This collection contains the personal papers of Helen Koch Elder, who emigrated to the United States in the 1930s to escape Nazi persecutions. Included are photocopy of birth certificate, school certificates, curriculum vitae, certificate of Christian baptism in the United States, affidavit regarding the change of her name, photographs and press cuttings.
Helen Koch Elder: personal papers
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 1556 WL1741
- Dates of Creation1923-1990
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialGerman English
- Physical Description1 folder
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Helen Koch Elder (née Hannah Maria Regina Koch) was born in 1917 as one of five children of physician and university professor Richard Hermann Koch (1882-1949) and his wife Maria Margarete Rosenthal (died 1973). Helen grew up in the Jewish community of Frankfurt am Main, Hesse. Her education at the Technical High School for Women ('Höhere Fachschule für Frauenberufe') was cut short due to the introduction of anti-Jewish laws in 1933. She trained as a dressmaker between 1934 and 1936. Due to the increasing difficulties to live and work under the Nazi regime the whole family emigrated between 1936 and 1938. Her parents, sister Gertrude and brother Friedrich emigrated to Essentuki in the Soviet Union, her sisters Naomi and Eva left for Palestine, and Helen went to the United States. None of the family members returned to Germany after the Second World War.
Helen converted to Christianity in 1940 and got married to Robert A Elder in 1942. She became an American citizen in 1944.
Chronological and by subject and document type
Conditions Governing Access
See Wiener Library access conditions at: http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/usinglibrary/usingthelibrary.aspx
Donated by Christa Wichmann