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Career change

Archeologist seeking work as a nurse

“I remembered an old acquaintance and wrote a letter which was answered very nicely, and I hope he'll get in touch with me within the next few days. I'd like to hear some advice regarding our old man and old lady and the like [...].”


In this short missive from Turin, written in a casual, sisterly tone to her sister Anneliese in Rome, Elsa Riess communicates her worries about their parents, who have remained in Berlin. Elsa is concerned about her father’s employment situation and declares her intention to find out about possible ways to help their parents, from whom she hasn’t heard for a while. Anneliese had come to Italy in 1933 to study archeology, earning her PhD in 1936. Because of her own uncertain material situation, she was not in a position to help her parents financially. Unemployable as a foreigner in Italy and hoping to increase her opportunities by adding a practical skill, she had decided to take a course as a baby and child nurse in Geneva in 1937.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Anneliese Riess Collection, AR 10019


Box 1, folder 9


on the days before