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Anne Ranasinghe papers

Document | Accession Number: 2018.627.1

The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, writings, and photographs documenting the Holocaust-era experiences of Anne Ranasinghe (born Anneliese Katz), originally of Essen, Germany, including her immigration to England as a refugee in January 1939, and her post-war career as a poet and writer in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The papers include research regarding the fates of her parents Anna and Emil Katz, letters to Anne from her parents in Essen from 1939-1940, Anne’s wartime diary, post-war correspondence, poems, essays, and related writings, and family photographs.

Biographical material of Anne’s includes photocopies of her German and English passports, her birth certificate, and material related to the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded to her in 2015. Other material primarily relates to research regarding the fates of her parents and relatives during the Holocaust.

Correspondence includes letters and postcards sent to Anne in England from her parents in Essen from 1939-1940, a 1939 letter from the German Jewish Aid Committee acknowledging her letter to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain regarding her parents situation, post-war letters from Anne to Maria Stern, who sponsored her immigration to England in 1939, and post-war correspondence regarding the Alte Synagogue in Essen, the Heimsuchung documentary, her family history, and her work. Also included are letters received from Elie Wiesel, Israeli President Shimon Peres, and Buckingham Palace on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

Writings include Anne’s diary, written from 1939-1947 in both German and English. The bulk of the diary consists of entries from 1939-1941, and also includes several drawings and poems in the back. English translations of several entries from 1939 are also included with the papers. Other writings of Anne include essays, poems, text for an exhibition at the Alte Synagogue in Essen, and the script for a Purim play she wrote in 1936. Additional writings include clippings regarding Anne’s life and work, papers regarding the Heimschung documentary, Emil Katz’s English speech written while trying to learn English to aid in emigration from Germany, and a photocopy of a chapter in a book by Paulgehard Lohmann regarding the history of the Jews of Fritzlar, Germany, including the Katz family.

Photographs include a pre-war photograph album of Anne, her family, and friends, pre-war, wartime, and post-war pictures of Anne, and depictions of her performing in her Purim play in 1936. Other photographs include pre-war depictions of Essen, the Jewish youth center (Jugendheim) where Anne spent time with the Maccabi Hatzair Zionist youth group, and the Katz family and related relatives.

Visual media consists of a VHS cassette copy of the Heimsuchung documentary chronicling Anne’s visit to Essen and Züschen in 1985.

inclusive:  1914-2017
bulk:  1936-2017
1 boxes
3 oversize boxes
3 oversize folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Shanti Conly
Record last modified: 2023-02-24 14:34:22
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