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News from the Kleinman(n)s

Kurt in Switzerland, sister and brother-in-law may follow

"My Jewish name is Elke, and since I speak Yiddish and you speak German, we should be able to understand each other very well."


Kurt Kleinmann of Vienna and Helen Kleinman in America had never met in person. After Kurt came up with the creative idea to contact a family with a similar name in New York, hoping that his American namesakes might be willing to help him procure an affidavit, an increasingly intense correspondence developed between the young man and the Kleinmans’ daughter. With determination, Helen took the matter into her hands. Three months after Kurt first contacted the Kleinmans, when Helen wrote this letter, not only was Kurt’s emigration underway, but Helen had also enlisted the help of an aunt to submit an affidavit for a cousin of his, with whom he had in the meantime managed to flee to Switzerland. What’s more she had enlisted yet another aunt to do the same for Kurt’s sister and brother-in-law, who were still stranded in Vienna.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Kurt and Helen Kleinman Collection, AR 10738


Box 1, folder 2

Source available in English


on the days before