Evelyn Benson Collection
Scope and Content Note
The Evelyn Benson Collection consists of documents pertaining to the research of Evelyn Benson on German Jewish nurses during the Third Reich. Folders one, two and seven include brief correspondence between Benson, Ilse Beck, Doris Grey and Hilda Westenberg. Folder three includes various documents on Ruth Knopp, including photographs from Knopp's time at the Jewish hospital in Berlin, a short biography, and correspondence between Knopp and Benson. Folder four includes an interview with Frieda Lefeber, correspondence between Lefeber and Benson, and a newspaper clipping on Lefeber’s life story.
Folders five and six include various documents pertaining to Thea Levinsohn (née Wolf). Folder five contains extensive correspondence between Levinsohn and Benson on the history of Jewish women in nursing and on Levinsohn’s work in Egypt and Israel during and after World War II. Some other correspondence related to the writings of Levinsohn and scholarly work of Benson is also included. Folder six contains various documents pertaining to the life and work of Levinsohn, including photographs and photocopies of official documents from the Jewish hospital in Frankfurt am Main, essays written by Levinsohn on her experience as a nurse, photocopies of newspaper clippings and reviews of the book Not in Vain: An Extraordinary Life by Ada Aharoni on Levinsohn's life.
- 1926-1942, 1987-2010
- Majority of material found within 1987-2001
Language of Materials
The collection is in German and English.
Open to researchers.
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.
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
Evelyn R. Benson was born in 1924 and lived in Havertown, Pennsylvania, and Boston. After retiring from nursing, she turned her attention to scholarship with a particular focus on the history of Jewish women in nursing. Her publications include the book As We See Ourselves: Jewish Women in Nursing (Sigma Theta Tau Intl, 2001).
Ilse Beck was born in Berlin in 1916(?). She was prevented from studying medicine in a university during the Third Reich, but was able to work and train as a student nurse in the Jewish hospital in Berlin from 1935-1937. She then emigrated from Germany to the United States.
Doris Grey worked as a nurse in the Jewish hospital in Berlin from 1933-1940. She then emigrated from Germany to Shanghai.
Ruth Knopp (née Lebram) was born in Lower Silesia in 1922 and educated in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland). She started working and training as a student nurse at the Jewish hospital in Berlin in April 1939, graduating in 1941. In 1943, she was deported to Theresienstadt, where she was put to work as a nurse. She was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross and lived in Denmark and Sweden before immigrating to the United States.
Frieda Lefeber was born in Poznań, Poland, in 1915. She worked and trained as a student nurse at the Jewish hospital in Berlin starting in 1935. She emigrated from Germany to the United States in April 1939.
Thea Levinsohn (née Wolf) was born in Essen in 1907. She trained and worked as a nurse at the Jewish hospital in Frankfurt am Main; she later worked as a nurse in Alexandria, Egypt, during World War II and in Israel. She died in 2005.
Hilda Westenberg was born in Upper Silesia. She started training and working as a student nurse at the Jewish hospital in Berlin in 1936. She emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1939.
0.5 Linear Feet
The Evelyn Benson Collection consists of documents on six German Jewish nurses that were compiled for Benson's research on the history of Jewish women in nursing. Documents include correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, photocopies of official documents, and clippings.
The collection is arranged in one series:
The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.
Two audiocassettes of interviews with Doris Grey and Frieda Lefeber were removed to the LBI Audiovisual Collection.
- Beck, Ilse
- Benson, Evelyn Rose
- Berlin (Germany)
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
- Grey, Doris
- Jewish hospitals
- Jewish nurses
- Jewish nurses -- Germany -- Biography.
- Jews -- Germany -- Berlin -- History
- Jews -- Germany -- History
- Jüdisches Krankenhaus (Berlin, Germany)
- Lefeber, Frieda, 1915-
- Verein für Jüdische Krankenpflegerinnen (Frankfurt, Main)
- Westenberg, Hilda
- Wolf, Thea, 1907-2005
- Guide to the Evelyn Benson Collection 1926-1942, 1987-2010 AR 25433
- Processed by Matthew Johnson
- © 2013
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Digitized as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from EvelynBenson.xml
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States