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Dolly Haas Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25447

Scope and Content Note

The Dolly Haas Family Collection contains the papers of members of the Haas family, including Dolly Haas, her parents and sister. The collection contains a large amount of personal correspondence as well as a diary, articles, address book, photographs, educational certificates and wedding memorabilia.

Most prominent in this collection are the papers that relate to Dolly Haas's early acting career. Documentation of this subject will be found in both series of the collection. In Series II is her diary from early 1927, which records some of her daily activities and mentions her participation in theatrical and musical performances at this time. The diary ends in April 1927. By August 1927 she was writing letters home to her mother and elder sister from Berlin, which will be found in the correspondence of Series I. These letters go into more detail of her early professional life, with remarks on venues where she worked, other performers or directors, the hard work required of her both in rehearsal and in finding new employment, as well as more practical details of life, such as her living accommodations.

Another predominant subject in this series is the wedding and early marriage of Charles and Margarethe Haas. There is a significant amount of correspondence of the bookseller Charles Haas in Series I. Although his early letters to his family in England describe various cities he visited in Europe, by late 1905 his upcoming wedding is a frequent topic. Later letters from 1908 are sent from Charles in England to Margarethe in Hamburg: they update her on his travels and mention the health of their eldest child. Other correspondence of Series I includes letters between Margarethe Hansen and "Albertus," possibly her uncle as well as smaller amounts of correspondence of both Margarethe and Charles Haas with other family members or friends.

There is little material in this collection on Dolly Haas's second husband Al Hirschfeld. Material relating to him consists only of two photographs of the couple, one oversized.


  • Creation: 1883-2011
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1901-1935


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in English and German, with smaller amounts of Italian and French.

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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Photograph of Dolly Haas (1910-1994)" href="" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Photograph of Dolly Haas (1910-1994)"/>

The actress Dolly (Dorothea Clara Eleanore) Haas was born on April 29, 1910 in Hamburg, Germany, the second daughter of the bookseller Charles Oswald Haas and his wife Margarete, née Hansen. Charles Haas was half-German but grew up in England, with British citizenship. Dolly and her sister, Margarete attended Jacob Loewenberg's prestigious girls' school Lyzeum in Hamburg, the Anerkannte höhere Mädchenschule. Dolly Haas had her debut as a professional actress in 1927. She then worked at Berlin's Grosses Schauspielhaus, before embarking on a film career that brought her to England and to Hollywood. She also performed on Broadway. Dolly Haas was first married to the German director John (Hans) Brahm. In 1936 she came to the United States with a contract from Columbia Pictures. In 1943 she married the renowned artist and caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. She died in New York in 1994.


0.75 Linear Feet


The Dolly Haas Family Collection documents the significant events in the lives of several Haas family members and it also contains some details of the early career of Dolly Haas. About half the collection consists of family correspondence. In addition there are a diary, wedding papers of Charles and Margarethe Haas, photographs, educational certificates of Dolly Haas and her sister Margarete, some articles, and various other family documents.


The collection is arranged in two series:

Separated Material

Two videocassettes have been placed in the LBI Audiovisual Collection.

Some books with dedications to family members were removed to the LBI Library; photocopies of the dedications and the accompanying title pages of the books are located in the folder "Book Dedications" in Series II.

Processing Information

This collection had no discernible original order, therefore order was imposed on the collection during processing.

Guide to the Papers of the Dolly Haas Family 1883-2011 AR 25447
Processed by Dianne Ritchey and Eva Englander
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from DollyHaasFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • February 05, 2013 : Links to 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