Zappert family: papers

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of the Zappert family, a Jewish family whose roots can be traced back to 18th century Prague. The papers mainly relate to Wolf Zappert, a wealthy jeweller who worked in the second half of the 18th century in Prague, and Julius Zappert (1867-1941), a highly regarded paediatrician and university professor from Vienna. Julius Zappert fled Austria shortly after his imprisonment under the Nazi regime in 1938. His son Karl and his family also escaped further persecutions by going to England via Denmark.

Wolf Zappert's papers include title deeds and other papers relating to the purchase and sale of properties, last wills and testaments, registration records and marriage contracts. Some of the documents have been translated and summarised.

Julius Zappert, university professor and senior consultant of the Kinderspital der Israelischen Kultusgemeinde Vienna, fled to England after a short imprisonment for being Jewish in 1938. His papers include qualifications and certificates, work related correspondence, last will of his mother Marie Zappert, marriage certificate, certificate of family origin ('Heimatschein') and CVs.

Also included is an interview with Marianne Maxwell (née Zappert), granddaughter of Julius Zappert, describing her escape from Austria with her parents Karl and Hilde Zappert in 1938 and her life as a refugee.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wolf Zappert (died 1810) was a Jewish jeweller from Prague. Since the late 1750s his business had been based at the Jewish market. Permission to establish his business outside the Jewish market was granted in 1782. Zappert established a family trust for the support of poor and honourable Jews in 1799. He made a voluntary payment of 400 Francs to aid the victims of the Napoleonic Wars in 1809.

Julius Zappert (1867 Prague-1941 Slough), the great-great-grandson of Wolf Zappert, was a paediatrician and university professor working in Vienna. From 1903 to 1918 he worked as head of the paediatrics department at the Kaiser Franz Joseph Ambulatorium. In 1918 he was nominated director of the newly established Kinderspital der Israelischen Kultusgemeinde where he worked until 1938. He became senior lecturer ('ausserordentlicher Professor') at the University of Vienna in 1915. In 1917, he received the military medal of the Red Cross for his services during World War I. Zappert was nominated privy councillor ('Hofrat') in 1937. From 1930 to 1938 he was a paediatrics consultant for the public health department. Zappert was also actively involved in building and managing a summer camp for sick Jewish children between 1920 and 1938, and held a number of other honorary and charitable positions. After being imprisoned for being Jewish in 1938 he emigrated to England in 1939.

Karl Zappert (1902-1981) was one of three children of Julius Zappert. He fled Vienna with his wife Hilde (née Singer, 1903-1995) and their daughter Marianne shortly after the annexation of Austria, when Marianne was still a toddler. They initially went to Denmark where they were staying with a family of farmers. At the end of 1939 they managed to obtain permission to go to England. They lived in Slough for about two years before emigrating to Brazil. Marianne taught English as a foreign language. She returned to England in 1960 and soon found employment with the BBC where she made her career as programme producer in the Latin American department. She retired in 1982.



Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mrs Marianne Maxwell



Custodial History

The papers were returned to the family of Karl Zappert in 1955 when they visited Vienna. They had been kept by a friend of the family for them.

Related Material

See also interview with Marianne Maxwell on audio server.

Family Names