Hermine Bloch

Having more or less finished the work on the University of Breslau faculty from 1930 to 1936 – the years during which Werner was a university student in the city of Wrocław (as it is now) – today I have turned to work on the page for my great-grandmother Hermine Bloch.

In many ways, this project began with Hermine and her husband Joseph Bloch. At the time, they were as far back as I could go with my family tree, and the only set of great-grandparents I could name on my father’s side of the family.

Hermine Bloch

I remember my father showing me this photograph of his grandmother Hermine – and today I look with great fondness at her kind face that looks so much like my father’s during his later years.

Because she was a woman at a time when few records were kept about women, there is a limited amount of information to be gleaned from the kinds of sources I have been able to draw upon for the family’s men. However, we do have family letters from and about Hermine, so I have instead drawn on these, where possible, and hope to expand on this information, to some extent, with some more general observations on women’s lives during the period this site is mainly focussed on.

And, of course, throughout most of the years I am looking at here, Hermine lived with Werner and his family, so the general downturns in the family businesses and the resultant house moves, and the larger scale events that affected the other family members and their friends, would also have affected the life of my great-grandmother. The lives of the people she most loved – her children and grandchildren – were being torn apart, after all, so she would have known little peace of mind in her later years as her health declined sharply into the later 1930s.

In the end, almost completely blind, and having suffered two strokes, Hermine was placed on the deportation lists with her daughter Else, to be taken from what was left of their home in Gliwice, probably to Auschwitz, in 1942.

Although I have relatively little material to work with in this instance, I will do my best to provide as complete a picture as I can of my great-grandmother and her life. This page will not be finished for some time, however, because I need another research visit to Poland, and am unable to make the journey at the moment.

Great-grandmother Hermine, zichrona livrocho

If anyone reading this lives in or near Świbie (or Schwieben, as it was at the time), Hermine and Joseph Bloch might have run an inn there in their younger days.

It looks to be a fairly small town, and I’d love to know which inn this might have been – we’re looking at around the turn of the last century. I would be very happy to hear from anyone with information about this.

It is also possible that the family inn was at Tost, the town we think Joseph was living in when he died – and again, if anyone has any information on this, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Thank you!

Updating the Breslau pages

I have finally been able to make some time available today to continue my research into the university of Breslau staff who taught my father, Werner Weissenberg, while he was a student in the city.

Examination certificate, University of Breslau, 16th February 1935, page two

So, my apologies if this makes the site run more slowly than usual. I know the site can be slow to load in any case because of all the images, and we hope to move it to a better/faster hosting platform in due course. For the time being, however, please bear with me – I’m still on a learning curve with the technical side of this project!

The University of Breslau, 2016

I think I have about a third of the staff pages still to complete and I will then be moving onto other parts of our family story.

University of Breslau ‘colours’ – Werner Weissenberg


New ‘family tree’ page

This family story starts with my great grandparents, Hermine and Joseph Bloch.

They had four children: Else, Rosa, Kurt and Fedor. Else was my grandmother. Her son, Werner, was my father.

We have been developing a force-directed diagram to show our family tree. It is still in its infancy at the moment, so for the time being I have also left in place the other links below the tree, and in the main menu. Any of these three locations will take you to the pages of information about the family.

If you want to try out the new family tree, just click on any name, which will take you to the information about that person. If a name is towards the edge of the box, just click your mouse on a blue dot, and drag the name towards another part of the box. It’s a dynamic tree, and we hope to do a lot more with it the coming months.

Please do let us know if you find that any of the links don’t work …

Please click here to visit the main website