Kurt and Edith Brent: personal papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal papers and correspondence of Edith and Kurt Brent. Both were German Jewish refugees emigrating to England in 1939 whilst other members of their families died in the Holocaust. Edith and Kurt met in England and were married in 1950.

The documents include family correspondence describing the difficult living conditions for Jews in Berlin during the Second World War; Kurt Brent's papers collected in preparation for emigration such as school certificates, 'Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung', German passport and driving licence, British army soldier's service and pay book, soldier's release book, Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen membership card and his memoirs; as well as Edith Brent's emigration papers such as training certificates, testimonials and work references, marriage certificate and correspondence relating to war compensation claims. Also included are Edith's friendship album ('Posiealbum'), photographs (including photos of the 1936 Olympics) and correspondence regarding research into the family's history.

The collection also includes a set of letters from the ghetto in Piaski, Poland, to where Edith's mother was deported in c 1941. She reports about the dire hardship she suffered in the ghetto. She perished in the Holocaust.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edith Ernestine Schlomann (b 1919) was one of two daughters of Erich Schlomann (1885-1939) and Erna (née Jarislawsky). They lived in Swinemünde (Świnoujście, now Poland) with Edith's younger sister Ellen Juliane (b 1925). Edith emigrated to England in March 1939 and was later joined by her sister. Her father died in 1939 after a short illness. Erna Schlomann was deported to Piaski, near Lublin, Poland in c 1941 and was later murdered during the Holocaust.

Edith trained to be an orthopaedic medical assistant and worked in a medical surgery up until her emigration. In England she had to retrain as a nurse at Westmorland County Hospital, Kendal but was later working as a domestic assistant. She worked as dental assistant between 1941-1945. She got married to Kurt Behrendt (Brent) in 1950.

Kurt Brent changed his name several times to Kenneth Camerone Brent, Kenneth Tom Brent and later Kurt Brent. He was born in Hirschfeld in 1903 and took over his father's business after his death in 1933. The family business was destroyed during the November pogroms and he was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Although his marriage to his non-Jewish wife was about to end in divorce, she arranged for him to purchase a ticket to Shanghai which allowed him to be released. It is unknown how he managed to obtain a visa for Kitcheners camp in Richborough, England. He served with the Civilian Workshops Control REME until the end of the war. His siblings and mother emigrated to Palestine before the outbreak of the war.

Edith and Kurt had two children, Evelyn Ruth who is married with two daughters in London, and Tamara Marion married with four daughters in Israel.

Arrangement

Chronological and by subject

Conditions Governing Access

See Wiener Library access conditions at: http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/usinglibrary/usingthelibrary.aspx

Acquisition Information

Donated by Evelyn Goldsobel.

Note

2006/11

Alternative Form Available

Includes translations into English of some of the family correspondence.

Related Material

See also Photo Archive 2006/11.

Family Names