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Albert F. Hirsch Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 1187

Scope and Content Note

The collection is arranged in two series.

Series I comprises material that is related to Albert F. Hirsch, his father Isaak and his brother Leopold. This series provides rather scarce biographical information about Albert Hirsch and his family.

Series II contains documents pertaining to the Philanthropin's history and Hirsch's project of a commemorative book for the Philanthropin school. The material allows for a closer investigation of the school's history, particularly the hardships its pupils and its personnel faced under the Nazi regime.

Dates

  • 1880-1991
  • Majority of material found within 1930s-1960s

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

Historical Notes

Albert Hirsch Albert Hirsch was born on August 9th, 1888, in Frankfurt am Main. After his Abitur in 1908, Hirsch went to the University of Munich. In 1912, he left the University with a PhD in literature. After World War I, Hirsch passed the examination for higher teaching (French, German and Latin). From 1919 to 1933 he was a teacher at the Woehler Realgymnasium in Frankfurt. He had to give up this post in 1933 due to the Nazi regime’s new laws on Jewish civil servants.

In 1925, Albert Hirsch married Lilly Hock with whom he had two children. Their daughter Hanna was born in 1926 and their son Rudolph was born two years later. Since 1934, Hirsch was a teacher at the Philanthropin School in Frankfurt (see below) and from April 1st, 1937, to August, 1939, Hirsch was its director. After the pogroms in November 1938, Hirsch, just like all other male faculty and pupils aged 16 or older were interned in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Here, his health suffered severely, thus he had to spend some time in a hospital.

On August 16th, Hirsch and his family emigrated to England, where he and his wife were wardens at the Birmingham Hostel for Refugee Boys, a facility founded by the Christaldelphian Church. For undisclosed reasons, Hirsch and his family immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1946. From 1946 onwards, Hirsch was Professor of Foreign Languages at Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa.

Philanthropin School The Philanthropin was founded in 1804 by a society in support of a Schul- und Erziehungsanstalt fuer arme juedische Kinder (a schooling and education facility for poor Jewish children) in Frankfurt am Main. Leading amongst the founders of the society was Siegmund Geisenheimer, a clerk of the banker Amschel Rothschild. The society called their educational facility Juedisches Philanthropin and declared Aufklaerung und Humanitaet (Enlightenment and Humanity) to be their guiding principles. While the school's main focus was on poor Jewish children, the school's enlightened principles soon attracted children from other social strata. In 1810, the school opened a separate school for girls. Up until the Jewish Equal Treatment Act of 1864, the Philanthropin was the most important Jewish school in Frankfurt. As this act granted access to all schools for Jewish children, the Philanthropin lost a lot of its clientele to the orthodox Realschule der Israelitischen Glaubensgemeinschaft and to other schools. It was not until the 1920s that the school began to thrive again. Under headmaster Otto Driesen, the school developed into a Schulwerk (a complex assemblage of different types of schools) consisting of facilities for higher and intermediate education for both girls and boys.

In 1933, with the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentum), one of the very first administrative steps to exacerbate Jewish life in Germany by the Nazi regime, the first problems for the Philanthropin emerged. As Jewish students who intended to become teachers could not participate in the state's teacher training programs anymore – and could neither become teachers in general – Driesen initiated the school's own teacher training course. In 1937, Driesen resigned and Albert F. Hirsch became headmaster. During the Nazi regime, the school became one of the centers in Frankfurt where Jewish cultural life could still be maintained. The school also accommodated a lot of Jewish pupils who were either bullied out of the German schools or expelled.

From 1937 onwards, the school provided English lessons taught by a native speaker from England. Two members of staff, Ernst Marbach and Henry Philipp, died due to the damages caused to their health while interned in Buchenwald Concentration Camp after the pogroms of 1938. In 1939, the Philanthropin lost its status as a state school, due to further large-scale administrative repressions on Jewish life in Germany. The school was kept open until 1941, when its last principal, Hermann Freudenberger, and the remaining faculty were deported to concentration and extermination camps.

In 1939, Max Elk – former student at the Philanthropin – and others founded a school in Haifa, which was similar to the school in Frankfurt. They named it the Leo Baeck School. This school developed into today's Leo Baeck Education Center.

Albert Hirsch

Albert Hirsch was born on August 9th, 1888, in Frankfurt am Main. After his Abitur in 1908, Hirsch went to the University of Munich. In 1912, he left the University with a PhD in literature. After World War I, Hirsch passed the examination for higher teaching (French, German and Latin). From 1919 to 1933 he was a teacher at the Woehler Realgymnasium in Frankfurt. He had to give up this post in 1933 due to the Nazi regime’s new laws on Jewish civil servants.

In 1925, Albert Hirsch married Lilly Hock with whom he had two children. Their daughter Hanna was born in 1926 and their son Rudolph was born two years later. Since 1934, Hirsch was a teacher at the Philanthropin School in Frankfurt (see below) and from April 1st, 1937, to August, 1939, Hirsch was its director. After the pogroms in November 1938, Hirsch, just like all other male faculty and pupils aged 16 or older were interned in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Here, his health suffered severely, thus he had to spend some time in a hospital.

On August 16th, Hirsch and his family emigrated to England, where he and his wife were wardens at the Birmingham Hostel for Refugee Boys, a facility founded by the Christaldelphian Church. For undisclosed reasons, Hirsch and his family immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1946. From 1946 onwards, Hirsch was Professor of Foreign Languages at Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa.

<emph render="italic">Philanthropin</emph> School

The Philanthropin was founded in 1804 by a society in support of a Schul- und Erziehungsanstalt fuer arme juedische Kinder (a schooling and education facility for poor Jewish children) in Frankfurt am Main. Leading amongst the founders of the society was Siegmund Geisenheimer, a clerk of the banker Amschel Rothschild. The society called their educational facility Juedisches Philanthropin and declared Aufklaerung und Humanitaet (Enlightenment and Humanity) to be their guiding principles. While the school's main focus was on poor Jewish children, the school's enlightened principles soon attracted children from other social strata. In 1810, the school opened a separate school for girls. Up until the Jewish Equal Treatment Act of 1864, the Philanthropin was the most important Jewish school in Frankfurt. As this act granted access to all schools for Jewish children, the Philanthropin lost a lot of its clientele to the orthodox Realschule der Israelitischen Glaubensgemeinschaft and to other schools. It was not until the 1920s that the school began to thrive again. Under headmaster Otto Driesen, the school developed into a Schulwerk (a complex assemblage of different types of schools) consisting of facilities for higher and intermediate education for both girls and boys.

In 1933, with the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentum), one of the very first administrative steps to exacerbate Jewish life in Germany by the Nazi regime, the first problems for the Philanthropin emerged. As Jewish students who intended to become teachers could not participate in the state's teacher training programs anymore – and could neither become teachers in general – Driesen initiated the school's own teacher training course. In 1937, Driesen resigned and Albert F. Hirsch became headmaster. During the Nazi regime, the school became one of the centers in Frankfurt where Jewish cultural life could still be maintained. The school also accommodated a lot of Jewish pupils who were either bullied out of the German schools or expelled.

From 1937 onwards, the school provided English lessons taught by a native speaker from England. Two members of staff, Ernst Marbach and Henry Philipp, died due to the damages caused to their health while interned in Buchenwald Concentration Camp after the pogroms of 1938. In 1939, the Philanthropin lost its status as a state school, due to further large-scale administrative repressions on Jewish life in Germany. The school was kept open until 1941, when its last principal, Hermann Freudenberger, and the remaining faculty were deported to concentration and extermination camps.

In 1939, Max Elk – former student at the Philanthropin – and others founded a school in Haifa, which was similar to the school in Frankfurt. They named it the Leo Baeck School. This school developed into today's Leo Baeck Education Center.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet

Overview

This collection contains documents related to Albert Friedrich Hirsch, his family and the Philanthropin School in Frankfurt am Main, at which Hirsch was headmaster. Prominent topics are emigration and the school's fate under the Nazi regime as well as the attempts of its former pupils and faculty to stay in touch after 1945. The papers in this collection include some original material from the late 19th century through World War I and the "Third Reich" as well as several typescripts from the 1950s and 1960s that are related to a memorial book, which was eventually published in 1964.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series:

Related Material

The Leo Baeck Institute's Archives hold collections of Hermann Baerwald (AR 744), Hans Epstein (AR 6362), the Werner Jaffé Family (AR 6449), Karl Rosenthal (AR 909) and other individuals closely connected to the Philantropin school. The LBI Archives furthermore hold the Elk-Zernik Family Collection (AR 10835) from which further information about the Leo Baeck Schule in Haifa can be gathered. The Leo Baeck Institute's library holds several books and a periodical about the Philanthropin. The LBI's Photo Collection holds several photographs connected to the Philanthropin.

Separated Material

Three report cards of an Emil Simon, issued by the Real- und Volksschule der israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt a.M., were removed to the "Emil Simon Collection" (AR 11919). A medal was removed to the LBI Art Collection.

Processing Information

During processing, two formerly separate collections – the Albert F. Hirsch Collection (AR 1187) and the Philantropin School Collection (AR 385) – were combined to form this present one.

An agreement of sale between Isaak Hirsch and Leopold Stern from Series I was placed in an oversize folder. From Series II, score cards for two Philanthropin pupils were placed in an oversize folder. Several newspaper clippings from the 1930s and late 1950s as well as some programs related to school reunions were placed in an oversize folder.
Title
Guide to the Papers of Albert F. Hirsch 1880-1991 AR 1187
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Joern Esch
Date
© 2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from AlbertHirsch.xml

Revision Statements

  • May 14, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States