Kuhn, Hannele (c 1925): Family papers

Scope and Content

Papers of Hannele Kuhn, 1893-1945, comprise family correspondence and papers. The letters give a very moving account of the experience of a very close-knit, family split by the Nazis and ultimately condemned to death. The correspondence includes Red Cross telegrams between Hannele and her parents and an aunt (Meta) in Treibnitz, who was last heard of towards the end of the war and is thought to have been killed during the Russian advance. The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters from the parents to Hannele and her guardians. The first few deal with a failed attempt to get Hannele out by the Salvation Army. Most of them are dated up to end of 1940, by which time they were smuggled out by a mutual friend.

Amongst the last letters are a couple from the intermediary after the deportation of Hertha and Franz. Perhaps the most poignant is the parents' last letter, dated 22 June 1942, which, having been re-read some 50 years later by Hannele, is thought to be a farewell letter, containing words of advice on how to lead her life. In addition to the above are a few copy birth, marriage and death certificates pertaining to the Kirk family (Hannele's husband, also a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany).

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection of family papers consists primarily of letters from the Jewish parents, Franz and Hertha Kuhn in Berlin, to their daughter, Hannele or Hannah, who had managed to find refuge in Great Britain, having come out on one of the Kindertransporte in 1939. The letters give a very moving account of the trials and tribulations of a very close-knit, loving family split asunder by the Nazis and ultimately condemned to death.


Chronological by material type and subject matter.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Deposited by the 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.