German Youth, 1918-1945. Life Stories Highlighted

Karl and his mother Gertrude Hirschland, from http://www.jugend1918-1945.de/

A recently posted project of life histories of German youth who grew up during National Socialism features the story of our cousin, Charles Hannam, nee Karl Hirschland. We previously told Charles’ story here and here.

The German Youth site is in German, but is roughly  translated by Google through using the Chrome browser.  Here is the full link to cut and paste into Chrome.

The Youth site itself is worth browsing for the heartrending stories of other young people in Germany from World War I through World War II.

Much thanks to Fabio for this link, whose contemporary photos of Essen are featured here.

Rotterdam Resistance

from Annemarie den Hartog,
Frits Hirschland’s cousin

My uncle Herbert Hirschland and his brother Rudy came to the Netherlands before the war started because of the rise of Adolf Hitler. Frits’ father, my Uncle Herbert, hide from the Germans in both my grandparents’ houses. He hid in The Hague (in a basement). My grandfather (Leen Boender, my father’s dad), was a member of the resistance in Rotterdam. He helped Jews with false passports and food stamps (ration coupons?). Uncle Herbert lived in their house in 1943/45, and before that he he lived in a chicken house.

Rotterdam after the 1940 Blitz. Photo from Wikipedia.

Continue Reading

Mystery Hirschlands

1865 Emigrants

Our research left some loose ends, and raises the question about whether the Steinham Hirschlands are the only ones who adopted this name. We have two clues: one of a group of Baptisms near Berlin in the late 18th century and another of a group of Hirschlands who emigrated to the US in 1865. We can’t seem to trace either one to the Steinham family, which leads us to believe that the name may have been used by others. We are looking for answers. Continue Reading

A Hirschland Hallmark Moment

contributed by Michael & Danie Reisner


My grandmother’s (Elizabeth) father, Wilhelm Marx, owned a substantial printing concern in Munich. My grandfather Hans worked in that business.

In addition, Hans’ father-in-law, Solomon Archenhold, had owned a factory in Wetzlar/Ehringshausen, Germany, that manufactured meat grinding equipment for butchers. In the first world war, the factory was turned into a munitions factory. Continue Reading

The Sinking of the ZamZam

by Victoria Hirschland Hess — comment added Feb. 6, 2012

The story of the Zamzam and how six-year-old Peter Levitt, his sister Wendy, and their mother Kathleen (nee Hirschland) survived its being shelled and captured by a German Raider in 1941 could be just another sad WWII story. Yet our cousins survived the sinking and the almost a year and a half of imprisonment afterwards, finally traveling from Liebenau, Germany, to Palestine, as part of a prisoner exchange, and eventually to a delayed reunion with their father and husband, Lionel Levitt, in South Africa. Continue Reading

Harrison: Tarantara

By Victoria Hess and Joan Meijer — Added January 10, 2011

For the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of  the Isaac Hirschland line, the house that Franz and Gula Hirschland built on Kenilworth Road in Harrison, NY, was the center of a universe. The 22-room mansion in this tony part of Westchester County had rolling green lawns, an apple orchard, a tennis court, a lily pond, and stately old-world charm. It was where our grandparents lived out their lives, and many family members who fled Germany came to start theirs again in the United States. The family stayed close, with many settling nearby, and even those who left returning to visit until both Gonnie and Papa were gone. Continue Reading

More on South America

From Victoria

Though we do not yet have stories from the other members of our family that took up residence in South America.  I understand from the Nathans that their family textile business included a branch in Buenos Aires. I have also been told that some of the banking members of the family had offices in that area. A look at the Hirschland Map shows that we have identified records of family member in Brazil, Argentina, and Chili. Yet we have not been in touch with most of them, and would love to hear their stories.

Recently, Daniel received an email from a family member of Kurt Rosenbaum, a Communist party member of the German Reichstag. Although it was thought that he disappeared in 1937, Daniel was told that Kurt and his wife had actually emigrated to Bolivia in 1943.

From Sigrun: Kurt Rosenbaum,  was the husband of my father’s aunt ( Hedwig Steiner, during the war she had the name : Sarah Rosenbaum). In 1942 she traveled alone (Tran-Siberian Railway, then by ship across the Pacific) to Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her husband Kurt Rosenbaum followed her, maybe 1 year later. They lived in Cochabamba with other Germans  cannot tell you whatwork they did for living. I only can tell you, that Kurt Rosenbaum lived safely in Cochabamba. The couple later divorced.  They had no children.