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Henry Knepler papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.683.1 | RG Number: RG-10.458

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    Henry Knepler papers

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    The Henry Knepler papers include biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, and writings documenting Henry Knepler and his relatives, their lives before the war in Vienna, where Hugo Knepler was in the music business, Henry’s travel to England via Kindertransport and subsequent internment as an enemy alien in England and Canada, his mother’s survival in Austria by hiding under a false identity, and Hugo’s escape to Monaco, eventual arrest, and transport to Auschwitz where he did not survive. Some of these materials are photocopies.
    Biographical materials document the lives of Henry, Hedwig, and Hugo Knepler as well as their Hiltl, Iverus, Knepler, Mehler, Moser, and Pollak relatives. Records include citizenship documents; birth, baptismal, marriage, and death certificates; passports and identity cards; Henry’s Kinderstransport application; and Hedwig’s financial, immigration, and restitution files. Henry’s academic accomplishments in Canada, Hugo’s professional relationships with Arthur Nikisch, Pablo Casals, Leo Slezak and Ludwig Karpath, and Hugo’s arrest and deportation are also documented in this series. Some of these materials are photocopies.
    Most of the correspondence in the collection is among Henry, Hedwig, and Hugo Knepler. These letters trace Henry’s travel to England, his life in England as a refugee and an enemy alien, his travel to Canada, his life in Canada as an enemy alien and then as a student, and his immigration to the United States; Hedwig’s life in hiding in Vienna and later efforts to immigrate to the United States; and Hugo’s travel to Monaco, arrest, and transport to Auschwitz via Drancy. Correspondence between the Kneplers and their friends and family members further document those experiences and family and friends’ efforts to emigrate. Of particular interest are Hedwig’s letters to her son from October and November 1945 in which she describes her life in Vienna during the war and a January 1945 letter from Hilda Lorant to Hedwig describing Hugo’s arrest. Additional correspondence documents the internment of Leo Glück, Bettina and Ignaz Kraus, and Rosa Moser at Theresienstadt. Most of the correspondence was numbered by the correspondent or the donor.
    Photographic materials include a publicity photograph showing Hugo Knepler performing eight of his skills and photocopies of photographs of Hedwig and Hugo Knepler and their family members and friends.
    Writings by Hugo Knepler include manuscripts about casino games, a newspaper clipping of an “interview” with himself, and a copy of Hugo Knepler’s book, O diese Künstler!: Indeskretionenen eines Managers about his music business in Vienna and his relationships with musicians.
    inclusive:  1850-2004
    Collection Creator
    Henry Knepler
    Henry Knepler (1922‐1999) was born Heinrich Wilhelm Knepler in Vienna to Hugo Knepler (1872‐1944) and Hedwig Moser Knepler (1888‐1962). Hugo Knepler owned the Guttmann Concert Management, one of the prominent concert agencies in Vienna, and later directed the Casino A.G. Hugo fled Vienna in 1939 to Monte Carlo where his cousin Hilda Lorant lived. He was arrested in 1944 and transported to Drancy and then Auschwitz. He did not survive. Henry Knepler traveled to England in February 1939 on a Kindertransport. He spent time in London and Portsmouth before being arrested as an enemy alien in May 1940. He was interned in Huyton and then on the Isle of Man before being transported to Canada in August 1940 aboard the MS Sobieski. In Canada he was interned in Trois Rivierès, New Brunswick, and Sherbrook. He obtained a BA and an MA in English literature before immigrating to the United States in 1946, where he completed his PhD in Chicago. He became a citizen in 1956. Hedwig Knepler survived the war in hiding in Vienna under a false identity with the help of Mela Deutsch‐Brady and others. She immigrated to the United States in 1947. Her sister, Alice (Lisl) Moser, died at Maly Trostinec in 1942, and her mother, Rosa Moser, died in Theresienstadt in 1943.

    Physical Details

    3 boxes
    System of Arrangement
    The Henry Knepler papers are arranged as four series: I. Biographical materials, approximately 1850-2004, II. Correspondence, 1939-2004, III. Photographic materials, approximately 1938, 2004, IV. Writings by Hugo Knepler, approximately 1920-1931

    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 to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Myrna Knepler.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-23 14:31:41
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