Wahle family papers

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 72294
Level of Description
EHRI Partner

Biographical History

Francis and Anna Wahle came to Great Britain on a Kindertransport organised by the Quakers from their home city, Vienna, in 1939. Whilst both children were raised as Catholics, they qualified for inclusion as their parents, Karl and Hedwig, had converted from Judaism. Anna grew up to become an ordained nun and a member of the order ‘Our Lady of Sion’ (specifically dedicated to Christian-Jewish understanding) and Francis became a parish priest.

The parents continued to live in Vienna throughout the Nazi era, hiding ‘in plain sight’. They managed to exist unnoticed using false names and working at a succession of low-level jobs. In fact Karl was a judge and went on to become president of the Austrian Supreme Court for a period after the war and Hedwig was a mathematician and professional actuary. Miraculously they both survived the war and eventually met up with their children again, who had become quite Anglicised. The parents continued to live in Vienna. Hedwig died relatively young in 1957 and Karl in 1970, aged 83.

The Wahle family had Jewish merchant roots in Prague, for which relatively minimal information survives within this collection- mostly fragments of family trees. Hedwig’s Brunner family can trace their roots to Hohenems in Austria and later Trieste, where they established textile and merchant banking businesses. In addition to various family histories and family trees, the collection contains material relating to a relatively recent gathering of descendants of the Brunner family in Trieste, where branches of the family continued to reside.

Archival History

This collection came to be in the possession of Sr Anna Wahle and on her death was donated by the Mother Superior at 'Our Lady of Sion', London


Donated 07.06.2007

Donor: Mary Kelly (Our Lady of Sion)

Scope and Content

The collection comprises a significant amount of incoming and copy outgoing correspondence between Karl and Hedwig and various friends, colleagues and relations. 

System of Arrangement

The material has been arranged into series by family member, then by family history general and lastly photographs

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.