Thea Wessley: family correspondence

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence received by Thea Wessley in England from her family and friends in Austria. Thea Wessley, a Jewish girl from Vienna, was sent to England in 1939 in order to escape Nazi persecution. Her parents, Siegfried and Fanny Deuches, were separated and perished in concentration camps in the Holocaust.

The letters were mainly sent by her parents as well as her grandfather Hermann Zwicker, and other relations and friends. The correspondence documents the life of an Austrian refugee girl in England, the worries of her parents about her health, education and well-being, and her parents' efforts to join her in England. Also included are post-war papers and correspondence regarding the fate of family members during the Holocaust.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thea Wessley (née Deuches) was the only child of Siegfried and Fanny Deuches from Vienna. She was sent to England in March 1939 when she was 15 years old. Thea stayed with a family in Hastings.

Her parents were separately deported to concentration camps in Poland. In 1940 her father writes from Lwow (Lemberg) whilst her mother is still in Vienna. Fanny was deported to Opole concentration camp but the circumstances of Siegfried's death are unknown.

Thea's grandfather Hermann Zwicker (born in Moravia in 1866), a horse dealer, was deported to Treblinka concentration camp. Her aunt Ella Hirsch (born 1900) and her husband Arthur Hirsch and their daughter Erna were deported to Minsk. They were all murdered.

Arrangement

Chronological

Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Adrian Richardson

Related Material

Includes English summary