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Lisbeth Modley Kornreich papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2019.246.1

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    Lisbeth Modley Kornreich papers

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    The collection documents the Holocaust-era experiences of Lisbeth Modley Kornreich and her parents Augusta and Wilhelm Modley of Vienna, Austria. Included are biographical materials, immigration papers, correspondence, writings, and photographs regarding their pre-war lives in Vienna and emigration from Austria. Also included is a copy of Augusta’s sister Nellie Zehetner’s (née Lipiner) husband Hans Zehetner’s wartime diary.

    Biographical materials include Lisbeth’s birth certificate and gymnasium and university papers; Augusta’s German passport and a document stating that Augusta added Sara to her name; and Wilhelm’s Viennese driver’s license and German passport.

    Immigration papers consist of Augusta and Lisbeth’s inventory from their emigration from Vienna in 1941, a postcard from the SS Mouzinho, and letters to Wilhelm in London from the Jewish Refugees Committee regarding loans.

    Correspondence consists of a 1941 letter to Lisbeth from the American Red Cross regarding the whereabouts of Alexander Gregor Rauch Lewandowski; wartime letters to Augusta from her friend Mizzi, along with donor-provided transcriptions and translations; wartime letters to Augusta, Wilhelm, and Lisbeth from Augusta’s sister Martha Linder (née Lipiner) husband Karl Linder, who survived the Holocaust in the Netherlands; and donor-provided transcription/translation of restitution correspondence of Wilhelm’s.

    Writings include Augusta’s clippings of fashion designs, Augusta’s cookbook she brought with her when she immigrated to the United States, a transcript of an oral history interview with Lisbeth, and a copy of Augusta’s sister Nellie Zehetner’s (née Lipiner) husband Hans Zehetner’s wartime diary. The diary was written in 1941-1942 and the copy was sent to Augusta in October 1945.

    Photographs include pre-war depictions of Augusta, Wilhelm, and Lisbeth Modley, Lisbeth in a production of You Never Can Tell, Lisbeth’s gymnasium graduation class, and a post-war photograph of William, Augusta, and Augusta’s sisters Martha and Nellie.
    inclusive:  1912-1984
    bulk:  1912-1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Carole Kornreich
    Collection Creator
    Lisbeth Kornreich
    Lisbeth Modley Kornreich (born Lisbeth Modley, 1913-1999) was born on 14 May 1913 in Vienna, Austria to Wilhelm and Augusta Modley. Wilhelm (later William, 1888-1977) was born on 4 October 1888 in Eisenstadt, Austria to Yakov (1840-1905) and Ida Modley. He had six siblings: Emil, Paula (1871-1918), Olga (later Olga Modley Bellack), Alfred (b. 1869), Felix, and Clara. Augusta (née Lipiner, 1891-1961?) was born on 29 March 1891. She had two sisters: Martha (later Martha Linder, b. 1890) and Nellie (later Nellie Zehetner, b. 1893).

    The Modley family lived in Vienna. They were a non-observant and upper-middle class. Wilhelm worked for an electronics and radio business under A. J. Kreminezky and then started his own incandescent light factory. Augusta worked as a seamstress and fashion designer. Augusta and Wilhelm divorced sometime in the 1930s.

    After the German-annexation of Austria in March 1938, Wilhelm was arrested. After his release on 18 August 1939 he fled to London. Augusta and Lisbeth had planned to leave Vienna on 6 September 1939, but were unable to after the Germans invaded Poland. William immigrated to the United States on the RMS Scythia and arrived in New York on 4 March 1940.

    Augusta supported herself and Lisbeth in Vienna with her seamstress work until they were able to leave Austria on 22 May 1941. They went to Lisbon, Portugal and sailed from there on the SS Mouzinho to the United States. They arrived in New York on 21 June 1941, but were briefly detained at Ellis Island likely due to Augusta and Wilhelm’s prior divorce. They agreed to remarry soon after being reunited. Lisbeth married Stephen Kornreich in 1943 and they had two daughters.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 box
    1 book enclosure
    1 oversize folder
    System of Arrangement
    Series 1. Biographical material, 1913-1944
    Series 2. Immigration, 1941-1942
    Series 3. Correspondence, 1941-1962
    Series 4. Writings and printed material, circa 1930s-1984
    Series 5. Photographs, 1912-1961

    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 collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Carole Kornreich in 2019.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-26 12:03:10
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