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Ernst Bloch Collection

Identifier: AR 219 / MF 692 / MF 998

Scope and Content Note

Clippings; photos; obituaries; article by Bloch: "Heimat und Friede" on patriotism.

Correspondence between Ernst Bloch and Max and Helene Hirschler (Hirshler).

See inventory.


  • 1934-1980


Language of Materials

This collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection has been digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Part of collection is microfilmed - use MF 998 and MF 692.

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

Only individual letters can be photocopied; no wholesale copying.

Biographical Note

Ernst Bloch was born in Ludwigshafen in 1885. His parents were Max Bloch, a railroad official, and his wife, Berta (nee Feitel). He studied philosophy in Munich and Wuerzburg, and worked as a private tutor and journalist in Berlin and Heidelberg. In 1913, he married Else von Stritzky. He lost his German citizenship in 1933 and immigrated to Switzerland, where he had also stayed during World War I. Between 1934 and 1938, he lived in Prague. In 1938, he immigrated to New York. In 1948, he returned to Germany and accepted a teaching position at the University of Leipzig. He left Leipzig shortly before the wall was built between East and West Berlin and accepted a professorship in Tuebingen. He died in Tuebingen in 1977.

Max Hirschler was born in Frankenthal in 1886. He studied medicine in Graz, Vienna, and Munich. During his residence at the Breslau University Hospital he met his future wife, Helene Riess, who was an intern there. They got married in 1915, while Max served as a medical doctor in World War I. The couple settled in Ludwigshafen, where his parents lived. Max opened a medical practice in 1919/1920, specializing in general surgery; Helene opened her own practice, specializing in pediatrics, in 1920. Their son Ernst Erich was born in 1924.

In 1935, Max and Helene Hirschler immigrated to the US. Once they had obtained a re-entry permit, they came back to Germany. They returned to the US in November 1938 with their son Ernst Erich. In 1945, when they became American citizens, the family changed its name to Hirshler. Ernst Erich name's was changed to Eric E.

Max openend a practice in Lewiston, Maine. Helene worked in his office as a nurse, but never took the required internship or examinations to resume her medical career. Instead, she taught languages (German, Latin, French, and Italian) at Bates College and privately.

Max Hirshler died in 1963, his wife Helene in 1977.

Eric E. Hirshler became an art historian. He taught at several universities and also served as the executive assistant of the URO and as assistant director Leo Baeck Institute in the 1950s.

Max Hirshler was a close friend of Ernst Bloch’s. They had been classmates in Ludwigshafen. Bloch was a year older, but had to repeat a class and, therefore, ended up being in the same class as Max Hirshler. They remained life-long friends. After Hirshler had opened his practice in Lewiston, he contributed to Bloch's living expenses while Bloch was in the U.S.

Helene Hirshler was an old and life-long friend of the conductor Otto Klemperer. The Klemperer correspondence with the Hirshler family is on deposit at the Music Division of the Library of Congress.


27 Folders

0.5 Linear Feet


Clippings; photos; obituaries; article by Bloch: "Heimat und Friede" on patriotism.

Other Finding Aid

3 Catalog Cards (lists the content of folder 1)

Synospsis of Correspondence (Addenda 1) in file.


Folders 1-21 are available on 1 reel of microfilm (MF 998).

Folders 22-23 are available on 1 reel of microfilm (MF 692).

Separated Material

Photographs have been removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.

Guide to the Ernst Bloch Collection, 1934-1980 AR 219 / MF 692 / MF 998
Processed by LBI Staff
© 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States