The beginning of the end of German Jewry


< 28 SEPTEMBER 1933
2 OCTOBER 1933 >

29 September 1933

Final report card issued to Luba Mirskin by the Hohenzollern High School for Girls

When Luba Mirskin received this final report card in late September 1933, she was nineteen years old. She left the girls‘ high school she had been attending while final exams were still underway "to go to England," as a note on the card explains. In fact, many months would pass before she and her family finally departed from Berlin.

Contrary to what the Mirskins told the school, their real destination was not Great Britain, but Palestine. In 1934 Hirsch Mirskin traveled there to arrange immigration for his family. However, he died suddenly of a stroke and Luba and her sister, Helena, never saw their father again. The two girls and their mother were left on their own in Berlin and it took them several months to wrap up their affairs and move to Jerusalem. The older sister, Helena, soon established a family of her own in this strange new home. Luba became a freelance photographer and later married Stephan Baumblatt, who had also emigrated from Germany.

Miriam Goldmann

Categorie(s): Berlin | childhood | emigration | school
Final report card issued to Luba Mirskin by the Hohenzollern High School for Girls, Berlin, 29 September 1933
Permanent loan

A school in the western part of Berlin

The Hohenzollern High School for Girls was located in Eisenzahnstrasse in the Wilmersdorf district of Berlin. Luba Mirskin (1914–1996) went there for seven years, remaining loyal to her school despite her family‘s frequent changes of address. When this photo was taken in September 1930, the school still had many Jewish students, but when Luba left three years later, she was the last Jewish girl in her class. The only final exam Luba took was in gym class and even as an old woman she regretted never having finished school.

Class U II c of the Hohenzollern High School for Girls with Luba Mirskin in the last row (5th from left), photographed by R. Schneider, Berlin, 26 September 1930. The picture was taken in the first-floor foyer, where students spent their recesses in bad weather.
Private collection 

From Moscow to Berlin

Luba Mirskin was born in Łódź in 1914, the same year her family moved to Moscow. Her father, Hirsch Mirskin, was a merchant who traded mainly in coats and fur goods.

Like many other Russians—Jews and non-Jews alike—the Mirskins tried for years to leave the Russian Empire, which was in a state of upheaval due to the October Revolution and the civil war. In 1924 Luba‘s mother traveled with her two daughters to Sopot on Gdansk Bay, a Baltic Sea resort popular among Russians and Poles. Her father was able to follow them to Sopot and it was from there that the couple looked for a new place to live in Germany. At this time Luba and her sister, Helena, who was three years older, were attending a girls‘ boarding school in Lausanne.

In 1925 the family finally moved to Berlin. However, Luba‘s father never enjoyed the same success as in his Russian homeland. The family‘s situation remained precarious.

The Mirskin family (left to right): Luba‘s mother, Luba, her father, Hirsch, and her sister, Helena, Sopot, 1924
Private collection