IMHO, most of Commercial beer consumed in the USA these days is of some kind of Jewish "Scammed" ferment... A/B was bought out by Harvard Jews from Brazil a few years ago... and of course this old Polish Jew was an inspiration to the Carl Ichans, Cass Sussteins, along with other idiot Jews, that in total, wrecked American Industry from the 1950s onwards. -- CSR
Paul Kalmanovitz (1905–1987) was a millionaire ($500 Million) brewing and real estate magnate best known for owning all or part of several national breweries and their products, including Falstaff Brewing Company and Pabst Brewing Company. Most of the Kalmanovitz Estate was left to create a charitable foundation for hospitals and universities.Biography
Kalmanovitz was born in Łódź, Poland. He later emigrated to Egypt at the end of the World War I and worked for Sir Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby
. Kalmanowitz arrived in the United States in the 1926 by jumping a merchant marine ship  and jumped from job to job, working for several notable people such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst, and Louis B. Mayer (MGM).
In 1950 Kalmanovitz acquired the Maier Brewing Company in Los Angeles, California and officially entered the brewing industry. Maier Brewing, makers of Brew 102, struggled for a number of years, and in 1958 faced a strong push to be bought out by the Falstaff Brewing Company. Kalmanovitz refused to be bought out, even after threatened by Falstaff to either sell or Falstaff would bury the Maier Brewery.  Within a few years Kalmanovitz turned the Maier Brewery around and began making a profit. Along with the brewery and numerous other investments, Kalmanovitz's net worth began to swell. In 1970 Kalmanovitz purchased Lucky Lager and merged it with his Maier Brewing Company to form the General Brewing Company with S&P Corporation as its parent.
By 1974 Falstaff had fallen on hard times and was in need of cash. Falstaff's purchase of the Ballantine brands in 1972 had proven to be a major mistake and stretched the company a little too thin. Falstaff sold Kalmanovitz its San Francisco brewery. The cash couldn't save Falstaff, and in 1975 the company was once again in trouble. Kalmanovitz offered to inject $20 million into Falstaff for 100,000 shares of preferred stock. On 28 April 1975, Paul Kalmanovitz gained the controlling interest in the Falstaff Brewing Company. Kalmanovitz more than quadrupled his brewery interests and became a major force on the American beer market.
With the purchase of Falstaff, Kalmanovitz moved the Falstaff headquarters from St Louis, Missouri to San Francisco to combine it with General Brewing Company's headquarters. By June, more than 175 of Falstaff's corporate employees were laid off. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened an investigation of the Falstaff purchase, questioning if shareholders were given proper notification of the sale. The SEC determined that the purchase was conducted improperly.
(BEFORE THE SEC BECAME COMPLETELY JEW KOSHER -- CSR :x ) Falstaff stock was barred from trading and removed from the New York Stock Exchange. Falstaff workers unhappy with the new direction of the company staged a company lockout, which Kalmanovitz and General Brewing called a strike.
Eventually things settled down with Falstaff and production resumed. Kalmanovitz's plans to make a profit off Falstaff were not to turn the company around and reestablish its brand strength in the market, but rather to cut costs drastically throughout. The biggest change was the advertising budget where Kalmanovitz eliminated all types of marketing. Falstaff's market share continued to slide, resulting in plants closing and employees out of work. Falstaff was profitable for the S&P Corporation, but at a cost to works and the communities around the breweries. Kalmanovitz acquired an ailing brewery, fired the corporate personnel, reduced budgets, sold off equipment, stopped plant maintenance, and eliminated product quality control. Kalmanovitz established a standard with Falstaff that was repeated as he purchased Stroh's, National Bohemian, Olympia, Pearl, and Pabst.
Breweries were not Kalmanovitz's only interests, he was also involved in helping Guide Dogs for the Blind and several other charitable organizations. Upon his death, Kalmanovitz's net worth was said to be in excess of $250 million. A sizable portion of his wealth was donated to numerous California hospitals. In addition, his estate also donated the money for the Paul and Lydia Kalmanovitz Library at the University of California, San Francisco, Kalmanovitz Hall at the University of San Francisco, and the Paul and Lydia Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom at the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Kalmanovitz
The Family Jewels
In life, Paul Kalmanovitz controlled every business decision related to his $500million brewery/real estate dynasty.He even made detailed plans forthe governance of his estateafter he died. So why is the Kalmanovitz fortune the center of two vituperative
A A A Comments (1) By George Cothran Wednesday, Sep 20 1995
Bullheaded beer and real estate tycoon Paul Kalmanovitz and his wife, Lydia, share eternity with Comstock Lode millionaires, railroad barons, and other historic figures. Matter of fact, the Kalmanovitz's $6.5 million mausoleum -- among the largest at Cypress Hill Memorial Park in Colma -- occupies more prominent ground than that other well-known overlord of corporate acquisition, William Randolph Hearst, who's interred up the path from the wealthy couple.
"Mr. Paul," as Kalmanovitz was known, certainly earned the right to share such elite company, even to upstage Citizen Kane. Over the course of his 81 years, he built an "empire," as it's referred to in his epitaph, that today includes just about every bad beer America drinks: Pabst, Hamms, Olympia, and Falstaff to name a few.
His acquisitiveness knew few bounds. He garnished his beer fortunes with extensive real estate purchases, including shopping malls, apartment buildings, and ranches, even the giant Costco store at 11th Street and Harrison. When he died in 1987, his business, S&P Co., boasted holdings worth more than $500 million. Today, they top $600 million and show no signs of abating as his beer empire penetrates Asian markets.
During the last two decades, Mr. Paul entrusted two men to assist in the creation of his dominion: Bernard Orsi, a former aide to then-Mayor Joe Alioto; and Lutz Issleib, a German immigrant from Texas. Later in life, he added a third man to his inner circle, former Howard Hughes attorney William Bitting.
But Mr. Paul still controlled everything, every check written, every decision made. And when he died he left a vacuum of power so huge it ensured a vicious legal contest over the control of his estate.
The flurry of will changes his wife made before she died and the dramatic rewrite he signed two months before he died didn't help matters. The modifications have served as a vessel into which numerous plaintiffs suing the estate have poured conspiracy theories.
Still raging in Marin County Superior Court, the estate war pits estranged Kalmanovitz relatives and former employees of the Polish ŽmigrŽ against the trustees of the estate: Orsi, Issleib, and Bitting. Eight years after his death from prostate cancer, Mr. Paul's legacy has never been more unsettled.
Outside the courtroom, all manner of evildoing has been alleged: Shady doctors with ready syringes and Mafia connections have been alluded to. Incredibly, an unfounded allegation of murder in the manor has been thrown against the wall. And relatives even make the wild suggestion that the very tomb that holds the Kalmanovitz couple -- the very seat of their legacy -- was used to launder money into the pockets of the trustees.
Inside the courtroom, the charges are less slanderous, but the contest is no less acrimonious.
When Lydia Kalmanovitz died last year, placing the estate in probate, two lawsuits were filed. In March, Lydia's nephew and niece -- Klaus and Siglinde Schreyack, a refrigerator repairman and a hairdresser, respectively, from West Covina -- alleged that the trustees wheedled the sick, elderly Lydia into cutting them out of the Kalmanovitz fortune.
The suit, based mostly on the testimony of Klaus, was thrown out of court as baseless. All the same, it echoed additional charges by Kalmanovitz relatives and former employees, who allege that the trustees took similar advantage of Mr. Paul two months before he died.
Full of painkillers, they say, the dying tycoon signed a will that cut several charities, hospitals, and universities out of the governance of the estate's riches and for the first time established Orsi, Issleib, and Bitting as trustees responsible for dispensing millions to charitable causes. The new will also placed the troika in charge of S&P stock. Since the charitable trust and the company, legally speaking, are one and the same, the three trustees now control one of the larger privately owned corporations in America.
Then came a second suit, filed this summer by Kalmanovitz relatives from Europe, which added an even more bizarre twist. The plaintiffs -- two Holocaust survivors and three Polish citizens -- allege that Mr. Paul traveled to Lodz, Poland, as the Iron Curtain descended in 1946 and unearthed $1 million worth of Kalmanovitz family jewels from a Jewish cemetery, later breaking his promise to return the jewels or a monetary equivalent once it was safe to do so. They're seeking $10 million from the estate. Marin Superior Court Judge Michael B. Dufficy is expected to rule on the claim in October.
When Dufficy hands down his decision, it may, barring an appeal, bring an end to the ugly legal contest over the alleged family jewels. But the Schreyack case is heading for an appeal. One of Mr. Paul's relatives, Sharon Hegseth, is talking about suing the attorney general and the state of California for alleged intimidation. (The AG joined the defense because a charitable trust, which benefits all Californians, is being contested.) And Orsi will most likely file defamation and slander suits against former S&P employees and Kalmanovitz relatives who've been slinging mud out of court, according to one of his attorneys, Michael Schwarz.
The winners and losers will be sorted out later. But total closure will be hard to come by. Mr. Paul's legacy is now marked, indelibly perhaps, by the jealousies, hatreds, and, above all, mendacity that drove the lawsuits.
Truth is surely the first casualty of any legal action. But the Kalmanovitz estate war is exceptionally hard to untangle. The trustees won't talk. Numerous requests for interviews were turned down. Many more phone calls went unreturned. And those on the other side, the relatives and the former employees, are too cryptic, too paranoid, too full of bile and impossible stories to fully believe. After wading in the muck of the Kalmanovitz legacy awhile, an observer is left with an unavoidable notion: Maybe everyone's lying. If so, it raises an ever more disturbing set of queries: How could such a powerful, willful man as Mr. Paul leave behind such a frail legacy? What happened to leave the estate so vulnerable to attack, so exposed to misrepresentation and manipulation?
In addition to the mausoleum, the other most manifest reminder of the Kalmanovitz legacy lies on Paradise Cay in Tiburon: Mr. Paul's manor. Seven homes and 20-some vacant lots.
A dimple of land jutting from the coastline, Paradise Cay has two distinct advantages: It affords its residents a sweeping view of the bay and the luxury of parking their yachts and sailboats at their back doors. Looking down the hill on the outcropping of homes, with its canals and landings, it's hard not to imagine alighting from sailboat to back patio, from first mate and mizzen to maid and martini. American flags fly from several of the homes.
The cay is a far cry from where Mr. Paul began his life. Born two days after Christmas 1905, Mr. Paul took the advice of his father, Solomon, and at the age of 21 left Poland.
"His father told him, 'I don't like things here,' " Orsi said in court. "Go find a better life." The Nazis were still mere beer-hall thugs at the time. Only later would Solomon Kalmanovitz's warning take on a tragic prescience.
Mr. Paul traveled to Palestine and Egypt, where he learned to work on cars in a motor pool. On the advice of friends, he went to France to board a ship for America. "They told him there was a lot of U.S. trade with France," Orsi said. There he boarded the Grenoble, a coal ship sailing for Philadelphia.
Once docked in the States, Mr. Paul feigned illness and won a shore pass. Told to stay nearby, he instead fled to New York, where he sold his peacoat for cash and met his future wife, Lydia Kohnen, an immigrant herself from Hamburg, Germany. The couple married in 1927 and traveled to Chicago, but the city was too cold for them. "Mr. Paul kept seeing postcards of California with palm trees," Orsi testified. "So he went to Los Angeles."
In Los Angeles, Mr. Paul worked as a handyman and later as a driver for movie mogul Louis B. Mayer. Eventually he turned his sights to nightclubs. During World War II, he hooked up with Nathan Sherry, the "S" in S&P, who at the time was a newspaper delivery driver for the now-defunct Los Angeles Examiner. Soon enough, the two owned all the bars around Union Station, a beehive of thirsty soldiers on their way to the Pacific theater. All told, Mr. Paul owned about 27 clubs, according to Orsi. He was the first white club owner to give Nat King Cole a break.
He also began to develop the reputation as a controlling boss. Orsi said in court that Mr. Paul used to put chalk marks on all the liquor bottles in his nightclubs. At closing time, Mr. Paul would send an employee around to check the level of liquor in each bottle to see how much had been sold and to make sure none was being absconded with by the help.
In 1958, Mr. Paul entered the brewery biz by buying Maier Brewing Co., in Los Angeles. For the next three decades he acquired brewery after brewery, often enacting ruthless consolidations where scores of employees were fired. He would routinely buy struggling, older breweries and move their operations to the three S&P plants in Milwaukee, San Antonio, and Tumwater, Wash. He would then dismantle the older plants and build shopping malls and office buildings.
So renowned was his cost cutting that Falstaff Brewing's St. Louis headquarters flew its flag upside-down at half-staff in 1975 when employees learned Mr. Paul had acquired the company. "He went through Falstaff like Grant went through Richmond," Lutz Issleib told Forbes this year.
Mr. Paul's crowning business acquisition, the purchase of Pabst Brewing Co. in 1985 -- a $63 million purchase in which he assumed the brewery's debt in a hostile takeover -- was made bittersweet by a concurrent diagnosis of prostate cancer. Two years later, he was dead at age 81.
Today, the holdings of S&P, according to Forbes and Orsi's testimony, are staggering.
The sixth largest brewer in America -- the company brews Pabst, Olympia, Hamms, Falstaff, Lucky Lager, Pearl, Regal Pale, and Grace Brothers -- S&P has expanded itself into foreign countries in the past few years, penetrating China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and becoming the largest beer exporter to Vietnam.
S&P also boasts vast real estate holdings from New Jersey and Rhode Island to Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois. In California, the company owns numerous shopping centers, warehouses, and apartment complexes. With more than 500 tenants, S&P rakes in $18.5 million a year in rent payments.
Consistent with Mr. Paul's controlling style, the company has no middle management. Between the three veeps, Orsi, Issleib, and Bitting, and the line employees -- whether they be brewers, apartment managers, or whatever -- there is no one. Mr. Paul's old post, the president's slot, is vacant and will probably remain so into the foreseeable future.
Filling the space left by Mr. Paul would certainly be a massive undertaking. Mercurial, controlling, and mean-spirited, he could also indulge in sentimentality. Once, after watching the movie Patton he was seized by a fit of patriotism. He cut a $500,000 check to West Point in honor of the general.
His eccentric temper and his parsimony were also legendary. Former employees remember him yanking scores of phones out of the wall and throwing them out the window of his Paradise Cay office into the bay. The reason? One former employee explained that the notoriously litigious Mr. Paul had to communicate with lawyers frequently. But he hated having no record of the call to compare to the billings his legal eagles would send him. So instead of phones, he installed faxes, and he banned conventional phones from the office. Every time he would catch his employees installing a line, he'd rip and toss. It is said that if the bay were dredged off Paradise Cay, hundreds of phones would be found.
When it came to business, Mr. Paul was a full-fledged control freak. Testifying in court, Orsi remembered how the S&P offices were set up so that his boss could see everyone at all times. "He never closed doors," Orsi said. "Jack Miller [Mr. Paul's right-hand man who died in the early '80s] was always within his sight. I was always in earshot."
Orsi continued: "He ran everything. He made all the decisions. The price rates, labor costs. Instigation of litigation. No discussion. Response to litigation. No discussion."
Questioning Mr. Paul's judgment? "You would approach that advisably," Orsi said.
Mr. Paul wanted his associates close to him at all times, Orsi added. "Some assistants would sleep there overnight," he said. "Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week."
When he bought Pabst, Orsi said, Mr. Paul fired the brewery's administrative staff in three weeks and had a three-story office building emptied of all its documents, which were sent to Tiburon.
Orsi testified that Mr. Paul would oversee every financial transaction the company made. "He wrote every S&P check," he said. "He would prepare a journal, send it to the controller. He was three frustrated things: a frustrated accountant, a frustrated attorney, and a frustrated doctor."
A typical day with Mr. Paul would begin early in the morning. New business would end at 2 p.m. Lunch at Joe's in Corte Madera was mandatory duty. Household matters would be dealt with after lunch. And after dinner, Mr. Paul would retire to his office and balance the S&P books, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. "He would not stop until the books were 'to the penny,' " Orsi told the court. "He would say, 'If they are off by a penny, they could be off by $5 million.' "
No doubt, Mr. Paul was all business. He had no hobbies, other than yachting, his friends and associates say. He consumed his life with commerce. Lydia miscarried once and the couple never had a child. They poured all their familial love into their pets.
Throughout his life, Mr. Paul struggled with family, both the concept and the reality. It's more than a little telling that he had his pets -- Pete and Marsha, the German shepherds; and Lady Kitty, the cat -- interred in diminutive sarcophagi next to him and his wife. The pets also received cash bequests in the will (money for their conservation) while many relatives didn't get a dime.
Some of Mr. Paul's litigious relatives think the conflict stems from the Holocaust where he lost his two brothers. "It's harder to survive," says his nephew Stanley Kalmanovitz during a break in court proceedings.
When asked about family, Mr. Paul had a standard speech, Orsi testified. "He described his family as nonexistent," he recalled in court. "He said he went back there after the war and they had all been wiped out. He must have told that story in my presence three hundred times."
The defendants stress that Mr. Paul made a big deal out of having no family.
"Mr. Paul always told me: 'Lutz, stay away from your relatives. They're no good. If you want to get rid of them, loan them money. They'll never show up again because they don't want to pay you back,' " Issleib told Forbes in May.
The contention by the defendants that Mr. Paul had ambivalence or outright hostility for his relatives is somewhat self-serving. The more they can convince the court that Mr. Paul disdained his family, the easier it will be to explain why they got so little from his estate when he died.
But there's ample evidence that Mr. Paul did care about his Polish relatives -- at least at one time.
Immediately after WWII, Mr. Paul made passionate attempts to salvage what remnants of the Kalmanovitz family remained after the Holocaust -- even the defense's own witnesses testified to that.
[Mrs. Kalmanovitz] told me that [Mr. Paul] was very upset about what happened to his family in the camps," former Kalmanovitz cook Leslie Cross testified. "She said he was very anxious to get on the first flight into Poland to see about them."
When Mr. Paul arrived in Poland in 1946, he learned from his sister-in-law Alma that his brothers, Leon and Joseph, had died in Auschwitz. But he also learned that Sonia and Stanley Kalmanovitz, Joseph's teen-age children, had survived the camps.
Sonia was in love and wanted to stay in Europe, but Stanley wanted to come to America. Mr. Paul arranged for Stanley to get a visa, and he arrived in New York the year after the war ended. Mr. Paul's business partner, Nathan Sherry, met the skinny, chain-smoking 15-year-old and bought him a suit. The two then went to eat and Stanley, holding up his too-big underwear, learned that Americans ate corn. "I thought it was for just animals," Stanley said in court.
Later that night, Stanley was awakened by Mr. Paul, who looked at the numerals tattooed on his arm and cried.
The next day, Mr. Paul began educating his teen-age charge about America. Riding in a cab, Stanley mentioned that all Americans must be rich. "He told the cab driver to take us to the worst part of town, and he showed me the beggars," Stanley said in court. " 'That's lesson one,' he told me."
Then Mr. Paul threw the ratty bag Stanley was carrying out the window of the cab.
In Memphis the next day, Stanley continued his tutelage. Mr. Paul walked up to a desk clerk at a hotel and asked for a room. Told the inn was full, he walked to the end of a hall and looked at Stanley. "This is lesson number two," he said. He took a bill out of his wallet, slipped it in his palm, and after a quick handshake with the desk clerk, the two had a room.
By the end of the week, Stanley was ensconced in Tarzana, Calif., at Sleepy Hollow ranch, the home Mr. Paul had bought from the actor Robert Young. He soon went to work in Mr. Paul's Hollywood nightclubs.
Last month, Stanley, now 64, sat in Marin County court trying to convince Judge Dufficy that he wasn't the only thing Mr. Paul brought back from Europe. He and the other plaintiffs in the family-jewels case say Mr. Paul brought back $1 million in jewels and gold, too.
During lunch breaks in the family-jewels trial, Stanley Kalmanovitz goes out to the patio on the top floor of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Courthouse and soaks in the sun. There by the fountain, wearing his sunglasses, he drops hints, makes accusations, and plays the perfect Iago to my Othello.
"They bled this thing," he says, referring to the trustees and the estate. "Check the medication he was on [when he signed his last will]. Surely, he was on painkillers. He was in such pain."
He continues: "Here's a clue for you. Go to Colma and check the mausoleum. They say it cost six million dollars. But I'll bet it cost one million dollars."
They pocketed the rest? "Yeah," he says. "This guy here did." Just then one of the trustees walks by.
One gets used to this sort of thing hanging around the Kalmanovitz relatives. Wild accusations, unprovable calumny are their stock and trade. They traffic in it they way S&P traffics in cheap ale.
The claims that they've chosen to lay out in court papers are only a few degrees less fantastic. Stanley, who lives in Tel Aviv, along with two cousins from Poland, Karol and Pawel Kalmanovitz, and a sister, Sonia Rollbant from France, are asking the court to believe that Mr. Paul unearthed a $1 million family treasure from a cemetery plot in 1946 and transported it to America.
They further allege that the jewels were stolen from Mr. Paul's Los Angeles home in 1948 and that their erstwhile uncle was awarded $1 million from an unnamed insurance company. That money, the plaintiffs say, was poured into the budding Kalmanovitz beer dynasty.
The basic claims about the jewelry, why and where it was buried and how Mr. Paul came to have it, were told in court by Alma Kalmanovitz, the tycoon's sister-in-law.
Now 90, Alma still lives in Lodz, Poland. Her deposition, contained in seven hours of videotape, was played in court. Visibly feisty, and sometimes sobbing, Alma tells a riveting story.
In 1939, the Kalmanovitz family in Poland -- Alma and her husband, Mr. Paul's brother Leon -- feared losing their wealth to the Nazis. She testified that before the invasion the family converted its wealth -- the proceeds of a textile firm and other family businesses -- into gold bars, diamonds, rubies, pearls, Russian gold rubles, U.S. dollars, and German gold marks before the Nazi invasion.
The day before the Nazis locked the Jews into the Lodz ghetto, she and her family buried the jewels between two family plots in a local cemetery.
She said family members wrapped the treasure in cloth and stored it in a wooden box. "If we do not survive," Alma recalled her husband saying, "tell this to the oldest surviving person, and the ones left will divide it."
Growing emotional, Alma recalled how Leon was forced into the Jewish ghetto after the Nazi invasion. Being of German descent, Alma and her sons, Karol and Pawel, were spared. But they would ride the streetcar past the ghetto twice a week and see Leon, standing on the edge of the encampment. One day, she said, he was not there. After the war, she learned he had died in Auschwitz.
In 1946, Alma said, Mr. Paul flew to Poland and accompanied her, Pawel, and Karol to the cemetery in Lodz, where they dug up the treasure. There, they struck an agreement: Fearing the Communists as much as they had the Nazis, the Kalmanovitz family would allow Mr. Paul to keep the jewels and redistribute them back to the relatives in Poland once it was safe to do so.
"I had the presence of mind to bring a cover, a suitcase, and we put the box in the suitcase," she said. "A lot of people were in the cemetery, and we were afraid of the Communist police. We were lucky that we got out of the cemetery."
Afterward, she said, the two boys took turns carrying the load to a horse-drawn taxi and then to Mr. Paul's hotel room.
"I was overjoyed," she said of Mr. Paul's successful trip back to the U.S. with the jewels. "I would never have gotten anything out of this in a Communist country." She never got anything out of it anyway, she and the other relatives say.
The trustees and their attorneys dismiss the story of the family jewels as pure hogwash. Racing down a courthouse hallway on his way to conduct direct examination of a witness, Michael Schwarz, an attorney for the trustees, gives a frank assessment of the plaintiffs' case: "It's utter bullshit."
California Deputy Attorney General Yeoryios Apallas, who joined the defense to protect the proceeds of the Kalmanovitz charitable trust, employed more florid tones to dismiss the claim filed by the Kalmanovitz relatives.
"The story of the buried treasure ... belongs more in an adventure book than in a courtroom," Apallas wrote in his opening brief to Judge Dufficy. "To accept any of the plaintiffs' elaborate, self-serving, and totally undocumented story requires the trier of fact to suspend disbelief, enter a world which only Indiana Jones calls home, and join him in search of the Kalmanovitz buried treasure."
Indeed, there are many holes in the plaintiffs' case. First off, insurance companies did not insure loose jewelry back in the 1940s. In fact, they are wary of doing it today. According to Robert L. Wilkinson, an insurance expert called to the stand by the defense, even if a company would have been bold enough to insure the treasure it would have insisted that the jewels be kept in a safe-deposit box in a bank.
Also, the defense sent Norman Naimark, the chair of the history department at Stanford, to Poland to conduct historical research, and he testified that he could find no references in any of the social registers or other historical documents to confirm that the Kalmanovitz family was wealthy enough to amass a million dollars in wealth, which in 1939 would have equaled one-thirtieth of all the gold in Poland.
But most damning is the fact that the plaintiffs can produce no objective documentary evidence that the jewels ever existed, that Paul and Lydia Kalmanovitz ever acknowledged receiving the jewels, or that there was any insurance payment.
Plaintiffs allege that Lydia wrote a letter to Alma in 1987 in which she promised to include a cash bequest in her will to cover the jewels. But, they are quick to add, Alma destroyed the letter.
The defense scoffs at the missing letter, asking why Alma saved all the scores of other letters Lydia Kalmanovitz sent her and destroyed this one.
Stanley Kalmanovitz doesn't think it's funny. "Have you ever lived under communism?" he asks me when I inquire about the letter. "Do you know what it's like to hide everything that is of value to you that the government could take?"
Countering the defense charge that the 1987 letter is a fiction, the plaintiffs produced a surprise witness, Lena Kowalik, a former cook at the Kalmanovitz household who said Lydia told her about the jewels. Kowalik, who quit her job and was denied when she asked for it back, is lying, according to defense lawyers.
To support the claim that there was an insurance payment after the 1948 robbery, Karl Kalmanovitz took the stand and said, simply, that Mr. Paul told him so when he visited his uncle in 1958.
"It's almost too cute how they always produce some convenient fiction whenever there is a hole in their story to fill," Schwarz says in a phone interview.
For weeks, Sharon Hegseth, Stanley Kalmanovitz's daughter, told me the story of the Waco-style raid on her house by process servers with a subpoena from the California Attorney General's Office. Each telling grew more dramatic. Men with bullhorns yelling, "Come out and no one will get hurt." Men crawling over her roof, banging on her windows and walls, blocking her driveway with their cars.http://www.sfweekly.com/1995-09-20/news ... ly-jewels/http://www.sfweekly.com/1995-09-20/news ... ly-jewels/