Woffenstein, Valerie and Andrea: Correspondence about war time experiences

Scope and Content

Papers of Valerie and Andrea Wolffenstein, 1948-1992, comprise correspondence from their friends and acquaintances and notably include congratulatory birthday letters from Bundespraesident von Weizsaecker and the Bayerische Ministerpraesident, 1991-1992; letter from Eberhard Frowein, film director, 1948 and correspondence and papers concerning Libertas Schulze-boysen, a German opponent of the Nazis and Die Rote Kapelle, two resistance rings, partially with Communist backgrounds, in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War Two.

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection consists mainly of correspondence from friends and acquaintances of Valerie and Andrea Wolffenstein, two sisters of Jewish origins, who converted to Christianity and who managed to survive the war in hiding in Germany. Valerie and Andrea Wolffenstein were both born in Berlin, in 1891 and 1897 respectively. Valerie trained as a painter and worked as a secretary for Reichskunstwart, Dr Edwin Redslob; from 1931 for the writer and film director, Eberhard Frowein; and after a period of unemployment, for Dr Paul Zucker, architect and art historian. There followed a period of forced labour with the company Zeiss-Ikon, and from January 1943 she lived in hiding until liberation by the Americans at the end of the war. Since which time she lived with her sister in Munich.

Andrea studied music at the Berlin Hochschule and taught piano from 1924, until she was forbidden to teach aryan children. Thereafter she spent a short time as a music teacher at the Jewish Goldschmidt-Schule. She then worked as a forced labourer for the armaments manufacturer, Scherb und Schwer, until going underground with her sister.


The correspondence has been arranged according to correspondent, and, where relevant, references have been made to the page numbers of the edition of a biography of Valerie Wolffenstein, where the names occur in the text.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited by Kurt Ostberg.

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.

Custodial History

The depositor befriended the two sisters after the war and must have received the correspondence from them.


Erinnerungen von Valerie Wolffenstein aus den Jahren 1891-1945 , edited by Robert A. Kahn, Salzburg, 1981 is accessible in the Weiner Library.