Marianne Hirsch:

Dear friends, I have very much enjoyed reading your introductions.  I am Marianne Hirsch and will be coming on the trip with my husband Leo Spitzer. My mother  Lotte Gottfried of Dreifaltigkeitsgasse, was born in Czernowitz, and my father Carl Hirsch of Franzensgasse, was born in Neu- Zuszka.  My maternal grandfather, Max Gottfried was from Vama, and my grandmother, Caecilie Rubel was from Czernowitz.  My paternal grandparents were both from Sadagora.  My parents survived the war in Cernauti, they were married in the ghetto in 1941, and they left there in 1945. 

I was born in Timisoara in 1949 and grew up in Bucharest until we left for Vienna and then the US in 1961/62.  My native language is German; I also speak Romanian, French and English.

Leo was born in Bolivia; his parents were refugees who had left Vienna in 1939.  He has lived in the US since 1950.  He speaks German, Spanish and Portuguese. His book "Hotel Bolivia: A Culture of Memory in a Refuge from Nazism" (1998) tells the story of the German-Jewish refugee community in Bolivia.

Leo and I went to Chernnivtsi with my parents in 1998, and then returned again on our own in 2000 (Florence Heymann joined us on that trip). My cousin Felix Zuckermann still lives in Chernivtsi and we look forward to seeing him and his wife Marina in May.

Leo is a historian and I teach literature; together we are in the process of completing a book about Czernowitz entitled "Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of a City in Jewish Memory and Postmemory."  We live in New York and Vermont and we have three sons Alex, Oliver and Gabriel, and two grandchildren, Quinn and Freya.

all best, Marianne