Photographs of Werner

Above, Werner Weissenberg, circa 1950s. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

The pre-war era

Note: the inscriptions on the backs of photographs are being translated: this is being updated as the translations arrive here.

Just click on images to enlarge them.


Photograph, Classroom, January 1927

Werner Weissenberg is on the left of the photograph, half hidden, seated at the side. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Werner was 16 years old in 1927, so presumably this was taken at Hindenburg Gymnasium – his school in Beuthen / Bytom.


Photograph, Students, 1930/3

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

In ‘Students, 1930/31’, Werner is on the right-hand side of the picture, leaning across the young woman next to him, interacting with someone just out of our sightline. He must be about 19 years old. Given the caption, this was presumably taken while Werner was studying at the University of Breslau.


Photograph, Dance students, 7th February 1931

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

In ‘Dance students, 7th February 1931’, Werner is second row down from the back, three people in on the left, leaning towards a young woman who is often in photographs with him. I’d love to know who the young man is in the front row, second from the left, leaning back. We have a photograph of him on his own, here, but I don’t know whether he is family or a friend of Werner’s. I have a feeling he might be family, given the context of some of the pictures, but I can’t think who he would be. The young woman next to him also appears in a number of the photographs.



Photograph, Obernigk, 12 July 1931

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Malgosia and her friends and colleagues have kindly deciphered the place name on the reverse of this photograph – Obernigk, which is just north of Breslau.

Werner is standing on the far left of what I assume is a family photograph. Is that the same young man from the Dance students photograph, who is standing next to him here? And the same woman in front of him? And who is the older gentleman on the right? Kurt and Fedor would be in their forties at this time. Are the two young girls my dad’s cousins, Ruth and Ilse? I’m assuming these are family, because a number of the faces are repeated across the photographs, but I can’t be sure.


Photograph, Zobten, 26 July 1931

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

In ‘Zobten, 26 July 1931’, Werner is second row down, on the left, next to the same young woman we see in many of the group pictures. Given the date, I’m assuming this is Werner’s first year at Breslau. The caps, I believe, are university ‘colours’, or Kartell caps. Once again, Malgosia was able to decipher the place name of Zobten. I’d be lost without her help with so much of this.

With further research into Werner’s time at Breslau, I have managed to uncover more information about the trip shown in the photographs above.


Photograph, A walking party, nd

Walking Party 1920s

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Anyone know this ‘Walking Party’ location? Werner is centre back.

I’m guessing this was taken in the late 1920s. Malgosia tells me that the striped doorway in the background denotes a military establishment of some sort. She has given me a couple of location suggestions to follow up.

In my father’s collection of documents and photographs are dozens of mainly postwar postcards – most of which depict mountainous regions. Many are black and white pictures; some are early colour photographs; a few depict key beach locations of the 1960s. He loved swimming and would swim in almost any water, however cold. After the war, he seems to have sought out similar types of locations to those depicted here.


Photograph, Late 1920s / early 1930s?

No date - A family group - early 1930s

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Werner is seated, on the right of the photograph.


Photograph, A university party, early 1930s?

College party early 1930s

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

I’m guessing this depicts a university party, or the dance class members, seen above.

Werner is on the right of the photograph, in the middle row, next to a young gentleman in glasses. You can only see the top half of his face. Front right, seated, are again the young man and woman whom I can’t identify. It puzzles me because they are so often in the photographs with Werner, yet from what I know of the family history so far, there isn’t a man and woman of this kind of age … Am I missing someone?

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Werner Weissenberg, University of Breslau, 1930s

Werner Weissenberg, University of Breslau, 1930s

This photograph shows Werner in his cap from the University of Breslau. The ribbon across his chest was in the same colour/pattern. A colour photograph of this ribbon, which we still have at home, can be viewed on the university page.



Werner Weissenberg, University of Breslau, 1930s. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Werner Weissenberg, 1930s?

Dad as a young man – Version 3

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

We only recently found this photograph. It was in the form of a negative. I used my scanner to transfer it into this photograph. I have been trying to work out when/where it was taken, but I don’t know whether it was pre- or post-War, England or Germany. Looking at the scrubby background, it’s possible it was taken in or near Kitchener camp in Sandwich, Kent, but that’s guesswork.


Photographs, 3 passport-size images, Werner Weissenberg, 1930s–1940s?

Stamp on the reverse of this photograph reads: Foto-atelier, Carl Weiss, Frankfurt a.M., Bockenheimer Landstraße, tel. 58788. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

I’m assuming these first two photographs were taken a little later into the 1930s – perhaps for Werner’s teaching application, or for his exit visa, or passport. His signature is visible on the second one, below, which would seem to have been taken a little later. The third image looks to have been taken later still – presumably in England.

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Philanthropin school, Frankfurt am Main, Staff, 1937

img045

Above, Staff, Philanthropin school, Frankfurt am Main, 1937. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

This photograph provides a rare moment of ‘connection’. My main translator, Helga Brown, wrote to me about a book on Philanthropin school, which I then bought. This photograph, which I found in my father’s files, is also reproduced in that book, in which my father’s name is listed among the names of the other staff members.

Online, I also found a copy of this photograph on the Leo Baeck Institute website, https://archive.org/stream/albertfhirschf005#page/n11/mode/1up. Leo Baeck holds the papers of Albert F. Hirsch, the headmaster of the school at the time when Werner was teaching there. Herr Hirsch wrote the book, so all the pictures that appear in the book are also held at this online resource. It is reassuring, somehow, to get these confirmations and affirmations of Werner’s life in pre-war Germany.


Photograph, Werner Weissenberg with pupils, May 1938

Werner with his pupils at Philanthropin school, Frankfurt am Main

Werner with his pupils at Philanthropin school, Frankfurt am Main. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Werner Weissenberg at Kitchener refugee camp, Sandwich, Kent, England, Summer 1939

Werner is on the back row, seven men in from the left

Werner is on the back row, seven men in from the left. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Werner Weissenberg at Kitchener refugee camp, Sandwich, Kent, England, Summer 1939

kitchener camp photo 2

Kitchener refugee camp, Summer 1939. Werner is third from the right, at the back. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Werner Weissenberg at Kitchener refugee camp, Sandwich, Kent, England, 1939

kitchener camp photo 1

At Kitchener refugee camp, 1939. Werner is second from the left, at the back. Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


There are more photographs of Werner Weissenberg from the 1950s and 1960s, and from the 1970s and 1980s. These can be found in the sub-menu (under this one) on the left, or by clicking on the underlined dates shown here.