Once again I’ve been fortunate to connect with one of my fifth cousins, this time a great-grandson of Recha Goldschmidt and Alfred Schwarzschild. My fifth cousin Alan and I exchanged emails and chatted by Zoom earlier this week, and he has greatly enriched my understanding of his family history by sharing family stories and photographs.
Selig Goldschmidt’s third daughter Recha and her husband Alfred Schwarzschild were living a good life in Frankfurt with their three children as the twentieth century began. Here are some wonderful photographs of Recha and Alfred that my cousin Alan shared with me as well as a copy of their wedding invitation and menu:
Recha Goldschmidt Schwarzschild. Courtesy of the family.
Alfred Schwarzschild. Courtesy of the family
Recha and Alfred Schwarzschild. Courtesy of the family
This is a photograph of their daughter Clementine, Alan’s grandmother. It appears that this is a graduation photograph, taken perhaps in around 1906:
Clementine Schwarzschild c. 1906 Courtesy of the family
And here are their three children, Clementine, Robert, and Jacob, taken in around 1907:
Jacob, Robert, and Clementine Schwarzschild c. 1907
Sadly, their son Robert Meier Schwarzschild died as a young man, just 22, on July 12, 1909, in Frankfurt. Alan believes that he died from appendicitis.
Robert M Schwarzschild death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10651
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958
Recha and Alfred’s youngest child Clementine Schwarzschild married Zacharias Max Hackenbroch, son of Maximilian Hackenbroch and Getta Neuberger, on December 24, 1908, in Frankfurt; he was born on December 3, 1884, in Frankfurt.
Clementine Schwarzschild marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930
Zacharias Hackenbroch was, like his Goldschmidt in-laws, an art collector and dealer. Here are two photographs of him, one in uniform during World War I and one of him in his study. Zacharias received the Iron Cross for his service for Germany during the war and was at one point the attache to the Crown Prince of Germany, according to his grandson Alan.
Zacharias Hackenbroch Courtesy of the family
Zacharias Hackenbroch. Courtesy of the family
Clementine and Zacharias had three daughters. Lucie was born on May 17, 1910, Yvonne was born April 27, 1912, and Irene was born June 23, 1918. All were born in Frankfurt. This lovely photograph is of Clementine with her daughter Lucie, taken in 1910:
Clementine Schwarzschild Hackenbroch and her daughter Lucie Hackenbroch, c. 1910 Courtesy of the family
Here are two photographs of the Hackenbroch daughters, one of Irene Hackenbroch and one of Lucie and Yvonne:
Irene Hackenbroch c. 1922
Courtesy of the family
Lucie and Yvonne Hackenbroch. c. 1922 Courtesy of the family
This is a photograph of their home at Untermainkai 34 in Frankfurt before World War II:
In 1911, Recha and Alfred’s son Jacob Schwarzschild married Elsa Stern, his second cousin, as I discussed here. Jacob and Elsa had one child, Elizabeth, born in 1915, but their marriage did not last. They were divorced in 1920, and Jacob married his second wife, Sonja Hepner, in Rome, Italy later that year, and they had one child together, Robert Boris Schwarszchild, born October 20,1921. According to my cousin Alan, Sonja’s father was a very wealthy sugar merchant from Russia who escaped from that country after the Revolution.
Jakob Schwarzschild and Elsa Stern marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930
Recha Goldschmidt Schwarzschild died on March 3, 1929, in Frankfurt. She was sixty-five. Her husband Alfred Schwarzschild died on May 15, 1936, in Frankfurt. They were survived by their two surviving children, Jacob and Clementine.
Both Jacob and Clementine and their families escaped to England in about 1938.
Jacob Schwarzschild and his second wife Sonja Hepner were living in London in 1939, and Jacob was working as a stockbroker. Jacob (known as Jack in England) was interned for some time as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man, but released on September 19, 1940 and granted an exemption.
Jacob Schwarzschild enemy alien registration, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/195
Piece Number Description: 195: German Internees Released in UK 1939-1942: Schmil-Seer
Ancestry.com. UK, World War II Alien Internees, 1939-1945
Sonja died in England on September 9, 1950.
I didn’t know where Jack and Sonja’s son Robert Boris Schwarzschild (presumably named in part for his uncle Robert but known as Boris) was living in 1939 when the English census was taken, but Alan told me that Boris left Germany in about 1937 and went to school in Switzerland and later came to England and went to boarding school there, so he was not living with his parents in 1939. He served in the British army during World War II, fighting against his former homeland.
In 1947 Boris was living in England, using the name Robert Boris Shields. In 1955 he married Elizabeth Ullmann with whom he had two children. He and his family had moved to Canada by 1962 and were living in Ontario.
His father Jack died December 11, 1978, in England. He was 93 years old. Robert died in Canada in 2014.
Clementine Schwarzschild Hackenbroch
Clementine’s husband Zacharias Hackenbroch died on August 9, 1937, in Frankfurt, where they were still living. Alan didn’t know the precise medical cause of death, but many believe that the stress of Nazi persecution contributed to his early death. He was fifty-two.
Zacharias Hackenbroch death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 11062 Description Year Range: 1937 Source Information Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958
After Zacharias died, the family lost their home to the Nazis, which turned it into the headquarters for Nazi youth. Once she had a visa for England in September 1938, Clementine packed up much of her furniture and art and left Germany with her daughter Irene. Her daughter Yvonne was already living there. Alan said that Yvonne had received a doctorate in art history from Munich University in December 1936 or January 1937 and had then done research in Italy before arriving in England in May 1938. In 1939 Clementine was living with her two younger daughters Yvonne and Irene in London, although they were in Sussex at the time the 1939 Register was enumerated. Yvonne was working at the British Museum in their medieval antiquities department.
Clementine Schwarzschild Hackenbroch, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/2600C, Enumeration District: EMKJ, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register
Alan, Clementine’s grandson, described Clementine as having a wonderful personality, always finding the silver linings even in the loss of her home in Germany, for example, noting that because of the Nazis, she learned to cook, having had a cook in her home in Frankfurt.
Clementine remarried after the war. Her second husband was Harry Cahn, also a refugee from Frankfurt, Germany. He was the son of Albert Cahn and Lilly Wolff and was born on November 25, 1899, in Frankfurt.
Clementine’s oldest daughter Lucie had been to England many times before the war, starting as early as 1928 when she went to improve her English. She stayed in England several times in the 1930s on visitor visas that expired; she would leave and return on a new visa. Then she met Elliot Elias Philipp on February 18, 1939, and the two fell madly in love. They were married in a civil ceremony on March 22, 1939, which enabled Lucie to obtain a British passport. Lucie and Elliot then had a religious wedding ceremony on May 19, 1939, in Paris.
Elliot was born in London on July 20, 1915, the son of Oscar Philipp and Clarissa Weil. The Royal College of Surgeons of England website provides this biographical information about Elliot’s background:
Elliot Philipp was an eminent gynaecologist and obstetrician, author of numerous popular and technical medical works, and a committed religious and charitable Jew. He was born on 20 July 1915 to Oscar Isaac and Clarisse Philipp (née Weil) in Stoke Newington, London. He was educated at Warwick House and St Paul’s School. His father, a metal dealer from Hamburg, had come to England in 1908 to open an office, which in due course became the hub of a large and internationally successful operation. Elliot settled on a different career, deciding by the age of seven he would be a doctor, and went on to study at Cambridge University.
….At the start of the Second World War, only a month after qualifying, Elliot left his first appointment at Middlesex Hospital to join the RAF. He joined Bomber Command in East Anglia, where he was responsible for the medical centres at Feltwell and Mildenhall, and by the end of hostilities held the rank of squadron leader. He was offered a long term commission in the RAF to stay as a doctor and medical researcher, but declined, returning to Middlesex Hospital and Addenbroke’s, where he had been a clinical student.
Subsequent appointments included St Thomas’, Royal Free and University College hospitals. During this time, Elliot was writing books and newspaper articles. His first, for which he had help from his distant relative, Sigmund Freud, was The techniques of sex (London, Wales Publishing Company), first published in 1939 under the pseudonym ‘Anthony Havil’. At a time when such guides were few and far between, it became a bestseller, with numerous editions over the next 40 years. …. He married Lucie Ruth Hackenbroch in 1939, five weeks after meeting her.
Here are two photographs of Lucie and Elliot—at their May 1939 wedding in Paris and on their honeymoon:
Lucie Hackenbroch and Elliot Philipp, 1939. From Elliot Philipp, “An Autobiography” (unpublished), p. 3.
Although Alan told me that his parents bought a house in London in 1939 after marrying, Lucie and Elliot were not listed together on the England census in 1939. Lucie was listed with Elliot’s family in Sussex, and Elliot was listed in Middlesex; he was finishing his last year of medical school at that time and may have been on an emergency assignment Alan and I speculated as to why they were living in different locations on the day the Register was enumerated. The 1939 Register was taken in late September, 1939, after the war had started.
And then I found the answer in Elliot Philipp’s autobiography:
I was a medical student at the Middlesex Hospital and had been evacuated to the Harrow hospital when Mr.Neville Chamberlain made his famous announcement that we were at war with Germany. Within minutes the air-raid sirens shrilled out and no one knew what to do. Lucie and my parents were at a hotel in Brighton and within a very short time she and her mother had rented a small house in Worthing because it was thought to be safer than staying in London where the bombs were bound to drop. In fact no bombs dropped for at least nine months – the period of the ‘phoney war’.
Lucie Philipp, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/2599C, Enumeration District: EMKG, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register
Lucie and Elliot had two children born in the 1940s.
Clementine Schwarzschild Hackenbroch Cahn lived in England the rest of her life, dying on June 26, 1984 at the age of 95. Harry Cahn, her second husband, died four years later on January 19, 1988; he was 88.
Lucie Hackenbroch Philipp died on July 4, 1988, in London at the age of 78; her husband Elliot Philipp died on September 27, 2010 when he was 95 years old after a long and well-respected career as a doctor and author of many medical articles and books.
Clementine’s daughter Yvonne Hackenbroch became an internationally renowned art curator. She had studied art in Italy and in Munich before the family emigrated from Germany. She was the last Jew to be awarded a doctorate at the University of Munich; her topic was medieval Italian enamels. After working at the British Museum during World War II, in 1946 she was sent by the British government to Canada to be responsible for curating a valuable collection of Renaissance art that had been donated to Canada, and then three years later she was invited to become a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where she spent the rest of her career.
According to an obituary in the New York Times, “Her many publications established her reputation as the world’s foremost expert on Renaissance jewelry.” Yvonne died on September 7, 2012, in London, where she had retired after leaving the Metropolitan in 1987.
Clementine’s youngest daughter Irene lived the rest of her life in England. Like her sister Yvonne, she never married or had children. She traveled frequently to the United States—perhaps to visit her sister in New York—and also traveled to Brazil, indicating on her temporary immigration card that she was a secretary. Alan said that his aunt Irene was very quiet and worked for the same company for many years. She died November 9, 1987, in London.
I am deeply grateful to my cousin Alan for taking the time to chat with me by Zoom and for sharing all these wonderful photographs and the background about his family. One final set of photographs from Alan. These three show the Hackenbroch home in Frankfurt before, during, and after the war. Today it has been torn down and a view on Google Maps shows just a hole in the ground. What an apt metaphor for what the Nazis did to the once proud Jewish community of Frankfurt.
Untermainkai 34 before the war
During the war when it was the headquarters of Nazi Youth, showing damage from Allied bombing.
After the war with the top floors of the building rebuilt