Georg Hermann Collection
Scope and Content Note
The Georg Hermann collection documents the life and work of the author. Prominent features of this collection include numerous manuscripts of his writings, including both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to these items, the collection includes clippings, correspondence, a few notebooks and address books, and some personal papers.
Hermann’s fiction manuscripts make up the largest portion of the collection. Included among the manuscripts are drafts and notes for fiction pieces, including both novels and shorter pieces. Manuscripts of longer works such as Der Etruskische Spiegel, Rosenemil, and Ruths Schwere Stunde, can be found in Series III: Novels. Shorter pieces of fiction are located in Series IV: Fiction. Items in Series IV include a version of Jettchen Gebert as a play. Researchers should note that there are no manuscripts of Hermann’s works Henriette Jacoby or Kubinke in the collection.
Series V: Essays and Non-Fiction Articles contains short essays, many of which have a political or sociological theme. Series VI holds essays relating to literature and art, and includes articles on film, poetry, literature, and authors such as Goethe and Remarque. Series VII, VIII, IX, and X are relatively small; Series VII holds Hermann’s essays which deal with Judaism, Series VIII focuses on nature, Series IX concerns Berlin, and the essays in Series X discuss travel to other countries. Much of the material in Series VII deals with German Jews.
Correspondence is located in Series XII as well as in Series I. The correspondence in Series I includes correspondence with individuals such as Sigmund Freud, Max Liebermann, Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig. Series II holds autographs.
Series XIII and XIV contain miscellaneous documents. Included among these documents are fragments of manuscripts, notes, and poetry, as well as personal papers. The small amount of personal papers located here include material pertaining to Hermann’s 50th and 60th birthdays, false identification papers and ration cards which he used while living in Holland, and notebooks and address books kept by Hermann. There are also several articles and theses concerning Georg Hermann from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
The vast majority of papers are in German, with only a very small amount being in Dutch, English, French, and Turkish.
- Hermann, Georg, 1871-1943 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, Dutch, English, French, and Turkish.
Open to researchers.
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
Georg Hermann was born in Berlin-Friedenau on October 7, 1871, and died on November 19, 1943 in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and was an internationally renowned author of numerous novels, essays, and articles.
Born as Georg Borchardt, he was the youngest of six children in a well-established Jewish family in Berlin. Later in life he used his father’s first name Hermann as his surname when writing. Georg Borchardt grew up in western Berlin, his family later moving closer to the Tiergarten. Some time thereafter his family began having financial difficulties when his father’s business failed, an influential event in Hermann's life.
He attended the Askanische and Friedrich-Werdersche Gymnasium (secondary school) in Berlin. Contrary to the expectations for a young man from a reputable family, Hermann did not pursue the Abitur exam, and instead received a one-year certificate in 1890, leaving school to become an apprentice salesman at a tie company. From 1896 until 1899 he worked in the Statistical Office of Berlin, at the same time attending literature and art history lectures at the University of Berlin. Afterwards he worked as a freelance writer and art critic, but met with financial difficulty. His first book, Spielkinder, was published in 1896, but he did not become well-known until 1906, with the publication of Jettchen Gebert, followed by its sequel, Henriette Jacoby. Jettchen Gebert was also rewritten as a play in 1913. These novels told the story of the life of a young woman living in Jewish Berlin during the Biedermeier period of the 1820s and 1830s. Another popular work of Hermann's was Kubinke, published in 1910, depicting life in Berlin at the beginning of the 20th Century. Politically active, Georg Hermann was also a member of the Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens.
Having become known for his pacifist tendencies through his writing, and because of his Jewish heritage, Georg Hermann and his family fled to Holland shortly after the burning of the Reichstag in 1933. Although the rest of his family was saved from the Nazis after their occupation of Holland in 1943, Georg Hermann, by then already 72 years old, was sent to the Dutch concentration camp of Westerbork. On November 16, 1943 he was transported to Auschwitz and either died during transport or shortly after his arrival.
9 Linear Feet (9 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
This collection depicts the life and work of the author Georg Hermann. The main focus of this collection is his literary estate, and the collection contains extensive manuscripts of both his fiction and non-fiction writings, including novels, shorter fiction, essays, and articles. In addition, it also holds correspondence, clippings, photos, official documents and papers, writings by others about Georg Hermann and his work, and a few photos.
The collection is arranged into fourteen series:
- Series I: Correspondence A-Z, 1902-1941, 1963, 1965, 1983
- Series II: Autographs, 1837-1912, 1927
- Series III: Novels, undated, 1930-1936
- Series IV: Fiction, undated, 1909-1971
- Series V: Essays and Non-fiction Articles, undated, 1917-1938
- Series VI: Literature and Art, undated, 1901-1937
- Series VII: Judaism, undated, 1919-1964
- Series VIII: Nature, undated, 1904
- Series IX: Berlin, undated, 1903-1931
- Series X: Travels, undated, 1906-1937
- Series XI: Clippings, 1894-1959
- Series XII: Correspondence, 1897-1949
- Series XIII: Miscellaneous, undated, 1898-1944
- Series XIV: Varia, undated, 1917-1930s, 1971, 1981, 1993-1996, 2001
The following microfilm inventory contains reels 1-28 with boxes and folders appearing in consecutive order by reel (MF 518).
- REEL 1: Folders 1/0-1/8
- REEL 2: Folders 1/9-1/17
- REEL 3: Folders 1/18-1/23
- REEL 4: Folders 1/24-1/26
- REEL 5: Folders 2/1-2/6
- REEL 6: Folders 2/7-2/12
- REEL 7: Folders 2/13-2/17
- REEL 8: Folders 2/18-3/4
- REEL 9: Folders 3/5-3/12
- REEL 10: Folders 3/13-3/19
- REEL 11: Folders 3/20-4/10
- REEL 12: Folders 4/11-4/31
- REEL 13: Folders 4/32-4/96
- REEL 14: Folders 5/1-5/33
- REEL 15: Folders 5/34-5/59
- REEL 16: Folders 5/60-6/25
- REEL 17: Folders 6/26-6/37
- REEL 18: Folders 6/38-6/49
- REEL 19: Folders 6/50-7/15
- REEL 20: Folders 7/16-7/21
- REEL 21: Folders 7/22-8/1
- REEL 22: Folders 8/2-8/5
- REEL 23: Folders 8/6-8/15
- REEL 24: Folders 8/16-8/24
- REEL 25: Folders 8/25-9/11
- REEL 26: Folders 9/12-9/21
- REEL 27: Folders 9/22-9/30
- REEL 28: Folders 9/31-10/1
Photos have been removed to the photograph collection.
- Art critics
- Authors, Exiled
- Autographs (manuscripts)
- Berlin (Germany)
- Emigration and immigration
- Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939
- Germany -- Politics and government -- 1918-1933
- Hermann, Georg, 1871-1943
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
- Jews, German
- Manuscripts (documents)
- Voyages and travels
- Guide to the Papers of Georg Hermann (1871-1943), 1837-2001 AR 7074 / MF 518
- Processed by Danny Levy, Ron Axelrad, et al.
- © 2000.
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from GeorgHermann02.xml
- 2010-03-23 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
- July 2005: Added the bibliography information vy Stanislav Pejša
- 2000.: Original EAD finding aid by Dana Ledger as LBIAR7074/hermann.xml.
- May 14, 2002.: New version of EAD finding aid created by Tanya Elder as GHermann.xml.
- April 2003.: The finding aid was modified and upgraded to EAD version 2002 by Dianne Ritchey Oummia as GeorgHermann2002.xml.
- September 2004.: Revised as GeorgHermann2002-02.xml by Dianne Ritchey Oummia. Changed doctype declaration, added missing elements, updated repository code.
- January 2006.: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.