Josef and Jenny Hausmann: personal papers

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal papers of the Jewish family of Josef and Jenny Hausmann from Karlsruhe, who perished at Auschwitz concentration camp whilst their two daughters managed to flee Nazi-Germany in the 1930s. Included are copy correspondence by Josef and Jenny Hausmann from Camp de Recebedou, photograph of a class taught by Josef Hausmann, copy articles relating to the school in Karlsruhe where Hausmann worked; and paper entitled 'Die zerschlagene Tafel - Jüdisches Leben in Durlach'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Josef Hausmann (1879-1942) was born as one of nine children of a Jewish cattle dealer in Flehingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg. He was a secondary school teacher. In 1913 he got married to Jenny Lebenberg (1893-1942) from Bingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg. She was the daughter of a Jewish wine dealer. Josef Hausmann was transferred to the grammar school in Durlach in 1919. With the support of his colleagues he became deputy headmaster which was most unusual at the time as it was almost impossible for Jewish training college graduates to enter the state school sector even before the Nazi era. They had two children: Elisabeth and Gertrud (born in 1921).

Hausmann was dismissed from his school in 1935 due to new Nazi legislation aimed at removing Jews from public sector service. He was entrusted with the foundation of a Jewish school in Karlsruhe which opened in September 1936. Their daughter Gertrud fled the increasing restrictions in Germany by emigrating to England in 1937, aged 16. Elisabeth taught for a short time in Karlsruhe after finishing her teaching qualification until she also emigrated to England in 1939 to work as a house servant. It was too late to arrange for their parents to leave Germany. Jenny Hausmann managed to persuade the police not to deport her husband to Dachau in the aftermath of the November pogroms in 1938. The Hausmanns were forced to move to a "Jews" house in 1939. Teaching at the school in Karlsruhe became increasingly fragmented and chaotic. In October 1940 the Hausmanns were deported to Gurs concentration camp and later to Camp de Recebedou. The couple was separated in the summer of 1942 and deported to Auschwitz concentration camp where they both perished.



Conditions Governing Access

See Wiener Library access conditions at:

Acquisition Information

Donated by Gertrud Roberts



Related Material

See also Photo Archive 2008/30