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Hanna Schiller Collection

Identifier: AR 10374

Scope and Content Note

The first series of the collection mainly consists of private and family documents pertaining to Hannah Schiller and her husband, Rolf Wartenberg. A few documents and some correspondence pertain to various relatives like Hannah Schiller’s parents, Edwin and Rosa Schiller (née Oleynick) or Rolf Wartenberg's cousin, Ilse Joseph, who lost three children in the Holocaust. In general the collection primarily documents the family's history after emigration, so the focus lies on the 1940s through the early 1960s.

The bulk of Series I documents Hannah Schiller's educational career, her correspondence with universities and her involvement with various organizations she worked for. There is also some documentation of Rolf Wartenberg's life, specifically his time in the U.S. military during World War I. The entries in Hannah Schiller's childhood diary from Series III pertain to her family, the schools she attended in Palestine and in the United States, and to her immigration experiences. A copy of a diary she wrote at the time of her return to Germany in 1946 for the Nuremberg trials can also be found in Series III. It contains anecdotes from her trip and some reflections and notes on the political situation in Germany and in Palestine. Series II provides a documentation of the family's correspondence. One can find official and work-related correspondence as well as some private letters in this series.


  • Creation: 1914-1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1921-1956


Language of Materials

The collection is in English, German and Yiddish.

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

Hannah Schiller was born in 1921 in Berlin. Her mother, Rosa Oleynick, was born on October 21, 1890 in Slutzk, Belarus and studied medicine in Koenigsberg, Berlin, and in Freiburg. Rosa Oleynick earned her Ph.D. from the Albertus-Universitaet in Koenigsberg in 1915. Hannah Schiller's father, Edwin Schiller, also worked as a physician at the Universitaetsklinik at Koenigsberg. In November 1935 the family immigrated to Palestine, settling in Tel Aviv. In June 1936 the family decided to leave Palestine, and after a short stay in Switzerland they immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York on September 17, 1936.

Hannah Schiller received her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1942. From 1942-1943 she worked as a graduate assistant at the Department of Politics at Princeton University and simultaneously took classes in political science and economics. From 1943-1944 she worked for the Office of War Information, and then became a radio news writer for CBS. From 1946-1947 she was an interpreter at the Nuremberg trials. In Germany, she married Rolf Wartenberg, who also worked for the Office for War Crimes. She later became a professor of sociology at the University of Miami, teaching courses on the sociology of gender roles, family, mass communications and American Jewry.


1.5 Linear Feet


This collection contains papers and some photographs pertaining to Hannah Schiller, her husband Rolf Wartenberg and her parents Rosa Schiller (née Oleynick) and Edwin Schiller. The emphasis of the material lies on Hannah Schiller's university and alumni papers and the couple's work at the Office of War information. The collection also contains various family documents, memorabilia and photos and Hannah's childhood diary documenting the family's emigration. There is correspondence with various organizations and friends mostly from the 1940s and 1950s.

Processing Information

In September 2011 the Hannah Schiller Collection was updated. The Rolf Wartenberg Collection was dissolved and integrated into this collection. Also Hannah Schiller's childhood diary from the 1930s was moved from the Memoir collection and integrated back into Series III of this collection. The folders were relabeled and renumbered and an appropriate Finding Aid was created. In March 2012 some additional material was added to the collection.

Guide to the Papers of Hannah Schiller 1914-1996 AR 10374
Processed by Johanna Luetgebrune and Dianne Ritchey
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HannahSchiller.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 2012.: Addenda integrated into existing finding aid.
  • October 15, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • June 27, 2016 : Link to folder 10 digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States