Schlesinger and Bischheim families: photographs and family history books

Scope and Content

This collection contains two family history books of the related Jewish families of the Schlesingers (1734/2) and the Bischheims (1734/1)(later Beecham). Both families have their roots in Germany but whilst Bernard and Winifred Schlesinger grew up in England, Simon and Elsa Bischheim emigrated to the UK as one of the first Jewish refugees from Frankfurt-am-Main in 1933. Also included are photographs of both families and related correspondence. The family history book of the Schlesingers was presented to Bernard and Winifred Schlesinger to mark their Golden Wedding in April 1975. The history book of the Bischheims 'The Bischheim-Beecham family: Merchants in Frankfurt am Main, Manchester, Hamburg, London' was written by Simon Bischheim. It includes a menu and list of speeches held on his 90th birthday.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Schlesinger and Bischheim families are related through Bernard Schlesinger's father, Richard Schlesinger (1861-1940), and Simon Bischheim's father, Bernard Bischheim (1850-1917) being cousins. The Schlesinger family book is dedicated to Winifred (née Regensburger, born in 1897) and Bernard Schlesinger (born in 1896) who was Richard and Dolly Estella Schlesinger's son. They got married in 1924 in London and had five children: John (born in 1926), Wendy (born in 1927), Roger and Hilary (born in 1929), and Susan (born in 1933). Winifred studied modern languages at Oxford University. Bernard was a paediatrician working at various hospitals in London. The couple set up a hostel for children rescued from Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. In 1939 they bought a property in Kintbury, Berkshire, where Winifred and their children lived during the Second World War whilst Bernard served in the army providing medical care in Norway and India. When Bernard returned in 1945 they moved to Woodlands St Mary, Berkshire.

The Bischheims originally came from Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, and emigrated to the UK in 1933. Simon Bischheim (born in 1885) was a textile merchant. He married Elsa Salomon (1889-1958) in 1919. They had four children: Bernard Ernst (born in 1920), Helene Auguste (born in 1921), Eric Marx (born in 1922) and Richard Jacob (born in 1925). In the 1930s it became increasingly difficult for Simon to sustain his business as merchants decided to not to do business with a Jewish agent. The family emigrated with the help of their relatives in England in 1933. Simon's sisters Adele and Clare and their families as well as his mother Auguste (née Toeplitz) also managed to leave Frankfurt before the outbreak of the war. Many of their extended family however perished in the Holocaust.


By subject

Conditions Governing Access

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Gretel Schuster



Related Material

See also Photo Archive 2007/17