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Frost and Wegner Family Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 6468

Scope and Content Note

This collection is arranged in five series. It contains private as well as professional and official correspondence, personal documents, writings (fiction and non-fiction), restitution documents and photographs.

Ismar and Rose Frost are the central figures of this collection. However, many of the documents were also created or owned by Rose's parents and siblings.

The bulk of the private correspondence (Series I, Subseries 1) was created in the years 1903-1964. The main recipients and writers of letters are Ismar and the Wegner siblings. They corresponded frequently with their parents and with each other during World War I, when Arnold and Sally were in the army, as well as when they were separated because of their emigration during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The stories of their emigrations can in a large part be reconstructed from the correspondence.

Letters sent to the Frosts by the Nazis in order to impose oppressions on them and letters concerning their emigration can be found in Subseries 2 of Series I, "Official correspondence." The subseries also contains letters concerning Ismar's and Rose's professional and financial situation and the administration of their property after their immigration to the U.S. Ismar's correspondence with the journalist Ernest Klein about their writing is also included in this subseries.

Series II contains the personal documents of Ismar, Rose, Rose's parents and other family members as well as several other documents like newspaper clippings, K.C. Fraternity documents, obituaries and Tafellieder (dedicated songs). All the documents provide information on the family members' biographies and life situations.

Series III holds writings. Fiction in Subseries 1 was exclusively written by Ismar. That subseries holds one screenplay in different versions and some short stories and poems. The stories mostly feature fictional individuals' narratives in Nazi Germany. They were never published. Subseries 2 consists of political articles about the war, written by Ismar and Ernest Klein. An incomplete family memoir which Rose started to write is also located in this subseries.

Series IV consists of a large amount of restitution papers and correspondence between the Frosts and their opponents and the Frosts and official restitution institutions.

Series V holds photographs depicting the Frost and Wegner Family, their celebrations and vacations from the late 1800s to the 1970s.

Dates

  • 1871-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1903-1969

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

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

email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

Biographical Note

Rose Frost (née Wegner) and Ismar Frost created or owned most items in this collection.

Ismar's parents were the merchant Josef Frost (September 29, 1858–February 24, 1893) and Marie Frost (née Adler, September 21, 1854–August 25, 1928). Ismar was born on December 9, 1889 in Oppeln (today Opole, Poland). His brother Georg was born on August 25, 1891. In 1910, Ismar entered law school and Georg entered medical school of the Breslau (Wrocław) University. Ismar obtained his doctorate in law in 1916. He served in the army during World War I and finished his training as a lawyer in 1918. He moved to Berlin where he opened his own practice on Chausseestrasse.

Rose was born on April 26, 1895 in Ostrowo (Province of Posen). Her parents were Baruch Wegner (April 9, 1857-January 1, 1928) and Amalie Wegner (née Ledermann, December 1, 1863–March 19, 1916). They were married in 1883. Baruch sold agricultural and other machinery, and the family was very wealthy. Baruch's brother Jacob was married to Amalie's sister Auguste. One of Amalie’s brothers, Saul Ledermann moved to the United States around 1900 to escape military service.

Rose was the second youngest of four siblings. She had two brothers and one sister. Her brother Arnold was born on November 9, 1883, her sister Gertrud was born in 1885. The youngest brother Sally (who later changed his name to Steven) was born on March 3, 1901. Two more siblings (Siegfried and Doris) had died in the first two years after their birth.

Gertrud was married to the attorney Max Feblowicz in 1911. Arnold served in World War I and was married to Käthe Jonas in December 1922. Rose moved to Berlin during World War I; there she later met Ismar. Rose and Ismar Frost were married on March 16, 1924. Sally became a dentist and was married to Rose Leon in 1937.

Gertrud and Max had one son, Ernst. Arnold and Käthe had two sons, Hans and Kurt (born in the 1920s). Sally and Rose had one son, Bryan, born on August 7, 1939 and one daughter, Marian, born in June 1945. Ismar and Rose had no children.

All the siblings and their spouses managed to flee the Nazis. Ismar and Rose's parents had already passed away when the Nazis came to power. The Wegner siblings went to the United States: Gertrud lived in Los Angeles with Ernst (Max is not mentioned in the documents after World War I), the others in New York. Ismar's brother Georg and his wife Alice (née Jacobsohn) went to Montevideo, Uruguay.

Ismar and Rose left Germany on April 28, 1937, after being assaulted by the Gestapo. They went to Prague first and moved to Zurich in September 1938, from where they worked on obtaining visa for the USA. Gertrud and her son Ernst were with them as well. Later, Gertrud went to Palestine before she moved to California. The Frosts obtained visas for Cuba in 1940, but didn't go there. They received the necessary documents for the USA in December 1940 and took a ship from Lisbon to New York in March 1941.

Sally and Rose took a ship from Rotterdam to New York in 1938. Käthe and Arnold left Germany in 1937 and went to Amsterdam. They took a ship to the USA in April 1939.

During the early 1940s, the Frosts worked in basic employment jobs. Ismar later continued his career as a lawyer in the United States. He also wrote fiction as well as non-fiction and tried to get it published. The Frosts owned real estate in New York.

Käthe died on March 3, 1947, Arnold on March 10, 1949. Gertrud died on January 16, 1962. Georg died on January 1, 1964, Alice died on September 13, 1971. Sally died on May 17, 1968. Ismar died on March 11, 1972.

Extent

4.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection holds the documents of Ismar Frost, his wife Rose Frost (née Wegner) and their family. The collection consists of private correspondence, professional and official correspondence, a large amount of restitution documents, personal documents and family photographs. It also holds Ismar Frost’s and other’s writings – fiction and non-fiction.

Related Material

Sally Wegner’s wife Rose (née Leon) created another collection, the Rose Wegner Family collection, AR 25028. The correspondence between Peter Leon and Beate Niemann (here: box 1, folder 12) is also included in that collection.

Separated Material

The booklet Geschichte der israelitischen Gemeinde Ostrowo by U. Freimann, Ostrowo 1896 and the prayer booklet Haggadah for the American Family by Martin Berkowitz, 1958 have been removed to the library.

Processing Information

This collection has been renamed (formerly Brian Wegner collection). Initial work on the collection was done by Timo Neumann.
Title
Guide to the Papers of the Frost and Wegner Family 1871-2003 AR 6468
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Ulrike Schaefer
Date
© 2011
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Frost_and_WegnerFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • October 15, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States