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Nora Kronstein-Rosen Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25257

Scope and Content Note

The Nora Kronstein-Rosen Family Collection is arranged in two series and primarily includes correspondence to Nora Kronstein-Rosen, predominantly by her mother, Ilona Kronstein and her aunt Klara Mueller. The exchange of letters (and some postcards) provides a very close look at Ilona's and Klara's respective relationship with Nora. Both her aunt and her mother were very close to her and from the few letters that were sent from Nora to Ilona, one can detect that this closeness was mutual. In addition to that, the exchange of letters provides insights into Ilona's physical decline and – combined with an instruction book on drawing and a few pieces of art – into her personal conception of the creation of art.


  • 1937-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1938-1967


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and some French.

Access Information

Part of the 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

Nora Kronstein-Rosen was born to Robert and Ilona (née Neumann) Kronstein in 1925, probably in Vienna. In 1938, her mother fled with Nora and her older sister Gerda Kronstein to Vaduz, Liechtenstein. From 1939 onwards, Nora Kronstein-Rosen lived in Switzerland. She went to the Ecole d'Humanité (the School of Humanity), a reform pedagogic oriented boarding school. She studied art in Lausanne and at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zuerich (Zurich Art School) under Johannes Itten. After her mother's death Nora went to New York and London. Later she moved to Israel. Nora's sister is the historian Gerda Lerner.

Her mother, Ilona Kronstein (née Neumann), was born in Budapest in 1897 to Sigmund and Emma (née Deutsch) Neumann. In 1918, she met Robert Kronstein. The couple married a year later and moved to Vienna. In 1939, she moved to a small town near Nice, France and solely devoted herself to art. While Ilona tried many different art forms, she predominantly produced drawings. It was in Nice that she became friends with the painter Rudolf Ray Rapaport. In 1940 she was detained in the concentration camp at Gurs for several weeks. From 1941 onwards she began to show signs of multiple sclerosis. Her family managed with great difficulty to get her back to Liechtenstein in 1942 and to obtain medical assistance for her in Switzerland. She died in Zurich in 1948.

Ilona's sister, Margit Neuer (born 1899) was a physician and perished in Auschwitz. Her second sister Klara (born 1903) married Alexander Mueller, a psychiatrist and close co-worker of Alfred Adler. As a stateless person he was denied residence in several countries and forcibly sent across the border back to Germany, until he finally obtained residence in the Netherlands. After the Nazi takeover of the Netherlands, he and his wife fled to Budapest. After the end of the war they first returned to the Netherlands, and then found refuge in Switzerland, where Alexander Mueller accepted a position at the University of Zuerich. Klara and Alexander Mueller both died in 1968.


0.5 Linear Feet


The collection consists of correspondence, predominantly addressed to Nora Kronstein-Rosen (née Kronstein). Prominent topics are art and the relationship between Nora and her mother, Ilona Kronstein (née Neumann), as well as the relationship between Nora and her aunt Klara Mueller (née Neumann). Also included is visual and art-related material.


The collection is arranged in two series:

Related Material

The LBI's Art Department holds 17 works of Nora Kronstein-Rosen. The LBI Library has three books related to Nora Kronstein-Rosen, i.e. an edition from the "Woche der Begegnung 1984" (the Week of Encounter) in Heilbronn, where Nora, among others, gave a speech; "Fireweed", the autobiography of Nora's sister Gerda Lerner; "Landscapes and Beyond", an anthology of Nora Kronstein-Rosen's art.

The LBI Archives hold a part of the Gerda Lerner Family Collection (AR 25149). The other part is on deposit at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute. Looking at the correspondence in both collections would provide a very concise impression of Ilona Kronstein's personal relationship to her daughters and would be of great value for biographers and art historians alike.

Separated Material

Two CD-ROMs were removed to the A/V-Section of the LBI-Archive. A manuscript by Loes Bergmans was removed to the manuscript collection, MS 916.

Guide to the Papers of the Nora Kronstein-Rosen Family 1935-2005 AR 25257
Processed by Joern Esch
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Nora_Kronstein-RosenFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • April 09, 2015 : dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States