Ishrael [Esrael] Shpilt [Schpilt] from Zhmerinka, Zhitomir Oblast, Russia had arrived in New York City and joined Emma Goldman. Her group in general thought that 19th century rulers were oppressors but Ishrael in particular felt that any means, including intelligence operations, were justified in opposition to oppression. He therefore began using the name of the anti-Semitic Christian counts of Spielberg in Otingen [Ottingen, Oettingen], Germany who had tormented and persecuted his ancestors centuries before. By the 1890s this family of counts had been raised to princes in the Holy Roman Empire and, by all accounts, were still anti-Semites. Ishrael felt justified in using their name to further purposes in opposition to theirs. He eventually even used the surname Spielberg legally, as a property-owner in Philadelphia, and registered the Fairmount and Mountjoy perfume companies under the Spielberg name..."Fairmount" and "Mountjoy" both being translations of the German "Spielberg".
But it went much further than that for the Jewish Mr. Spielberg also felt that use of the identity of the actual Prince von Spielberg, Otto von Spielberg, was justified in opposing the latter's anti-Semitic activities in Germany. When Esther Rosenfeld arrived in N.Y.C. in 1893 from Berdicheff, already an intellectual determined to join Emma Goldman's group, Ishrael persuaded her to his point-of-view, that anything that couild be done in opposition to the czar, the kaiser, and so on including assumption of name sand identities, gathering intelligence and opposing them by any and every means was both justifiable and necessary.
By starnge coincidence, the Shpilt [Schpilt] surname had been adopted by Ishrael's ancestors when they fled Spielberg, the town in Ottingen where they had been so persecuted, and which Ishrael adopted now ostensibly just to assimilate but also with the purpose of creating a certain amount of confusion in regard to Furst (Prince) Otto von Spielberg, whose wife was named Bertha de la Rosee or Rose. Ishrael pointed out to Esther Rosenfeld (Field), whom he married, the coincidence of how much Rose or de la Rosee sounded like Rosenfeld.
Their daughters, Frances and Sophia, belonged to at least three groups, Emma Goldman's, the communists, and the Free French. By coincidence, Prince Otto Spielberg and his wife Bertha Rosee had named their daughter born in 1919 Franzeska [Frances] Spielberg after Ishrael and Esther had named their daughter born in 1911 Frances Spielberg.
The princess of Otingen died during the 1930s, several years before Hitler's takeover, and Ishrael believed that the (royal) Spielbergs were working to bring Hitler (who had attempted a revolution in Munich in 1923) to power. As the average person did not have access to the kind of information we have today (with the internet and so on) it was a relatively simple matter to arrange his daughter using the name Franzeska Spielberg in Europe.
Ishrael sent Frances, who had already been studying at the Barnes Foundation and Pennsylvania Academy of Art, to study painting under Andre L'Hote, a French Jew, in Paris. Ishrael died in 1937 while Frances was in Paris. Soon after that the nazis marched into Paris and Andre L'Hote, the Jewish artist, was executed for being Jewish.
Frances attended a meeting of communist Jews at the Chateau d'If in 1938. She also worked with Pierre Gabard, a member of the French resistance or "Free French" and French consul to Philadelphia 1957-1967. Gabard had married Barbara [Basha] Padowicz, a cousin of the Rosenfelds in the Lodz ghetto, whom Frances using the assumed identity of Franzeska von Spileberg rescued along with her children.
In 1937 Frances had returned to Philadelphia following her father's death and met a young communist named Paul Gustav Smith. In 1941, Frances's maternal uncle David Rosenfeld, a Soviet general, had intelligence that the German baron Hans Georg Schmidt von Altenstadt had ordered at a place called Kamenez-Podolsk the execution of certain of their Rosenfeld relatives in Berdicheff. Paul was brought in, by this time, to the family's tradition of assuming the identities of anti-Semites and nazis in order to oppose them.
The story was given out that Paul smith had gone to New Orleans "to join a jazz band" and he was sent undercover either by the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) or by his wife's uncle, Soviet General David Rosenfeld, as a von Schmidt auf Altenstadt, Colonel in the SS. In fact, he was probably instrumental in the escape of Basha [Lauter] Padowicz [Gabard] and her sister and children fromt eh Lodz ghetto which was being turned into a liquidation camp shortly after General David Rosenfeld had had intelligence of Kamenez-Podolsk and the execution of Jews in the Ukraine. Paul Smith was back in the states by 1942 as he was aboard the USS Eldridge in Philadelphia.
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