Elise Steiner: Copy family correspondence

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 70261
1 Jan 1938 - 31 Jan 1947
Level of Description
  • German
EHRI Partner

Biographical History

Hermann Steiner (b.1883) was born in Saitz, Moravia. He served in the Austrian army during World War One. He worked in the family stationary business, G. Sax & Companie, until it was expropriated by the Nazis in 1938. He married Johanna Neuspiel (b. 1890) who was born in Lednice, Moravia. Her parents, Leopold and Julie, ran an inn there. they had two children: Elise (Lisl) Steiner (b. 1923) and Leopold (Leo) (1926-1941).

Elise Steiner, the depositor, and addressee, managed to emigrate to Great Britain on 26 November 1938, where she ended up going to school in Southampton. She worked with evacuated school children in a residential nursery during the war and later trained to be a teacher. The parents and Leo, her younger brother, were transported to Kovno on 23 November 1941, where they died 6 days later, probably part of the action which took place in the ghetto on that date in which 10,000 inhabitants were murdered.


L. Steiner family docs, 1 folder

Donor: Elise Steiner

Scope and Content

This collection comprises photocopies of the original manuscript letters and typescript transcriptions, which were produced by the depositor, date unknown. Some of the themes which recur throughout include the following: gratitude that at least one child was able to escape and moreover to continue with her education; efforts to find a place on the Kindertransport for Leo; news of the fate of other family members who had managed to emigrate to various countries; the takeover of the family business (although 'Aryanisation' is not explicitly mentioned). Despite the increasing difficulties of life in Vienna exemplified by the occasional suicide of friends and the growing fear of being out on the streets, there is a sense that life has to go on. So, for example mention is made of the celebration of Jewish festivals and of training for new occupations. Also, whilst the prospect of emigration recedes, the family continues to make preparations for a future departure by selling off possessions and studying English.

The last letter from the family is dated July 1940. There is no explanation for the absence of correspondence between this date and that of their deportation in October 1941. The last letter in the collection is from a former employee of the family business, dated 29 July 1947. She states that she is ready to hand back the business, of which she took over the running immediately after the war. Intriguingly she also mentions that the last that she heard of the family was when they were deported to Poland in 1943. 

System of Arrangement

The correspondence has been arranged and numbered chronologically in four folders.

Conditions Governing Access





This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.