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Walter and Hedwig Grossmann Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25658

Scope and Contents

The lives of Walter and Hedwig Grossmann are documented in this collection through both textual and visual records. Series I focuses on the former, specifically correspondence and educational records. Series II shows the life of the couple, their families, and friends through photographs, with a particular emphasis on the Grossmanns’ travels.

The most substantial correspondence is from members of the Grossmann and Kessler families, particularly Walter’s brother Franz and his wife Maya, Hedwig’s brother Fred and his wife Ada, her sister Rose (Shoshana), and Rose’s first husband Hans B. (Jochanan). Some topics are constant throughout the decades of correspondence, including holiday and birthday greetings, thank you notes and get well soon cards, family updates, exchanges of information on mutual friends, travel reports and dispatches, health updates and inquiries, and marriage, birth, and death announcements. In contrast, other themes are confined to specific time periods. Letters from the late 1930s include farewell letters from friends leaving Berlin as well as letters describing their new homes and countries and inquiring about the Grossmanns’ own immigration to the United States. Letters from this time also include discussion of the worsening situation in Germany, plans for the immigration of friends and family members, and worries about the internments and possible deportations of those left behind. Letters from the immediate post-war years from friends and family remaining in Germany, including Walter’s brother Franz, discuss the economic hardships and material deprivations of life there at that time.

Educational records, the second category found in Series I, document the medical schooling of both Walter and Hedwig Grossmann at Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin. Included are admission certificates, course records, internship certificates, diploma, and copy of Hedwig Grossmann’s dissertation entitled “Die Wirkung anorganischer Salze auf das vegetative Nervensystem.”

The photographs in Series II are focused on two main topics: the travels of Walter and Hedwig Grossmann and images of members of the Grossmann and Kessler families. Walter and Hedwig traveled extensively throughout Western Europe, visiting both major cities and mountainous regions. While some of the photographs include the Grossmanns and various friends, the focus of the photographs is the places themselves. The other significant category of photographs in this series is images of the Grossmann and Kessler families, with a particularly large quantity of photographs of Hedwig Grossmann née Kessler and her son Michael Grossmann. Additional members of the Grossmann and Kessler families shown in this series include Walter Grossmann, Walter’s parents Eugen and Gertrud Grossmann, his brother Franz and sister-in-law Maya, as well as their children, his brother Hans S. and sister-in-law Erika, Hedwig’s parents Theodor and Martha Kessler, her sister Adele and Adele’s daughter Hilde, brother Fred and his wife Ada, and sister Rose (Shoshana), her first husband Hans B. (Jochanan), and their daughter Lilith, as well as Hans’ second wife Ruth and their children.

Negatives in Series II cover the same topics as the photographs, particularly the Grossmann family and Walter and Hedwig’s travels, but include images not found as positives in the preceding series.

Dates

  • undated, 1876-1972

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with a small amount of French, Hebrew, Italian, and Latin.

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 "Request" button.

Biographical / Historical

Walter Grossmann was born January 1, 1896, in Berlin, Germany. On April 25, 1925, he married Hedwig Kessler in Berlin. Hedwig was born December 9, 1896, in Berlin. Both Walter and Hedwig were trained as physicians. Their son Michael was born in Berlin on April 19, 1932. The family immigrated to the United States in 1938, arriving in New York on November 6 of that year, and eventually settled in Hartford, Connecticut. Walter Grossmann died December 18, 1960, in Hartford and Hedwig Grossmann died November 21, 1986, in Hartford.

Walter’s father Eugen Grossmann was born February 22, 1860, in Myslowitz and died January 3, 1931, in Berlin. His mother Gertrud Grossmann née Dewitz was born November 22, 1873, in Berlin.

Hedwig Grossmann née Kessler’s father Theodor Kessler was born December 29, 1858, in Berlin and died July 8, 1942, in Berlin. Her mother Martha Kessler née Manasse was born November 14, 1867, in Lübben. Both Gertrud Grossmann and Martha Kessler perished in the Holocaust.

Extent

3 Linear Feet

1 Folders (1 OS folder)

Abstract

The lives of Walter and Hedwig Grossmann are documented in this collection through both textual and visual records. Series I focuses on the former, specifically correspondence and educational records. Series II shows the life of the couple, their families, and friends through photographs, with a particular emphasis on the Grossmanns’ travels.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by document type in two series:

Series I: Correspondence and Documents, undated, 1899-1972
Subseries 1: Correspondence, undated, 1899-1972
Subseries 2: Documents, 1914-1938
Series II: Photographs, undated, 1876-1968
Subseries 1: Photographs, undated, 1876-1968
Subseries 2: Negatives, undated, 1916-1938




Related Materials

For further information on Walter Grossmann and the Grossmann family, please see the Walter Grossmann Collection (AR 6349) and Grossmann Family Collection (AR 25491).

Processing Information

During processing, envelopes accompanying correspondence were discarded if they contained no additional information. Some photographs in the collection were found grouped in envelopes with titles indicated on the envelopes; these groupings and titles were retained. Duplicate photographs were deaccessioned. All items in the collection were rehoused in archival folders and boxes.
Title
Guide to the Walter and Hedwig Grossmann Collection
Author
Sarah Glover
Date
© 2021
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

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