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Kurt and Helen Kleinman Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 10738 / MF 504

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of this collection documents the efforts of Kurt Kleinmann, an Austrian Jewish refugee in Switzerland to immigrate to the United States and the help he is offered by his distant cousin Helen Kleinman, a US citizen in New York City: because of Helen's official promise to marry Kurt, he could get out of Europe after struggling with the bureaucracy for more than seven months.

The extensive correspondence contains not only detailed information about the procedure and the emotional background of Kurt Kleinmann's immigration from Switzerland to the US. It also offers a fascinating insight into the relationship between Kurt Kleinmann and Helen Kleinman, who fell in love with each other through their letters only. In February 1939, Kurt Kleinmann finally succeeded in coming to New York, and a few months later he got married to Helen Kleinman.

Materials that document this story include foremost photocopies of the correspondence between Kurt and Helen, as well as correspondence from the Cunard White Star Line, letters to and from the American Consulate, and a 7 page typescript, ‘Facts of the case’ by the American lawyer [?] Israel H. Saltman, advising against Helen Kleinman’s scheme to marry Kurt Kleinmann in order to facilitate his immigration.

In addition, there are unrelated photographs of Kurt Kleinmann's family in Vienna and a postcard from Kurt Kleinmann's father, sent from a Russian prisoners’ camp in WW I (all photocopies).

A questionnaire of the Austrian Heritage Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute filled out by Kurt Kleinman in New York in 1998 has neither been microfilmed nor digitized.

Dates

  • 1917-1998
  • Majority of material found in 1938-1939

Creator

Language of Materials

This collection is in English and some German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Collection is microfilmed, use MF 504

Access Information

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

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.

Collection is microfilmed, use MF 504

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

email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

Extent

4 Folders

Abstract

The bulk of this collection documents the efforts of Kurt Kleinmann, an Austrian Jewish refugee in Switzerland to immigrate to the United States and the help he is offered by his distant cousin Helen Kleinman, a US citizen in New York City: because of Helen's official promise to marry Kurt, he could get out of Europe after struggling with the bureaucracy for more than seven months.

Microfilm

Available on microfilm

Bibliography

Austrian Heritage Collection
Title
Guide to the Kurt and Helen Kleinman Collection, 1917-1998  AR 10738 / MF 504
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by LBI Staff
Date
© 2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States