Albert Hirschman, Paul Kandjo And Lisa Fittko In ‘Transatlantic,’ Explained

“Transatlantic” focuses on a rescue mission orchestrated by the Emergency Rescue Committee in France and depicts one of the most significant events in World War II history. Under Varian Fry’s direction, a rescue operation was launched with the goal of helping a large number of refugees reach the United States. But, because the French government refused to provide them with exit permits, the plan encountered several obstacles. “Transatlantic” portrays certain fictional accounts of real-life characters while also depicting some fictional characters in order to add a bit more drama to this historical story of resistance. While real-life figures like Lisa Fittko, Hans Fittko, and Albert Hirschman have been shown serving for the Emergency Rescue Committee, the series fabricated a character named Paul Kandjo, who opposed Nazi oppression on behalf of all black immigrants. However, owing to the brilliance of the narrative, Paul Kandjo fit in with the other characters that were based on actual people and had a significant impact on the plot.


Spoilers Ahead

Albert Hirschman

German economist Albert O. Hirschman was born in Berlin to a prosperous Jewish family. He demonstrated the strength of his character by enlisting to fight for the Spanish Republic during the Civil War, and he participated in the rescue efforts of Jewish authors and artists who were trying to flee French territory for the United States. So far, “Transatlantic” depicts a young Albert Hirschman, an economics student who met Mary Jayne Gold while volunteering to rescue immigrants. Albert was a courageous patriot who chose to fight the Nazis with all of his heart and soul rather than consider the benefits of settling down in the United States for a better life.


From the beginning, we could see him turning down every opportunity to leave the French land. He helped his sister depart with Lisa Fittko’s assistance, but he opted to remain in France to assist Varian Fry and Mary Jayne in their rescue mission. While he fell in love with Mary Jayne and shared some wonderful moments while on their quest, their love story didn’t have a fairytale ending. Even after receiving American visas, he decided against traveling to the US and instead stayed back in France to continue the resistance. Along with his comrade Paul, he made the decision to continue the resistance movement in order to liberate France from Nazi rule. As a result, Albert’s relationship with Mary Jayne Gold comes to an unsatisfying end in the series.

Paul Kandjo

Paul Kandjo and his brother Petit were employed as receptionists at the Hotel Splendid, which served as a hideaway for Jewish immigrants and intellectuals. Nevertheless, Paul and Petit were more than just hospitality workers. They were a group of courageous revolutionaries who motivated a sizable number of downtrodden immigrants to expel the Nazis from France in the hopes that their Africa would be freed from French rule. Petit and Paul were both estranged from their homelands; as a result, Petit constantly yearned to return home and see his mother. Paul, however, was aware that in order for their homeland to be free of all occupying powers, they would have to battle the Nazis.


Paul resolved to continue the resistance to fulfill his brother’s desire and joined forces with Varian and Mary Jayne in the rescue efforts. During this procedure, he collaborated with British intelligence to fight the Nazis, their mutual adversaries. But, since Paul was arrested as a result of the Camp des Milles break-in, he was transported to Fort St. Nicholas. Afterward, the government chose to send him to Nazi territory. When Albert learned that Paul had been detained, he decided to free him for the sake of their relationship and the resistance. Before Paul could enter Nazi territory, he decided to put an end to the transfer in progress. Paul’s transfer to the Nazis was stopped by Albert, Hans, and Petit. Nevertheless, Petit, Paul’s brother, died in the process. His brother’s passing sparked a rage inside of him that drove him to lead the resistance in whatever way possible. Later, both Paul and Albert joined up the armed resistance force to combat the Nazis.

Lisa Fittko

Author and socialist Lisa Fittko assisted several refugees in leaving Nazi-occupied France for the United States. Like Mary Jayne, she was a strong, independent woman who made a great impact in the protests against the Nazis. She made a tremendous contribution to German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s escape from French territory. In “Transatlantic,” we see her having a friendship with Benjamin, but after he tragically commits suicide, Lisa becomes the one who finds him dead in his room.


Lisa Fittko, who was born into a Jewish family and later relocated with her family to Berlin, saw the Nazis gaining power and was inspired to become an anti-fascist activist. She aided several refugees in obtaining passage to Spain, from whence they could safely enter the United States. Lisa Fittko became Paul Kandjo’s love interest in “Transatlantic,” but their relationship did not progress. Lisa was unaware that her husband, Hans, was still alive. After seeing his name on the immigration list for the US visa, she couldn’t think of anything else other than returning to her husband. Together with Hans Fittko, she moved to the United States. Lisa Fittko had a significant impact on history by assisting the refugees. She was also well-known for her two autobiographies, “Lisa Fittko: Solidarity and Treason” and “Lisa Fittko, Escape over the Pyrenees.”

“Transatlantic” has a stunning array of noteworthy characters, both fictitious and real-life inspired. Even though the rescue mission was a success and all of these compelling individuals were able to fulfill their objectives, none of them experienced a happy ending in their romantic relationships. It was remarkable that their ambition to serve their nation came before their personal aspirations and dreams to start a family. In order to move forward with the resistance and their sole objective of eradicating the influence of the Nazis over their country, they ended the romantic chapter in their lives.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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