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Kessler family papers

Document | Accession Number: 2017.586.1

The collection documents the pre-war, wartime, and post-war lives of Alice and Jakob Kessler and their son Hans (later John) of Austria, including the management of the Hotel-Pension Rauhenstein-Helenschlössl in Baden, their emigration from Austria in 1938 to England and their immigration to the United States in 1940. The collection also includes materials regarding Alice’s parents Else and Max Neuhut, Alice’s second husband Berthold Feld, and Hans’s future wife Eva Bondy. The collection consists of biographical material, immigration papers, correspondence, restitution paperwork, writings and publications, and photographs.

Biographical material consists of personal documents related to the Alice and Jakob Kessler, their son Hans, Alice’s parents Else and Max Neuhut, Else’s brother Ivan Döry, Alice’s second husband Berthold Feld, and Hans’s future wife Eva Bondy. Included are birth, marriage, and death certificates; identification documents; financial papers; report cards; passports; employment papers; genealogy notes; and records related to Jakob’s service with the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. There are also documents regarding Hans’s baptism into the German Lutheran church (Evangelische Kirche) in 1934.

Immigration papers primarily consist of documents related to the Kessler’s emigration from Austria to England in 1938 and their immigration to the United States in 1940 and Else and Max Neuhut’s immigration to Havana, Cuba and the United States. The papers related to the Kessler’s immigration to England include Austrian emigration paperwork, correspondence regarding employment, ration cards, and medical cards. Papers related to the Kessler’s immigration to the United States include Affidavits of Support, immigrant identification cards, naturalization correspondence and naturalization certificates. Else and Max Neuhut’s immigration papers include identification documents, Affidavit in Lieu of Passports, and naturalization paperwork. Also included are Berthold Feld’s re-entry permit for the Dominican Republic and the Bondy family’s souvenir log for the SS Manhattan.

Correspondence chiefly consists of wartime letters received by the Kesslers from relatives and family including Else’s brother Ivan Döry and his son Hans Döry, Gaston Neuhut, and Max Neuhut. There are also post-war letters to Alice from her second husband Berthold Feld and various relatives regarding restitution and other matters.

The Hotel-Pension Rauhenstein-Helenschlössl materials include ledgers, a small amount of financial paperwork, a letter of recommendation for Alice Kessler, postcards, and a blueprint of the hotel layout.

Restitution records consist of large amounts of documents and correspondence regarding reparations for Alice and Hans; Alice’s uncle Paul Döry, who was murdered at Auschwitz; Berthold Feld; and the Kessler’s Austrian business the Hotel-Pension Rauhenstein-Helenschlössl. Much of the restitution paperwork for Paul Döry and Berthold Feld was handled by Alice.

Writings, publications, and ephemera include personal narratives, articles, poems, and recipe books. Eva Bondy’s “The Story of My Life” is an illustrated personal narrative written as a teenager after she immigrated to the United States. Else Neuhut’s Der Kanari Simba” is a typed manuscript of a children’s story she wrote. The October 1942 issue of El Informativo Mitteilungen features an article in German by Else entitled “Mein schwarzer Spitzenhut” chronicling her and Max’s flight from Vienna to Cuba. The United Yugoslav Relief Fund of America News Bulletin features a photograph of Eva Bondy in Yugoslav attire for a Yugoslav bazaar in 1946. Additionally, there are 10 handwritten recipe books in German.

Photographs consist of prints and albums primarily depicting the pre-war lives of the Kessler, Neuhut, and Bondy families. The Kessler family subjects include candid family scenes, portraits, Hans’s childhood, Jakob in uniform in the Austrian Army during World War I, various relatives, and the family’s hotel in Baden. The Neuhut photographs are primarily of Else and Max, along with other relatives. The Bondy family photographs include depictions of family vacations to resorts in Austria, Croatia, and the World’s Fair in New York; Eva’s childhood; portraits; and candid family scenes. There is also one photograph of Alice’s second husband Berthold Feld.


Biographical material consists of personal documents related to the Alice and Jakob Kessler, their son Hans, Alice’s parents Else and Max Neuhut, Else’s brother Ivan Döry, Alice’s second husband Berthold Feld, and Hans’s future wife Eva Bondy. Included are birth, marriage, and death certificates; identification documents; financial papers; report cards; passports; employment papers; genealogy notes; and records related to Jakob’s service with the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. There are also documents regarding Hans’s baptism in an Evangelical church in 1934.

Immigration papers primarily consist of documents related to the Kessler’s emigration from Austria to England in 1938 and their immigration to the United States in 1940 and Else and Max Neuhut’s immigration to Havana, Cuba and the United States. The papers related to the Kessler’s immigration to England include Austrian emigration paperwork, correspondence regarding employment, ration cards, and medical cards. Papers related to the Kessler’s immigration to the United States include Affidavits of Support, immigrant identification cards, naturalization correspondence and naturalization certificates. Else and Max Neuhut’s immigration papers include identification documents, Affidavit in Lieu of Passports, and naturalization paperwork. Also included are Berthold Feld’s re-entry permit for the Dominican Republic and the Bondy family’s souvenir log for the SS Manhattan.

Correspondence chiefly consists of wartime letters received by the Kesslers from relatives and family including Else’s brother Ivan Döry and his son Hans Döry, Gaston Neuhut, and Max Neuhut. There are also post-war letters to Alice from her second husband Berthold Feld and various relatives regarding restitution and other matters.

The Hotel-Pension Rauhenstein-Helenschlössl materials include ledgers, a small amount of financial paperwork, a letter of recommendation for Alice Kessler, postcards, and a blueprint of the hotel layout.

Date
inclusive:  circa 1869-2015
bulk:  1914-1998
Extent
5 boxes
5 oversize boxes
2 book enclosures
7 oversize folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of John Otto Kessler
 
Record last modified: 2020-10-22 12:00:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn564724