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Hilde Wenzel Collection

Identifier: AR 1418

Scope and Content Note

The Hilde Wenzel Collection holds material on both her personal as well as professional life as an author. Some information is also present on other members of the Chodziesner family. Included in this collection are newspaper clippings, correspondence, notebooks and dream journals, and an unpublished typescript. The collection is equally divided between materials on Hilde Wenzel's earlier, pre-marriage life and the years after World War II.

Series I contains the family correspondence of Hilde Wenzel, consisting of letters and postcards sent to her by her parents. This correspondence focuses on news of family events and occurrences and all of it dates prior to 1930. Series II contains two notebooks that cover this same time period; one of these holds her poems while an earlier notebook holds childhood writing and sketches. Other personal material consists of a folder relating to Hilde Wenzel's dreams. These include recordings of her dreams as well as notes regarding their interpretation. In addition, one folder contains an unpublished short story, "Sie hiess Anastasia."

Much of Series II consists of many of her published short stories and other works, largely made up of newspaper clippings. A number of her stories were published in Switzerland. Among these are also a memorial to her sister Gertrud Kolmar and a brief obituary for Hilde Wenzel herself. In addition, one folder contains an unpublished short story, "Sie hiess Anastasia."


  • 1906-1972
  • Majority of material found within 1918-1928, 1950-1960


Language of Materials

The collection is in German.

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

In 1905 the lawyer Ludwig Chodziesner and his wife Elise (née Schoenflies) had a daughter, Hilde. Her oldest sister was the poet Gertrud Kolmar. The family was an assimilated one. In 1923 the Chodziesners moved from their former home in Charlottenburg to the suburb of Finkenkrug.

At some point during the early 1930s Hilde married the book dealer Peter Wenzel, and they had a daughter, Sabine, in 1933. In 1938 she left Germany with her daughter and went to Zurich, leaving behind her husband, sister and father, although her sister Gertrud was a frequent correspondent. During the war Gertrud sent some of her manuscripts to Hilde as well as to her brother-in-law. In 1942 she and Peter Wenzel divorced. In March 1943 he informed her of Gertrud's deportation. After the end of the war, Peter Wenzel assisted in the publication of Gertrud Kolmar's works.

Shortly after her immigration to Switzerland, Hilde Wenzel settled in the canton of Ticino (Tessin) in the south of the country, and many of her published short stories reflect her connection to this area, where she remained for the rest of her life. She died in Switzerland in November 1972.


0.5 Linear Feet


The Hilde Wenzel Collection relates to both this author's personal and professional lives. It includes many samples of her published short stories as well as one unpublished work, parental letters to her, and notes and notebooks, among them several dream journals.

Related Material

A typed compilation of Hilde Wenzel’s correspondence with her sister Gertrud Kolmar may be found in the Gertrud Kolmar Collection [AR 1346]; the Schoenflies family tree is available in the Schoenflies Collection [AR 1582]; and the Max Kreutzberger Collection includes a folder with letters by Hilde Wenzel to him [AR 7183]. In addition, the LBI Library holds a book of letters from Gertrud Kolmar to her sister Hilde Wenzel: Briefe an die Schwester Hilde (1938-1943) [PT 2605 H6 A2 W4].

Processing Information

Folders in Series II were organized according to publication status during processing of the collection. One folder, which held a book and notebooks, was further subdivided. The book, Chronik von Alt-Westend, was removed with copies made of title, copyright and marked pages.

Guide to the Papers of Hilde Wenzel 1906-1972 AR 1418
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HildeWenzel.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 05, 2015 : 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