Biographical Notes About The Bischheim Family
This branch of our forefathers
came from Offenbach-am-Main, a small town about 10 miles east of the city of Frankfurt. We
don't know where Nathan Bischheim originated from, nor how he made a living.
His son Jacob Bischheim was a butcher and
was married to Charlotte Schlesinger.
Their son Bernhard Bischheim was Walter
Natt's grandfather and had his wholesale business of animal hides and skins still in
Offenbach, but lived in Frankfurt to marry Walter Natt's grandmother Auguste Toeplitz in
1881. We still have in our house some of the crystal and silver they received as wedding
gifts. Bernhard Bischheim retired at the early age of 48 since his wife Auguste had so
little confidence in his ability as a businessman. Since the family was well to do, he was
able to spend the rest of his life playing chess - he was said to have been a master at
the game - and visiting friends and relatives, and yet maintain his lifestyle.
Auguste Bischheim was a highly talented and
educated person. Not only was she an accomplished pianist, fluent in 5 languages, but also
a fervent student of the Bible and deeply religious. While not a domineering personality
at all, she was very influential in all matters concerning the family, and her advice was
very much solicited. After she sold her house at Humboldt Strausse 3 in Frankfurt, she
refused to move in with any of her children, but insisted on moving into the
"Kippestub," an old age home founded and endowed by one of the Rapp family sons
as she was very jealous of her independence. After moving to England in 1938, she stayed
in the house of Simon Bischheim until she died in 1941.
A few anecdotes which I remember:
Shortly before I left Frankfurt - I believe
it was in 1937 -the whole family was assembled at her house for some special occasion, and
in the evening it was decided that we'd all go to the "Juxplatz" by the river
Main, where they had roller coasters and all kinds of other rides. Since Grossmama
Bischheim, as we called her, was almost 80 years old, we considered her too old to come
along and suggested that she stay home. She was somewhat insulted. By the time we came
home about midnight, she had disappeared without a trace and we could not find her
anywhere when we searched the neighborhood. Finally at about 3 in the morning, she turned
up very triumphantly, telling us proudly that she had gone to the Juxplatz- by herself,
enjoyed all of the rides, and had a wonderful time. This was the last time we ever tried
to tell her what to do.
Ever so conscious of her Frankfurt heritage,
when she arrived at the London Airport from her native city in 1938, the immigration
officer asked her for her country of origin. She proudly answered "Frankfurt,"
since she mentally never could get used to the take-over of her beloved city by the
Prussians of Germany. She always considered herself a citizen of her native city only.
The family changed their name to Beecham
during their stay in England, and the more recent generations are listed in the
"Simon Beecham" family tree.
Of the other family members listed in the
Bischheim family tree, we told about the Norbert Mayer and Simon Bischheim families in the
beginning of these pages.
Albert Einstein (likely not a relative of the famous
namesake) and his wife visited us in Bayswater in the early 50s. Their daughter Dorothy
Krahn is a mathematician of Renown, with a doctorate in this field. She first worked for
the Admiralty in London, then for the Naval Ordnance in Washington and finally for the
National Center of Health Statistics. She has two children and is now retired in Silver