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Erwin Schattner family papers

Document | Accession Number: 2015.595.2

The Erwin Schattner family papers contain documents and correspondence related to the career of Dr.
Erwin Schattner, a Polish-born physician in Vienna, his wife Ernestine, and their two daughters, Ruth and Hannah. Includes birth, education, residency, citizenship, academic, legal, and professional documents related to Erwin Schattner’s education and career in Austria, his emigration with his wife and daughters from Vienna to the United States in 1938-1940, his establishment as a physician in New York, and attempts to gain restitution in the 1960s. Also contains correspondence related to efforts to assist Ernestine’s sister, Emma Spirer, to immigrate to the United States after the war, and correspondence from Ernestine’s parents, Samuel and Sala Weil, from Stanisławow, Poland, 1940.

The bulk of the documents trace the education and professional career of Erwin Schattner, and were likely preserved and used following emigration, to establish his credentials as a physician first in the United Kingdom, and subsequently in the United States. Such documents attest to his completion of his secondary education in Prague and Vienna, his enrollment at the University of Vienna Medical School, coursework he completed there, special examinations he took in various specialties, the completion of his medical degree in 1931, and his assignments as a physician in the municipal hospital of Vienna from 1931 until the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938, when he was barred from further practicing his profession. In regard to the latter, one document (folder 17) records the steps taken by the authorities to remove him from his practice and confiscate his office and property, as a result of his Jewish heritage. Records pertaining to his military service show that he was awarded a decoration in 1935 for his service during World War I, and that he was certified as being Jewish in 1938, which excluded him from further military service.

Other documents relate to the immigration of the Schattner family to the United States, including documentation of the transport and storage of their household goods; their residency and citizenship status, both in Austria and the United States; and Erwin Schattner’s legal change of his first name from “Eisig” to “Erwin” in 1931.

In addition to such personal documents, additional materials in the collection document the birth-family of Ernestine Schattner. Correspondence includes letters from her parents, Samuel and Sala Weil, in Soviet-occupied Stanisławow, Poland in the fall of 1940; and a post-war letter from Karol and Lusia Celler, friends of Ernestine and her family, describing their eyewitness account of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre on 12 October 1941 in the Stanisławów ghetto as well as using vague language to seek assistance in emigrating from Poland. There are also documents related to efforts to help the family of her sister, Emma Spirer, both during her exile in Siberia in the early part of World War II, and in attempts to immigrate following the war. One file also contains an affidavit from a Weil family relative in the United States, for Ernestine’s parents, in what was ultimately an unsuccessful attempt to get them out of Poland.

The accretion includes documents related to Erwin Schattner’s identity, medical school studies, medical practice in Vienna and the United States, immigration to England and the United States, and marriage; Enestine Schattner’s birth certificate, her master’s degree in philosophy at Jagiellonian University, and an identification card; Marcus Schatner’s medical practice in New York; a childhood photograph of Ruth Schattner (now Ruth Switzer), alien registration receipt card, and personal narrative; and a letter of support Murray Weil for the immigration of his uncle and aunt Samuel and Sara Weil from Poland to the United States

inclusive:  1914-1998
bulk:  1920-1948
1 box
1 oversize folder
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ruth Switzer
Record last modified: 2023-03-30 15:20:57
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