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.

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The Hannams

posted Dec. 9, 2010

The tree:  Salomon Herz Hirschland (one of the three original brothers) >> Levi Hirschland >> Joseph Hirschland >> Max Hirschland  >> Karl Hirschland (now Charles Hannam)

Charles Hannam was born Karl Hirschland in Essen in 1925. He lived there until he left in May, 1939. He was the son of Max Hirschland, owner of the Levi Hirschland Bank, and had an older (by five-years) sister named Margot.

Charles’ First Book

Karl grew up in a privileged life, though not as much as the children of the Simon Hirschland Bank owners. The Levi Hirschland Bank had fallen on hard times during the economic crisis following WWI, so much so that at least one historian has said that it went under. But family historians, as well as Charles in his book on his early life, A Boy in that Situation, differ. The bank still operated well into the 1930s, and Karl was being groomed to be a banker.

Karl grew up going to Services at what is now called the Alte Synagogue (built with funding from Simon Hirschland and others), but was not terribly observant at home. Ham and other sausages were a regular part of his diet. Continue Reading

Kinder Transport — Margot & Karl’s Story

Last updated Oct. 20, 2010

Margo Hirschland Panofsky

Tree:   Salomon Herz Hirschland (one of the three original brothers) >>Levi Hirschland >>Joseph Hirschland >>Max Hirschland >>Margot Hirschland Panofsky

Margot Hirschland, and her brother, Karl (later taking the name Charles), fled Essen on the kindertransport in 1939. What follows is a detailed history Margot provided the Essen Old Synagoge in 1988 and 1992. Margo died in 2008. Her brother is still alive and the author of several books about his experiences.

The English translation is a combined effort of IGoogle’s translate page, my limited German and help with the idioms from my friend Patricia Linderman. I hope to be adding some comments from my correspondant about his step-grandmother’s experience. — Victoria Hess

Translated from the Archive of the Alte Synagoge, letter of Margot Hirschland Panofsky (1988)

Auf Deutsch

My father, MAX HIRSCHLAND, was a banker, and after the death of his brother, Louis H., sole owner of the bank company LEVI HIRSCHLAND. This bank, which was founded in 1840 by my great-grandfather, Levi H., was located, as well as the much larger bank, Simon Hirschland on Lindenallee. Continue Reading