Hedwig Weissenberg

Above, ‘The Aunts’ Clare and Hedwig Weissenberg. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers archive, copyright retained

Hedwig Weissenberg: 17 September 1879 to 02 June 1942 (?)

Hedwig is referred to in family letters as Hedel. As with great-aunt Clara, I hadn’t known whether Hedel was one of Leopold’s sisters or a wife of Fedor or Kurt. The documents we found in Gliwice archive on our visit to Poland told us that she was the former.

My husband recalls hearing from Werner that he lived with two maiden aunts while studying – Hedel was one; Clara the other. Hedel, in other words, is one of ‘the aunts’ about whom Leopold writes in tones of amused affection. In all likelihood, Leopold will have been supporting his wife Else and son Werner, his mother-in-law Hermine, and Clara and Hedwig, as they were unmarried.

We also have some letters from Hedel and Clara, which can be viewed here.

Hedel Weissenberg was born in PeiskretschamPyskowice in Upper Silesia on 17 September 1879.

Hedwig Weissenberg, Pyskowice, Birth certificate, 1879, Cover. Source: Gliwice archives, Clare Weissenberg, Photograph, pers. archive

Hedwig Weissenberg, Pyskowice, Birth certificate, 1879. Source: Gliwice archives, Clare Weissenberg, Photograph, pers. archive

So far, I don’t know very much about aunt Hedel, but I hope to learn something from the letters. I have a photograph of her and her sister Clara, seen in the image at the top of this page, and know that they lived in Beuthen / Bytom for a while.

These sweet elderly sisters, who clearly doted on my dad, were deported in summer 1942. Hedel was almost 63 years of age.

As we can see from her birth certificate, Hedwig was forced to use Sara as her middle name from September 1938, to denote her as Jewish. Her last known address as given on the transport list was Gleiwitzer Straße, 13 Hinterhaus. Stock rechts.

The deportation information for the sisters can be found on Clara’s page. They were deported ‘to an unknown destination’ (almost certainly to Auschwitz, given where they lived) on 2nd June, 1942. At that, I think they were among the last members of our close family to be deported from Upper Silesia. We will never know any more about where they were sent than this.

The Yad Vashem entry for this transport concludes, “There is not a single known survivor from this transport”.