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Dr. phil. Paul Hirsch

Königinstr. 85

Date of death:
Place of death:
Victim group:
Als Jüdinnen und Juden Verfolgte
Erinnerungszeichen (Stele)
Schwabing - Freimann

“And everyone who came closer to him knew his good character, his care and thoroughness, his goodness and selflessness, as well as his whimsical characteristics,” as Helene Wintgen wrote about her friend, Paul Hirsch. He was born in Augsburg on July 23, 1885. He was the son of the banker Hermann Hirsch and his wife Auguste, née Amschel. Paul Hirsch and his four siblings grew up in affluent circumstances. He studied engineering in Zurich, Dresden and Munich before becoming a research assistant at the Modell-Versuchsanstalt für Aerodynamik (model testing institute for aerodynamics) in Göttingen. In 1920 he completed his doctoral thesis in Physics. After gaining his doctorate, Paul Hirsch did not take up any profession, instead travelling a great deal and occupying himself as a writer. He was also very musically talented and played the violin excellently. Like his mother, he lived for a time at Königinstraße 85. The Nazis persecuted Paul Hirsch because he was a Jew and because of his illness. In early 1938 he spent a period, probably for the first time, in a Munich sanatorium for nervous complaints, apparently with multiple sclerosis. He was subsequently treated in the Psychiatric clinic at Nußbaumstraße 7. It is unknown whether Paul Hirsch attempted like his mother Auguste and his sister Josephine Kronheimer to flee from Germany. On April 25, 1941 he was committed to a sanatorium and nursing home in Bendorf-Sayn near Koblenz. Helene Wintgen visited him there once more. “He was just about able to move himself with great effort with two walking sticks. When we wanted to visit him a second time – this was at Whitsun 1942 – we were told that the whole sanatorium had been evacuated two weeks earlier.” Paul Hirsch was deported to the Sobibor extermination camp along with 271 other patients from Koblenz on June 15, 1942. The SS killed nearly all the deportees, probably upon the arrival of their train on June 19, 1942. (text Marianne Wintgen, editor C. Fritsche, translation C. Hales)

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