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
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
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