Ursula Klau papers

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2008.115.1
  • German
  • English
  • Dutch
EHRI Partner


Biographical History

Ursula Klau (1932-2007) was born in Frankfurt, Germany to lawyer Dr. Oscar (Oskar) Klau (1889-1944) and Therese (Resa) Klau-Altheimer (1896-1945). Her older sister was Helga Simon (1921-1998). In 1934 the family fled to Switzerland. They returned to Germany in 1935 so that Dr. Klau could liquidate his business before the family relocated to Amsterdam in 1936. Helga was sent to the Westerbork transit camp in July 1942. Ursula and her parents were sent to Westerbork in March 1943 and then deported to Bergen-Belsen in February 1944 where Oscar Klau died in the spring. In early April 1945, as the Allies advanced on Bergen-Belsen, Klau and her mother were loaded onto a transport for Theresienstadt which was abandoned near Tröbitz as the Red Army advanced. Therese died of typhus on May 7, 1945 in Schilda, where Klau remained under quarantine until August 1945. Klau was transferred to Maastricht and diagnosed with tuberculosis. Klau's family in the United States and Switzerland arranged for her to be moved to a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland in early 1946, and she immigrated to the United States in November 1946 where she lived in New York under the guardianship of her cousin Adolf (Adi) John Elkeles.

Archival History

The Ursula Klau papers were donated in 2005 by Ursula Klau and in 2008 by the Estate of Ursula Klau.


Accession number: 2008.115.1

Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Ursula Klau

Scope and Content

The Ursula Klau papers contain biographical materials, correspondence, estate, reparations, and restitution records, photographic materials, song lyrics, a calendar, and two prayer books. The records document Ursula Klau's family; their experiences in Nazi Germany, Nazi-occupied Netherlands, the Westerbork transit camp, the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and the so-called "Lost Transport"; and Ursula's liberation and recuperation in Davos, Switzerland, immigration to the United States, and efforts to liquidate and distribute her parents' estate and to receive restitution and reparations for her family's experiences.

System of Arrangement

The Ursula Klau papers are arranged as seven series: I. Biographical Materials, 1935-1958, II. Correspondence, 1939-1946, III. Klau Estate, 1942-1960, IV. Reparations and Restitution, 1950-2006, V. Photographic Materials, circa 1893-1990s, VI. Songs, circa 1939-1946, and VII. Books, 1897-1997

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Restrictions on use. Donor retains copyright for this collection.


  • Record type: Document

Corporate Bodies