Hessel's parents, Fanny and Heinrich Hessel, came to Berlin in 1880, and joined the Lutheran church (having been born Jewish). Hessel was one of the first German exponents of the French idea of flânerie, and later published a collection of essays on the subject related to his native Berlin, "Spazieren in Berlin".
He was the father of diplomat Stéphane Hessel.
- Works by or about Franz Hessel at Internet Archive
- Literature by and about Franz Hessel in the German National Library catalogue
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