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Bruch-Kassel Collection

Identifier: AR 7229 / MF 1032

Scope and Content Note

The Bruch-Kassel collection documents the immigration experiences of Fritz Kassel as well as the family history and genealogy. The collection includes extensive correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, clippings, notes and family trees.

One significant subject of this collection is the immigration of Fritz Kassel. Material on this will be found in both Series I and Series II. Series I, which is comprised of his correspondence, includes a bound volume that holds not only his transcribed copies of his own letters, but also diary entries of his that provide detailed information on his life in the Tatura internment camp in Victoria, Australia as well as some information on his passage from England to Australia via the HMT Dunera. The remaining correspondence of this series, which primarily consists of letters sent to him, often discuss his immigration, especially his aspiration to immigrate to the United States. Series II contains other material that relates to his immigration, including clippings, publications, a small amount of official correspondence and a legal document related to the Dunera. In addition to this document, there is a folder of clippings on the ship and an official memorandum from Dunera passengers to the Australian government, located in the folder of official correspondence. A few folders contain publications on the Kitchener Camp in Kent, England, where Fritz Kassel resided for a time prior to his embarkation on the Dunera.

Another prominent topic of the collection is the family history and properties. This topic will be found primarily in Series III. Among these papers are family trees, unpublished manuscripts on the family business and properties, official papers of various family members, and a brief description of the town of Frankenstein (now Ząbkowice Śląskie, Poland). Further information on family members may be found among the letters from other family members to Fritz Kassel, in Series I.


  • Creation: 1922-1977
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1939-1950


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in German and English, with some Polish, Czech, and Yiddish.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Collection is digitized.

Collection is microfilmed, please use MF 1032.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

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

Karl Georg Fritz Kassel was born on December 19, 1897 in Frankenstein, Silesia (now Ząbkowice Śląskie, Poland). He was the son of the businessman Julius Kassel and his wife Elisabeth Johanna Kassel née Bruck, and he had one sister, Elsbeth, who later married the Gentile Johannes Kowal.

On May 13, 1939 Fritz Kassel left from Hamburg, Germany on the SS St. Louis for Havana, Cuba with the eventual intention to immigrate to the United States, where several of his cousins resided. The boat was turned away from Havana, and he eventually ended up in England. While there he spent time at the Kitchener Camp in Kent, England, among several other locations in England before briefly being sent to an internment camp on the Isle of Man in June 1940. Shortly thereafter, Kassel was among the enemy aliens sent to Australia on the infamous HMT Dunera in July 1940; like many other Dunera passengers under the initial belief that he was being transported to Canada. After two months at sea, he arrived in Australia, where he spent time in Camp Hay and then Camp Tatura, until his release in October 1942.

In or around the year 1951 Fritz Kassel was one of the founders of a firm called Singer Pink and Kassel Pty. Ltd. On December 24, 1953 Kassel married Rosa Fisher née Kurzmann. He died on December 21, 1982 in Melbourne.


1 Linear Feet


This collection contains material on the related Kassel and Bruch (Bruck) families as well as on the immigration experiences of Fritz Kassel. Included among the collection are correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, notes, family trees, and a few publications.


The collection is comprised of three series arranged in the following manner:


Collection is available on 2 reels of microfilm (MF 1032).

  1. Reel 1: 1/1-1/5
  2. Reel 2: 1/6-2/13

Separated Material

Photographs from the Bruch-Kassel Collection were removed to the LBI Photograph Collection (F AR 7229).

Processing Information

In preparation of the EAD finding aid in December 2009, the collection was rearranged to form series. Description was added to the finding aid and some preservation work was undertaken.


Guide to the Papers of the Bruch-Kassel Family 1922-1977 AR 7229 / MF 1032
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from BruchKassel.xml

Revision Statements

  • September 2010:: Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • 2010-09-20 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States