“Beloved children, do write to me about everything; every detail of your life fills my life.”
The parents of Gisi Fleischmann, née Fischer, were Orthodox Jews. Her younger brother, David (paediatrician) and Gustav (lawyer), however, brought Gisi to Zionism. David and his family survived the persecutions of Jews in hiding and later emigrated to Israel. Gustav was murdered in September 1939 by young Nazis. Gisi had only completed primary schooling. During the First World War, she married Josef Fleischmann, tea and coffee merchant. The couple had two children – Alice (1917) and Judith (1920). Gisi sent them to the then Palestine to help build a new home for Jews there. She hoped to later join them. Her husband died in 1941 and her mother fell severely ill during the war. After the passing of her husband, Mrs Fischer ran the family hotel and restaurant. The property, however, promptly became subject of Aryanisation. Gisi and her mother then shared a single room without bathroom on the second floor in a house on the street Klariská 9.
“DON’T DESPAIR, MOTHER IS HERE
Marin Buber closed one of his splendid texts with the above sentence. He calls upon the mother for support to the world in times that prove ever so difficult for the Jewish peoples, particularly for our children. Israel is more than a form and content. Buber wants us to make it real throughout our entire being, in...
“Why aren’t you writing, it makes me most unhappy. We keep healthy, only I would like to be with you. Do let me know whether you are still in Meschek. Do write regularly. Kisses, Gisi Fleischmann”
Telegram to daughter Alice Fleischmann–Groszmann sent via the Red Cross, dated 1 July 1942
“Beloved children, it is with great anticipation that I await your news. It is unbearable for me to hear so little of you, as my thoughts are forever with you. Do write to me about everything, for every detail of your life fills my own. Judith, in particular, hasn’t written anything for two years. In fact, I cannot comprehend it and I fear the...