During the years 1935 to 1945 the island was being visited regularly at weekends by many who either belonged to the family or became family or felt part of the larger community that Liesel Elsaesser created. Not every visitor was captured on camera or played a major part in the home movies, and in some cases their visits are only documented in letters. But so many lives were touched by the island experiment, and in turn contributed to its sedimented history that it seemed worth giving some of them their identities and histories. If one or two are well-known personalities thanks to their contributions to the cultural life of Germany and the Weimar Republic, others might well be remembered now mainly through the traces and imprints they have left on my father's films and photographs.
Elisabeth (Liesel) Elsaesser, neé Wilhelm
A fiercely independent spirit from an early age, she defied conventions all her life.
Much of what we known about the Island experimental settlement: how it came about, what its purpose was, the initial difficulties encountered, etc., we know thanks to the correspondence Liesel kept: first with Migge, then with her two daughters, daughter-in-law and other friends. The letters provide a richly detailed documentation of a unique episode.
Martin (Märte) Elsaesser (1884-1957)
Leberecht (Migge) Migge (1881-1935)
It was for this man that Liesel left her grand-bourgeois household in Frankfurt and moved to an island - with no running water, electricity or any of the other amenities of civilized life.
Hans Peter (Hanner) Elsaesser
Brigitte Ruf, née Elsaesser
Ursula (Ursel) Elsaesser
Sebastian (Bastel) Elsaesser
Gertrud (Trudel) Elsaesser, née Sommer
Gerhard (Gerd) Sommer
Karl Sommer (1875-1955) Else Sommer(1879-1966)
Hans Wilhelm (1907-1995)
Lore Wilhelm, née Müller
Hermann Georg (Rex) Rexroth
Irmgard Kern (1907-1983)
Hanni Rocco (1896-1991)
Maria (Bobi) Proelss (1890-1962)
Armin Knab (1881-1951)
Yvonne Knab, née Hermann (1892-1980)
Eva Walter, née Stockhausen
Sofie Mörike, née Reihlen
Kaja Sommer, née Taube
Ludowika (Wika) Zistl
Gisela Ehren, née Schneider
Irmgard von Beersworth
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