Greetings from a Prisoner in the First World War – The Hillebrand-Lerner Family
Left: Rivke Bernstein, born about 1840, married Hersch Beer Lerner, born circa 1838 in Drohobycz. Their first known offspring, Jakob, was born circa 1861. When Jakob and his wife died in 1892, their three children were raised by various relatives.
Right: One of Jacob’s children, Beile (Berta) Lerner born in 1888 in Drohobycz, was raised by her grandmother Rivke. In this photograph, she is about eighteen years old.
In this photograph, Chaim Hillebrand is seated at the left with five other soldiers in the Austrian army during the First World War. Only one other, Ellenberg seated on the right, can be identified.
Left: Beile married Chaim Hillebrand in 1911. Chaim was born in 1885 in Borysław to Hillel Wolf Hillebrand and Bina Glück. It is said that the Hillebrands had petroleum interests. The photo is actually a postcard sent to Beile’s relative, Mrs. Isadore Haas, in Brzezany. When the World War I began, Chaim was drafted into the army. Beile and Chaim’s father and stepmother left everything and moved to Vienna, where Beile bore her first daughter, Bina (Sabina) in 1915..
Chaim sent the postcard at the left to his wife, while he was a prisoner of war in Siberia. In German it reads:
"Liebste Berta! Hoffentlich erkennst Du mich hier, solltest es erhalten so bestätige mir dasselbe und werde ein anderes schicken. 21.9 916. Reise ahoy
I/105 Beresovka, Tronokojsol [?]
"Dearest Berta! Hopefully you recognize me, should you receive it, then
confirm it and I will send another one. 21 Sep 1916. Journey ahoy.
prisoner of war"
In 1921, Chaim, Beile and their two children emigrated to the U.S. Soon after, his father, his wife, daughter and another son moved to Palestine.
These photos were provided by Carole Glick Feinberg, the granddaughter of Beile and Chaim Hillebrand.
© Valerie Schatzker 2016
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