Britschgi-Schimmer, Dr. Ina

אינה בריצ'גי שימר
Dr. Ina Britschgi-Schimmer (née Regina Schimmer) was born on 23.9.1881 in Vienna and died on 14.7.1949 in Israel. She was raised in a family from low socio-economic background. After school, she started working for commercial firms in Vienna and later Hamburg. Following the first Zionist congress in 1897, Ina got involved with the Zionist movement. She worked in administrative and editing work at the ‘Jüdischer Verlag’ – a Jewish publishing house which was formed in Berlin in 1902. In 1912, she married Dr Joseph Britschgi, a Gentile Swiss man, and the couple had two sons. They divorced in 1919, and Ina and her sons lived in Berlin first, before immigrating to Palestine in 1933. Paul Nathan, co-editor of the "Nation" and board of the "Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden" and the "Centralbureau für Jüdische Auswanderungsangelegenheiten" commissioned her in 1906 with a study on the influence of the American immigration law on the Jewish immigrants to the United States. She did research on Ellis Island and at Jewish and Italian charities in New York. Since 1907 she studied political economy, sociology, philosophy and history in Berlin. From 1911 she studied constitutional, international and action law in Zurich. At the same time she was researching for her dissertation "The economic and social conditions of Italian workers in Germany" in steel factories of the Ruhr area, in Baden textile factories, and in Alsatian weaving mills. She developed new research methods, such as participant observation and oral history. From 1923 she was with the "Berliner Zionistische Vereinigung" and worked in the editorial office of the Hebrew newspaper Haolam, even when this was moved to London because of inflation. Then she edited the letters of Gustav Landauer together with Martin Buber. She was a member of the German WIZO, and in 1932 set up a counseling center for girls and women who wanted to emigrate to Palestine. To study the conditions there, she travelled to Palestine in 1932 and did not return after Hitler's accession to power. In Palestine, she worked for the Hitachduth Olej Germania. Later in Jerusalem, she devoted herself to social science studies, building on her work in Germany, for example in investigations for the Jewish Agency for Palestine: "The Shifting of Jewish Immigrants from Germany to Urban Professions in Palestine" (1936, 1940); "Housing and Living Conditions in the Slums of Jerusalem" (1939); "Contribution to the History of the Chalukah and the Kolelim and their Economic Importance for the Present" (1939); "The Need to Build New School Houses in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv" (1942); "The Yemenite Jews in Jerusalem" (1942); and "Youth Aliyah in the Self-Contemplation of Young People". She is a member of Aliyah Chadasha, and travels through Palestine for the latter study, interviewing youth in Kibbuzim, Kwuzot and Youth Villages. Between 1942 and 1945 she works for the "American Fund for Palestinian Institutions", then she retires.
Cäcilie (née Csarna)
Hermann (Hersch) Zvi Schimmer
Jane, Rosa and Theresa, who all emigrated later on to the U.S.
In 1912 she married Dr. Joseph Britschgi, a non-Jewish Swiss man. They had two sons, who both emigrated to Switzerland. The couple divorced in 1919 in Berlin.
Age at Migration
Year of Migration
Archival Materials
Central Zionist Archives: S90 205/1, 24 242