Auerbach’s archive consists in large part of letters from German actors, theatre agents and directors, of which roughly half date from the pre-emigration period. Many of these items were written to Auerbach in his capacity as an employee of the theatre agency E. Drenker & Co and concern the writer’s availability for work. They also include several from actor Albert Bassermann dating 1915-1927 and two from actor Pamela Wedekind dating from 1932 asking for Auerbach’s advice. There are also several testimonials by theatre directors and actors with whom Auerbach had worked; many of them date from 1933 and 1934 and were written following Auerbach’s dismissal from the Paritätischer Stellennachweis der Deutschen Bühnen after the Nazis came to power in 1933. Of the letters sent to Auerbach after his emigration to the UK, only one letter, from Austrian exile actor Lucie Mannheim, dates from the wartime period 1939-1945. The rest of the post-emigration correspondence is from the post-war period and includes several letters from opera director, Carl Ebert, dating 1948-1954; two letters from poet Herbert Eulenberg dating 1946 and three letters from actor Fritz Valk dated 1947-1948. There are also numerous items of correspondence of congratulation sent to mark on the occasion of Auerbach’s 85th birthday in 1959. Note that the correspondence is almost all incoming; there are very few (copies of) letters written by Auerbach himself.
In addition to the correspondence, there are typescripts of articles and speeches written by Auerbach following his emigration to the UK. Some of the articles were published in the journal ‘Theater der Zeit’, but in some cases it is not clear whether the articles were actually published. They include a text entitled ‘Gedächtnisfeier für Stefan Zweig zum Geburtstag am 25.11.1943’, written after Zweig’s death in exile in 1942; an account of the first performance of Gerhart Hauptmann's play ‘Hanneles Himmelfahrt’ at the Königlichen Schauspielhaus in Berlin in 1893 (undated); a fragment of a text on the awakening of consciousness concerning the arts in Germany after the oppression of the previous decade, dated 1945; and an account of the founding of the 'Literarische Gesellschaft' and the Ibsen Theater by Carl Heine in Leipzig in the 1890s, entitled ‘Frühlingsgewitter über Leipzig’ (dated 1950). The latter includes Auerbach’s recollection of how the prologue of Frank Wedekind’s ‘Die Erdgeist’ came to be written, a copy of the first handwritten draft of which is also in the archive. [According to a letter from Auerbach’s daughter, Hilde Auerbach, on 7 August 1986, the original first draft was sold in 1974 or 1975 at Sotherby’s auctioneers to a dealer, Otto Haas. The original draft is now in the Moldenhauer Archives at the US Library of Congress.]
In addition to the correspondence and texts by Auerbach, there are also a number of his early school reports, photographs and some news cuttings.
Originally catalogued together with the German Theatre Collection, for which see GTC.