A 20th Century Life


by Ethel Liebman Wiesinge



paperback / $20.00 / isbn: 978-1-58790-553-7 / 282 pages / 6" x 9"


Memoir / Immigrant / German-Jewish Experience Early 20th Century

About the Book

From Czernowitz to China and Beyond is the personal account of an extraordinary woman born of Jewish parents in 1890 in Czernowitz, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She describes her life in Czernowitz as a child, China in 1910 at age 20, New York in 1912 and Shanghai again in 1924. Ethel Liebman Wiesinger tells of being married to a German entrepreneur in pre-revolutionary China and how politics affected her life.

Her husband Otto Wiesinger, a lifelong German, fought in Tsingtau, China during WWI and later sought to import arms to support warlord Chang Tso-lin. In the 1930s, they had an Asian arts store in San Francisco that went bankrupt during the Great Depression. In 1938 Otto returned to Nazi Germany to support Hitler.

Now on her own, Ethel opened the Beverly Hills Hotel Gift Shop and knew many celebrities. After retirement she lived in Charlevoix, Michigan, until her death in 1984. Additional stories of the family’s life in the 20th century are written by her daughters.

Edith Gilbert:  My Shanghai – At Age Seven

Margot Smith:  Growing Up In Beverly Hills




 Margot Smith is a retired social scientist with a doctorate in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. After working in research on health care for the State and publishing many articles, she produced documentaries shown on PBS and in film festivals. They are now available on YouTube. In retirement, she is an activist for social causes and continues to write.  She raised four children, is the grandparent of six and the great-grandparent of two.


To purchase book, click on book cover.