Walter & Ruth’s Escape

Contributed by Dan Olson … October 9, 2010

Tree:   Salomon Herz Hirschland (one of the three original brothers) >>Salomon Hirschland >>Levi Hirschland >>Otto Hirschland >>Walter Leo Hirschland (and Ruth).. >>Sandra Lee Hirschland Olson >>Daniel Olson

Otto’s son, Walter Hirschland (my grandfather, Opa). He left Germany in the late 1930’s with his girlfriend … (my grandmother, Oma, Ruth Kapizky). They went to England, where she had family (an uncle?) who ran a chemistry lab. They gave Walter a job as a janitor in the lab while he awaited the paperwork for his application to go to America. By mistake, he disposed of some chemicals in the incinerator, and they exploded. As a result, he spent a bit of time in the hospital.

Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. wikipedia

At one point during the war, England decided to kick out all the Germans who were temporarily residing there. While Walter was in the hospital, he received both the notice to leave England and the paperwork to go to America. He and Ruth went to the American Embassy to get everything in order. Walter’s hope was to go to America alone, then, once he had established himself, bring Ruth over to marry. He was informed the only way she would ever be allowed to America was if they were married in England, and if they went over together. Walter asked where the closest place was they could marry, and the ambassador volunteered to perform the ceremony. That was Joseph Kennedy. Continue Reading

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On Tracing the Hirschland Family Tree

Contributed by Victoria Hirschland Hess — October 2, 2010

I set up this Hirschland family group after meeting my second cousins here in Jackson Hole last month, I recognized that there was so many more Hirschlands than we realized, even with the almost 300 descendants of Isaac Hirschland that Henry Hirschland identified. I became inspired to track down lost Hirschlands, and learn their stories.

Two versions of the Hirschland Family ring. Do you have one too?

But we don’t know much about the broken branches Hirschland family. The descendents of Simon Hirschland’s siblings — Levi, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Goltchen — were not recorded on the available family trees. So imagine my joy (and sorrow) when Karrie Hirschland Sundbom wrote me after I started to find Hirschlands on Facebook. In her words:

Unfortunately I personally do not know which of the Essen Hirschlands we are descended from. My great grandfather was Otto Hirschland and he was married to Lily. They were taken into Dachau I believe the day before they were to emigrate to England and then America to meet their child, Walter (my grandfather) and sadly never made it out. Walter and his fiancee (my grandmother Ruth) made it to America sponsored by Frank or Franz Hirschland … I would love it if you knew how we could trace Otto into the Hirschland family. All we know is that they (we) are Essen Hirschlands!

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Starting with the family

Last Updated 2010

In 1808 the Jews of Steinheim, Germany, were required to choose family names. One family chose the name Hirschland and the name is so rare that virtually everyone in the world with an ancestor named Hirschland (or Hirshland) is part of the family. The first Hirschlands were Herz Solomon, Jonas, and Markus.

In September, 2010, we met some second cousins who we had not previously met, and this web site, and a greatly expanded family tree produced by Daniel Kester, are the result of that meeting. A cousin asked me why I was doing this, and I started to tell him a long answer about this meeting and how exciting it was to meet so much family. When he interrupted me and asked again, I said, “Because I can.” How many reasons does one need to follow a family story? Continue Reading