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Edith Burian Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25923

Scope and Contents

The Edith Burian Family Collection is divided into six series.

A big part of the material pertains to Edith Burian (Series I). It includes documents such as her immigrant certificate from Palestine, her American certificate of naturalization, and photocopies of her marriage certificate, as well as a lot of correspondence. Most of the latter are personal letters from friends and family.

The material related to Anna Perlmann (Series II) consists of many documents related to her training as a physician in Germany including transcripts, her university degree, confirmations about her work as a doctor in training, applications, and letters of recommendation. The series also contains material pertaining to her emigration to Palestine and her work for the Social Department and the Women’s Prison of Bethlehem in the 1940s.

Series III holds material related to Nelly Klein and her husband Konrad Klein. Most of Konrad Klein’s material pertains to restitution: compensation for the damage to his career was rejected in 1965, but restitution regarding his health was approved. Konrad Klein had health problems as a result of forced labor. Series IV holds material pertaining to Mathilde and Arnold Alter such as their IDs and passports, birth and death certificates as well as certificates of literacy. Series V contains folders with material from Getrude Sokolski (the sister of Edith Burian), Getrude Schor (née Muenz), Grete Rehter (the former piano teacher of Kurt Burian in Vienna), and Inge Barkatt (the sister of Nelly Klein). Most of the photographs of the collection, including a photo album, can be found in Series VI.


  • Creation: 1902-2007
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920-1980


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, Hebrew, and some Russian and Czech.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.

Biographical Note

Anna Perlmann (October 12th, 1887-April 23rd, 1972) was born in Georgenburg (today Jurbarkas, Lithuania). She studied pharmacy in Koenigsberg (today Kaliningradskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia). In 1914, she returned to Germany to study medicine at the Albertus University in Koenigsberg and graduated in 1921. Over the following years, she worked in several medical institutions in Berlin and Breslau (today Wrocław, Poland). She emigrated to Palestine in 1934. There she worked for the Social Service Department and the Health Committee of the Jewish Community Jerusalem before starting as a medical officer at the British Prison for Women in Bethlehem in 1945.

Edith “Dita” (Nomi) Helga Burian (née Muenz, February 19th, 1924-March 28th, 2017) was born in Vienna, Austria, and grew up in Gmuend, Austria. After the imprisonment of her father, Edith, her sister Gertrude (later Sokolski), and her mother were ordered to leave the town and they moved to Vienna in 1938. Edith joined the Shomer Hatzairair, became involved with the Youth Aliyah Movement, and left Austria with the group in 1939. In Palestine, she stayed in the Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim for two years before she started training as a pediatric nurse in Jerusalem. Anna Perlmann met her through the Social Service Department of the city and helped her during that time. They had a close relationship, Edith described herself as an adopted daughter of Anna.

Edith married Kurt Burian (born February 20th, 1922) in Haifa in May 1945. Together they returned to Austria before immigrating to the U.S. in 1950. Edith and her husband looked after many elderly people who immigrated to the U.S. and handled their estates in some cases. These seniors were often known as aunts or uncles in Edith’s and Kurt’s family, without being relatives.

Nelly Klein (née Spielmann, born March 31st, 1913) was born in Vienna, Austria. In 1935, Nelly and her family emigrated to Palestine. In 1939, she married the engineer Konrad Klein (born March 3rd, 1908) with whom she moved to his hometown Czernowitz (today in Ukraine). After the end of the war, they were sent back to Austria and emigrated to Israel again. They later moved to New York.

Mathilda (née Grossbauch, January 16th, 1912-October 27th, 2004) and Arnold Alter (October 5th, 1916-September 14th, 1989) were both born in Austria and emigrated to Palestine. Arnold joined the Union of Musicians in Palestine in 1941 and gave concerts with a band. They later immigrated to the U.S. where they changed their last name to Allen, and Arnold became Stanley. He was distantly related to the family of Edith Burian, and after his death, Kurt Burian took care of Mathilde Allen in a nursing home.


1 Linear Feet

1 Folders : 1 oversized folder in a shared oversized box


This collection holds material related to Anna Perlmann, a German physician who worked in Israel at the Women’s Prison in Bethlehem, Israel; Edith Burian (née Muenz) from Austria who lived in a Kibbutz before immigrating to the U.S.; as well as material pertaining to family members and friends of Edith Burian. The collection includes correspondence, documents related to restitution payments, and photographs.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  • Series I: Edith Burian, 1938-2007
  • Series II: Anna Perlmann, 1908-1973
  • Series III: Klein Family, 1915-1995
  • Series IV: Alter / Allen Family, 1922-2011
  • Series V: Other family members and friends, 1902-2001
  • Series VI: Photographs, undated, 1922-1946, 1960

Separated Materials

A videotape from Hello Austria - Austria’s International TV-Magazine with the winner Burian was moved to the Audiovisual Collection.

A hand fan with the inscription “Öffentl. Handelsschule – Alina 1913/14” on the front and several signatures on the back as well as the sign “Dr. A. Perlmann” and a 10 Shekel bill were moved to the Art and Objects Collection. Two sets of playing cards from the manufacturer Ferd. Piatnik & Sons Vienna were also moved to the Art and Objects Collection.

Two books, “Langenscheidt’s Pocket-dictionary of the English and German Languages” and “Kedem Taschen-Woerterbuch Deutsch-Hebraeisch” were removed from the collection.

Guide to the Papers of the Edith Burian Family
Processed by Mareike Hennies
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States