Marcus family: personal papers

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the personal papers of Helene Susanne ('Susan') Marcus and her parents Else and Eugen Marcus, Jewish refugees from Kassel, Germany who fled Nazi persecutions in the late 1930s. It contains family correspondence including a letter addressed to Susanne from her father at internment camp Douglas, Isle of Man; Susanne's soldier's service and pay book; papers relating to compensation claims; birth and death certificates; passports and photographs (1746/1). Also included are an audio recording and goodbye message from Susanne's parents for her emigration (1746/4); and her mother's German cookbook (1746/5), death certificate, diary and memoirs (1746/6).

Administrative / Biographical History

Helene Susanne Marcus was born in Kassel, Germany, in 1922, the daughter of Else Braun (1886-1954) and Eugen Israel Marcus (born 1876), a corn merchant. Susanne went to a Jewish school in Kassel but stated that her upbringing was not particularly religious. With the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses it was becoming increasingly difficult for Eugen Marcus to earn a living. In 1934 the family moved to Düsseldorf, North Rhine Westphalia, to run a guest house until business dried up in 1937 due to the increase in emigrations. The family had to sell some of their belongings to finance Susanne's emigration to England in 1937 when she was 15 years old. Her father recorded a message and piano piece for her to take with her. Both parents however were able to join her in England before the Second World War broke out. Susanne served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service between 1943-1946 and was naturalised in 1947. She worked at Selby's department store. In 1967 she bought a flat in Tunbridge Wells but soon moved to Hamburg for work. Upon her retirement she moved back to Tunbridge Wells where she died in 2006.


Chronological and by subject

Conditions Governing Access

See Wiener Library access conditions at:

Acquisition Information

Donated by Anette Ray



Related Material

See also Photo Archive 2007/43