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Eva Krafft Kahn Collection

Identifier: AR 25749

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of two series. Series I encompasses Eva Krafft Kahn's personal papers. Series II mainly includes items pertaining to members of her and her husband's family.

Series I includes documents from Eva Krafft Kahn’s childhood and youth in Eger, Czechoslovakia (today Cheb, Czech Republic) and after her immigration to the United States in Chicago, Illinois. It includes a variety of school materials and a friendship book.

The family papers in Series II contain two letters written by Eva's cousin Martin Wels who was killed in the Holocaust. The letters were stored in a notebook with drawings and poems and items such as photographs and postcards. Furthermore, a baby diary about Eva's development as an infant, two photo albums pertaining to the family of Eva's husband Stephen Martin Kahn and an autograph book of her mother Gisela Arnstein are part of the series.


  • circa 1911-circa 1940
  • Majority of material found within 1932-1940


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in English and German, with small amounts of Czech and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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 "Reserve" button.

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

Eva Marie Kahn (née Krafft) was born in Eger, Czechoslovakia (today Cheb, Czech Republic) on February 15th, 1926. Her parents were the merchant Ernst Krafft, born on October 13th, 1895, and Gisela Krafft (née Arnstein), born on July 22, 1897. Her younger brother Eric Stephen Krafft was born on June 2nd, 1929. Eva immigrated to the United States from Prague via Belgium and France and arrived in New York on November 10th, 1938. She and her family settled in Chicago. Later Eva Kahn studied at Bryn Mawr College and Sarah Lawrence College and worked as a genetic counselor for twenty years. She died on July 3rd, 2010.

Eva Kahn and her husband Stephen Martin Kahn got married in 1950. He was born on March 17th, 1919 in Heilbronn, Germany.

Eva Kahn's cousin Martin Wels was born on June 27th, 1925. His parents were Ernst Krafft's sister Ida Wels (also referred to as Ida Welsová), born on July 6th, 1894 and Rudolf Wels, born on April 28th, 1882. Martin had one older brother, Thomas Albert Wels, who was born on June 7th, 1920. Martin and his parents were deported from Prague to Theresienstadt on January 30th, 1942, and from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on September 6th, 1943 where they were murdered. Martin's brother Thomas Albert presumably escaped to England circa 1939. He died in the United Kingdom on September 18th, 1988.


0.75 Linear Feet


This collection pertains to the life of Eva Kahn (née Krafft) and members of her extended family. It encompasses documents of her life as a child and teenager in Eger (today Cheb, Czech Republic) and later in Chicago, Illinois. Included in her personal papers are school materials and a friendship book. The collection furthermore documents the lives of family members of Eva Kahn and her husband Stephen Martin Kahn with correspondence, photographs, a baby journal and an autograph album. Two letters written by Eva Kahn's cousin Martin Wels who was killed in the Holocaust are part of the collection.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I: Eva Kahn Personal Papers, circa 1932-circa 1940, 2017
  2. Series II: Eva Kahn Family Papers, circa 1911-circa 1939

Related Material

The Austrian Heritage Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute contains an oral history interview with Eva Kahn (Call Number AHC 2937) which can be accessed online.

Separated Material

Two language textbooks were removed from the archival collection during processing: French textbook: "France. Première Année De Français" by Camerlynck-Guernier and G.H. Camerlynck, published by H. Didier in 1937. Hebrew textbook: "Stories to be told in connection with the teaching of Hebrew Letters," copyright by Z. Scharfstein (undated).

Processing Information

"Fleißkärtchen" ("rewards of merit"), postcards, photographs and two letters to Eva Kahn written by her cousin Martin Wels have been taken out of the notebook cover in which they were originally stored. They can be found in folders 2/2 and 2/3.

A French and a Hebrew textbook were removed from the collection. The title pages of the books as well as drawings inside the cover of the Hebrew textbook were photocopied and are retained in folder 1/1.

Guide to the Papers of Eva Krafft Kahn circa 1911-circa 1940 AR 25749
Processed by Katharina Menschick
© 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EvaKrafftKahn.xml

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States