Matrilinial Monday – Dora Hillinger

Dora and her sister Minna ca 1918
Name: Dora Kresch
Called by Grandkids: Bubbe
Birth: 1892, Czudek, Galicia (now Poland)
Death: 1969, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Spouse: Alex Hillinger
Marriage: 1919, Frankfurt, Germany
Children: Ben, Mina, Sam, Helena, Peppi, Selma
Parents: Benzion Kresch and Feige Golda Reich
Siblings: Naftali, Minna, and at least two more unnamed.
About: Dora was born in a former Germanic state called Galicia, which was primarily composed of the areas of southern Poland and eastern Ukraine. It was known for its poverty, and many Jewish shtetls were located within its borders. Dora was born in Czudek, just south and west of a well-known Jewish center of learning, Rzeszow. She lived there until the end of World War I, and I have found at least one account of an attack on the village which she likely lived through. 

Once the war was over, she and her sister travelled to Frankfurt, where she met the man who became her husband, Alex Hillinger. They settled there together and had six children, her mother eventually following her daughters to the city to be nearer to them until her death in the late 20s.

Unfortunately, at this time, the Nazi party was coming to power, and in 1933, after her husband's latest business venture failed due to the programs set in place by the Nazis, he decided to take his family and leave. He found a place for them in Paris, and she followed with the children. The family stayed in Paris for a year while they worked to get a visa to come to America, finally managing sometime in 1934. They settled with Alex's sister in Memphis, but shortly after their arrival, he had a stroke, and Dora was left to make money for the family. She went to work as a cook at a hospital, moving the family again, this time to Hot Springs, where her second son, Sam, my grandfather, was able to graduate from the High School that President Clinton would later attend. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the family moved one last time. This time, they moved to Chicago, where they finally stayed, and both Sam and Ben were soon sent off to war.

She lost her husband in 1948, shortly before Sam's return to the US, but she gained a daughter-in-law and a grandson who was named for him. Dora lived in Chicago for the rest of her life. She had 14 grandchildren by the time she died, and her first great-grandchild was born less than a year after her death.

Dora and her daughters and grandkids, Hannukah ca 1950s


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.