Gertrude (Raizel) Hirschler was the oldest of two daughters of an Austrian-Jewish couple. The family led an aristocratic, well-to-do life until the Nazi invasion of their country. They fled to the USA in 1939, settling in Baltimore, Maryland. Gertrude attended Baltimore Hebrew College and Teachers Training School from 1942 to 1945. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University night school with honors in 1952.
She got a job with the Baltimore Jewish Council in 1948 and became a freelance translator. She worked as an assistant editor for the Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel and lectured at numerous organizations and synagogues. Gertrude Hirschler wrote more than 50 articles for the Encyclopedia Judaica, Lexicon des Judentums, as well as for the Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel. She was a perfectionist whose translations from the German were highly praised for their lucidity and fidelity to the spirit and intent of the authosr. In the field of religious literature, she specialized in translations of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. She also worked as a translator and editor of Holocaust literature, included Simon Zucker’s The Unconquerable Spirit (1980) and Adam Starkopf’s There Is Always Time to Die (1981).