The Story of the Jewish Community in Bratislava

Their Legacies Remain

The Fischer Family

Gisi Fleischmann née Fischer (1892 – 1944) in Bratislava during the war Gisi Fleischmann née Fischer, as a young woman in Bratislava Jozef and Gisi Fleischmann, and their two daughters, Aliza-Lizi and Judita-Juci (seated), with Gisi’s brother, Gustav-Gershon Fischer, before the war Jozef Fleischmann, Gisi’s husband Gisi Fleischmann (on the right), at a meeting of the Slovakian branch of WIZO, before the war Women activists of WIZO in Bratislava, before the war. On the left, Beatte Hartvig, with Gisi Fleischmann at her side Judita-Juci Fleischmann, Gisi Fleischmann’s daughter, with her uncle Dr. Desider-David Fischer and his wife, Lily Fischer, in prewar Bratislava Dr. Gustav-Gershon Fischer, Gisi Fleischmann’s brother. Gustav was murdered in Bratislava in September of 1939 The Zionist leadership in Slovakia before the war. On the left: Gisi Fleischmann David and Lily Fischer's garden; Bratislava, the early 1940s Gisi Fleischmann Gisi Fleischmann during the war, reading a letter from her daughters in Eretz Israel Gisi Fleischmann A Drawing by Enest Auerbach Ernest (Hron) Auerbach (1898-1982) depicting a flag-bearing Gisi Fleischmann, styled after Joan of Arc Jeti Fischer, Gisi Fleischmann’s mother David and Lily Fischer's garden; Bratislava, the early 1940s The Fischer and Perl families, Bratislava, January 1949

Jetty (née Elinger) and Yehuda-Julius Fischer were the owners of a small hotel and restaurant in Bratislava, which served as a meeting place for the local Jewish community. Yehuda’s father and brother were rabbis in the Slovakian communities of Piešťany and Prešov. The couple had three children: Gisi (1892), Desider-David (1894) and Gustav-Isidor Gershon (1896).

The two boys received higher education – Desider became a doctor, and eventually became the head of the Pediatric Ward in the Jewish hospital in Bratislava. Gustav, the younger brother, became a doctor of law. Gisi was not enrolled in higher studies, although she possessed an exceptionally keen intelligence. She devoted her energies to public activities in the fields of Jewish welfare and emigration. Gisi married Joseph Fleischmann, a businessman, and the couple had two daughters – Aliza (Lizi) and Judith (Juzi).

Jetty and Yehuda Fischer were devout, and adhered to an Orthodox religious lifestyle. Their three children became ardent Zionists. The family hotel hosted meetings of Zionist youth. The father of the family, Yehuda, passed away in 1936.

In September 1939, Dr. Gustav Fischer was attacked by thugs on the way home from his office. Two days later he died from the injuries sustained in the attack. His widow, Lily, could not bear her sorrow, and committed suicide. Gisi, who was active in the Jewish Center, and later on became one of the leaders of the Working Group sent both her daughters to Eretz Israel at the end of 1939. In 1942 her husband Joseph died. In addition to her public role, Gisi took care of her mother who was ill; they lived together in a small apartment in Bratislava until the end of summer 1944. In light of the renewed danger of deportation faced by the Jews who remained in the city, Gisi and her brother Desider decided to hospitalize their mother in a Christian hospital.

Gisi was murdered in Auschwitz in October 1944.

Desider, his wife Lily and their son, Albert (later: Avri), survived the war in hiding. After the war they retrieved Jetty from the hospital; she passed away in December of 1945. Desider-David, Lily and Avri Fischer immigrated to Israel in 1949.

Gisi and Joseph Fleischmann’s daughters, who moved to Eretz Israel alone at a young age, experienced difficulties in adjusting to their new surroundings. These difficulties, and the separation from their parents, marked the girls for life. Both passed away without having children of their own.