Schnurmann family papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
6036
Finding Aid Author
Michaela Ullmann, Lisa Ebiner Gavit, Natalie Camacho, Emily Hodgkins
Finding Aid Date
2013
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description
English, German

Dates

  • 1898-1970s (Creation)
  • 1930 – 1955 (Creation)

Extents

  • 5 Linear Feet (Whole)
    14 boxes

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Scope and Content note

    The Alfred Schnurmann family papers consist of numerous photographs, negatives, and slides dating from the 1890s to the 1980s. This collection contains many photographs of Alfred's friends, family, and childhood, as well as pictures and postcards from Alfred and Faye's trips to Europe and Israel. A good portion of the photos in this collection were taken in Germany before and during World War II, including some family photos of Faye Schnurmann (Alfred's second wife) and her family in Germany. Also included in this collection are letters to Alfred Schnurmann from relatives and associates. Numerous letters are from family members in Palestine and the new state of Israel, detailing the situation and the war going on there. Correspondence between Alfred and his daughter Marion, during her stay at the Wyk orphanage, is also included. In addition, there are many legal documents including notarized birth, marriage, and death certificates for Alfred's ancestors, which were used in attempts to prove the French ancestry of Alfred in order to emigrate from Germany. Original birth and marriage certificates of Alfred and Marion Schnurmann are also included, as well as citizenship documents. Finally, the collection contains a few family trees for Alfred Schnurmann, various newspaper articles about post-Nazi Germany, newspaper articles with tips for financial well-being, and papers relating to Alfred's work with the Southern Pacific Railroad.

  • Biographical/Historical note

    Alfred Schnurmann was born in 1905 in Mulhouse, Alsace-Lorraine which was then part of the German Empire. His father, Leopold Schnurmann, was a prosperous Jewish wool merchant and his mother was Julie (Lang) Schnurmann. Alfred attended the university at Konstanz and worked as a salesman of textiles and clothing, settling in Berlin. In 1930 he married Hetta Hertel and their daughter Marion was born in 1932. Hetta and Alfred divorced in 1936, and Marion remained in Alfred's custody. In 1937, Marion was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and Alfred placed her in the Wyk orphanage for Jewish girls. During this time, Alfred made many attempts to emigrate out of Germany, applying for visas to France, Palestine, and the United States. Alfred's mother, Julie Schnurmann-Lang, and two sisters, Miriam and Alice, emigrated to Palestine in 1939, and they sent many letters back to Alfred about their situation there. In 1940, Alfred and Marion were able to obtain visas to the United States as part of the "French" quota, and so they traveled to the U.S. via Japan and settled in San Francisco. Alfred worked at the Richelieu Hotel and then for Levi Strauss before getting a job in 1945 with the Southern Pacific Railroad. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad until his retirement in 1983. In 1950, Alfred brought his girlfriend, Faye Faber, over to America and they were married that year. Between the 1950s and the 1970s, Alfred and Faye took several trips to Europe, Israel, and other places in the United States.

  • Abstract

    Alfred Schnurmann (born 1905 in Mulhouse, Alsace-Lorraine) was the son of a prosperous Jewish wool merchant. In 1940, Alfred and his daughter Marion were able to obtain visas to the United States as part of the "French" quota, and traveled to the U.S. via Japan and settled in San Francisco. Alfred worked at the Richelieu Hotel and then for Levi Strauss before getting a job in 1945 with the Southern Pacific Railroad. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad until his retirement in 1983. In 1950, Alfred married his girlfriend Faye Faber. The collection contains photographs, negatives, and slides dating from the 1890s to the 1980s, many of them taken in Germany before and during World War II, including some family photos. Also included in this collection are letters to Schnurmann from relatives and associates. Numerous letters are from family members in Palestine and the new state of Israel. Correspondence between Alfred and his daughter Marion, during her stay at the Wyk orphanage in the 1930s, is also included. In addition, there are many legal documents including notarized birth, marriage, and death certificates for Alfred’s ancestors. Original birth and marriage certificates of Alfred and Marion Schnurmann are also included, as well as citizenship documents. The collection contains a few family trees for Alfred Schnurmann, various newspaper articles about post-Nazi Germany, newspaper articles with tips for financial well-being, and papers relating to Alfred’s work with the Southern Pacific Railroad.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Exile Studies Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

  • Acquisition

    Purchased from PBA Galleries, San Francisco, March 2013.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Schnurmann Family Papers, Collection no. 6036, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Processing Information

    The collection was rehoused and described by Michaela Ullmann, Lisa Ebiner Gavet, Natalie Camacho, and Emily Hodgkins.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

Components