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Margarete Kollisch Collection

Identifier: AR 25058

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the literary work and life of the poet Margarete Kollisch. It also contains material on several of her family members including her daughter Eva Kollisch, brother Leopold Moller, and husband Otto Kollisch. The collection holds official documents, correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, notes, audiocassettes, clippings, and photographs.

Biographical information on Margarete Kollisch is located in several areas of the collection. Biographical articles, obituaries, and clippings on the poet will be found in Series I: Personal. In addition, Series I holds her official papers, such as school certificates and recommendation letters. This series also contains an interview she gave to Mimi Grossberg in 1976. Margarete Kollisch's letters, in Series II, provide further information. Especially prominent in this series are the letters she exchanged with her husband and chidren during 1939 and early 1940, while waiting for her visa to the United States. Series III, which holds Margarete Kollisch's writing, also includes biographical material in the form of her short stories, some of which describe memorable events in her life. Margaret Kollisch's poems, which often describe her feelings as an exile, and which occasionally focus on political events, provide more personal glimpses into her life.

The literary compostions of Margaret Kollisch and material pursuant to the publication of her works reside in various places within the collection. As mentioned above, Margaret Kollisch's writings are in Series III. This series is mainly comprised of copies of unpublished typescripts and notebooks with handwritten drafts of her German poetry. The second subseries of Series III contains copies of her poetry published in newspapers and journals as well as some reviews of her work. Correspondence concerning the publication of Margarete Kollisch's third volume of poetry and aphorisms, Rückblendung, was carried out with Eva Kollisch, and is located in Subseries 2 of Series IV. The correspondence of this subseries also includes letters exchanged between Eva Kollisch and the publishers concerning the storage of previous volumes of Margarete Kollisch's writing and the copyrights to her works. An audiocassette of the author reading some of her own work is located in Series I. A copy of a poem Margarete Kollisch sent to Albert Einstein, to which he responded with a poem of his own, is in Series II.

This collection holds material on other members of the extended Kollisch family in Series I, II, and IV. Series I includes a notebook belonging to Margarete Kollisch's uncle Arnold Bunzl-Federn and family photographs. Scanned photographs consist of many childhood photos of Margarete Kollisch with her brother Leopold. The correspondence of Series II is also largely with family members, primarily wartime letters from her spouse and children, but also contains her last letter to her brother. Series IV, which is comprised of papers originating from Margarete Kollisch's daughter Eva, incorporates biographical articles on Eva Kollisch as well as sample chapters from her memoir, Girl in Movement, published in various journals. Material on Leopold Moller will be found in the final subseries of the collection, consisting of some of his letters, reminiscences given of him at his funeral, and a biographical article and notes.


  • Creation: 1882-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1939-1985


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

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 to reserve the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

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

Margarete Moller was born on December 9, 1893 in Vienna, the daughter of the lawyer Ignaz and Hermine (née Bunzl-Federn) Moller. Margarete had a younger brother, Leopold. She attended the Mädchenlyzeum Schwarzwald in Vienna before studying philology at the University of Vienna. During World War I she worked as a nurse, for which she earned a silver Red Cross medal. Following the war she worked as a secretary and translator for the French Embassy in Vienna, and in 1917 she received her teaching certificate.

In 1923 Margarete Moller married the architect Otto Kollisch. They had three children: Stefan (later Steve), Peter, and Eva. In 1939 the family began to leave Austria. The children left first on a Kindertransport to England in July 1939, while Otto Kollisch emigrated to the United States via England in August 1939 and Margarete Kollisch travelled via Holland, arriving in the U.S. in October 1939. The children followed their parents to America in April 1940, when the family was reunited and settled in Staten Island. To support her family, Margarete Kollisch worked first as secretary to an antiquarian, then as a licensed massage therapist, a profession she would remain in for the next twenty-five years. She also gave private instruction in German and French.

Margarete Kollisch is most well-known for her poetry and prose; some of her poems were published in German and Austrian newspapers and journals, but it was not until 1960 that her first anthology, Wege und Einkehr, appeared. This work was followed in 1971 by Unverlorene Zeit and by Rückblendung, published posthumously in 1981, largely through the efforts of her daughter. Margarete Kollisch gave poetry readings for radio programs in New York and Vienna as well as for the Austrian Institute and Austrian Forum. In 1969 her work earned her a medal for foreign poetry from York College (CUNY). Margarete Kollisch died on October 11, 1979.


2 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers of the writer Margarete Kollisch. The main subject of the collection is her life and writing, although material concerning other members of the family are also present. The collection consists of typescripts and manuscripts, correspondence, official documents, articles and clippings, photographs, audiocassettes, and notes.


The collection is on 3 reels of microfilm (MF 763):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/28
  2. Reel 2: 1/29 - 2/9
  3. Reel 3: 2/10 - 3/14

Related Material

Parts of the Margarete Kollisch estate are located at the archives of the State University of New York at Albany. They also maintain an online finding aid for their Margarete Kollisch Papers collection.

Separated Material

Some books in this collection have been removed to the LBI Library. Among these are:

  1. Kollisch, Eva. Girl in Movement: a memoir. Thetford, Vermont: Glad Day Books, 2000.
  2. Kollisch, Margarete. Rückblendung: Gedichte und Prosa. Vienna: Bergland Verlag, 1981.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in 2003 by Lydia Burghardt. In 2007 it was reprocessed to reflect the addition of addenda, specifically more personal documents, correspondence, and material relating to Leopold Moller. Similar materials were grouped together to form series and given new numeration, although much of the older processing order remained the same. In addition, series and subseries descriptions were added, as well as a collection-level scope and content note.

Guide to the Papers of Margarete Kollisch (1893-1979) 1882-2003 AR 25058 / MF 763
Processed by Lydia Burghardt and Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from MargareteKollisch.xml.

Revision Statements

  • 2010-03-23 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States