2. Beekman Tower, Manhattan – Nazi Sympathizer Meets his End

Beekman Tower-United Nations-East SIde-3 Mitchell Place-Fritz Gebhardt-Vera Stretz-NYC

This 26-floor brick hotel at 3 Mitchell Place near the UN, finished just before the onset of the Great Depression, has all the hallmarks of the exuberant Art Deco style. Bold symmetrical lines extend the length of each side, ending in a step pyramid roof composed of strong geometrical shapes.

Beekman Tower was intended for ex-sorority girls, but somehow the Nazi-sympathizer (and personal friend of Hermann Goring) Fritz Gebhardt wrangled an apartment in 1935, putting him just two floors above ex-girlfriend Vera Stretz. Vera loved him but was leaving for Paris soon “to forget”; still, she would come up and nurse him during his frequent attacks of abdominal pain. Having summoned her one night under this pretense, Fritz raped her and then, worse yet, demanded fellatio. Oral sex was a felony in New York State at the time; Vera’s lawyer argued that by shooting Fritz with his own gun, she had forestalled her own complicity in a serious crime. The jury acquitted her on all counts.