The photographs above were taken before Willia and Dora were to leave
for Shanghai in 1938. From there, nine years later, they immigrated to
the United States through San Francisco with their family.
Willi, the eldest child of Clara and Sigmund Fleischman, was named after
Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm I, the founder of the Second Reich. Under him,
German Jews enjoyed appreciation and equal legal rights. Wilhelm I died
in 1888, at a time when many German Jews named their children after him
in order to emphasise their strong connection to Germany.
Willi married Dora Weiss, born 1900, while her mother
was visiting her parents in Lemberg, Galicia then under Austrian rule.
About three years earlier, her grandfather had served as Russian Consul
in Brody, helping people
overcome bureaucratic problems and emigrate from Russia.
paternal grandfather was the "Starosta," the mayor of stary, in Galicia.
grew up in the city of Leipzig where her father ran a large, successful
women's wear business.