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Theodore Mattern family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.306.1

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    Theodore Mattern family papers

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    The collection contains correspondence, photographs, and other related documents, documenting the immigration of the Mattern (originally Matfus) family from Vienna, Austria in 1938-1939. Includes correspondence to Theodore Mattern, living in the United States, from his parents, Izak (Josef) and Olga, his grandmother, Leontine Loewy, and his sister, Kitty, during the various stages of their emigration from Europe, including the period that Mattern's parents spent in Shanghai prior to their immigration to the United States. Also includes photographs of the family during this period, earlier family and travel photographs, as well as photocopied biographical documents.
    inclusive:  1924-1999
    bulk:  1903-1941
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lynne Karen
    Collection Creator
    Theodore Mattern
    Theodore Mattern (born Theodor Matfus; 1909-2003) was born on July 26, 1909 in Vienna, Austria to Izak (later Josef; 1882-1963) and Olga (née Loewy; 1882-1966) Matfus. He had one sister, Katherine Franziska (known as Kitty; 1912-1998). Josef was a veteran of World War I and a dentist. Theodore became a lawyer and married a non-Jewish woman named Lucie Bittrich, whom he had a daughter with. Lucie’s brother was a Nazi, and warned Theodore to leave Austria. He emigrated from Vienna in March 1938, arriving in New York on the M.S. Alex van Opstal. He briefly lived in New York with his cousin Edith Danziger, and then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. By 1942, he was divorced from Lucie and married Sarah Goodman Fisher. They moved back to New York by 1944, and their daughter Lynne was born in 1945. Theodore continued to practice law, and beginning in the 1950s he focused on restitution claims.

    Theodore’s sister, Kitty, emigrated from Austria in 1938, and settled in New York, where she became an actress. She married M.B. Zerwick in 1940. In 1953, she married actor Sig Arno (1895-1975) and continued to act in film and television.

    Josef emigrated from Austria in 1938 to Shanghai, China. Olga, and Olga’s mother, Leontine Loewy, left Austria in early 1939, arriving in Shanghai in March. Josef and Olga were able to secure visas to come to the United States, and they arrived in New York by April 1940. Leontine was not able to get a visa, and remained in Shanghai.

    Physical Details

    German English
    2 boxes
    2 boxes
    System of Arrangement
    The Theodore Mattern family papers are arranged as three series: Series 1: Biographical materials, 1940-1999; Series 2: Correspondence, 1925-1943; Series 3: Photographs, 1924-1941

    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 Theodore Mattern family papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Lynne M. Karen in 2016. Lynne is the daughter of Theodore Mattern.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:28:01
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