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George Victor and Alice Wolfe Collection

Identifier: AR 6313

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the lives of George V. Wolfe and his wife, Alice Wolfe. The records date back to 1870 and span the majority of the 20th century. The material is arranged into six series: Personal and Family Documents, Articles, Correspondence, Memoirs, Photographs, and Miscellaneous.

Series I contains Personal and Family Documents. It is arranged into three subseries: Alice Wolfe, George Wolfe, and Family Papers.

Articles by and about George and Alice Wolfe may be found in Series II. This series is further divided into four subseries: Articles by Alice Wolfe, Articles by George Wolfe, Articles about George and Alice Wolfe, and Lectures and Speeches of George Wolfe.

Series III consists of correspondence. The correspondence is arranged in five subseries: Private Correspondence of George Wolfe, Official Correspondence of George Wolfe, Correspondence of Alice Wolfe, Miscellaneous Correspondence of George Wolfe, and Correspondence of Emil and Rosa Wolf.

George Wolfe's writings, as well as the writings of other authors, are contained in Series IV.

Photographs of George and Alice Wolfe may be found in Series V.

Series VI contains miscellaneous records.


  • Creation: 1870-1991


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, Hebrew and Hungarian.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Biographical Note

George Victor Wolfe (1904-1990) was born Georg Victor Wolf in Vienna, Austria on September 24, 1904 to Emil Wolf (1864-1942), a lawyer, and Rosa Wolf (neé Stein; 1870-1937). George had an older sister named Gertrud Charlotte (1899-1957) who immigrated to England and later to the United States.

George studied history, law, government, and philosophy at the University of Vienna and received his Ph.D. in History in 1928. Upon graduation, George began to study law exclusively and received his J.D. in 1930 from the University of Vienna. He worked as an assistant in his father's law office as well as for several courts until he was sworn in as an attorney in January 1938. However, in June of that same year the Nazis forbade him to practice law.

Alice Wolfe (neé Frisch) was born on April 2, 1905 in Topolcza, Hungary. Her parents were Eugen Frisch (1874-1920), a wine merchant and Helene Frisch (neé Bischnitz; 1880-1942). Alice had a younger sister named Irma.

Alice studied art history, archaeology and history at the University of Vienna. While attending a seminar in history, she met her future husband, George Wolfe, whom she married on August 8, 1928. After obtaining her Ph.D. in Art History, Alice joined the Albertina Museum in Vienna as a portrait cataloguer. She held this position until 1938 when the Nazis denied Jews the right to work in museums.

George and Alice fled to England in February 1939 with the help of the German Jewish Aid Committee, which guaranteed their financial support. The Wolfe's British entry permit was granted under the condition that they would not stay permanently in England. Both tried to help George's father, Emil Wolf, immigrate to Cuba, but they were unsuccessful. Emil later died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Alice's mother, Helene Frisch was deported to Riga, Latvia.

In November 1939, George and Alice immigrated to New York, where Alice found work cataloguing William Randolph Hearst's collection of Majolica plates (which were to be auctioned). Shortly after their arrival, the couple moved to New Haven, Connecticut. There, Alice was made an honorary fellow in the Department of Art at Yale University and appointed as a research assistant in Renaissance Art at the Yale Art Gallery. George studied political science at Yale. After graduation, he worked as a temporary professor of political science at the university.

George and Alice changed their last name from Wolf to Wolfe when they became United States citizens in 1945 and 1946, respectively. The name "Wolf" was so often misspelled, that the couple decided to alter the spelling of it. In addition, George added a final "e" to his first name for the same reason.

Although George had difficulty finding a permanent teaching position, he was eventually hired at the College of Idaho, located in Caldwell, Idaho. In 1947, the couple left New Haven. George was successful in his academic career and stayed at the College of Idaho until he was named professor emeritus in 1970. Alice, however, became increasingly ill. She suffered from a degenerative neurological disease, which made it more and more difficult for her to walk. She also suffered from depression. Alice died on July 9, 1983 and George passed away seven years later on December 15, 1990.


3 Linear Feet


This collection documents the lives of George V. Wolfe (1904-1990) and his wife, Alice Wolfe (1905-1983). They lived in Vienna, Austria and immigrated to the United States in 1939. Included are records concerning their education, their professional careers, and their personal life. The collection also contains the records of Emil and Rosa Wolf, photo albums and some of George Wolfe's writings.


The collection is on four reels of microfilm (MF 821):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 2/44
  2. Reel 2: 2/45 - 2/64
  3. Reel 3: 2/65 - 3/80
  4. Reel 4: 3/81 - 3/94
Guide to the Papers of George V. Wolfe (1904-1990) and Alice Wolfe (1905-1983), 1870-1991   AR 6313 / MF 821
Processed by Maria-Tiffany V. Knittel
© 2006
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2010-05-07 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
  • June 2008.: Microfilm inventory added.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States