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Series VII: Audiovisual Materials


Scope and Content Note

From the Collection:

This collection documents the life and memorable experiences of Frank M. Shurman. The papers of this collection are largely comprised of personal correspondence, but additionally include clippings, notes, unpublished manuscripts of Frank Shurman's writing, official and legal papers, and a handful of photographs of friends or family members.

Following the events of World War II and the Holocaust, Frank Shurman promoted the reconciliation of German Jews and gentiles, and was awarded the German Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) for his efforts; his work and attitude towards reconciliation is seen in several areas of this collection. In Series I, such material primarily consists of the papers from his work in World War II, when Shurman worked with German prisoners of war. These reports include his memorandum to superior officers regarding the shifting attitudes of the POWs. In addition, a photocopy of the certificate Shurman received for the Bundesverdienstkreuz is also present in the folder of "Other Papers". His obituary and curriculum vitae in Series I also mention this award. Several folders of correspondence from Series II document Shurman's reconciliation efforts. Primary among these is the folder of correspondence mentioning the awarding of the Bundesverdienstkreuz. The folder of letters from the Army Service Forces contains letters from commanding officers commending Shurman on his fairness in his work with POWs. In addition, some letters from the 1940s include his recommendation to members of the War Department regarding the rebuilding of Germany in addition to a postcard from a former POW.

Frank Shurman's own personal experiences of Kristallnacht and Buchenwald as well as the Holocaust in general are frequently encountered in this collection. His personal experiences are documented most prominently in Series IV: Writings and Scrapbooks. Among the papers of this series is a description of his time in Buchenwald and a German translation of his memoir All Our Hope are You [ME 598]. A folder of copies of correspondence with Dotty Hamilton, who is largely featured in this memoir, is present in Series II. The correspondence between Gerhard Löffler and Frank Shurman (Series II and Series IV) also mentions this time period. The scrapbooks of this collection also hold material on the Holocaust in general as well as the fate of the Schürmann family. Material on the Holocaust and Kristallnacht in general, especially in the town of Hildesheim, will be found in Series V.

Papers on Schürmann/ Shurman family members are also present in this collection, in addition to the previously mentioned scrapbook on the family in Series IV. Correspondence between Frank Shurman and his father Willy as well as a few letters of his father are located in Series II. A very small amount of correspondence between Frank Shurman and his siblings is also located in this series. Most of the papers relating to the family will be found in Series III. The documents of this series include notes on the family genealogy, papers of individual family members, a few papers relating to immigration, and English translations of correspondence of the family members of Albert Schürmann, who were unable to escape Nazi Germany.

There is some material in this collection regarding the Deutscher Vortrupp, the German-Jewish nationalistic organization founded by Hans-Joachim Schoeps to which Frank Shurman belonged. In the folder of Objects there is a pin with a the stylized letters DV that may have been a membership pin for the Deutscher Vortrupp. Among the folder of correspondence from the early 1930s in Series II, Subseries 2 is a copy of the response from the offices of the Wehrmacht to Frank Shurman's request to volunteer for the military in spite of his Jewish heritage, an act undertaken by all the members of the Deutscher Vortrupp. In addition, Shurman's early correspondence with Gerhard Löffler, found in Series II and Series IV, often discusses the organization and includes the traditional Deutscher Vortrupp closing: "Bereit für Deutschland." (Ready for Germany). Some clippings on Hans-Joachim Schoeps as well as his son and father, will be found in Series V.


  • Creation: 1908-1992
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970s-1990s


Language of Materials

From the Collection:

The collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Collection is microfilmed (MF 997).

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.


From the Collection: 2.75 Linear Feet

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States