Hirsch was an artistic and dreamy child, spending a great deal of his time drawing, painting, reading and writing. A loner as a child, in his teenage years he became more outgoing and interested in spending time with his peers. He joined the Jungenschaft when he was 15. The Jungenschaft was a highly-developed youth group founded in 1929 by Tusk (Eberhard Koebel). Its activities included camping trips and other group outings, and it also encouraged an interest in culture, music, philosophy and politics. The Nazis, fearing the Jungenschaft, dissolved it and replaced it with their own youth movement in 1934. Hirsch, as a Jew, was ineligible to remain in the youth movement.

The Jungenschaft had an enormous impact on Hirsch. It fostered his idealism, his loyalty, and his nationalism. Even after Hirsch moved to Prague in 1935 to pursue a degree in architecture, he remained in close contact with his Jungenschaft friends. Also Tusk, the founder of the Jungenschaft, while warning Hirsch to stay away from politics, recommended that he look up Otto Strasser, leader of the Black Front and living at Prague at the time. The Black Front was a political group that had splintered off from Hitler, having a socialist agenda not shared by the Nazis. Strasser opposed Hitler, unfortunately his belief that he could stir up the German people to overthrow Hitler was naive and dangerous.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the image full size.

Black and white photo of a posed class of children

School Picture 1926/1927: A class photograph of Hirsch when enrolled in the Dillman Realgymnasium Klassenlehrer Praezeptor Schimmel. Hirsch is in the 2nd row, at the very right, kneeling.

Eberhard Koebel

Eberhard Koebel (Tusk), Founder of the Jungenschaft