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Gertrud Kurth Collection

Identifier: AR 10905

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains personal documents of Gertrud Kurth, her correspondence, manuscripts and published articles from Vienna and United States. This collection also holds personal documents and correspondence with Gertrud Kurth's parents and some relatives.

Personal papers of Gertrud Kurth and her family members will be found in several areas of this collection. Series I holds the papers of Gertrud Kurth herself, consisting of her babybook, official papers such as passports and birth and marriage certificates. A recounting of her citizenship interview is also in Series I. Gertrud Kurth's personal correspondence is located in Series II: Correspondence, and includes letters from friends and family both prior to and following her immigration to the United States. Much of the correspondence is between Gertrud and her mother Bettina (Betty).

The bulk of Gertrud Kurth's professional papers consist of her writing, including that produced for educational purposes. Examples of her writing are located in Series III: Writings, and include writing created both before and after her immigration. Her earlier writings, in Subseries 1 of Series III, largely focus on sociological and anthropological elements, while her later works in Subseries 2 concern psychoanalytical topics. Series III includes her dissertations from the University of Vienna and Columbia University. The majority of the writing in this series is manuscripts, although there are also some clippings and offprints of her published articles as well in Subseries 2. Two folders of her business correspondence are located in Series II.

Papers and correspondence of Gertrud Kurth's family members, especially her parents Bettina (Betty) and Paul are in Series V, with the first subseries relegated to papers of Gertrud Kurth's immediate family and the second subseries holding papers of more extended family. Included among the first subseries is a brief review of the book One for Many (Eine fuer viele) written by Betty Kurth under the pseudonym Vera.

The collection also includes a few objects, which will be found in Series VII. Series VIII holds an extensive amount of photographic materials, in the form of photographs, slides, and negatives. Much of the photographic materials appears to depict family members or friends as well as trips taken by Gertrud Kurth.


  • Creation: 1877-1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920-1965


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with some Polish and Czech.

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

Gertrud Maria Kurth was born in 1904 in Vienna, Austria to Paul and Betty Kurth. She was an only child.

Gertrud's father, Paul Kurth was born as Paul Kohn. He changed his name to Kurth after converting to Christianity. He was a prominent lawyer in Vienna and also obtained a Ph.D. in archeology, history of arts and philosophy. He died in 1924.

Gertrud Kurth's mother Betty or Bettina Kurth née Kris was a well-known fiction writer before her marriage. In 1902 her novel Vera, One for Many was published with amazing success. She was a French teacher and later on was one of the first women to get her Ph.D. degree at the University of Vienna, majoring in art history, archeology and philosophy. She specialized in medieval tapestries. She immigrated to England in 1939, dying there in 1948.

Gertrud Kurth was married to Alois Kieslinger from 1924 to 1927. Upon divorcing she returned to her maiden name Kurth.

Gertrud Kurth graduated in 1931 with a Ph.D. degree at the University of Vienna, majoring in anthropology. Between 1929 and 1932 she worked as a freelance collaborator of a women's magazine. She also wrote various articles focused on women's interests. Between 1928-1937 many of Gertrud Kurth's short stories were successfully published, and some of them were even dramatized on the radio. From 1934-1938 Gertrud ran her own advertising agency.

Though Gertrud Kurth was born to Lutheran parents and was baptized as a Lutheran, she had to flee Austria in 1939. In 1939 she immigrated to the United States and in 1945 she obtained U.S. citizenship. In 1947 Gertrud Kurth graduated from the New School of Social Research with a Master's degree in sociology and political science. In 1957 she got her Ph.D. from Columbia University in clinical psychology. She published several papers on psychoanalytical topics.

Gertrud Kurth did not have children. She died in 1999.


5.25 Linear Feet


The Gertrud Kurth Collection consists of material related to Gertrud Kurth and her family members. This collection has over 5 linear feet, and includes personal documents, correspondence and manuscripts. The last 3 linear feet of the collection contain photographs, photograph negatives and slides.


The collection is on eight reels of microfilm (MF 961):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/8
  2. Reel 2: 1/9 - 1/14
  3. Reel 3: 1/15 - 1/20
  4. Reel 4: 1/21 - 2/1 A
  5. Reel 5: 2/1 B - 2/3
  6. Reel 6: 2/4 - 2/16
  7. Reel 7: 2/17 - 2/35
  8. Reel 8: Box 4 - Oversized

Processing Information

Boxes 1-2 have been processed to folder-level, while boxes 3-5 have only been processed to box-level.

Guide to the Papers of Gertrud Kurth (1904-1999) 1877-1996 AR 10905 / MF 961
Processed by Anna Rathkopf, Michael Simonsen, and Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from GertrudKurth.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 2009:: Microfilm inventory added.
  • July 2009:: Separated Material and Series VIII: Visual Material edited.
  • April 01, 2014: : 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