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Leave the rest to the Kadosh Baruch Hu

Sigmund Hirsch encourages his nephew Julius not to worry about politics

“As for politics, don't you worry, my dear boy. Do your duty and leave the rest to the Kadosh Baruch Hu. Personal views no longer count, otherwise I would tell you that I personally do not believe there will be war right now. What will be done if it does come, God forbid, will become apparent then. Nobody is sufficiently prescient in order to predict what will be. It goes without saying that you will stay in Italy. But as I said, I consider any discussion of this topic misguided, since nobody wants this war which would only cause universal ruin.”


In 1935, under mounting pressure, the orthodox Hamburg physician Henri Hirsch left Germany and joined his brother Sigmund in Genoa, Italy. Shortly thereafter, he was joined by his second wife, Roberta, and by some of his young adult sons, and moved with them to Merano. In 1938, Henri Hirsch died. In this letter to his nephew Julius, Sigmund Hirsch tries to assuage the young man’s worries about an impending war, exhorting him to put his faith in God and promising help. Since he had been based in Italy for a while, many seem to have pinned their hopes on him: with palpable regret, he relates how little he can do for the “thousands” of people asking him for help.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Julius and Edith Hirsch Collection, AR 25585


Box 1, folder 22


on the days before