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Weiss-Frohsinn Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25783

Scope and Content Note

The Weiss-Frohsinn Family Collection contains the family papers and photographs of members of the Weiss and Frohsinn families. Most of the collection centers around the life of Lily Frohsinn (née Weiss), her first husband Rudolf Werner and her second husband Ernst Frohsinn. The collection includes official documents, correspondence from friends, photo albums and photographs, a family tree, poetry, and other papers as well as prayer books..

The life of Lily Frohsinn is the main subject of this collection and is documented in Series I and II. Series I includes her official documents, some travel diary pages, and many letters sent to her. Series II contains many photographs of her as a gymnastics teacher as well as photos of family trips in which she participated, her home in Bridgeport, and other subjects.

Documentation of other members of the Weiss and Frohsinn families are also present in this collection, in Series I. These include some official documents, poems, and a family tree. The photographs and albums of Series II also include many photos of family members, as well as a small amount of documentation on Ernst Frohsinn. Prayer books that belonged to several family members will be found in Series III.


  • 1755-1886, 1919-1996, 2018
  • Majority of material found within 1925-1950

Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, Hebrew, and a small amount of French.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

There is also a direct link to the complete collection online.

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

Lily (also spelled Lili or Lilly) Weiss was born October 27, 1906, the daughter of Adolf and Ellen (née Wurmser) Weiss. She had four siblings: her twin brother Hans, elder brothers Paul and Fritz, and her elder sister Rita (also called Gretl). The family took many trips to various locations in Europe.

In 1934 Lily married Rudolf Werner; together they ran the Werner Gymnastics School in Vienna. By 1938 the couple had emigrated to the United States, where they settled in Bridgeport, Connecticut. By 1940 Lily had found employment as a masseuse in a beauty parlor. Rudolf Werner died in 1942. On August 22, 1945 Lily married Ernst Otto Frohsinn, originally of Essen, Germany; they had one daughter, Ellen.

Ernst Frohsinn was the son of Carl and Hedwig (née Seligmann) Frohsinn. He had been active in athletics since an early age, with training in gymnastics and track. In the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam he represented Germany in track. He also studied accounting. After having been arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, he was able to escape and eventually joined his sister in New Haven. He came to Bridgeport in 1940. In 1944 he began working as a masseur at the Bridgeport Jewish Community Center, and later joined an accounting firm.

Meanwhile, Lily's parents Adolf and Ellen Weiss had left Vienna for Baden bei Zürich, Switzerland, where they were joined by Lily's brother Fritz. Fritz was a professional photographer who took pictures of the Swiss Jewish refugee camps.

Ernst Frohsinn was a founding member of the Bridgeport Jewish Community Center's Honorable Menschen club and also on the executive board of the Greater Bridgeport Committee for the Senior Olympics. In 1990 he was inducted into the Greater Bridgeport Jewish Community Center Sports Hall of Fame. He died in 1990.

Lily Frohsinn died in 1994 in Colorado.


1.5 Linear Feet


The Weiss-Frohsinn Family Collection contains the papers of members of the Weiss and Frohsinn families, with a focus on the life of the gymnastics teacher Lily Frohsinn (née Weiss). The collection includes official documents, correspondence from friends, photo albums and photographs, a family tree, poetry, and other papers as well as prayer books..

Processing Information

During processing of the archival collection folders were organized into series. A large folder of correspondence was further subdivided during processing.

Guide to the Papers of the Weiss-Frohsinn Family 1755-1886, 1919-1996, 2018 AR 25783
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Weiss-Frohsinn_Family.xml

Revision Statements

  • May 2019:: dao links added.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States