Hilde Weissenberg

Poland, Schlesien, Kreuzenort
UK, London, Harrow
FatherTheodor Weissenberg (06/10/1866 – ca 1942) 
MotherRegina Berger (10/11/1871 – ca 1942) 
Partner Gerhard Schlesinger (13/09/1906 – 21/05/1998)

Married 28/07/1929 Poland, Schlesien, Breslau



Milestones from Hilde Gerrard's autobiography We Were Lucky:
1916 Started living away from home to attend school in Ratibor.
1918 Moved to Breslau when her parents retired there from Kreuzenort, which had been the family home for three generations.
1929 Married Gerhard Schlesinger; settled in Berlin. Hilde worked as a secretary in a private hospital, Gerhard as a bookseller in Gutenburg Buchhandlung.
January 1933 Gerhard given notice of termination of employment "for cultural and racial reasons".
April 1934 Moved to Milan, Italy; set up a Circolo Librario supplying German books to German refugees and German-speaking Italians.
23/12/1936 Twins born.
September 1938 Application to enter America; decree issued requiring Jews to leave Italy within 6 months.
Spring 1939 Went into hiding awaiting permission to enter any other country.
mid 1939 Emigrated to England; first domestic service post in Mayfield House, Rowledge, Farnham: Hilde as parlourmaid, Gerhard as cook; twins into the care of Gerald and Rosalind Bullett in Petersfield.
late 1939 New employment to re-unite Hilde and the twins: Hilde dog-minding at Harpers farm, Bramdean, Hampshire, Gerhard as cook in Weston-Super-Mare.
early 1940 Moved to employers' London residence in Regents Park; Gerhard joined the household as cook. Twins put into care of the Centre for Jewish Refugees' Home for Friendless Children in Highbury.
spring 1940 New employment as a domestic "married couple" with the Swift family in Battle, Sussex.
12/05/1940 General internment of alien men: Gerhard arrested and interned on the Isle of Man.
19/05/1940 General relocation of alien women and children from the British coast: Hilde and the twins return to London, the twins again into the care of the Centre for Jewish Refugees.
May/June 1940 Invited to live with the Fawel family in Addison Way.
June 1940 New employment as housemaid with the Price family in Anlaby Street, Teddington, London, along with sister-in-law Bertchen, who had been in service in East Grinstead, as cook.
04/03/1941 Moved to Stainforth to escape the bombing in London; initially unemployed.
mid March 1941New domestic employment with the Ingham family at Langcliffe Place.
April 1941Gerhard was released from internment after providing evidence that he was not a Nazi sympathiser by making contact with Dr Landshoff, the owner of the Querido Verlag, Amsterdam, whose anti-Nazi literature he and Hilde had distributed from Milan to the Italian-German speaking booksellers. Upon his return to the family Gerhard was employed as a gardener and boilerman at Langcliffe Mill.
1941/42 Moved into a nearby house let by brother-in-law Albert; Gerhard found new local employment first as a gardener and later as a salesman in an ironmonger's shop.
1942? Gerhard took up a position of manager of a branch of the ironmonger's store in Brierfield, Lancashire when the previous encumbent was called up for military service, and the family moved into the flat above the shop. Later they moved to nearby Colne.
1945 The previous branch manager returned from military service and Gerhard had to give up his position. Hilde and Gerhard rented a shop with accommodation in Colne and set up a stationery business. They went on to open a second store in Nelson.

In 1950 Wilfred Pickles visited the shop in Colne to sign copies of his poetry anthology. The event was recorded on film.

Sources (click here for generic source information)

Family knowledge;
Hilde Gerrard's autobiography We Were Lucky;
vimeo.com - film clip.

This record was last updated on 13/04/2024 at 16:56