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 Who Was Isidor  Fisch ? 

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Isidor Fisch's gravesite, in a Jewish cemetery in Leipzig, was visited by Siglinde Rach in April 2001. 

 When the police first questioned Hauptmann about the money he lied. Thinking that he had been arrested for owning gold certificates that should have been exchanged for other bills, he said he had no more than what they found in his pocket. President Roosevelt's recall of all  gold certificates, in May 1933, was meant to  discourage Americans from hoarding gold. Hauptmann, an illegal immigrant, was afraid to admit having illegal money since he discovered this cache long after this government decree. 

But, the police would eventually discover $14,600 in Lindbergh ransom money when searching his garage and Hauptmann would finally tell the police - and the jury that convicted him - what would become ridiculed as "The Fisch Story." Hauptmann swore to the truth of this until the day he was executed and although he was offered $90,000 to "confess," he refused to change any part of his alibi.

Also, according to the letter Hauptmann wrote to his mother, the Police badgered him to reveal where the "rest" of the money was AFTER they "proved" to the jury HOW he had spent every last penny of the $50,000.00!





On December 5, 1933, during his farewell party, Hauptmann's business partner, Isidor Fisch, left Hauptmann with a shoebox of "important papers" before sailing to Leipzig to visit relatives.  

Siglinde Rach's photo of apartment building where Isidor spent the remaining months of his life. 

 Hauptmann claimed he had been given this box, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, and had put it on a high shelf in a closet. 

Fisch had applied for a passport on May 12, 1932  the same day the baby's body was discovered.

 He sailed on December 6, 1933. Hauptmann told Police he had anticipated Fisch's return because he had $7,000 of Hauptmann's money.

The Knickerbocker Pie Company stock certificate in Fisch's name (submitted by Siglinde Rach)

 Fisch died of tuberculosis on March 29, 1934, (the 13th of Nissan) in Leipzig at Klinikum St Georg. He  never returned to America and Hauptmann told Police he had believed his savings were lost forever.

 Until he discovered the shoebox.

Hauptmann  also claimed he had made the discovery of the money while cleaning the closet in which a leaky roof made the shoe box fall apart. He  recovered more money - $14,600 - than what he was owed by Fisch. He took his findings to the garage since the bills were wet from the leaking closet. He began to dry the bills and hide them behind some wooden boards in his garage. He figured that since he was owed $7,000 it was okay for him to keep the money for his family. This sequence of events, told by Hauptmann throughout the trial, was dubbed by police and reporters as "The Fisch Story."

On March 1, he said, he had been with his wife. Every Tuesday he went to Christian Fredericksen's bakery on Dyer Avenue, Bronx, where his wife worked. He ate dinner there and took her home at nine. They then went to bed so they could rise early the next morning.

The police also questioned where Hauptmann had been on April 2, the day John met Dr. Condon in the cemetery. The day was a first Saturday in the month. Every first Saturday Hauptmann and his friend Hans Kloeppenburg would meet at Hauptmann's house at seven o'clock. They had what they called a musical night. They would sing German songs. Kloeppenburg played the guitar and Hauptmann the mandolin. Kloeppenburg would leave around midnight. Anna was always with them.

thanks to Steve Romeo for submitting the following newspaper photograph

ATLANTIC CITY--a photo of Fisch's family having a great time in Atlantic City - 

Pincus, his wife Czerna, Miss Minna Steignetz, and Hanna Fisch his sister When 
Reilly was informed of the Fisch family's  arrival he said "this is just another 
example of how the state attorneys are throwing away taxpayer's money in the 


Fisch's address
 Feb 6, 2002

Steve, Fisch's address (which was also the address of Karl and Gerta Henkel) 
at that time was 149 East 127th Street, Mrs. Selma Kohl's rooming house. 
Richard Sloan might also want to point out 164 East 127th Street, the address 
of the Birritella "church." 

The house Richard stopped at was the Kirstens', Gerta 
Henkel's parents', house. Karl Henkel never lived there, but Fisch did after 
his arrival from Germany. That is where he met Erich Schaefer, his close 
friend and business partner in the Knickerbocker Pie Baking Company and other 
failed ventures. Schaefer was giving piano lessons to the Kirsten girls, Gerta 
and Erika. 

Following newspaper excerpts submitted by Steve Romeo

NO PROOF AGAINST FISCH-- it may be that the states 
support of Fsch's character is equally flimsy, it may be that there is no 
definite proof that he was in the Junge's home the night of March the 1st. But 
if a man is innocent until proved guilty, then Isidor Fisch is as pure as a 
newborn baby. Hauptmann grows whiter as his case grows darker. He knows others 
of the Fisch family will come on, he must know that there is no evidence to 
place Fisch on that ladder and he knows the defense has been unable to 
convince even the most credulous that Fisch wrote those ransom notes. In fact, 
except for a few vague suggestions that he might have copied Hauptmann's 
writing, they have never tried. By means of cumulative suggestion, but with 
sudden clarity, this seems to be the case not of " the state of New Jersey 
vs. Hauptmann, but of Hauptmann vs. Isdor Fisch.---- JOHN M. MCCULLOUGH--- 

THE FISCH STORY--- to make the story stand up, 
the defense must prove that Bruno was a completely innocent and unconscious 
victim of Fisch's machinations, that Fisch, covertly obtained possession of 
his friend's diaries and other documents, was an accomplished forger who wrote 
all the ransom notes so perfectly that in every detail they bore a persuasive 
resemblance to Hauptmann's hand. 

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