HIRSCHFELD, ALBERT

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III


Albert Hirschfeld (1891-1972), was born September 6, 1891 at Ribben, Germany (then Prussia), son of Solomon Hirschfeld (1852-1927) and Lina Levine Hirschfeld (1854-1924). He came to America on September 27, 1913 settling at first at Galveston, Texas. He began a career in America as a jeweler. 

            About 1925 he became a real estate broker. Eventually he grew into a real estate and mortgage magnate. He lived with his parents and brother Isidor before his marriage. He married Lina Roegelein on December 24, 1931, at Comal, Texas. They had a son Curt Arno Hirschfeld. 

            He and his wife Lena were great patrons of the arts and museums establishing the Albert & Lena Hirschfeld Charitable Trust incorporated at Dallas, TexasFor fifteen years he was the president of the San Antonio Museum Association and chairman of the board of the Witte Museum. He also served on the boards of the San Antonio Symphony and the San Antonio Art League. Among his charitable organizations he served o the board of Madonna Neighborhood Center, the Guadalupe Community Center, Goodwill Industries, and the San Antonio Association for the blind.

            
            In 1959, he was the recipient of the Brotherhood Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews.

            In March 1963 he donated 560 coins to the Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas, which he kept in the Museum safe for years. In the collection 194 coins were foreign. Among them 46 coins were minted after 1933. The Witte Museum, was established in 1926 under the charter of the San Antonio Museum Association.  The Witte Museum is located next to Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, Texas, on the banks of the San Antonio River. 

            On August 13, 1963, three months and nine days prior to the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy United States Customs officers entered the Witte Museum with warrants to seize 21 gold coins of the 46 minted after 1933 they claimed were illegally imported into the United States under the provisions of the Gold Act of 1933 signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The seized coins were minted in Mexico, Switzerland, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Bolivia, Syria, Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Rumania, and Turkey. Dr. William A. Burn, Director of the Witte Museum protested and appealed to the public to write the Vice-President petitioning the 21 gold coins be returned. . 

Fig. Arthur C. Perry, Assistant to Vice-President, Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973), six weeks prior to his succession of President after the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. This item is for sale at $200 and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Todd Mueller Autographs.

He died of a heart attack on April 8, 1972. He was buried on April 11, 1972, at Congregation Agudas Achim Cemetery, North Palmetto Street, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.

Bibliography :

Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Thursday, August 15, 1963
San Antonio Express, Monday, June 12, 1972, page 2



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