Berta Hirsch

Hirsch family
Hermann and Berta Hirsch with their two daughters Esther and Lore (LEA BEG 9883)
“Clinking glass, weeping children, and cries for help. Before I realized what was going on, two Nazis I didn’t know were standing in front of me.
“One of them had a riding whip in his hand, and they drove me out of the house with savage insults.
“Heavy stones were already flying through the windows of my villa… There was shouting and destruction. Shards of glass by the thousands were piling up all over.”

Berta Hirsch, 1963

Berta Hirsch was married to Hermann Hirsch, who served as religious leader, cantor, and teacher for the Jewish community of Coburg. Together they built up one of the most respected Jewish boarding schools for boys in Germany in the 1920s. Then when Jewish children were forced to leave the public schools in 1935, the boarding school was converted into a non residential elementary school.

In the 1920s, the family had already come to the attention of the Coburg Nazis. Hermann Hirsch was imprisoned and mistreated in 1933, and again on “Reichsprogromnacht”. Subsequently he spent several months in prison in Hof.

During this time Berta Hirsch organized the family’s emigration, and in 1939 they managed to escape to Palestine.

There Hermann Hirsch took over management of another boarding school. After his death in 1942, Berta Hirsch continued this work for a while. Then in 1944 she founded her own children’s home for refugee children, in Nahariya, which she ran together with her daughter Esther.

Prof. Dr. Gaby Franger