Cleve family papers
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The papers of the Cleve family, a Jewish family who fled Austria and sought exile in the United States during the rise of Nazi power. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence and papers prior to the Cleve family's departure, correspondence and papers related to their flight, interactions with emigre organizations after their arrival, and documentation of their lives in the United States. Highlights of the collection include a letter to Felix Cleve from the Emergency Association of German Scientists Abroad three months prior to the Cleve's flight from Austria directing him to the International Committee for the Placement of Intellectual Refugees in Geneva; correspondence, 1940-1942, following the Cleve family's arrival in New York with their cousin and benefactor Edwin Fruend, various refugee and assistance organization (including the American Friend's Service Committee, the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars and Selfhelp of Emigres from Central Europe, and various university presses that Cleve approached in these early years regarding the publicaion of his text on the philosophy of Anaxagoras; Fanny Cleve's sheet music collection, along with performance programs, reviews, and sheet music, letters from the 1920s to her from Otto Klemperer and others regarding her career at the time, as well as an exchange in 1938 with Klemperer upon her arrival in New York about opportunities to perform; photographs of Geroge Cleve, as well as music and memorabilia from his youth and his correspondence with his parents during his years training at the Eastman School of Music and during his career as a conductor; and Felix Cleve's manuscripts on philosophy, documentation about his student status at the University of Vienna, his applications for federal employment in 1943, 1947 and 1953 (revealing much autobiographical and employment information), and documentation during the 1950s and 1960s of his teaching years at the New School for Social Research and Long Island University. Also included are correspondence, recordings, sheet music, and ephemera created and collected by Ernest and Regina (Gina) Wassing. [Adapted from bookseller's description.]
- Creation: 1910s-1980s
- Cleve, Felix M. (Person)
- Cleve, Fanny (Person)
- Cleve, George, 1936-2015 (Person)
- Wassing, Gina (Person)
- Cleve, Melitta (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts 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.
Felix Merori Cleve, his wife Melitta Cleve, their son George Wolfgang Cleve, and Felix's sister Fanny Suhrkamp-Cleve, were Austrian-Jewish emigres who fled to the United States after the Nazi Anschluss of Austria. Felix M. Cleve (1890-1985) was born in Vienna to Rabbi Adolf Loewy and his wife Theresa and was an expert on Anaxagoras and other pre-Socratic Greek philosophers. He made a living as a noted critic for Vienna's Neue Freie Presse. He and his sister Fanny changed their surnane from Loewy to Cleve in 1919. Cleve, his wife Melitta (1902-1985), and their son George (1936-2015) immigrated to the United States via Budapest, Italy and Londin in 1939, and arrived in New York in 1940. Cleve was supported by his cousin Erwin Freund for his first few years in the US and finished his manuscript on Anaxagoras at that time. He continued to write on philosophy and taught at Long Island University and the New School for Social Research.
Fanny Cleve (1893-1971), Felix's sister, was a noted soprano from Vienna who performed across Europe during the 1920s and 1930s with such noted conductors as Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer. Her European career ended with the rise of the Nazis. She arrived in New York via Southampton, England in September 1938. Unable to establish herself as an opera singer in the United States, she became a vocal coach in New York and Youngstown, Ohio.
George Cleve (1936-2015) became a noted conductor and served the musical director of the San Jose Symphony from 1972-1992. He was a co-founder of and directed the Mid-Summer Mozart Festival in San Francisco from 1974 until his death, and was a guest conductors for the Symphony Silicon Valley. He conducted at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City and with the New York City Ballet on a regular basis.
Ernest Wassing was an Austrian-born cellist who performed with syphonies and orchestras around the world. Notably, he performed with the Berlin Philharmonic for the German premier of Stravinsky's "Rites of Spring". Regina (Gina) Monheit Wassing was a composer and teacher, and a relative of Melitta's. Sometime after Ernest's death in 1972, she moved to Los Gatos, California, and lived in the same building as Felix and Melitta Cleve.
[Partly adapted from bookseller's description.]
19.7 Linear Feet (19 containers)
Language of Materials
A collection of family papers concerning a Jewish family who fled Austria and sought exile in the United States during the rise of Nazi power. Felix Merori Cleve, his wife Melitta Cleve, their son George Wolfgang Cleve, and Felix's sister Fanny Suhrkamp-Cleve, were Austrian-Jewish emigres who fled to the United States after the Nazi Anschluss of Austria. This collection contains professional and personal correspondence and papers prior to their departure, correspondence and papers related to their flight, interactions with emigre organizations after their arrival, and documentation of their lives in the United States.
The collection is unprocessed.
Genre / Form
- New York (N.Y.) -- Emigration and immigration -- 20th century -- Archival resources
- United States -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- Archival resources
- Conductors (Music) -- California -- 20th century -- Archival resources
- Music -- Study and teaching -- Archival resources
- Musicians -- United States -- 20th century -- Archival resources
- Philosophers -- United States -- Archival resources
- Teachers -- United States -- Archival resources
- Universities and colleges -- Faculty -- Archival resources
- Finding aid for the Cleve family papers
- Sue Luftschein
- 2018 August
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States