Marianne Elsley: personal correspondence

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the personal correspondence of Marianne Elsley, a Kindertransportee from Berlin who arrived in England in March 1939. Her parents were deported and perished in the Holocaust. The letters were sent by relatives and friends between 1939 and 1944, with the last letter from her parents arriving at the time the Second World War broke out. Also included is a booklet of her personal reminiscences entitled 'Over the Years' (2004) describing her experiences before, during and after the war; a recording of the Radio 4 programme 'Writing the century' (2008) with contributions from Elsley's publications 'A chance in six million' and 'Voices in the night'; and an article in Woman's Weekly (2005) on Elsley's life.

Administrative / Biographical History

Marianne Elsley (née Josephy, c1923-2009) grew up in a small town near Berlin in the 1920s. After Hitler came to power life became increasingly difficult for the family. With the passing of Anti-Jewish legislation aimed at eliminating Jews from public life, Marianne was no longer able to attend her school. As there was no Jewish school in her home town the family had to move to Berlin. Marianne's father, a judge, was dismissed from his job and her mother, a doctor, was no longer allowed to practice. Marianne's parents decided to arrange for their daughter to leave the country on a Kindertransport. She left when she was 15 years old, arriving in England in March 1939. She was taken care of by a family in Hampstead. During the war years she trained to become a nurse. She later got married to Ralph Elsley, a teacher.

Marianne's parents were deported to Terezin concentration camp in 1943. They were later transported to Auschwitz concentration camp where they were murdered in 1944.



Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ralph Elsley



Alternative Form Available

Radio 4 recording held on audio server (Elsely, Marianne Doc 1804)