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Resi Weglein Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25633

Scope and Content Note

The Resi Weglein Collection is arranged in three series and contains documents pertaining to Resi Weglein, her husband Siego (Siegmund, sometimes spelled Sigmund) Weglein, her children Heinz J. and Walter M. Weglein, and other members of the Weglein (Regensteiner) family. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, but there are also materials of the Theresienstadt period as well as clippings, notes, diaries, photographs, brochures, manuscripts, and book reviews.

The collection holds an assortment of documents that reflect various aspects of Resi Weglein's life and the lives of her family. There is an abundance of material relating to World War I, World War II and the Theresienstadt period, Resi and her family's postwar lives, and restitution claims.

The central topic of this collection is Resi Weglein’s memoirs on both her and her husband’s deportation to Theresienstadt and her work as a nurse in the health care of the camp while she was interned. Shortly after her arrival, she organized a makeshift "hospital" in one of the barrack's rooms to provide better care for ill inmates. She worked in three of the camp's barracks, or Kasernen: In the Kavaliers kaserne that housed blind and mentally ill prisoners, in the Dresden kaserne that accommodated women and their children, and in the Genie kaserne that sheltered the elderly. Her experiences from deportation to liberation are well represented by the abundance of her memoirs, published by now, and original materials documenting everyday existence in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Included are food coupons (Bezugsscheine), bank notes, identity cards, yellow stars, bands, and registration certificates. There is also a recommendation letter, praising Resi's nursing care in Theresienstadt, and her work pass. Materials associated with this topic are best represented in Series I (folder 11), and Series III (box 2, folders 9-12, and box 3, folders 5-6).

A secondary focus of the collection is correspondence which makes up the greatest part of the collection, and may be found in Series II (folders 1-5).

A small part of these letters are personal correspondence (folder 2), mostly between the Weglein couple and their youngest son Walter. Most of the letters are in German, with some Dutch and English, dealing with everyday life and expressing the worries and concerns of all involved.

Box 2, folder 1 of Series II holds correspondence pertaining to Walter's wife Michi Weglyn (née Nishiura) and the loss of her husband, including letters of condolence. It also contains an essay by Sachi Seko, who was a Japanese American from Utah working in the Japanese American redress and African American claims movement. The author remembers and honors the voluntary work of Walter Weglyn and his wife Michi, who shared the fight for Asian American civil rights issues such as the fight for restitution for Japanese Americans who were interned in concentration camps, and for Japanese Latin American internees and Japanese American railroad and mine workers fired on government orders during World War II. The folder holds further photographs of Walter and Michi Weglyn as well as newspaper clippings reflecting Walter's life and voluntary engagement.

The largest part of these letters is related to restitution and restitution claims. Included is correspondence of Siegmund Weglein and his wife Resi, and their son Walter, related to the restitution process and the payments. The flood of correspondence shows how difficult it was to get full restitution from the German government and that the Weglein family obtained partial restitution. Most of these materials are in German and may be found in Series II (folders 3-6). The restitution correspondence concerns the following areas: pension benefits; damages to body, health, and career advancement; and property.

A very few materials which could not be identified may be found in Box 2, folder 7 (Series II). This folder contains correspondence, documents required for emigration and immigration, and notes.

A third prominent topic frequently encountered in the collection is Resi Weglein's memoirs, published by her hometown of Ulm as a fiftieth anniversary commemorative. Materials associated with this topic are best represented in Series III (box 2, folders 9-12, and box 3, folder 5-6), and Series I (folder 11). These materials include biographical and historical materials of Resi Weglein and the Theresienstadt period, and consist mostly of notebooks, manuscripts, and correspondence. The notebooks and manuscripts of Resi Weglein hold information about her, her husband, and other Jewish residents from the Ulm region, who had been deported to Theresienstadt in 1942. These materials document and reflect Resi Weglein's experiences from the deportation to liberation, especially Resi's experience as a nurse in Theresienstadt.

Dates

  • 1894-2007
  • Majority of material found in 1930s-1940s, 1950s-1970s

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, German, and Dutch, with some Czech and Bulgarian.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Due to copyright restrictions, some material has not been made publicly available online and is restricted to on-site access at the Center for Jewish History.

Box 2, Folder 5 has not been digitized, as it contains private medical information.

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

Biographical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Resi Weglein (1894-1977)" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid= 2993285" show="embed" title="Portrait of Resi Weglein (1894-1977)"/>

Resi Weglein (Regensteiner) was born on February 15, 1894 in Noerdlingen (Germany). She was the daughter of Moses Regensteiner and Sofie Regensteiner (née Buckmann). In 1915, she started training as a nurse and worked at a hospital for wounded soldiers, where she most probably met her future husband, Siegmund (sometimes spelled Sigmund) Weglein. Siegmund Weglein fought in World War I and received various medals of honor such as the Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with Swords (Militaer-Verdienstkreuz III. Klasse mit Schwertern), the Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse), the Honor Cross for Combatants (Ehrenkreuz fuer Frontkaempfer), and the Austrian Commemorative Medal with Swords (Oesterreichische Kriegs-Erinnerungsmedaille mit Schwertern). After World War I, Siegmund Weglein operated a clothing store. In 1922 he married Resi Weglein. They had two children: Heinz Joachim Weglein (later Henry Walker) and Walter Manfred Weglein (later Walter Matthys Weglyn).

Due to the Nazi denunciations and anti-Semitic pressure against Jews and Jewish businesses, the Wegleins dissolved their store in 1935. While their two sons were able to escape from Germany in 1939 by traveling via Kindertransport to England and the Netherlands, Resi and Siegmund were deported by rail from Stuttgart (Germany) to Theresienstadt. Shortly after their arrival, Resi Weglein started working as a nurse in the medical service of the Jewish self-government of Theresienstadt, working to provide medical care for the detainees.

After the liberation of Theresienstadt by the Red Army on May 9, 1945, Resi Weglein and her husband returned to Ulm (Germany). From there, they wanted to immigrate to the United States and reunite with their youngest son Walter, who meanwhile had moved to New York. Due to Siegmund Weglein's poor health condition, the emigration plan failed. In the following years, the couple tried hard to enforce reparation payments from the German government, as well as to increase Siegmund Weglein’s small pension.

Resi Weglein's memoir (ed. Lechner and Moos) was published by her hometown of Ulm as a fiftieth anniversary commemorative. It received widespread publicity in Germany, and high praise in reviews. Resi Weglein died in Ulm (Germany) on January 28, 1977. A street in Ulm, Resi-Weglein-Gasse, is named in honor of her, as well as a wagon of the streetcar line 1.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (+ 1 oversized folder)

Abstract

This collection contains the papers of Resi Weglein and reflects various periods of her life, especially the time period 1942 to 1945. Resi Weglein and her husband Siegmund Weglein were deported to Theresienstadt in August 1942, where she helped to provide health services to the detainees. The bulk of the documents in the collection consist of personal correspondence, restitution materials, emigration and immigration papers, and photographs. The collection also includes two handwritten notebooks of Resi Weglein and associated manuscripts which reflect her experiences as a nurse in Theresienstadt. The collection also provides information about the rest of her family, especially her husband Siegmund Weglein, who served in World War I, and her son Walter Weglein (later Weglyn), who was rescued via Kindertransport. Also included are clippings, book reviews, reports and correspondence from the War Refugee Board, and an assortment of materials pertaining to the Theresienstadt period.

Related Material

The LBI Library and Archives contain further material related to Resi Weglein. See also the Resi Weglein Clippings Collection, 1988-1989, in AR 6839 C, and the book Als Krankenschwester im KZ Theresienstadt, 1988, in D 805 C95 W45.

Separated Material

Many books that are associated by provenance to the described materials have been removed to the LBI Library. Copies of the title pages of these books have been retained in the archival collection and may be found in Series III (box 3, folder 7).

Processing Information

During processing, the collection was organized into series. All related content was organized alphabetically.

Title
Guide to the Papers of Resi Weglein 1894-2007 AR 25633
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Verena Blatt
Date
© 2015
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ResiWeglein.xml

Revision Statements

  • May 2016:: dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

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