Else Hirsch: Difference between revisions

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Born in [[Bützow]], [[Schwerin]], Hirsch came from [[Berlin]] to Bochum at the end of 1926 and lived with her mother. She had taken her teaching exam to qualify as a teacher of older children, but was unemployed and was assigned (and required) to teach at the Jewish school. She was initially less than pleased with this, but soon threw herself into her work.<ref name="city">[http://www.bochum.de/C125708500379A31/vwContentByKey/W27FWG9W912BOLDDE Biography of Else Hirsch]. City of Bochum official website. Retrieved 24 April 24, 2010 {{de icon}}</ref> In her free time, Hirsch worked at the Bochum Jewish Women's Club and gave [[Hebrew language|Hebrew]] lessons to girls, until these activities were denied her by the Nazis in autumn 1933. <ref name="city" /><ref name="Finketal">Karin Finkbohner, Betti Helbing, Carola Horn, Anita Krämer, Astrid Schmidt-Ritter, Kathy Vowe. ''Wider das Vergessen — Widerstand und Verfolgung Bochumer Frauen und Zwangsarbeiterinnen 1933 – 1945'', pgs. 62-63. Europäischer Universitätsverlag; ISBN 9783932329623 {{de icon}}</ref>
In October 1937, she took a course in [[English language|English]] at the [[Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden]] in [[Berlin]] in order to be able to give English lessons to those who might be able to emigrate. She travelled to [[British Mandate of Palestine|Palestine]] in June 1938, probably to contact the [[Youth Aliyah]].<ref name="Finketal" />
On 11 November 1938, [[Reichskristallnacht]], the Bochum synagogue was burned down.<ref>[http://www.vosizneias.com/13238/2007/12/16/bochum-germany-new-synagogue/ "Bochum, Germany - New synagogue Inaugurated Nearly 70 Years After Kristallnacht"]. ''The Voice of the Orthodox Jewish Community'' (16 December 2007). Retrieved 24 April 2010</ref> The Jewish school was also destroyed by the [[Sturmabteilung|SA]]. Afterward, all of the official representatives of the Jewish community were deported. Hirsch fought to have the Jewish school reopened, but it stayed open only for a short while.<ref name="city" /> Hirsch began to organize transports for children and adolescents in arrangement with the Jewish Reichsvertretung. Between December 1938 and August 1939, she organized ten [[Kindertransport|children's transport]]s to the Netherlands and England.<ref name="city" /><ref name="Finketal" /> Hirsch took care of all the travel preparations, filling out lengthy forms, registering the children, gathering required documents, sending papers to [[London]], securing exit visas, reserving seating on the trains, buying the tickets and staying in close touch with the parents.<ref name="city" />
She stayed with the remaining pupils as the only Jewish teacher until the school was closed in September 1941. Emigration for Jews was prohibited after 1941.<ref name="city" /><ref name="Finketal" /> In late January 1942, Hirsch and some of her pupils were deported into the [[Riga ghettoGhetto]]. A surviving pupil reports that for a short while, she continued to teach children. She also organized meals for weakened people and the elderly.<ref name="Finketal" /> The last time when the surviving student saw her, she was collecting [[nettle]]s and [[dandelion]] leaves to cook as a vegetable for the seniors.<ref name="city" /> Hirsch was deported to the Riga Ghetto, where she was killed in 1942 or 1943.<ref name="city" />