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

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World War II Marine

Compiled from notes by Judy Lanskey

Judy is a niece by marriage and was raised by Robert George Stagg, née Hans Georg Hirschland (1921-1970), a son of Dr. Fritz Hirschland. Judy has shared these recollections with us:

My uncle was in the Marines, I believe, until he was 29 and although I was quite young when he told us these stories, I know that he wanted to be a career soldier. Because he was German, the military sent him to Japan instead of Germany and he had his back broken there. He knew some of the guys that are in the statute of Iwo Jima. He was given a silver star and a purple heart and an honorable discharge. It was after his discharge that he attended NYU. (Note that Hans is the only Hirschland we found a record of who served in the US Military during WWII. Charles Hannam, née Karl Hirschland, served in the Britsh military, but was also kept out of the European theater.) 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

Hirschland Art

By Victoria Hess  — Posted Feb. 9, 2011

When I was a child, my mother used to take me regularly into New York City to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was fascinated, when  as she pointed out to me as we walked up the grand staircase to the second floor painting galleries, that my grandparents’ names were carved into the walls of that staircase. I never learned what they gave to the museum to deserve such recognition, but it must have been big to be carved in stone: smaller gifts, I knew, such as one by our father, merited smaller recognition, like life-time memberships. A search of the MMA database shows 102 items under the name Hirschland. 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

Survival in Dusseldorf

Contributed by M. Hirschland, Victoria Hess, and Daniel Kester

M.’s words: Our family history is not very spectacular. As I have been told, my grandfather (a Jew) died in a hospital (in 1935) in a mysterious way. He had problems with his stomach, and went in for a check up. My Aunt Ilse visited him and he was ok. Yet when she arrived home, there was a small handwritten note that she should return immediately to the hospital. When she arrived there, her father, my grandfather, was dead. No one was able to say what happened. Continue Reading