Henry Schnautz (1947)
Esperanza Lopez Mateos (1946) photo by Henry Schnautz
Our story to date. This website has been online since 2008. The focus from the beginning was to examine the question - Was Esperanza Traven's daughter? It was an open question. New genealogy records and the weight of evidence have definitively shown, Esperanza was not Traven's daughter.
I have just finished (July 2022 to Feb 2023) an HTML5 re-write to allow the complete site to be read on a phone. I improved the translations, working with Google Translate and DeepL Translate. Most of the pages have been re-written or edited. The existing site organization is to read to the end of the page then hit the back button to go back to the index. Maybe I will add a real back button next.
"Everywhere the building of a prison is the first step in the organization of a civilized state." The great writer B. Traven was a mysterious author of the 20s and 30s who wrote stories of the jungle and politics from Mexico. Very little was known at the time who Traven really was. It has taken 100 years to piece together the story of the mystery man - probably.
Translator and business agent of B. Traven, cousin and sister-in-law to filmmaker Gabriel Figueroa, mountain climber, stenographer for Vicente Lombardo Toledano, sister to the president of Mexico (1958-1964), - an unforgettable woman for several men.
The man from Indiana who went to Mexico in 1940 to be a bodyguard for Leon Trotsky
Photos by Henry Schnautz - 1940-1946
Enjoy a day on a hunting trip in the jungle near San Andrés Tuxtla in 1946 - After getting out of the army in spring 1946, Henry went to Mexico, met Esperanza in Mexico City, then took a plane to San Andreas Tuxtla. They meet people and go on a hunting trip. Henry has a decent camera and the negatives were well preserved.
Esperanza takes Henry along on a club trip up the mountain, and Henry takes a camera.
- Esperanza spent a month in New York Jan-Feb 1947 and returned the next winter.
In late October 2015 Ancestry dot com announced the addition of millions of new Mexico records on-line. - the Satisfying Conclusion?
Liga Pro Cultura Alemana was a pro-German anti-Nazi culture organization in Mexico that grew out of the communist Popular Front. Editorial Masas was a small communist aligned publisher. Both were started by the same man, Heinrich Gutmann. Both employed Esperanza Lopez Mateos.
Esperanza wrote a short story in 1943 about a young woman and the death of her friend, an aging writer, a revolutionary, who wanted to think he could get better and make a life with the woman. It may be the truth she couldn't say aloud. "I wanted you to see it for many reasons," she told Henry Schnautz. "If the censor didn't stick his nose in, he could tell you many things, something that would resemble a poem we both wrote in Cuernavaca.
One page view - phone readable
Two page view - desktop readable
Henry Schnautz was a guard for Leon Trotsky at his compound in Mexico City starting five weeks before the assassination.
In 1992, Henry got a letter from a Traven researcher that started off "You don't know me," that set off an exchange of letters that included Henry's summary of what he knew of the relationship between Traven and Esperanza. Michael Baumann, an author on Traven gets involved, but neither researcher knew what to make of it, as it contradicted everything they knew about Traven.
Henry and Esperanza walk into a recording studio, Feb 13, 1942
Esperanza Studio photos and the curious coincidence of Franz Pfemfert
Esperanza was a lover of mountain climbing, hiking, cave exploring. Here are a few pictures with her Mexico City companions.
Elena Poniatowska interviews the entire Figueroa family
cheap books, short descriptions
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