Ullstein Family Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of the Ullstein family, 1856-1998, comprising papers from a number of separate deposits from members of Frederick Ullstein's family. It contains both personal and family papers arranged by individual family members (1361/1-9) and material relating to the pre and post war Ullstein publishing business (1361/10-28). The latter contains correspondence regarding the take over of Ullstein by the Axel Springer Verlag (1361/17; 1361/22-23). In addition there is a quantity of material which Frederick Ullstein appears to have inherited from his former employer, Wolfgang Foges, managing director of Aldus Books (1361/29-85).

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick (Fritz) Ullstein was the son of Hermann Ullstein, the youngest of the 5 Ullstein brothers, responsible for building up the Ullstein publishing House to become the largest in Europe, prior to compulsory purchase by the Nazis in 1934, on account of the family's Jewish origins. Frederick came to Great Britain in the 1930s, became a farmer, served in the British army during the war and married into the Guiness family. After the war he was involved in claiming back for the Ullstein family what was rightfully theirs. Once the business was back in the hands of members of the Ullstein family, it became evident that for a number of reasons, they were not able to recreate the success, which the firm enjoyed before the Nazi seizure of power. Sustained interest by Axel Springer eventually resulted in the latter's company taking over the firm. Frederick Ullstein became an employee of Aldus Books, based in London.

.Aldus Books, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Doubleday and Co. Inc. of New York, USA Division was run by Wolfgang Foges, who came to Great Britain from Austria to get married in 1936. In Vienna he had edited a fashion magazine. He founded Adprint in Great Britain in 1937. This company created and produced illustrated books, the best known of which were the 120 volumes of the Britain in Pictures series, published in England by Collins, and translated into several languages by the Ministry of Information.

In 1941, Foges had been granted British citizenship for important services to the war effort and soon after his naturalisation he was appointed an honorary advisor to the Colonial Office on books and publications.

In the early 1950s, under the imprint of Rathbone Books, a series of books called The Wonderful World was published in association with Doubleday and Co. Inc. New York. This was the start of many further series of internationally co-produced educational and general knowledge books, written by distinguished British authors. In 1960 Aldus Books was founded.


The material is arranged by Ullstein Family member (1361/1-9); by the Ullstein Verlag (1361/10-28); by material relating to Wolfgang Foges and the various businesses with which he was involved (1361/29-85).

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Ullstein family

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.