Following in his father’s footsteps … at first

Our protagonist, the late CIA officer Henry Hecksher, initially followed his father into a career in the law.

In Elizabeth Sears’ journal article “The Life and Work of William H. Heckscher”, which is centered on Henry’s art historian brother, we learn that Siegfried Heckscher was a lawyer at the law firm Monckeberg & Heckscher.

We’ve already learned that Henry started his career in Germany as a lawyer, becoming a judge before he left for the United States.

Siegfried was also a director at Hamburg-America Line, or HAPAG, with a specialization in labor relations. He was also a member of the German Reichstag from 1907 to 1918 and the Weimar Republic’s ambassador to The Hague from 1918 to 1921.

He also had an artistic side, writing and producing Shakespearean plays and editing Der Lotse, which Sears describes as an “avant-garde literary periodical”.

The Heckscher brothers also had an older sister, Lottie.

In her journal article, Sears describes a close relationship between William and his sister.

“To his sister Lottie Ina Henriette Heckscher, … [William] Heckscher attributes the major decisions of his life. Sister and brother formed a ‘group ego’,” the fellow art historian writes.

The three siblings went in different directions. William left Germany in September 1936. In London, he was later detained as an enemy alien and then sent to an internment camp in Quebec, where he would eventually become a Canadian citizen.

Lottie ended up a British subject, though it’s not clear when she left. She worked in teaching and publishing.

All Sears has to say about Henry Hecksher in the article is that he trained as a lawyer, became an American citizen and worked in “military intelligence”.


Sears, Elizabeth. “The Life and Work of William S. Heckscher.” Zeitschrift Für Kunstgeschichte 53, no. 1 (1990): 107-33. Accessed July 17, 2021. doi:10.2307/1482507.

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