Series M - Schragenheim Collection

Front: German troops, 5th Battalion, marching over the Schwarzwasser River. Back: Arthur Schragenheim to 'Hansi' (Elsbeth) Schragenheim, Berlin Front: German Luftschiffer Truppe (Airshipmens' Troop), World War I Back: Arthur Schragenheim to Bernhard Schragenheim Front: Members of Regiment 48, 5th Reserve Division in France Back: Bernhard Schragenheim to 'Hansi' (Elsbeth) Schragenheim Front: Fifth Reserve Division march during the visit of Prince Leopold of Bavaria Back: Note by Bernhard Schragenheim on the march of the 5th Reserve Division during the visit of ... Front: Forest, Tuganowitschi, Belarus Back: Caption by Bernhard Schragenheim
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Schragenheim Collection


  • 1847-1999 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

396 items

Archival history

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Scope and content

Bernhard and Rosette Schragenheim, with their son Julian, arrived in South Africa in 1934, to escape the Nazi regime in Germany. The bulk of the material is from Germany and has been divided up into numerous sections. The correspondence lists the personal and official correspondence of members of the extended Schragenheim family between 1877 and 1978. The documentation lists the range of personal and professional documentation preserved by members of the family between the mid-19th and mid-20th century. The publications include published papers, booklets and newspapers from Germany and South Africa. The photographs range from the 1880s in Germany until the 1980s in Israel and South Africa. The collection includes family and military portraiture, identity photographs and numerous picture postcards which contain both family portraits and personal letters addressed and often stamped. Many of the photographs also contain captions at the back. The special collection of feldpostkarte (field postcards) is dated between 1915 and 1918, and provides rare documentation of the life and experience of German soldiers in the field. Most of the feldpostkarten include a photograph and a letter or caption. The photographs span from the Eastern to Western front, including parts of Poland, Belarus, Russia, and later on, France and Germany. The ephemera include a range of collectable medals, diaries, and assorted items.


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The material has been divided up into six sections: correspondence, documentation, publications, photographs, field postcards and ephemera.

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The majority of the letters are written in old German. These have been translated from old German into English by volunteer translators, although these are not authoritative translations.

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The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation conducted several interviews with Julian Schragenheim regarding his family and the collection. Transcripts of these interviews and other correspondence items can be accessed through the collection's administrative file.

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