Abrams, Vicky: personal papers

Scope and Content

The personal papers of Vicky Abrams, 1900-1989, notably comprise her personal papers and correspondence, 1031/1/1-206; personal papers and correspondence of other family members, 1031/2/1-108 and material regarding Neu Beginnen, 1031/3/1-12.

Vicky Abrams's personal collection comprises the bulk of the total papers and notably contains a Vienna University report book, 1925 (1031/1/1); references from Abrams employer Das Magazin, 1933 (1031/1/2-3); Gestapo protective custody order, 8 August 1938 (1031/1/7); release permit from KZ Lichtenburg, Pretin, Saxony,13 March 1939 (1031/1/8). The collection also includes photographs including portraits of Abrams taken in KZ Lichtenburg (1031/1/15); correspondence from Abrams to her family in Vienna, written from prison [mostly KZ Lichtenburg]; correspondence between Vicky Abrams and the following former comrades and authors of articles about Neu Beginnen: Georg M?ller, Helga Lichtenecker, Henry Hellmann, Ernst Lowe, Rainer Sandvoss, Otto Sperling and Richard Loewenthal (Rix). The collection also comprises writings of Vicky Abrams including poetry written in Jauer prison camp, Saxony, 1937-1938 (1031/1/202); draft accounts of life for women in Nazi prison camps, (1031/1/205).

The second section of this collection contains papers and correspondence of Abrams family members (1031/2/1-108) most notably from Hans Julius to the family ; the third section, concerning Neu Beginnen, notably contains copy documentation and articles about Neu Beginnen including a copy indictment against members of the organisation, dated 27 August 1936; articles about Neu Beginnen (1031/3/2 and 1031/3/4) and obituaries of Walter and Ernst Lowe (L?wenheim) (1031/3/6-9).

Administrative / Biographical History

Hedwig Abranowicz (later Vicky Abrams) came from a Jewish family. She was born in Vienna in 1900 and died in London in 1989. She had 2 sisters, Luki and Stella, and a brother, Hans Julius, who died in 1920. She was well educated, having studied philosophy at the University of Vienna from 1919-1925. It is not known when she received her doctorate. She was married to Walter Leibetseder, a non-Jew in [1919].

Abrams worked as an editor for the glossy Berlin publication, Das Magazin , from 1927-1933, from which she received a glowing reference. Attracted by opposition to the Nazis she joined the Leninist underground organisation of 1930s Berlin, Neu Beginnen (called originally ORG), in 1931 and for most of her life remained close with some surviving ex-colleagues, describing those years as the most interesting and educational of her life, particularly her friendship with Walter L?wenheim. On the way back from Prague at the end of April 1936 she was arrested in possession of a copy of the charge sheet for the first trial against Neu Beginnen. She was in the 2nd trial 'Leibetseder und Genossen'- sentenced to 2 and a half years imprisonment at Jauer and Lichtenburg. She was divorced from her husband, Walter, on account of her being Jewish. On 13 March 1939 she returned to Vienna and came to England shortly afterwards.


The papers have been arranged and numbered in the following series: Personal papers and correspondence of Vicky Abrams, 1031/1/1-206; Personal papers and correspondence of other family members, 1031/2/1-108; Material relating to Neu Beginnen, 1031/3/1-12.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Mrs I. P. Munro and Peter Lowe


Letters within this collection have been censored, some parts have been cut out.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptions of this archive exist 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.