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Friedl Wollmerstedt papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2003.89.1 | RG Number: RG-10.438

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    The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence and documents relating to Friedl Herzfeld Wollmerstedt and her family's life in prewar Germany, her immigration to England, restitution matters and life in Germany after her return to Germany, from 1916 to 1975. The photograph album contains images from the Herzfeld family's life in Germany prior to World War II.
    inclusive:  1916-1975
    bulk:  1939-1960
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Friedl Herzfeld Wollmerstedt
    Collection Creator
    Friedl H. Wollmerstedt
    Friedl Wollmerstedt was born Frieda Herzfeld in Kelsterbach, Germany on December 9, 1915. Her father Herz (Hugo) Herzfeld (son of Moses Herzfeld and Regina Hirsch) was born in König (today Bad König), Germany on May 16, 1877. Her mother, Berta Adler (daughter of Abraham Adler and Fanny Strauß) was born in Kelsterbach, Germany on August 28, 1875. Hugo Herzfeld and Berta Adler married on November 1, 1909 in Kelsterbach. The Herzfelds kept a kosher kitchen and were a traditional Jewish family. Hugo Herzfeld was an animal feed merchant and Bertha Herzfeld took care of the household.

    Friedl had an older sister, Martha, who was born in Kelsterbach, Germany on November 11, 1910. Both girls started school in Kelsterbach and later studied at German schools in Frankfurt. After school both sisters took jobs in Jewish stores. In April 1936 Friedl started working for J. Wormser und Co., a textile whole sale in Frankfurt am Main. In the wake of Aryanization, the Jewish-owned business was transferred to its attorney Hans Merschroth. Friedl worked for Merschroth & Co. since August 4, 1938 and became unemployed on January 6, 1939. On February 13, 1939 Friedl Herzfeld started working as a shorthand typist for the Jewish lawyer Max L. Cahn, who was only allowed to consult Jews.

    In the wake Kristallnacht, Hugo told his two daughters to leave Germany. Martha obtained a visa for Northern Ireland through the help of W. L. Irwin, an Irishman. After writing to the Refugee Committee in London, Friedl was able to obtain English visas for herself and her sister. In May 1939 they left Frankfurt, traveled via Holland, and arrived in London, England. Friedl found employment as a nurse while her sister left for Ireland. After losing her job at the hospital, Friedl joined Martha in Ireland.

    Hugo and Bertha corresponded with their daughters through the Red Cross until their deportation to and subsequent death in Riga in 1942. In Ireland, the Herzfeld sisters joined the Fire Service. Later, they would also join the British Army. After the war, Friedl worked for an educational service. After visiting Germany in 1950, the two sisters both bought a flat in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1958, Friedl visited Germany and renewed her acquaintance with her childhood friend, Herman Wollmerstedt. The two had been forced to end their relationship in 1934 due to the German racial laws. Herman came to visit Friedl in Edinburgh in 1957 to convince her to come to Germany with him. She came to Germany in 1958, and they were married six months later on June 6, 1958. Martha stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland until her death.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as eight folders:

    Folder 1 of 8: Documents from prewar Germany, 1916-1939
    Folder 2 of 8: Correspondence between Martha and Friedl Herzfeld and their parents, 1939-1941
    Folder 3 of 8: Documents relating to life after immigration to England, 1940-1957
    Folder 4 of 8: Correspondence regarding restitution, 1956-1959
    Folder 5 of 8: Documents from postwar Germany, 1958-1978
    Folder 6 of 8: Copies of birth, death and marriage certificates for members of the Herzfeld family, 1954-1975
    Folder 7 of 8: Photographs from prewar Germany
    Folder 8 of 8: Album with 138 photographs from prewar Germany

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The papers were donated by Friedl Herzfeld Wollmerstedt to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:05:48
    This page:

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