David Lissner

Family Name: LISSNER
Given Name: Wolfgang, later David
davidlissner dl1Birth date: Feb 18th 1942
Birth place: Berlin, Germany
Father’s name: Georg LISSNER (1889 Berlin – 1956 USA)
Mother’s Name: Agnes LISSNER nee URBANSKY (1901 Katowice – 1978 USA)

David’s story
David LISSNER was born in Berlin in 1942 as Wolfgang LISSNER.
His father, Georg LISSNER, was born in Berlin in 1889, to Louis LISSNER and Rosamunda Rozamunda LISSNER nee SCHWARZ.
His mother Agnes LISSNER nee URBANSKY was born in Katowice, now Poland, in 1901,
to Johann URBANSKY and Marie URBANSKY nee VOGEL .
His mother was originally a Catholic but converted to Judaism in the year 1934 in Berlin.

Agnes LISSNER  and Georg LISSNER

His parents may have met in 1932 in Berlin or in the Silesia / Schlesien region.
They married in the year 1934 in Berlin.
They lived in Berlin in Chorinerstr.12 or/and in Strassburger Strasse 34.

His father owned a bicycle business.

His mother told him that she had also given birth to boys (twins?) in the year (?) but that these were taken away from her right after the birth.

David’s father Georg was with his family in Berlin continually during the war, except for the time from Feb 26th 1943 to March 16th 1943 when he was detained at a Collection Camp in Rosenstrasse in Berlin.

David’s mother, in order to survive, once more became a Catholic during the war, possibly during her pregnancy with David.

After David’s birth in February 1942, the family managed to survive in Berlin till the war ended in 1945.

After the war David’s mother returned to Judaism and lived her life as a Jewess till she died in 1978.

After the war, from 1946 to 1949, David’s father Georg Lissner worked either for the Jewish Community or for HIAS at Oranienburgerstr. Berlin N4. He had also worked there for one week at the very beginning of the war, from Oct 3rd to Oct 12th in 1939.

In 1949 George, Agnes and David Lissner emigrated to the States.

Because David was so young he does not remember what happened during the war, and his parents were reluctant to talk much about the past.
But he would very much like to know the answers to two main questions:
Who were his brothers and what happened to them? Does he have other unknown living relatives from the LISSNER family?
Are his cousins Norbert and Heinz URBANSKY still alive, and perhaps some of his other URBANSKY relatives?

David’s brothers
Who were his brothers?
When were they born?
Were they twins?
What happened to them?
Agnes URBANSKY had married Georg LISSNER in 1934.
Who were the children born in this marriage during the years 1935 to 1941?

David’s uncles Ernst and Heinrich URBANSKI in World War One
David’s mother Agnes LISSNER nee Urbansky had two brothers and two sisters.
Her two brothers Ernst and Heinrich URBANSKI according to these uniforms served as German soldiers in World War One.

Heinrich and Ernst URBANSKI
Heinrich and Ernst URBANSKI

David’s cousins Heinz and Norbert Urbansky / Urbanski

David’s uncle Ernst URBANSKY / URBANSKI , born in 1889, was married to Marie and the father of Heinz and Norbert URBANSKY / URBANSKI.
Where did this family live between the two World Wars? In Katowice? In Berlin? Elsewhere in Germany?
As Ernst Urbanski had served as a German soldier in World War One, it is likely the family had moved from Katowice into Germany.

Heinz URBANSKY was probably born around 1922(?) and his brother Norbert URBANSKY on October 8th 1925, David first informed us. It now seems likely that Norbert was born on Oct 8th 1923.

Heinz, Marie, Norbert and Ernst URBANSKI
Heinz, Marie, Norbert and Ernst URBANSKI

Is this David’s cousin Norbert URBANSKI?
From the following information on the website of those German soldiers who died in the two World Wars, we will now check if this is David’s cousin:
Born Oct 8th 1923 in Katowice.
Died or went missing in action on August 30th 1944 in what was then Swinemuende and is now Swinoujscie in Poland
Basic information about the URBANSKI / URBANSKY family
David’s maternal grandparents were Johann and Marie URBANSKI, Roman Catholics from Katowice / Katowitz. The spelling of the family name as URBANSKI used by the grandparents can be seen on a photo of Johann URBANSKI’s gravestone. David had used the version of Urbansky, a fact that may or may not have hampered his search for his Polish relatives, so we will keep both versions for now.

Johann URBANSKI was born in 1860 (birth place not known) and he died in 1913 in Katowice. Katowice was then Katowitz , a part of Galicia, a part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire. During that time the German language was important, so using the given name of Johann makes sense in that context. But could he also have been called Jan URBANSKI at the time, or been remembered by his descendants in Poland as Jan URBANSKI?

Marie URBANSKI, whose maiden name was Vogel, was born in 1858 and died in 1931.
It is at least possible that after Poland became independent in 1918, Marie might have been known as Maria URBANSKA, if she continued to live in Katowicz.

Johann and Marie’s children and their descendants:

Martha (Marta?) RUPPERT nee URBANSKI URBANSKY (1886 – 1921)
Husband: Karl RUPPERT
Daughter: Frieda RUPPERT born 1914
The RUPPERT family lived in Katowice? Berlin? Elsewhere?

Heinrich (Henryk?) URBANSKI URBANSKY (1887 – ?)
Wife: Lucy URBANSKI URBANSKY URBANSKA nee NN (born 1894 – ?)
Daughter: Heidel or Heldel (?) URBANSKI URBANSKY born ca 1915
These parents were picked up by the SS, place and date not known. Why?
Is it known if they survived?
Where did they live before the war? In Katowice? In Germany?

Ernst (Ernest?) URBANSKI URBANSKY (1889 – ?)
Wife: Marie URBANSKI URBANSKY URBANSKA nee NN ( born 1890 – ?)
Son: Heinz URBANSKI URBANSKY born around 1922? in Katowice(?). Still alive?
Son: Norbert URBANSKI URBANSKY born Oct 8th 1925 (1923?) in Katowice(?).
Probably fell as a German soldier on August 30th 1944 near Swinoujcie , now in Poland
Where did they live before the war? In Katowice? Elsewhere?

Else (Elszbieta?) WILCH (?) nee URBANSKI URBANSKY (1894 – ?)
Husband: Max WILCH or WILSCH (born 1887 – )
Did she have any children?
Where did she and her husband live? In Katowice? In Berlin? Elsewhere?
Max WILCH picked up by the SS – where and when and why?

Alice (Alicja?) WILSCH or WILCH or POHL nee URBANSKI URBANSKY ( ? – ?)
Husband: Max WILCH or WILSCH or POHL
Did this family lived in Katowice? Berlin? Elsewhere?

Agnes Pauline (Agnieszka?) LISSNER nee URBANSKI URBANSKY (1901 – 1978)
Husband: Georg LISSNER (1889 – 1956)
Left Katowice in 1921 and worked as a saleswoman in Berlin till she converted to Judaism and
married in Berlin in 1934.
Two sons, possibly twins, probably born around 1935 – 1940, names not known
Third son: Wolfgang David LISSNER born 1942 in Berlin


The sisters Alice and AgnesUrbansky/URBANSKI in the midtwenties.
The sisters Alice and AgnesUrbansky/URBANSKI in the midtwenties.
Ernst and Heinrich URBANSKI and unknown woman, perhaps in the late nineteen twenties?

Looking at Agnes’ two sisters Else and Alice, it seems more and more likely that they are the same person.
Alicja in Polish as Else in German?
It is not sure who is the third woman, she is also present in the second photo.

Basic information about the LISSNER family

David’s paternal great-grandparents were the master furrier Wolff LISSNER and his wife Jette nee LEWIN.
Wolff LISSNER was born around 1831. He probably lived in Labischin (now Labiszyn , 88 km NE of Poznan ) around 1860 to 1870. Perhaps he was born there? Much later, on the eve of World War Two, there were only 85 Jews living in Labiszyn.

Jette and Wolff LISSNER had the following children:
Louis LISSNER born 1860 in Labiszyn, died 1933 in Berlin
Adolf LISSNER born 1871 in Labiszyn, died 1960 in Berlin
Cesar LISSNER ( ? – ? ) probably worked as a Kaufman in Freiherr-von-Stein Strasse 7 in Schoeneberg in Berlin in 1931
Flora MOTT nee LISSNER ( ? – ?)
Pauline LISSNER ( ? – ? )

Could this be a family portrait of the Lissner brothers Louis, Adolf and Caesar LISSNER in 1907? The young man standing to the right behind the dog may be Georg LISSNER, then 18 years old.
Could this be a family portrait of the Lissner brothers Louis, Adolf and Caesar LISSNER in 1907?
The young man standing to the right behind the dog may be Georg LISSNER, then 18 years old.

David’s paternal grandfather Louis LISSNER (1860-1933) was married to Rosamunda Rozamund nee SCHWARZ ( 1868 – 1942 Theresienstadt).
David’s paternal grandfather Louis LISSNER (1860-1933) was married to Rosamunda Rozamund nee SCHWARZ ( 1868 – 1942 Theresienstadt).

This couple had three children:

Georg LISSNER (1888 – 1956)

Siegfried LISSNER (1890 – ?)

Kurt LISSNER (1895 – 1942 Riga)

Some more information about Siegfried and Kurt LISSNER
David was told about two paternal uncles, Siegfried LISSNER and Kurt LISSNER.

As for Kurt LISSNER, we know from the German records that he was born March 17th 1895 in Berlin and deported from Berlin to Riga on August 15th 1942, and that he died in Riga.
Kurt LISSNER, a dentist, was not married, David knows.

As for the second brother of Georg LISSNER, his name was Siegfried LISSNER.
Siegfried LISSNER was married to Philomena LISSNER nee FITZIK and the couple had a daughter named Ruth Henrietta Pauline LISSNER (1925-2001).
In the 1940 and 1941 Addressbooks for Berlin there is a merchant named Siegfried LISSNER who lived at Strassburger Strasse 34. This must be David’s uncle Siegfried LISSNER as the address is the same address David was told his parents had lived.
Siegfried LISSNER and his family survived the Holocaust.

The taylor Karl LISSNER
At least till the year 1938 a taylor named Karl LISSNER lived in Carmen Sylwa Strasse 60.
In 1940 a merchant named Georg LISSNER lived in Carmen Sylva Strasse 60.
Who was Karl LISSNER?

LISSNER relatives
Does David have living relatives on his father’s side?

There was a couple in Berlin named Jacob LISSNER (born 1866) and his wife Frieda (born 1879) who had at least one son named Georg LISSNER. This Georg LISSNER was alive in Israel in 1981.

Can you help David with more information about his family, about possible living relatives and in identifying the family photos?

In our search for David’s two unknown brothers, we had noted Avigdor Awigdor LISSNER born May 26th 1940 in Berlin. He was placed with Erna BENTSCHNER (born 1897) as a foster mother in Berlin and later deported with her and another foster child named Ellen SALINGRE (born May 29th 1932) to Auschwitz on March 12th 1943. According to a message we now have received, this little boy was the son of single mother Emmy LISSNER, and is therefore not David’s brother. Sadly Awigdor LISSNER was murdered in Auschwitz and his mother committed suicide during the war.
From the German Bundesarchiv website http://www.bundesarchiv.de/bestaende_findmittel/gedenkbuch/index.html
born May 28th 1907 in Berlin
committed suicide (Freitod) on February 28th 1943 in Berlin
Emmy was the daughter of Ismar and Jenny LISSNER. Their relative who reported this, is hoping to find a photo of little Avigdor, so if you have any ideas where and if such a photo might exist, please tell us and we will forward the information to the relative.
The relative cannot, so far, find any connection between the information presented here about David’s LISSNER family and that of the LISSNER family of Avigdor, Emmy and Ismar LISSNER, but perhaps further search might disclose a connection?

According to German records, there was also another boy, born three months before David, who is listed as a Holocaust victim. Could he be a cousin? Who were his parents? His name was Salo LISSNER and he born November 6th 1941 in Berlin and was deported from Berlin to Auschwitz on June 15th 1944.

Previous Comments

Avigdor Lissner
written by Robert Guterman, September 07, 2009
Avigdor Lissner is not David’s brother he is the son of Jenny Lissner who was a single mother and gave him up to a foster mother.

1 Comment on David Lissner

  1. I have been researching the Lissner family extensively, as I am descended from Wolff and Jette (Henrietta) Lissner on my mother’s side. In addition to the children named above (Louis, Adolf, Cesar, Flora, and Pauline) they had Jacob (my great-grandfather), Julius (a cantor), Johanna, Jennie, and one other child whose name and gender I do not know. I would appreciate any information about any of these siblings. I am especially interested in hearing from Avigdor Lissner, as I know very little about his mother Jennie.

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