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Dora Segall Material

Identifier: AR 2124

Scope and Content Note

The Dora Segall Material primarily comprises papers on the professional work of Dora Segall and her husband Fritz Segall, relating to her postwar work with the Leo Baeck Institute London and his earlier work with the Jüdische Künstlerhilfe in Berlin. There is little biographical data or information on their personal lives. The collection contains an extensive amount of correspondence, some photographs, articles and newspaper clippings and some reports. Documentation of the professional status and experience of artists assisted by the Künstlerhilfe in Berlin is also present.

Papers of Dora Segall constitute Series I. These papers consist entirely of her correspondence and its related papers. A few folders hold early letters, including several from Leo Baeck. Some personal greetings will be found among such letters, including greetings from Leo Baeck and the exchange of personal news with Cora Berliner. The majority of the correspondence involves letters from the 1960s onward. These later letters touch upon Dora Segall's work for the Leo Baeck Institute, including several relating to research on individuals such as Arthur Silbergleit, Cora Berliner and Hans Schäffer. Especially prominent are the letters sent to her from Robert Weltsch in Jerusalem, with whom she had worked in London; although his letters impart some personal news they largely discuss the work of the LBI. Three folders contain more general correspondence about the work of the Institute, much of it including friendly greetings or well wishes. One folder holds personal letters from friends.

The remainder of the collection centers heavily on Fritz Segall and the aid provided by the Jüdische Künstlerhilfe to artists looking to leave Germany in the late 1930s. The small Series II, which holds Fritz Segall's papers, includes two folders of articles by him, nearly all of which pertain to the arts. One of these consists of critiques of performances, exhibitions and other public presentations. It is Series III that focuses on the emigration aid to Jewish artists fleeing Nazi Germany. Subseries 1 of the same series holds correspondence with agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom and seeking emigration, employment or educational opportunities for Jewish artists of all kinds. Once Fritz Segall had immigrated to England in 1939 his correspondents included colleagues left behind in Berlin. Series III provides an extensive sample of German Jews involved in the visual and performing arts in Germany at this time. Information on individual artists includes the artist files of Subseries 1, holding an assortment of curricula vitae, information on artists' employers, exhibitions or performances and photographs of artists and their work.

This collection additionally includes several reports. With some photographs of the Künstlerhilfe offices in Subseries 2 of Series III is a report on the 1935 activities of the organization. Series IV holds two reports on the work of the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland.


  • 1927-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1935-1941


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with a small amount of Dutch.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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

Fritz Segall was born on August 27, 1901. He was a journalist and member of the Socialist Party of Germany. In 1935 he became head of the Jüdische Künstlerhilfe (Jewish Artists' Aid) of Berlin, also frequently known as the Künstlerhilfe der jüdischen Gemeinde (Artists' Aid of the Jewish Community) of Berlin. This organization assisted Jewish artists in emigrating from Germany. In the spring of 1939 Fritz and Dora Segall immigrated to England. Fritz Segall, like many German Jews, was interned as an "enemy alien" while his wife worked for a Jewish refugee committee. Both Fritz and Dora Segall continued to be active in political work after the war; in 1950 Fritz Segall became chairman of the Vereinigung deutscher Sozialdemokraten in Großbritannien (Union of German Social Democrats in Great Britain). Dora Segall came to work for the Leo Baeck Institute London, assisting in editorial and research work.

(Due to the lack of biographical data in this collection, a few details in this biographical note were derived from the article Der Mensch ist meist kein Held by Stefan Appellius, available online at this location.)


1.5 Linear Feet


The Dora Segall Material holds papers of Dora Segall, who worked for the Leo Baeck Institute London and her husband Fritz, who was head of the Berlin-based Jüdische Künstlerhilfe. The bulk of the material consists of correspondence and related documentation pertaining to their professional capacities. Over half of the collection relates to Fritz Segall's work and documents the assistance provided to German-Jewish artists by the Künstlerhilfe. In addition to correspondence, the collection holds photographs, articles and clippings and reports.

Processing Information

In September-October 2011 this collection was processed in preparation of the EAD finding aid. The materials were separated into series and subseries based loosely upon the observed original order. Subseries 1 of Series III was further subdivided due to the existence of separate filing systems. Some basic preservations steps were taken, such as refoldering, the photocopying of pertinent information on extremely brittle and acidic folders and the separation of oversized papers into appropriate folders.

Guide to the Papers of Dora Segall 1927-1992 AR 2124
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from DoraSegall.xml

Revision Statements

  • October 14, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • March 22, 2018 : Added link to digital object in Container List for box 2, folder 17.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States