Arnold Hartmann correspondence
The Arnold Hartmann correspondence documents Hartmann’s efforts to help his Breslau cousins flee Germany during the Holocaust and either join their relatives who had already emigrated to Shanghai, Montevideo, or La Paz or immigrate to the United States.
Hartmann’s correspondents include his cousins Philipp and Regine Hartmann in Breslau; their older daughter Meta and her husband Bruno Oszlowski who traveled from Breslau to Montevideo; their younger daughter Erna Hartmann who traveled from Breslau to La Paz and married Max Kissinger; cousins Martin and Jette Beil, also in Breslau; cousin Marianna Armer who traveled from Breslau to Shanghai; Marianna Armer’s daughters Margarete Armer Goldberger and Selma Weissfisch in Shanghai and son Moritz Teuber in Manila; cousin Louis Hartmann in Sao Paolo; and Elsa Hartmann whom Arnold Hartmann tried to assist although she was not a direct relation.
The relatives’ letters describe the German liquidation of Jewish businesses and expropriation of funds, the poverty and illness of emigrant life in South America and Shanghai, ongoing concerns for the wellbeing of relatives remaining in Germany, and a cycle of desperation, hope, and disappointment that characterized various emigration plans. The German letters are usually accompanied by English translations provided for example by the Boston Committee for Refugees or Egan Berliner for Hartmann who was not fluent in German. Hartmann’s replies describe the decline of business opportunities in America during the Depression and World War II.
The files also include photographs of Philipp and Regine Hartmann, Margarete Armer Goldberger, Selma Weissfisch and her child, and Erna and Max Kissinger’s restaurant in La Paz and correspondence with banks, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Hamburg‐America Line, the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden, the Boston Committee for Refugees, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc., and other travel agencies and aid societies.
The collection further includes business and travel letters dated 1936‐1938, mostly relating to Hartmann’s real estate business during a 1938 trip to Buenos Aires.
Philipp Hartmann was deported to Theresienstadt in July 1942 and died there in April 1943, and Regine Hartmann is believed to have died there as well. Martin and Jette Beil are believed to have been deported to Poland during the war and to have perished. Erna Hartmann is believed to have died in La Paz in 1941 or 1942. Margarete Armer Goldberger, Marianna Armer, and Selma Weissfisch survived the war in Shanghai, and Selma Weissfisch eventually immigrated to Israel.
Record last modified: 2021-05-25 14:57:05
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