Papers of Dr Bernard and Mrs Irene Steinitz, 1899-1964

Scope and Content

The personal and family papers of Bernard and Irene Steinitz give an exceptionally good insightinto a life that would, in another context, have been comparatively untroubled. The collectionconsists primarily of correspondence in German between Dr and Mrs Steinitz and a wide range offriends, family and associates. Dr Steinitz' interests, writings and beliefs are very welldocumented in his diaries, which are complete from the 1890s, and correspondence, which beginsduring the First World War. There is also a section of drafts and typescripts for Dr Steinitz'publications.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bernard Steinitz, third son of Dr Gustav Steinitz, was born in Bielitz in 1888. Then part of theAustro-Hungarian Empire, Bielitz is now in Poland. Steinitz attended a local school and went on tothe University of Vienna. He graduated with a D.Phil. in 1912.

Dr Steinitz became a teacher of History and Philosophy at a Viennese High School but, on theoutbreak of war in 1914, joined the army and served on the Eastern front. In 1915 he was captured bythe Russians in Galicia and spent the next five years in Prisoner of War camps in Russia.

When the war ended Dr Steinitz returned to teaching in Vienna. However, following Anschluss in1938, Dr Steinitz was placed on the school's retired list. The family were defined as non-Aryan, andDr Steinitz' religious and political convictions were hostile to the Nazi party. Consequently, thefamily moved to Switzerland in 1939 and from there to Britain.

During the war years Dr Steinitz taught at Repton School, Derbyshire while contributing articlesto The TimesThe Times Educational Supplement and the German service of the B.B.C.These years saw the dispersal of his family and the death, at Auschwitz in 1942, of his eldestbrother Heinrich, a prominent Social Democrat lawyer in Vienna.

After the war Dr Steinitz lectured in German prisoner of war camps. His interest in socialhistory and philanthropy led to the publication in 1950 of Helden der Menschlichkeita studyof social philosophy through the lives of great philanthropists. This was followed in 1956 by hisbiography of Dr Albert Shweitzer for the Austrian UNESCO commission. Dr Steinitz died in 1959.

Irene Steinitz was a talented pianist and taught for a number of years at Howell's School,Denbigh, retiring through ill health in 1958.


Correspondence is arranged by correspondent and listed chronologically.

Access Information

ACCESS: The majority of the material is accessible toall registered readers. Some series are currently restricted.

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and privatestudy purposes only, depending on copyright status and the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the reading room of The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections: Typescript Catalogue, 79 pp
  • At the National Register of Archives, London: Typescript Catalogue, 79 pp

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must besought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections (email Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.

LANGUAGE: English, German

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts andSpecial Collections in September 1974.