The Hackner sisters

A real family treasure came into my possession through ebay – not just one family photo album, but four of the same family! One of the decisive clues I found in one of the photo albums was a marriage notification of Georg Hackner and Marion née Bechtold from Altmannstein, Germany, from July 1921.

Georg Hackner was born on April 5th, 1886, in Erasbach. Marion Bechtold was born on April 12th, 1891 in München.

Soon after Georg and Marion got married, they became parents of two daughters.

At first glance, I thought the Hackner sisters might be twins. They certainly (were) dressed as twins as girls. But the earliest photos of them show that one was slightly older than the other. I guessed right:

Elisabeth Henriette Hackner was born on December 19th, 1923, and Henriette Marion Hackner was born just a year later on December 23rd, 1924, in Altmannstein.

They seemed inseparable! They played together, laughed together, and celebrated every birthday together – double trouble! Take a look at the Hackner sisters’ play corner and toys! The display of toys, the dolls, the doll furniture! The play corner is identified to belong to “Geschw. Hackner” (siblings Hackner).

A glimpse at the Hackner home. The photo was taken at Christmas which was also the double birthday of the Hackner sisters every year. You can see a portrait of the sisters hanging on the wall.

The family adored their doggo! He was in the girls’ lives from the very beginning.

When the girls were smaller, father Georg had a bushy beard. He shaved it off at the turn of the decade. Here are the 3 style examples of Georg Hackner.

Their mother Marion’s style also changed as years passed by.

The Hackner girls were born in Altmannstein but moved to Oberweiling when they were little, it is about 50 km away.

Georg Hackner worked as a teacher in Oberweiling in Bavaria. This was the schoolhouse in the 1920s and 1930s. The building still stands today and it is used as an event location for concerts etc. (“Kneipenbühne”).

There are several classroom photos in this found photo album – Georg Hackner surrounded by his many pupils. These kids lived in Oberweiling in Bavaria or nearby. Some of them are dirty and are not wearing any footwear. This public school accepted all children and gave them a chance to learn to read and write, so they could have a better chance at life than their start perhaps had been.

I’m sure as a Catholic school teacher in Bavaria, Georg was strict in the classroom. But I imagine him to have been quite the teddy bear out of classroom. Look at him holding one of his daughters in another classroom photo. The other kids are all cuddled up close to him.

“The little ones of Oberweiling ” says the sign the 2 cuties are holding below. Can you spot the Hackner sisters?

The sleighing slopes just off the Catholic church Mariä Geburt in Oberweiling were fun in the snowy winter time.

The photo albums also includes faces other than our lovely Hackner family. For instance this next photo of two WWI soldiers. First I was thinking that the man with the beard might have been a thin Georg Hackner during WWI. But I was confused by the wedding band because I have proof he married Marion only in 1921 and he was unmarried (not divorced or widowed) at the time. And I couldn’t find Georg anywhere in the German WWI military records which are very well researched and catalogued. I then noticed that one of the witnesses at his marriage registration ceremony was one Josef Hackner. This was Georg’s younger brother, born in 1888 in Erasbach to parents Johann and Anna Hackner. Josef lived in Freystadt and was married with two children at the time this photo was taken. He seems to have survived WWI.

There are also a few photos of who I believe to be Marion’s sisters. Here they are wearing a regional costume of Dirndl from Bavaria.

You see a double wedding of two of the ladies from the above photos. They wore identical wedding dresses, too! That look of love is to die for!

This couple, I believe Marion’s younger sister, moved a lot of hearts on Instagram when I shared these photos. That same look of love, I hope they never lost it!

The “look of love” couple seemed to have had two daughters. The first photo below was taken during their trip to Anhausen in June 1932. The moment has been described in detail. Apparently Emimarie, the older daughter, played a trick on her father. When they got ready to take the photo and had to sit still, just before the camera took the photo, Emimarie nudged her father with her foot and the father instinctively turned his head. Which made everyone laugh, especially the younger daughter Erna who had lost her shoe. Emimarie is a very rare name in Germany. Oh I wish I knew their surname!

I also believe that this older lady below who looks like the granny from Little Red Riding Hood was the grandma of the Hackner sisters. Here she is, holding one of her grand-daughters in Altmannstein. Maybe her name was Henriette in honour of whom the both of her grand-daughters were named after.

Unfortunately there is not much I know about the family beyond the years of these photo albums. I know that father Georg passed away in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz in 1961. In 1965, one Henriette Hackner is listed as a doctor living in Dr.-Eberle-Str. 26 in Neumarkt. If this is our Henriette, she would be 41 years old in 1965. Since she hadn’t changed her surname, perhaps she had remained unmarried?

A housewife Maria Hackner lives in the same address with her. Could this be Marion?

I have no clues as to what happened to Elisabeth. She probably got married and changed her surname which makes it pretty impossible to find her taking into account the data protection laws.

I will leave you here with some more beautiful photos of the Hackners from Oberweiling/Neumarkt. Their love for each other is heart-warming, their bond unshakeable. I don’t want to think that a few years later WWII ravished the world and surely the Hackners were not spared pain and sorrow. But I also want to believe that their love for each other carried them through any hardship.

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