Günther Schwerin Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains documents pertaining to the pursuit and eventual awarding of restitution for Schwerin family property from the German and Polish governments. In addition to documents regarding the loss of the Schwerin family residences and factory in Breslau, this series also documents restitution claims against the Polish and German governments for losses from the estates of the Ehrlich and Pinkus families. Family photographs, vital records and correspondence among family members are in this collection.
- Majority of material found in 1938-1961
- Schwerin, Günther, 1910-1997 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, English, French and Polish.
Open to researchers.
Part of the collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
Biographical Note <extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Günther Schwerin" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=1484577" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Günther Schwerin, 1910 - 1997" /> <extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Hans Wolfgang Schwerin" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=1484581" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Hans Wolfgang Schwerin, 1906 - 1987" /> <extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Stefanie Schwerin" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=1484580" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Stefanie Schwerin née Ehrlich, 1884 - 1966" /> <extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Ernst Schwerin" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=1484578" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Ernst Schwerin, 1869 - 1946" />
Günther Schwerin was born in Breslau (now Wroclav, Poland) in 1910, to Ernst Schwerin and Stefanie Schwerin née Ehrlich. He was a grandson of Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich. Günther Schwerin studied in Maidenhead, Berkshire County, England in 1927 and immigrated to the United States the following decade. After attending New York University School of Law 1942 - 1945, Schwerin was employed in London, England by the United States War Department as a Bombing Research Analyst. Günther Schwerin had a career in a New York City law firm and served as the executor of the estate of his maternal grandmother, Hedwig Pinkus Ehrlich. Schwerin devoted his life to recovery of restitution from the governments of Poland and Germany for his family’s lost property.
Hans Wolfgang Schwerin was born in Breslau in 1906 to Ernst Schwerin and Stefanie Schwerin née Ehrlich. He earned a law degree from Universität Breslau in 1937 and immigrated to the United States in the following decade with his parents and younger sibling, Günther. Schwerin’s vocation was writing; throughout his life, Hans Schwerin maintained relationships with literary figures and wrote poetry and works for live theatre. In 1939, a volume of his poetry, Irdische Heimat, was published under the pen name Wolfgang H. Syland. A theatre work, Vorstellung in drei Akten, was published in 1982.
Stefanie Schwerin was born in Berlin in 1884 to Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich and Hedwig Ehrlich née Pinkus. She married industrialist Ernst Schwerin in 1904, settled in Breslau and had two children: Hans and Günther. Stefanie Schwerin left Breslau with her family in 1937 and resided in Switzerland and California before residing permanently in New York City in 1941. Stefanie Schwerin died in 1966.
Ernst Schwerin was born in Breslau in 1869 to Adolf Schwerin and Fanny Schwerin née Rinkel. Schwerin was an industrialist, the owner of J.Schwerin & Söhne, a large hemp and flax processing mill in Breslau (now Wroclav, Poland), and held the post of Kommerzienrat of Germany. In 1937, Ernst Schwerin fled to Switzerland from Germany with his wife Stefanie and adult children Günther and Hans. In the following year, the National Socialist government seized Schwerin’s estate and forced him to liquidate the factory. After immigrating to California in 1939, Ernst Schwerin eventually settled in New York City in 1941 and worked briefly for the United States War Department as a consultant. Ernst Schwerin died in New York City in 1946.
7.5 Linear Feet
This collection contains documents pertaining to restitution claims for Schwerin family property from the German and Polish governments. Family photographs, vital records and correspondence among family members are in this collection.
This collection has been arranged into two series.
Four glass plate images used as the company logo in a brochure for the factory J. Schwerin & Söhne AG were removed and stored with the LBI Arts and Objects collection.
Published monographs and periodicals were removed and placed with LBI library holdings. Among these items is a volume of poetry by Hans Wolfgang Schwerin was published under the name Wolfgamg H. Syland. An issue of the literary journal Mass und Wert contains a poem by Hans Wolfgang Schwerin. A biographical essay on Max Pinkus was also placed with the LBI library holdings.
Bibliography of separated published monographs and periodicals
Illustrierter Beobachter (Munich) 19, no. 28, July 13, 1944.
Loewi, Otto. “An Autobiographical Sketch”. Reprinted for private circulation from Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 4, no.1 (Autumn 1960): 1-25.
Reichart, Walter A. “In Memoriam Max Pinkus.” Sonderdruck aus dem Gerhart-Hauptmann-Jahrbuch. Goslar: Deutsche Volksbücherei, 1948.
Schwerin, H.W. “Der Fluch.” Mass und Wert 3, no. 5/6 (September - November 1940): 636.
Syland, Wolfgang H. Irdische Heimat: Gedichte. Bern: A. Francke A.G., 1939.
- Information artifacts
- J. Schwerin & Söhne AG
- Jews -- Persecutions -- Germany
- Records (documents)
- Schwerin, Ernst, 1869-1946
- Schwerin, Günther, 1910-1997
- Schwerin, Hans Wolfgang, 1906-1987
- Schwerin, Stefanie, 1884-1966
- United States -- Emigration and immigration
- Wrocław (Poland)
- Guide to the Papers of the Günther Schwerin Collection 1903-1999 bulk 1938-1961 AR 10633
- Processed by Angela Lawrence
- © 2012
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Described and encoded as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
- July 2012: Selected links to digital objects added in Container List.
- January, 9 2013: More links to digital objects added in Container List.
- February 04, 2015 : More links to digital objects added in Container List.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States