German Exile Library and Archival Resources
The collections and resources of the University of Southern California's University Libraries provide a core body of materials that compliment the Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life recently proposed by Provost Armstrong. The University Libraries contain unusually strong holdings that document German Jewish immigration to the United States, focusing in particular on those who came to Southern California.
In numerous libraries and collections of the University Libraries system, primary and secondary documents about the German exile period have been collected, preserved, and made accessible to researchers. A list of the manuscript collections formed by or about German émigrés is found in Appendix 1. This list provides a useful overview of the type of primary source materials at USC. The most valuable and extensive archival collections are those in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library.
The Doheny Memorial Library has a vast collection of both primary and secondary source publications relating to German exile writers. The total collection of publications produced between 1933 and 1945 contains about 500 titles with some 3400 additional works by exile writers and secondary source publications. This extensive print collection is complemented by the exile publications belonging to Lion Feuchtwanger, now part of the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library.
In the 1970s and 80s faculty in USC's German Department supported graduate-level research about German exile literature. Unfortunately, this trend has declined in recent years. It is an exciting proposal that scholars at USC will again utilize and profit from the outstanding, unique collections and materials already available at the University. Study of these materials can tell us much about the activities and concerns of German Jews who found a haven in Southern California as well as bolstering research into the psychological impact of the exile experience worldwide, a subject receiving increasing study in light of more recent political upheavals. The uncounted number of German exiles who came to Los Angeles between the late 1920s and through the 1940s, many of whom never returned to Europe, is a frequently forgotten chapter in the history of Los Angeles. Their impact on the cultural scene of the region is unquestionable and further research into their lives, successes and failures in Los Angeles will provide an interesting parallel for other ethnic groups who came before them and those who have followed since.
German Exile Library and Archival Resources University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is well-suited to establish an Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life with particular focus on Southern California. The University's existing library and archival collections compliment and will greatly enhance research conducted at the new Institute with outstanding primary and secondary materials, particularly about Jews and intellectuals who fled Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. During this period Los Angeles was home of several thousand German-speaking émigrés who came to Southern California persecuted by the National Socialists for their religious or political convictions or racial origins. They came to Los Angeles to join fellow exiles and colleagues already here, many hoping to find employment in the film-related industries, including art, architecture, and music.
Archival Collections - Primary Sources
In several libraries and collections of the University Libraries system, primary and secondary documents related to the German exile period have been collected, preserved, and made accessible to researchers. A list of some of these collections at USC appears in Appendix 1. This list provides a useful overview of the kinds of primary source materials at USC. The most valuable and extensive archival collections are those in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library and the Max Kade Institute Archive. Both of these umbrella collections contain a wide range of documents (such as correspondence, manuscripts, reviews, ephemera, photographs, etc.) about German émigrés who lived for a time in Southern California during the Nazi regime. Although many who fled Germany were not Jewish, their experiences leaving their homeland and enormous difficulties living abroad were quite similar. Collections of German intellectuals, such as the Heinrich Mann Collection in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, contain valuable correspondence files which provide a wealth of information about his friends, many of whom were Jewish.
History of Exile Publications
Between 1933 and 1945 the writings of those considered "degenerate" or "un-German" by National Socialists could not be published within the German borders. As demand for works by these authors remained high (e.g., Albert Einstein, Alfred Döblin, Lion Feuchtwanger, Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel), publishers outside of Germany began to market their works. The range of publications produced outside of Germany between 1933 and 1945 covers over 800 publishers who produced materials in some 36 countries. At first these publishers were located primarily in Europe, and included the Amsterdam firms Querido Verlag and Allert de Lange Publishing Company; Verlagsgenossenschaft ausländischer Arbeiter in der UDSSR in Moscow and Leningrad; Oprecht & Helbling in Zurich and New York; Europa in Zurich and New York; and Der Aufbruch, Die Gestaltung and Bermann-Fischer in Vienna and Stockholm. Between 1933 and before the outbreak of WWII in 1940, many German exiles wrote about the barbarism of the National Socialists in an attempt to inform those unacquainted with German politics; a large number wrote historical fiction, and others wrote communist and socialist propaganda. The Nazi capture of France in 1940 and expansion throughout Europe greatly impacted the publication of German exile writers. The publishing houses too were forced to leave Europe and moved to Israel, Mexico, Argentina, and the United States. Between 1942 and 1947 seventy-five percent of German-language publications of exiles were produced in America.
Book Collections - Primary and Secondary Sources
The Doheny Memorial Library has a vast collection of both primary and secondary source publications relating to German exile writers. The collection is split between the Dewey and Library of Congress classification systems, resulting in many instances where works by and about a particular author are found in both locations. The Dewey collection includes some 800 titles under the 830 classification number, the majority consisting of these works printed in the 1920s or during the exile period. The largest number of books about German exiles is located in the Library of Congress (PT) classification. Roughly estimated, there are 1850 works by exile writers, of which about ten percent are publications dating from the exile period. Another 1300 titles are secondary sources about exile writers and about various aspects of the exile period.
The circulating collection located in Doheny Memorial Library compliments the exile publications collected by Lion Feuchtwanger now housed in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library. Lion Feuchtwanger was given many of these exile publications by his friends and colleagues but he also purchased numerous titles. His collection of exile publications contains about 175 titles, several of which include personalized inscriptions from the author.
During the past five years, the focus of library collection development has been to support the research of the Feuchtwanger Institute of Exile Studies and the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library. Particular attention has been paid to acquire all monographs about German émigré writers who lived in Southern California. Secondary publications about German exile writers who lived in Southern California or those who were acquainted with Lion Feuchtwanger are acquired at a comprehensive level. In addition, works by Los Angeles exile writers published between 1933 and 1945 are purchased when available from antiquarian book dealers. General secondary studies about the German exile experience outside of Southern California are also acquired.
The formation of the Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life within the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences will necessitate a shift in the collecting focus of the University Libraries, logically directing particular attention to works by and about German Jewish exiles. With increased use of German exile manuscript collections, secondary materials about all German émigrés who lived in Los Angeles during those years (including those in the film industry, musicians and composers, architects, graphic artists, etc.) should be collected at the same comprehensive level as currently collected for exiled writers. The geographic focus of the collection could also be expanded to include émigrés living in other parts of the United States because many of them were in regular contact with each other. Trips between the East and West coast were not uncommon for those with the financial resources; and their correspondence indicates the level of interaction and influences on each others' works.
The Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life should lead to renewed interest in USC's outstanding holdings of primary and secondary documents and publications about the German exile experience in Southern California. As USC begins to pay closer attention to Los Angeles and the history of Southern California, study of the German exiles who came here to escape fascist Germany provides a significant, if little known, chapter in the history of this multi-dimensional city. By studying Los Angeles' past we can best understand how Los Angeles came to be what it is today and where it might be in the next century.
German Exile Studies Collections at USC
A great strength of the collections in the University Libraries at USC are the unique primary documents and collections about German exiles, many of whom were Jewish. These collections came to the University from different sources, but they all contain original correspondence, manuscripts, photographs relating to German artists and intellectuals who spent some time in Southern California between the 1920s and 1950s. Most of these collections have materials of extreme scarcity and importance which have not yet been studied. All of the collections have documents that would provide valuable primary source material for scholars of literature, cinema, history, and music.
Feuchtwanger Memorial Library
Manuscript Collections The Feuchtwanger Memorial Library was bequeathed to the University by the widow of the historical novelist, Lion Feuchtwanger, a German Jew whose outspoken criticism of National Socialism and Hitler before 1933 made him a dangerous enemy in his homeland. The Feuchtwanger Memorial Library and Archive contains extensive correspondence files (both personal and business), manuscripts of novels, articles and other works, reviews, and photographs.
Lion Feuchtwanger Archive (200 boxes)
Hanns Eisler Collection (2 boxes)
Heinrich Mann Collection (12 boxes)
Ludwig Marcuse Collection (14 boxes)
Book collection The Feuchtwanger Memorial Library contains a great number of exile publications which were given to Lion Feuchtwanger by his friends and colleagues, or purchased by him. His collection of exile publications contains about 175 titles, many of which include personalized inscriptions from the authors.
Manuscript Collections The Department of Special Collections houses several distinct manuscript collections which contain the papers of specific German émigrés. One particularly interesting large collection, collected by a Jewish doctor who lived in Berlin, includes contemporary newspapers and ephemera documenting the changing political climate from World War I through the 1930s.
Julius Berstl (8 boxes)
Leo Jacobsohn (11 boxes)
Ernest Kanitz (30 boxes)
Richard Ralf (6 boxes)
Marta Mierendorff papers
Schnurmann family papers
Cinema / Television Library
Manuscript Collections The archival collections in the Cinema / Television Library contain files about directors and writers who worked for the film studios.
John Brahm (4 boxes)
William Dieterle (5 boxes)
Fritz Lang (14 boxes)
Joe Pasternak (various files)
Eric Pommer (15 boxes)
Joseph Schildkraut (1 box)
Franz Werfel (various files)
Warner Brothers Archives
The Warner Brothers Archives include files about directors, composers, writers, production designers, and art directors who worked for the Warner Brothers studio.
The names listed below provide a sampling of materials about German émigrés:
Doheny Memorial Library
Circulating book collection The Doheny Memorial Library has a vast collection of both primary and secondary source publications relating to German exile writers. The collection is split between the Dewey and Library of Congress classification systems, resulting in instances where works by and about a particular author are found in both locations. The Dewey collection includes some 800 titles under the 830 classification number, the majority consisting of these works printed in the 1920s or during the exile period. The largest number of books about German exile is located in the Library of Congress (PT) classification. Roughly estimated, there are 1850 works by exile writers, of which about ten percent are publications dating from the exile period. Another 1300 titles are secondary sources about exile writers and about various aspects of the exile period.
Important Local Collections for German Exile Studies
UC Los Angeles
Ernst Toch Archive (German composer)
Franz Werfel Archive (Austria writer) German exile publications (University Research Library)
Rifkind Study Center at the Los Angeles County Musuem of ArtGerman expressionism
UC San Diego
Ernst Krenek (Austrian composer)
Thomas Mann editions