Stefanie and Walter Simon and Max Auerbach: family papers

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal papers of Walter and Stefanie Simon and Stefanie's father Max Auerbach, Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Germany in the mid 1930s because of the increasing difficulties in earning a living. Included are Max Auerbach's school reports, qualifications, death certificate, two Iron Cross medals (1914-1918) and internment badges; Stefanie Simon's identify cards and passport, CV, school reports and qualifications, birth, marriage and naturalisation certificates as well as photographs, internment badge and family history report; and Walter Simon's papers such as CV, passport, certifcates of alien registration, identity, naturalisation and death, military service papers as well as his Royal Pioneer Corps badge. Also included is Max Auerbach's extensive correspondence whilst in internment with his daughter Stefanie as well as letters from Walter Simon sent to his wife Stefanie.

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Simon (1908-1979) was born in Krefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, the son of businessman Daniel Simon and his wife Amalie (nee Hartog). After training as a silk weaver and an internship in international banking at Westminster Bank in London, he joined his father's silk wholesale company E Blankenstein & Co, Krefeld. His work as head of export involved frequent travelling to England, Belgium, France and Holland. Due to the increasing Aryanisation of Nazi Germany in the mid 1930s, Daniel Simon was forced to sell his company in 1934 and Walter Simon was made redundant. Walter Simon was in England at the time and decided to stay. Once he had obtained his work permit in 1938 he managed to find a job with Robert Schwarzenbach & Company in London until his internment in 1940. He joined the British Army in 1940. From 1946 he worked as an independent agent for silk manufacturers in France and Great Britain. His parents emigrated to Israel and his sister survived the war in Paris. Walter Simon got married to Stefanie Auerbach in 1949.

The Auerbach family were also Jewish refugees from Berlin. Martha and Max Auerbach (1887-1971), a solicitor from Berlin, had two children, Stefanie (born in 1918) and Peter (born in 1921). With the rise of the Nazis, legislation was soon passed to remove Jewish children from public education, which forced Stefanie to leave school early. From 1933 to 1935 she worked at her father's solicitor's office. She arrived in England in March 1936 staying with friends near Liverpool. Once her parents arrived two months later she moved in with them in London. She re-joined her father's company and trained in English shorthand at a private commercial school until June 1940 when the family was interned. After her release she worked as a clerk and later as a shorthand-typist until the end of the war. Max Auerbach was initially interned at Sunbury-on-Thames and was later moved to Wharf Mills in Bury and Onchan Camp on the Isle of Man. The family settled down in England after the war. Stefanie's brother Peter emigrated to the United States and became a script writer. Stefanie soon joined her husband's textile business. In later years she became a board member of Belsize Square Synagogue.


Chronological and by subject

Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Albert Levy and Ince & Co


2009/26, 2010/43

Related Material

For photographs see Photo Archive (2009/26).