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Arnold and Erna Stein Collection

Identifier: AR 5085

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, much of it featuring drawings and illustrations, between Gerda Mayer née Stein and her relatives and friends. Some of the correspondence with her parents (Arnold and Erna Stein) mentions conditions in Czechoslovakia under Nazi rule, and letters from her father allude to his internment in 1939 in a camp in Nisko, Poland, and his eventual deportation to Lviv. Other items include in the collection include commentary and notes on the correspondence written by Mayer, as well as some genealogical and biographical information on Mayer. Finally, an illustrated booklet of Mayer's poetry can be found in the final folder.


  • 1927-1973

Language of Materials

This collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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

Gerda Stein, daughter of Erna and Arnold Stein, was born in Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic) in 1927. She emigrated to England in 1939 as part of a children's transport (Kindertransport) effort organized by Trevor Chadwick. In England she attended various boarding schools and studied secretarial skills. She married Adolf Mayer, a refugee from Vienna, in 1949. She published several books of poetry, and also contributed to many magazines and anthologies.

Arnold and Erna Stein were active in the garment business. Erna had previously been married and had a child, Johanna, from this marriage. The Steins fled Karlsbad for Prague in 1938 as the Germans marched into the Sudetenland. Arnold Stein appears to have been captured by German soldiers during an attempt to cross the Polish border in 1939. He was sent to an internment camp in Nisko, and from there deported to Lviv, where he may have spent time in another camp, possibly operated by Russian authorities. Erna Stein was deported from Prague to Theresienstadt in 1942 and then to Auschwitz in 1943.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection contains correspondence, much of it containing drawings and illustrations, between Gerda Mayer née Stein and her relatives and friends in Czechoslovakia from 1938-1942.

Other Finding Aid

An inventory is available in folder 1.

Related Material

See also Gerda Mayer's memoirs (ME 1360).

Guide to the Arnold and Erna Stein Collection, 1927-1973  AR 5085
Processed by LBI Staff
© 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • March 19, 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States