed recording agreement from March 1964.

Signing the recording agreement for Encore Productions was “Dr. E. v. Rothkirch.”  As I would soon discover, that name led me to some astonishing findings.  What follows is a chronology of the life of an extraordinary man, who may have been as ubiquitous as Kilroy of the once popular "Kilroy Was Here" graffiti, and "the mischievous outsider, staring at, and probably laughing at, the world."
 
1919
Edward F. Tkach is born in St. Paul, Minnesota.  His father was Fred Tkach and mother Eva, nee Eva Beta Zetlin, both born in Odessa, Russia (now Ukraine).  Another son Harold was born in 1925, and sister Roseland in 1928
Later, after World War II, Ed sought to change his birth certificate to "Eduard von Rothkirch" because he claimed his real father was a German World War I spy named von Rothkirch who fathered him while he was in St. Paul and then left him to be raised with the T'Kach family (also spelled in some reports Tkach). (In another variation of the story, the German spy changed his name to T'Kach to fool Russian agents.)
 
1942
Enlisted on September 24, 1942, Edward F. Tkach was a private in the Air Corps branch of the U.S. Army during World War II. At the time of enlistment, Edward F. Tkach was single, without dependents, and had an education level of 1 year of high school. 


1944
 Discharged from the Army because of a curious case of allergy
Lucky Allergy Leads Way to T-Bone Steaks
kANSAS CITY. Mo.- OI.PJ - Local friends are very envious of Edward F. Tkach of Minneapolis because of his allergy. It isn't just an every day, ordinary run of the mill allergy. Tkach has to eat four T-bone steaks a day for it, and he has the ration coupons to get them. Tkach was discharged from the army because of his allergy-it ! was breaking the army up.   He was given 8,000 ration points as a parting gift.   And until the allergy clears up. he will receive I another 8,000 points every six weeks. If he doesn't eat four T-bone steaks a day. he breaks out with hives, his nose runs and his eyes water.
Racine Journal Times  May 7, 1944

1945
Son Greg is born
Ed's son Greg von Rothkirch was born in 1945. As a child of the 1950s Greg would spend his weekly allowance of ten cents on comic books and check out sci-fi novels from the library. In his early twenties Greg rose to Staff Seargent in Company B, 2/60, 9th Infantry Division of the Army and survived Vietnam.

After Vietnam Greg continued to read fiction and history, assembling a vast collection of knowledge and facts from books and experiences which he shared with his son Eric via storytelling.

Eric von Rothkirch began using redchurch as a nickname in the mid 1990s and registered redchurch.com in 1998 to represent his work in the entertainment field. Eric continues his family's long tradition of storytelling today under the name redchurch.

1946
Lobbyist - registered under the name of Edward Von Rothkirch as a lobbyist for the Central European Research Council, and was active on Capitol Hill among isolationist congressmen and congressmen of German descent.   He was also connected with the Central European Rehabiliation Association, with headquarters at 201 Division Ave., Brooklyn, and headed by Father Don Odo, self-proclaimed Duke of Wurttemberg

1947
Midwestern College -  Von Rothkirch disclosed plans to form Midwestern College at Hillman, Minn., near Hillman, Minn, in Morrison County'. He filed a statement saying he was worth more than' a million dollars.
 
1948

New York Times interview : Von Rothkirch accompanied the General Cernius, former prime minister of an independent Lithuania, for an interview for an article published the 9 May 1948 in the New York Times  entitled "Future Uncertain for General Cernius."     The story reported that General Jonas Cernius, according to Rothkirch, was going to teach history at a new college called Midwestern College which was to be based in the tiny Minnesota town of Hillman. 

As for Rothkirch, he said he was a police magistrate in Morrison County, Minnesota.  However he claimed he was independently wealthy and would inherit a trust fund worth some $4 million at age 35. He said he owned a 2,900 estate in Hillman as well as a ranch in Minnesota and one in California. He also boasted that he had extensive oil and copper interests. According to the Times, Rothkirch did own a 1,450 acre ranch in Hillman, a town of some 40 people in the bush country of Minnesota.

Rothkirch next told the Times that he also was a leader in an "underground railroad" that got refuges out of East Europe and that he has spent some $80,000 of his own money on the cause. He also helped dissident Russian military men to escape. He said he did so "in collaboration with the War Department" and that the Russian press dubbed him "the American Scarlet Pimpernel." When asked about his own military service, he said he was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II but he was put on an inactive status and later reactivated as a bombardier-observer and discharged as a warrant officer. He further claimed that he had taken part in guerrilla warfare fights in East Europe.

Rothkirch also admitted that while Midwestern College didn't yet exist, there was an extensive building program underway and that it would be ready by September. Dr. Frederick Michael of Hillman, whom Rothkirch claimed also owned a large plantation in Brazil, would be its president with a Dr. Leonard Martin as Treasurer and Dean. Rothkirch stated that the college would bring together many "of the key figures of Europe and South America. The course on international relations will be without equal in any American college."


1949
A Leader : Several newspapers reported that Edward von Rothkirch was the leader of the anti-Russian underground in Poland and Germany.
The .mysterious American, who owns a farm twelve miles outside Hillman, Minn., operates under various names including Edward F. T'Kach, Count Heinrich Von Gelbe, Baron von Tanthen, Heinrich Woyceho, Dr. Edouard von Rothkirch, or sometimes just Baron X. According to associates, he is the head of the Frei Corps of Barbarossa, the name of the anti-Russian underground in parts of Poland and the Soviet zone of Germany,
1951
Jailed in March ’51 for passing phony checks and committed to the Wisconsin Hospital for the Criminally Insane. .

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - (U.R) - Eduard Von Rothkirch, 31, St. Paul, was sentenced to 10 to 12 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to obtaining money under false pretenses. County Judge Merrill R. Farr passed sentence on Von Rothldrch after he pleaded guilty to the four counts of passing worthless drafts for a total of $35 at four Eau Claire business places Nov. 4,1950. Dist. Atty. Victor Tronsdal told the court Von Rothkirch had four aliases, but was bom Edward Tkach in St Paul. In his statement to the court. Von Rothkirch said "The Communists have spent thousands of dollars to combat me and confuse my record." He said the charges rose out of technicality and not an intent to defraud.

1952
Released from the Wisconsin state prison.

Turned up in late 1952  in Phoenix, Ariz.,as "Edward Nacoma" chairman of "the American Indian political advancement committee."
PHOENIX--AZ--Arizona Indian tribal leaders said today they were not affiliated with an organization represented as the American Indian political advisory committee, by a man attending the recent governors' interstate Indian council meeting. The man Identified himself as Edward Nacoma, who said he was affiliated with the committee. He also said he was an Oklahoma Osage Indian.
1953
Impersonating an officer of the U. S. government who claimed he could help Carlos Prio Socarras become president of Cuba again.
Baron Held For Posing as Federal Agent MIAMI, Fla. -- .Eduard Frederick von Rothkirch, self-styled baron whose fanciful career has seen him pose as a priest, Indian leader, university h e a d , world traveler and German Luftwaffe ace. is in trouble again -.this time with the federal government. The baron .was held, in Miami on $2,500 bond on charges of impersonating an officer of the U. S. government who claimed he could help Carlos Prio Socarras become president of Cuba again.

In justice court Friday, von Rothkirch told Justice Edwin Lee Mason he was a research analyst, that he had prepared speeches and material for congressmen. He said 175 articles prepared by him have appeared in the Congressional Record. . Agent Powers said von Rothkirch told Antonio Fuentes, brother-in-law of the former Cuban president, that for $5000 he could help the latter regain his position, adding that the sympathies of the White House- and the state department were with him. Fuentes notified his attorney who called the FBI. Prio Socarras fled Cuba on March 10. 1952, when Gen. Fulgencio Batista took over the government in a bloodless coup. He has lived in Miami since. Conviction on a charge of impersonating an officer of the government carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and three years in prison, or both.

1954
Now in Washington D.C. where he is listed as General Secretary of the International Association of Independent Producers,

1962
Executive consultant of Era, International Film & Recording Enterprises Inc. which offers "features, documentaries, industrials, newsreel, commercials, travelogues, radio transcriptions, film management services and technical consultants",

1971
Trans World News Service

1975
Came to dinner : Col. Edward Rothkirch, a member of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, was one of the U.S. right-wingers who attended to a dinner meeting at the Army and Navy club, mainly sponsored by the Citizens for American Survival.  (May 1975)
1978

Free Cambodia Inc. is a District of Columbia Corporation filed on February 3, 1978. The Registered Agent on file for this company is E. V. Rothkirch and is located at 529 14th St., N.w. #769 Washington, District Of Columbia 20045-0000.

The Federation Of Cambodian Association  is a Corporation formed on Aug 24, 1979. This business was created in the SOS Office and the registered agent is E.v. Rothkirch that does business at 529 14th St., N.w. #769, Washington D.C.

1981
Air Powered Motor Systems Inc. is a District of Columbia Corporation filed on March 4, 1981. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Dr. Edward Von Rothkirch and is located at 529 14th St., N.w. Washington, District Of Columbia 20045-0000.

Seamark International Ltd.
is a District of Columbia Corporation filed on December 24, 1981. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Edward Von Rothkirch and is located at 529- 14th St., N.w. Suite 723 Washington, District Of Columbia 20045-0000.Publisher of The Journal of Asian-American Commerce, Seamark International Ltd, 767 National Press Bldg, Washington, DC 20045. 202-638-5595.


1982
Intercontinental Media Service, with offices in the National Press Building in Washington. The operator of this shadowy outfit was Edward von Rothkirch, a friend of the Liberty Lobby.   Charles Tate testified in the 1987 trial of Frankhouser that von Rothkirch, who was called "the Baron" by Security, "would accredit somebody with a press card to appear as though he was a real reporter working for real newspapers so that he could do interviews." According to former Metro employee Phil Perlonga, the Security staff in 1982-83 had "stacks of blank press cards" from IMS. When a card was needed, Goldstein would sign von Rothkirch's name. Perlonga was given an IMS card and instructed to use it to gain entrance to Henry Kissinger's birthday party and serve legal papers on him. Perlonga took the card, but says he managed to evade serving the papers.

1987

Still active - Dr. Edward Von Rothkirch is still active.  He is the head of the Internat'l Alliance of Independent Film Producers  .Members: 2,800 domestic; 1.400 foreign Staff: 2-5 Annual Budget: $25-50,000 Tel: (202) 638-5595

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