A Belated Kaddish for the Unnamed Victims of the Annaberg Transport

They were murdered days after Yom Kippur, yet my father survived

My father was born on Yom Kippur nearly a century ago.

Two days after he “celebrated” his nineteenth birthday in a cattle car, his life was spared.

His name was Fred Bachner and he arrived at Auschwitz on September 30, 1944, one of 1,437 men transported from the Annaberg labor camp. When the doors to the cattle cars opened, those who were still alive saw the smoke from the crematorium billowing up to the sky and grey ashes falling down on them, proof that the stories about Auschwitz were unimaginable, yet true.

They stood at the gates with the infamous words, “Arbeit Mache Frei” – “work sets you free” – and were not fooled. They already knew those three words were deceptive and cruel and that “death”, “crematorium”, and “gas chamber” were more accurate.

The main gate to Auschwitz. From the Folklore Research Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection (Photo: St. Mucha, Publisher: State Museum in Auschwitz)

The selection process “to the left or to the right” was not new to my father who had been in concentration camps for more than 18 months by then.  He knew his life depended on standing straight, looking healthy, and saying he had a skill that was useful to the Germans. My father said he was an auto mechanic, a claim he made at every concentration camp in which he was imprisoned.

According to the meticulous records the Germans kept, only 411 prisoners of the 1,437 from that transport were “admitted” to Auschwitz, branded sequentially beginning with B-10607 and put into Men’s Quarantine Camp B-IIa three days later.

I try to imagine what it was like for my father seeing hundreds of men from his transport forced in the other direction to their deaths. Although he survived that day’s selection, what my father saw was foreboding, a warning of how his life may likely end.

“I was in Auschwitz where we saw the ovens burning 24 hours a day and the transports arriving every day.  I was one step closer to death than before,” he later recalled.

I wonder how my teenaged father was able to control his emotions while standing at the place his beloved mother, Mutti, was murdered, the ominous smoke from the crematorium leaving no doubt that she was gassed and then burned.

“Mutti”, Fred’s mother, Erna Widmann Bachner. Courtesy: Ellen Bachner Greenberg

The last time my father saw his Mutti was February 18, 1943.

When he left for work delivering beer and soda by horse and carriage to labor camps, he saw German soldiers in the streets. He went back to warn his mother and that was the last time he saw her. His Mutti and the remaining Jews in Chrzanow, a small town in southern Poland, were taken on the last transport to Auschwitz where she was sent directly to the gas chamber.

The next day my father was taken to the Faulbruck-Graditz concentration camp and then to Annaberg in the summer of 1944.

Almost five years had passed since my father and his family were forced out of their home in Berlin and there was no end in sight to this unimaginable hell.

Fred Bachner’s parents, Abraham and Erna, at their wedding in Berlin. Courtesy: Ellen Bachner Greenberg

Living was much harder than dying and my father wanted to live.  The answer to what my father was thinking that day and every day during those horrific years comes from his testimonials:

“I wasn’t going to give up.  I used my inner strength and spirit and pulled myself together.  I talked to myself, ‘Fredi, you have to live.  You have to be there.  There’s another day tomorrow. You can’t let yourself down.  This is feasible.’ I needed to use my inner strength to overcome the hard work and mental anguish I knew I would be subjected to.”

That unwavering determination to do whatever is humanly possible was the same way my father lived every day of his life after the Holocaust. His determination, perseverance, and love for life are deep-rooted within me and are sources of strength.

The odds were against my father and the 410 others not murdered that day, just as they were stacked against every prisoner every day.

“I’m always asked the question how did I survive.  My only answer is that I never gave up hope,” he said.

Those admitted to Auschwitz for slave labor had numbers branded on their arms.  Their names and numbers were recorded in perfect German penmanship. My father was branded B-10618 and assigned to work as a slave laborer at IG Farben.

Slave laborers on their way to work in Auschwitz. From the Folklore Research Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection (Photo: St. Mucha, Publisher: State Museum in Auschwitz)

The Germans had no use for the other 1,026 prisoners from the Annaberg transport.

Like Mutti, they were sent en masse directly to the gas chambers, with no record of them by name. Their families might not have known they were murdered at Auschwitz or that their Yahrzeit is the thirteenth of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, three days after Yom Kippur.

In January 1945 my father was sent on a death march from Auschwitz to Gross-Rosen and then got to Dachau a month later. In the middle of April, he was on a transport out of Dachau towards the Alps to be shot. He jumped off the train, hid in a farmhouse for a few days until the bombing stopped. When he came out he saw white flags and American soldiers and was taken to the Feldafing Displaced Persons camp in Germany, which just a few years prior had been a summer camp for the Hitler Youth.

Certificate issued by the US Army indicating that Fred Bachner was deported and kept for “compelsery” labor between Feb 18, 1943 and May 1, 1945 in the Graditz, Annaberg, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen, and Dachau concentration camps. Courtesy: Ellen Bachner Greenberg

By the following Yom Kippur, all of the concentration camps had been liberated.

Presumably no one said Kaddish on that first Yahrzeit for the 1,026 unnamed prisoners from the “RSHA transport of the Reich” who traveled with my father and were gassed at Auschwitz.

Now, 75 years later, I plan on saying Kaddish for them as a group to honor and remember them.


This article has been published as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to share stories and connect with people, institutions and communities in Europe and beyond.

The Story of Daniel Hagège: Judeo-Arabic Author and Documenter of Tunisian Jewry

Hagège estimated that some 150 Tunisian authors wrote in Judeo-Arabic. This article is in memory of 100 years of Judeo-Arabic literature.

"Intishar al-ktayib al-yahudiyya al-berberiyya al-tunisiyya", by Daniel Hagège

The story of Judeo-Arabic literature in Tunisia is one of defeat; not only because the language in which this literature was written has disappeared due to the French and Hebrew prevailing it – but because it seems that this unique literature was never given a real chance to flourish.

Judeo-Arabic literature lasted in Tunisia for a mere 100 years. It began in 1862, when a partnership was formed among three Jewish writers: Mordekhai Tapia, Bishi Chemama, and Eliyahu Elmaleh. Their first book printed in Tunis was called Qanun al-dawla al-tunisiyya (“The Constitution of the Tunisian State”).

A year later, books containing folk literature began to be published. At first, they were copied by hand under the supervision of the author, storyteller, and tavern-owner, Hai Sarfati, and later at Uzan and Castro’s publishing house. In 1878, Abraham Tayyib founded the first newspaper in the country, called al-Amala al-tunisiyya (“Tunisia Province”).

Much of what we know about this literature we owe to the work of Daniel Hagège. Next to the French Eusèbe Vassel, Hagège (occasionally written as Ḥajjāj) is the greatest documenter of this rich literature, which consists of hundreds of original stories and translations. He was also one of the last authors to publish his works in Judeo-Arabic. In 1939, Hagège published a book titled Intishar al-ktayib al-yahudiyya al-berberiyya al-tunisiyya (“The Publication of Tunisian Judeo-Arabic Books”, translated into Hebrew by Joseph Tobi and Zivia Tobi, Wayne State University Press, 2014). Some of Hagège’s many books have vanished completely, with the only remaining traces being a few details mentioned in this text. Hagège listed the published works of the Judeo-Arabic authors alongside biographic information about their lives and literary and professional work. Intishar al-ktayib was published at Makhluf Najjar’s printing house.

Thanks to this detailed bio-bibliographic list compiled by the author, we know that Judeo-Arabic literature, which emerged in Tunisia during the mid-19th century, was influenced by different elements. Firstly, Arabic literature; Judeo-Arabic literature was written in Arabic, peppered with Hebrew, French and Italian. Many other books and stories were translated literary classics from around the world, primarily France. These included works such as The Mysteries of Paris, Robinson Crusoe, and adaptations of One Thousand and One Nights, which drew from Antoine Gallan’s French translation.

Ḥikayat Robinson Krusoi, by Daniel Defoe

Before we read the work’s translation by scholars Joseph and Zivia Tobi, we assumed Hagège wrote his bio-bibliography because he wished to save this literature from vanishing into obscurity. In the book’s introduction, right after the acclaims – “Thanks must be given to the supreme God, the mighty and the terrible, creator of lands, with the perfection of wholeness, creator of man, and who places him above animals in understanding and language,” (translation: Joseph Tobi and Zivia Tobi, Wayne State University Press, 2014) Hagège clarified what drove him to write the book. It appears the author was quite confident that the language and its literature would last, and so he wrote: “After this, what will be set forth now is that the ‘Tunisian Arabic-Berber’ language, which our forefathers and even we ourselves have never ceased to speak to the present day, is a language like all the languages scattered all over the world. From the day of its creation until today it has been reinforced by a large number of learned writers, who were able to use this language, and they penned a great many literary compositions and love stories and weekly journals and even daily newspapers. We hope therefore that our historical essay will produce many benefits and will bestow esteem and honor upon our Jewish-Arabic language and renown to all the Tunisian Jewish master writers.” (Translation: Joseph Tobi and Zivia Tobi, Wayne State University Press, 2014)

Hagège estimated that some 150 Tunisian authors, all of them men, wrote in Judeo-Arabic. His compilation lists bio-bibliographic details of 17 of them, including the author himself. Hagège summarizes his work in a few self-praising sentences, followed by a list of the 30 books he published.

“The journalist Daniel Hagège, who has written for the journal al-Najma al-waḥīda since its revival, was born in our city of Tunis on July 15, 1892. After completing his schooling, a graduate of three grades in basic studies, he began working at the printing house with the revered writer the late Ya‘aqov Ha-Cohen on the weekly al-Shams and the daily al-Ṣabaḥ. This was in 1904. On October 21, 1910, this writer was appointed chief editor of the weekly Ḥayat al-janna, which lasted for several months. On August 1, 1913, he founded a magazine called al-Nuzha al-tunisiyya (“Tunisian Pastime”), which continued to appear until the end of 1915. It was revived in 1933 when seven issues were published. Thereafter it closed by order of the government. In 1914 he published an important book titled Anwar tunis (“Flowers of Tunis”), which contained the account Sabab takwin ḥarb uruppa (“Causes of the Development of the European War”) and the story al-‘Ishq wa-al-ḥubb ma fihim ṭibb (“There Is No Remedy in Lust and Love”) and several stirring Arabic articles and amusing tales.”

Bio-bibliographic details about Daniel Hagège, written by Hagège in Intishar al-ktayib

Like many Jewish authors and journalists in Tunisia, Hagège made a living outside of literary writing and had a completely separate profession. The most interesting part of Hagège’s biography is his “secondary” income, which was, in fact, his main income: “And from April 1924,” writes Hagège, “He began to work for one year as a mixer of medicines at the pharmacy of the Greek opposite Sinigalia on the square. From 1926 to 1930 he worked at the Suq al-Grana with the late Rabbi Eli‘ezer Farḥi, the pharmacist famous for his wisdom in plants and essences. Afterward he himself opened a shop at 4 Sidi al-Sridek Street in Tunis. This shop became well-known to everyone, as they came to learn of its great usefulness.” (Translation: Joseph Tobi and Zivia Tobi, Wayne State University Press, 2014)

Daniel Hagège belonged to the last generation of Jewish Tunisian authors. He ceased writing in Judeo-Arabic in the 1940s. In his bio-bibliography, he stressed that readers did not appreciate the hard work and high expenses of publishing Judeo-Arabic newspapers and books. They preferred to loan a copy rather than buying one. “Alshari wahid w’alkari asharh,” Hagège noted, meaning: “One buys, ten read.” (Translation: Joseph Tobi and Zivia Tobi, Wayne State University Press, 2014).

In 1959, Hagège immigrated to Paris. He died in 1976, and, in accordance with his last will and testament, the last Jewish author of Tunisia was buried in Jerusalem.

An assortment of the 30 books Hagège wrote, the National Library of Israel collections


The book Intishar al-ktayib al-yahudiyya al-barbariyya al-tunisiyya was translated into Hebrew and published in 2000 by Zivia and Joseph Tobi as part of their study of Judeo-Arabic Tunisian literature.

Dodging the Draft in the Old Country

Besides poverty and pogroms, forced conscription weighed heavily on European Jews

My great-grandfather, Meshulim (or Szulim) Nemeth, served in the Austro-Hungarian army for ten years, two months, and twenty days, plus another two years in the reserves. He completed his service in 1889, almost exactly a century after Jews first started serving in the Austrian military under Emperor Joseph II.

Meaning “farewell” in German, a document known as an Abschied was awarded to a soldier who had completed his required service in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Signed in Stanislawow (now Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine) in 1889, the Abschied for my great-grandfather, Meshulim, was printed in true Galician style – German on one half and Polish on the other – and was carefully preserved and passed down through our family.

Meshulim Nemeth’s Abschied, Stanislawow, 1889. (Courtesy: Sharon Taylor)

While many Jews like him served in the Empire’s military, others chose a different path.

In fact, evading the draft by any means available was commonplace, sometimes even elevated almost to an art form as documented in memoirs, Yizkor books, and even in a novel written by Nobel Prize laureate S.Y. Agnon.

For the son of a wealthy family, influence was commonly used to escape military service. With corruption rampant, military draft boards could often be bribed. By pulling strings and paying off officials, the sons of wealthy Jews and non-Jews were able to evade service altogether or to acquire desk jobs, serving as clerks in the military.

Well-to-do Austrian Jewish children, ca. 1900. From the Nirenstein Family Album, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel

But even for the wealthy, bribery could only go so far. On occasion, word would spread that a particular draft board coming to town could not be bribed, creating a situation that required more drastic action. Young men of draft age who had the means would often travel, taking extended trips to evade conscription. Some chose to emigrate.

However, with poverty rampant, young men often lacked the funds to travel, emigrate, or bribe the draft board. Observant Jews feared that it would be impossible to adhere to a religious lifestyle while serving in the military, and others dreaded leaving their families and communities. Throughout Eastern Europe, these young men found ingenious ways to avoid military service. Repeatedly, Yizkor books (many of which are available via the JewishGen Yizkor Book Project) document both the desperation and creativity of these young men.

Austro-Hungarian cavaliers and Jewish boys in an unidentified early 20th century Eastern European town. Postcard Collection, National Library of Israel archives

Life in Jewish Tluste (today, Tovste, Ukraine) by Abraham Stupp, for example, describes some of the methods of evading conscription employed by the men in that Galician town. A few weeks before the draft board was due to arrive, eligible men would band together and stay up night after night, hoping to make themselves appear unfit for service when examined by the draft board. Known in the town as “sufferers,” they would spend their sleepless nights in groups, singing and shouting in an effort to stay awake. Trying desperately not to sleep, the sufferers often turned to mischief, deliberately waking their relatives in the middle of the night.

In Kalusz (now Kalush, Ukraine), young men would stay awake in the synagogue, hoping to make their eyes appear red and sickly for the medical examiners. As in other towns, by the early hours of the morning, these bored young men turned to pranks in order to keep themselves going. In the Jewish section of Kalusz, they would walk through the streets from house to house with a musician, waking the inhabitants with a serenade and requesting money. Those who refused their demands for payment became further victims of the pranksters. Returning later that night, the mischievous sufferers of Kalush would remove the wooden steps from the entrances to the attached shops of the residents who had refused to pay. In the morning, when those people tried to leave through their shop door, they would inevitably fall out of the house and onto the sidewalk.

The Landsmann Hotel in Kalusz, early 20th century. From the Folklore Research Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; available via the NLI Digital Collection

In Tlumacz (present-day Tlumach, Ukraine), young men were known to drink vinegar to slow the heart, or to rub their eyes with weeds to make them appear red and unhealthy. They practiced abstinence, fasting during the day and eating only at night. Attempting to make themselves look unfit for service, they gathered in the synagogue to keep each other awake. They spent their nights wandering through the sleeping town, playing cards, moving wagons from one house to another, and switching piles of firewood from the rich to the poor. Sometimes they would leave a bleating goat tied beneath the window of a sleeping family.

Back in the synagogue, the men were known to drink the congregational whiskey and refill the bottles with water. On Friday nights, they would steal trays of gefilte fish that were left out to cool for the Sabbath. Tales of their pranks were handed down from year to year, with each new batch of potential conscripts trying to outdo the exploits of previous groups.

Draft age men in Chorostkow (today’s Khorostkiv, Ukraine) spent three to four months depriving themselves of sleep so that they would appear weak and unfit for military service. In the town, these young men were referred to as “plaagers”. It has been noted that their efforts to avoid conscription were rarely successful.

For those who wanted to eliminate all chances of being drafted, self-mutilation was the most drastic option. Desperate to stay in their communities, draft age men were known to make themselves unfit for service by cutting off fingers or even blinding themselves in one eye.

Parents and communities generally supported efforts to avoid conscription, and mothers often boasted of the creative methods their sons used to evade the draft board and trick its medical inspectors. Practicing abstinence to avoid the draft became almost a rite of passage and a bonding experience for young men in countless shtetls.

This practice was so prevalent that it even played a key role in the novel, A Simple Story by S.Y. Agnon (published in Hebrew in 1935 by Schocken Publishers; published in English most recently in 2014 by The Toby Press). A Simple Story is set in Szybusz, a fictitious version of Agnon’s hometown, Buczacz (now Buchach, Ukraine). Agnon brings Szybusz to life, with its small Jewish shops, dusty streets, and Dickensian cast of townspeople.

S.Y. Agnon as a young man, 1908. From the S.Y. Agnon Archive, National Library of Israel

Shortly after his marriage, the main character, Hirshl Hurvitz, finds himself lying in bed awake, night after night, thinking about his lost true love and about the draft board which is on its way to town. It’s rumored that this draft board can’t be bribed, unlike the ones in past years. As a result, Hirshl fears that he will certainly be drafted. With the draft board traveling toward Szybusz, Hirshl’s anxiety and his unhappiness with his marriage deepen, and he stops eating.

Hirshl’s doctor recommends daily walks to improve sleep and appetite, so after working all day, Hirshl spends his sleepless nights walking, sometimes staying out until dawn. He begins drinking strong coffee during the day to stay awake, and as time passes, his melancholy and anxiety, as well as his lack of food and sleep, take their toll. Eventually, Hirshl suffers a complete and embarrassing public breakdown. Humiliated, his parents fear that Hirshl’s madness will cause them to lose their standing in the town.

Buczacz in the early 20th century. From the Folklore Research Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; available via the NLI Digital Collection

While Hirshl recovers at a mental asylum in Lemberg, his parents discover that all of Szybusz believes that Hirshl was simply practicing abstinence and that his breakdown was a performance aimed at evading the draft board and tricking its medical examiners. The townspeople even praise his ingenuity, noting that his methods were far preferable to cutting off a finger or blinding an eye to escape conscription. Since only his parents know the truth, once Hirshl recovers, he is able to return to his life in Szybusz without disgrace.

 A Simple Story is fiction, but this plot line is firmly based on practices that were widespread in Galicia at the time. After the fall of the Austrian Empire, the practice of abstinence and the tradition of draft evasion carried over into reborn Poland. Across the border in the Russian Pale of Settlement, draft evasion through emigration or “suffering” was also widely practiced.

As for my family, avoiding military service does not appear to have had any influence on my maternal grandfather’s decision to leave Europe. In February of 1911, just two years after he arrived in America, he enlisted in the U.S. Army serving for seven years and rising to the rank of sergeant. Because of his Austrian citizenship, he was honorably discharged a year after America entered the First World War.

Isidore Weisner at Eagle Pass, Texas,1917 (Courtesy: Sharon Taylor)

A version of this article first appeared as part of “Leaving Galicia – Poverty, Pogroms, and Draft Evasion” in the March 2020 edition of The Galitzianer, the quarterly journal of Gesher Galicia. It has been published here as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to share stories and connect with people, institutions and communities in Europe and beyond.

For more “Jewish Journeys”, check out our online exhibition launched in collaboration with AEPJ as part of European Days of Jewish Culture 2020.

The Jewish Doctor Who Said “No” to the Corset

Dr. Rahel Hirsch broke with mainstream convention and paved the way for the women who followed after. This is the story of the doctor who insisted that women's health was about more than female genitalia.

רחל הירש

Rahel Hirsch

The life story of Dr. Rahel Hirsch could easily be the plot of a Hollywood tearjerker. This groundbreaking pioneer was born to a Jewish family in the Kingdom of Prussia in the late 19th century. Her origin and perhaps having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time forced Hirsch to face many hardships during her life. First, she had to fight her way into the medical world. Later on, she continued to struggle with attempts to delegitimize her as a woman in the field.

Rahel Hirsch was the daughter of a school administrator and was originally sent to study education. However, her mind was always drawn to science. More than anything, she wished to become a physician. Unfortunately, the German Reich at the time forbade women to attend university studies. But why?

Back then, many men believed women should not be allowed to engage in academic professions, certainly not medicine, since they were simply perceived as unfit to do so – both mentally and physically. Those who advanced this “scientific” theory, pointed for example, to the fact that the female brain was smaller on average than that of the male (while mistakenly disregarding the size of the brain in relation to the rest of the body).

Under these restrictions, and in order to realize her dream, Rahel Hirsch left her home and everything she knew and traveled to Switzerland, where she was permitted to study medicine. In 1903 Hirsch received her long-desired medical license and from that moment on broke professional and gender-related boundaries. In 1907 she was accepted to work as an intern at the medical clinic at the Charité – a university hospital in Berlin. She was only the second woman to be hired by the institution in its entire history.

Rahel Hirsch

She later became the first person to find indications of starch particles in blood and urine and thus was able to refute the widely accepted notion that only liquids could penetrate the kidneys. The discovery that certain medical conditions could cause microscopic cells to penetrate the kidneys and exit via urine was invaluable to the medical world. She recorded her findings in a study on metabolic processes and diseases but instead of being acclaimed for them, she was mocked by her colleagues – because she was a woman.

It was a closed, patriarchal society, and so despite her accomplishments, when Hirsch presented her study at a meeting of the Charité’s directors, she was ignored by the doctors, who believed women to be of inferior intelligence. Nevertheless, she managed to move ahead and in 1908 was appointed head of the Charité’s medical clinic. Sadly, despite her new senior position, she was not paid for her services.

Hirsch soon left the Charité and opened her own private clinic in Berlin, where she installed modern X-ray equipment; this attracted wealthy clients and allowed her to live comfortably. In 1913 she became the first woman to receive the title “professor” in Prussia. However, she hadn’t seen the last of her challenges yet.

Rahel Hirsch was a Jewish woman. As a result, she was barred from teaching medicine in Germany during this period. In order to expose her colleagues to her ideas regarding women’s health – ideas that were not yet accepted in academic circles – she wrote a treatise titled Physical Culture of Women.

Physical Culture of Women (“Körperkultur der Frau”) by Rahel Hirsch, 1913, the National Library of Israel collections

The essay focused on refuting prejudiced conceptions about women’s exercise and how they should dress. She recommended clothing that fit the female physique naturally, without corsets; clothing that enabled a normal blood flow. Hirsch tried to draw attention to women’s health by raising awareness of hygiene, nutrition and exercise, though it seems the primary focus of the essay was to prove that women were no less intelligent than men. In an article published in the Munich Medical Weekly, she wrote her colleagues that the theory that males were more intelligent than females was unsubstantiated and that any difference between the mental capabilities of men and women was not biologically determined but rather a matter of faulty education. She also suggested they look at women not only from a gynecologic point of view, as women’s medicine was not all about female genitalia.

Left page: The picture on the left shows a woman with poor posture. In the picture on the right, her posture is corrected by distributing the weight on the skeleton correctly and standing in a proper position. Right page: Hirsch even gave guidelines on how to do chores around the house in a healthy and proper manner. Left: Hirsch demonstrates incorrect posture while performing chores. Right: A demonstration of correct posture.


Left page: In Hirsch’s day, it was assumed that exercise was not fit for the female body. Hirsch protested this and illustrated what the female body looked like before the physical exercise she recommended for women, and what it looked like three months into training. Right page: The left image illustrates an incorrect sitting position. The right picture shows a correct, flattering and practical sitting position.

When the Nazi prosecution of Jews grew more intense, Hirsch lost many of her clients, who were now afraid of associating with Jews. Also, her authorities as a physician were gradually taken away from her. This process reached a peak in 1938 when she was 68 years old: Hirsch’s medical license was taken from her. When she heard she was going to be arrested, Hirsch fled to live with one of her sisters in London, though in England she could not practice medicine. Instead, she worked as a librarian, while also translating and working as a laboratory assistant. During the war, she lived in Yorkshire before returning to London once the hostilities were over.

The events that occurred in her homeland and the atrocities committed against the Jews, along with the restriction on practicing the one thing she truly loved and for which she had worked her entire life – drove her to madness. Hirsch was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital, where she died on October 6th, 1953. She was buried anonymously in one of the city’s Jewish cemeteries.

A few years after her passing, in 1957, a research assistant from Charité named Gerard Volkheimer, who would later become a professor, came across Hirsch’s study and published it under the title the “Hirsch Effekt”. Approximately four years after she died, Rahel Hirsch’s work and contribution to science were finally recognized.