Guide to the Kurt Hohenemser Collection
undated, 1885-2007
(bulk 1931-2001)

AR 25643

Processed by Sarah Glover and Felix Rieg-Baumhauer

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305

Email: http://www.lbi.org/ask

URL: http://www.lbi.org

© 2015  Leo Baeck Institute
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Sarah Glover in October 2015. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hohenemser, K. H. (Kurt H.)
Title: Kurt Hohenemser Collection
Dates:undated, 1885-2007
Dates:bulk 1931-2001
Abstract: This collection documents the personal and professional life of aerospace engineer Kurt Heinrich Hohenemser (1906-2001) in Germany and the United States. Mainly comprised of diaries and correspondence, materials in this collection describe Hohenemser’s education in Germany, work at and dismissal from the University of Göttingen in 1933, work for the aircraft manufacturer Anton Flettner during World War II, attempts to regain his position at Göttingen, and his family’s immigration to and new life in the United States. Correspondence with family and friends throughout Germany includes discussion of the political, economic, and social situation in Germany both during the World War II and during the post-war and Cold War periods. Also included in the collection are official documents and correspondence pertaining to Kurt Hohenemser’s parents, the musicologist Richard Heinrich Hohenemser (1870-1942) and his wife Alice Matilda Florence Hohenemser née Salt (1879-1942).
Languages: The collection is in German and English.
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet
Identification: AR 25643
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Kurt Heinrich Hohenemser was born in Berlin, Germany, on January 3, 1906, to the musicologist Richard Heinrich Hohenemser (1870-1942) and Alice Matilda Florence Hohenemser née Salt (1879-1942). While his father came from a German Jewish family, Kurt’s mother was an English Protestant, the daughter of a Baptist minister.

Kurt Hohenemser attended primary school in Berlin and received his secondary education at the Goethe-Schule in Berlin-Wilmersdorf (1915-1918), Hermann-Lietz-Schule in Haubinda (1919), and Ziehenschule in Eschersheim (1920-1924). Hohenemser attended university at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt (today Technische Universität Darmstadt) from 1924 through 1929, receiving his Diplom-Ingenieur in 1927 and his Doktor-Ingenieur in 1929. His studies were in the fields of applied mathematics and mechanical engineering. In 1930, he followed his thesis advisor William Prager to the Universität Göttingen; while in Göttingen, Hohenemser and Prager coauthored the book Dynamik der Stabwerke (1933). During his time at the university from 1930 to 1933, Kurt Hohenemser was Privatdozent and assistant to Ludwig Prandtl, director of the university’s Institute of Applied Mechanics. On February 11, 1933, Kurt married Katharina Hohenemser née Dietrich (1910-1962). Their son Christoph was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 29, 1937. Their daughter Veronika was born in Berlin, Germany, on January 18, 1940.

At Göttingen, Hohenemser and William Prager organized a weekly political discussion group. They invited a colleague to the meeting who was known to sympathize with Nazi ideology. After the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, this colleague reported anti-Nazi statements made by Hohenemser and Prager; both men were dismissed from the university. After his dismissal, Hohenemser worked for the aircraft manufacturer Fieseler Flugzeugbau in Kassel for a year before going to work as a consultant for Anton Flettner, whose company specialized in the manufacture of helicopters. He remained with Flettner through the end of World War II. Though Kurt Hohenemser’s father was Jewish, Kurt and his wife and children were protected during the war due to his work for Flettner. In 1942, Richard and Alice Hohenemser committed suicide in their Berlin apartment, rather than face the possibility of deportation. In 1943, because of increased Allied bombing of Berlin, Hohenemser and his family moved with the Flettner company to Schweidnitz in Silesia. They remained there until the company’s factory was destroyed by Allied bombs in late 1944. In January 1945, as the Soviet Army neared the city, Hohenemser and his family fled Schweidnitz for the convent of Bildhausen near Münnerstadt, where his wife’s mother had found refuge from the bombing of Frankfurt am Main. The family remained in Bildhausen after the war while Hohenemser tried to regain his position in Göttingen. After over a year of unsuccessful attempts, the family made the decision to immigrate to the United States.

Kurt Hohenemser and his family sailed for New York from Bremerhaven, Germany, aboard the SS Marine Marlin, arriving in the United States on July 17, 1947. The family stayed with his colleague Hans Reissner in Brooklyn, New York, before moving to St. Louis, Missouri, in October 1947 for Hohenemser’s position at McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. He worked as chief aerodynamics engineer of McDonnell’s helicopter division for 18 years before joining the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis in 1966 as professor of aerospace engineering. While at the university, Hohenemser’s research focus shifted from helicopters to wind turbines. He retired from Washington University in 1975 but remained as professor emeritus for two more decades. Hohenemser received many accolades during his career, including the Grover E. Bell Award (1957) and the Alexander Klemin Award (1964) from the American Helicopter Society.

Kurt Hohenemser's first wife Kate Hohenemser died on August 22, 1962, of breast cancer, with which she was originally diagnosed in 1956. In 1963, Kurt met Rose-Marie Gertrud Ingeburg Sader née Geisel, whom he married on December 17, 1966. Rose-Marie died of breast cancer on March 5, 1998. Kurt Heinrich Hohenemser died in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 7, 2001.

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Scope and Content Note

The Kurt Hohenemser Collection documents the personal and professional life of German-born aerospace engineer Kurt Heinrich Hohenemser, as well as the lives of his parents, spouses, children, and extended family.

Through diaries and correspondence, Series II details Hohenemser’s life in Germany from his birth in 1906 through his immigration to the United States with his wife and two children in 1947. These materials cover his education from primary school through his doctoral studies, his work at and ultimate dismissal from the University of Göttingen in 1933, work as a consultant for Anton Flettner’s aircraft company during World War II, and attempts to regain his position at Göttingen after the war’s end. The correspondence in this series includes a great deal of discussion regarding the social, political, and economic conditions in Germany during World War II and in the war’s immediate aftermath.

Series III contains materials regarding Kurt Hohenemser’s personal and professional life after his family’s immigration to the United States in 1947 through 1962, the year of his first wife Kate Hohenemser’s death from breast cancer. Correspondence and diaries found in this series describe the family’s journey to the United States and their adjustments to life in a new country. During these early post-war years, a major topic in the correspondence between Kurt and Kate and their family members and friends still in Germany is discussion of the political and economic situation in Germany, particularly regarding food shortages and rationing. After Kate Hohenemser’s breast cancer diagnosis in 1956, her health and treatments are also a prominent topic throughout the correspondence in this series. The final subseries in this series describes Hohenemser’s work as chief aerodynamics engineer at McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, as well as his continued collaboration with Anton Flettner, who reestablished his company in the United States after World War II.

After Kate Hohenemser’s death, Kurt married his second wife Rose Hohenemser, and Series IV focuses largely on their relationship. In diaries found in this series, Kurt recorded Rose’s decades-long struggle with mental illness. Discussion of her illness can also be found in correspondence between Kurt and Rose as well as correspondence between Kurt and Rose’s family in Germany. The series also includes correspondence between Kurt and his family as well as Kate’s family, which is largely personal in nature, as well as a handful of professional correspondence from this period.

The collection also contains official documents and correspondence regarding the lives of Kurt’s parents Richard Heinrich Hohenemser and Alice Matilda Florence Hohenemser née Salt, which can be found in Series I. Official documents are mostly comprised of birth and marriage certificates, correspondence, and family trees compiled by Alice Hohenemser, the English daughter of a Baptist minister, in order to prove her Aryan descent and her family’s Protestant faith. Correspondence in this series is largely personal in nature, but does contain discussion regarding the roles of England and Germany in World War I. The series also includes a folder of condolence letters sent to their son Kurt Hohenemser after their deaths by suicide on April 6, 1942.

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Arrangement

Collection materials arrived at the Leo Baeck Institute lacking a coherent original order. Some correspondence was grouped into labeled folders based upon a subset of correspondents—for example, Kurt Hohenemser’s extended family in England, or his colleagues from Anton Flettner’s company—or time period. The arrangement of the collection according to time period and separation of family, general, and professional correspondence was derived from the organization of these previously labeled folders.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Separated Material

A copy of the book Mein Weg zum Rotor by Anton Flettner (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1926) was removed to the LBI Library.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Kurt Hohenemser Collection; AR 25643; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute, New York, NY.

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Processing Information

Collections materials arrived at the Leo Baeck Institute in five boxes. Staff members transferred the materials from the original boxes into archival boxes, keeping materials in the order in which they arrived. Loose materials were placed into archival folders. During processing, the remaining original folders were replaced with archival folders.

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Container List

 

Series I: Richard and Alice Hohenemser, undated, 1885-1946

In English and German.
Box 1, Folders 1-8. 8 folders.
Arrangement:

This series is arranged in two subseries:

Scope and Content:

This series contains official documents and correspondence detailing the lives of the musicologist Richard Heinrich Hohenemser (1870-1942) and his wife Alice Matilda Florence Hohenemser née Salt (1879-1942), as well as written works by both Richard and Alice. Official documents are mostly comprised of birth and marriage certificates, correspondence, and family trees compiled by Alice Hohenemser, the English daughter of a Baptist minister, in order to prove her Aryan descent and her family’s Protestant faith. Writings by Alice Hohenemser are mostly fictional, with the exception of one typescript of literary accounts of episodes from her childhood in England. Also included are reviews for a book by Richard Hohenemser entitled Arthur Schopenhauer als Psychologe (1924).

Letters from Richard and Alice Hohenemser to family in England and Germany, each other, and their son Kurt Hohenemser date from Alice’s childhood to 1942, the year of their deaths; the bulk of the letters date from after Richard’s marriage to Alice in 1905. While the correspondence is mostly personal in nature, letters from Alice to her father in England and her mother-in-law in Frankfurt am Main describe her views on the positions of both England and Germany during World War I and the divided loyalties she feels as an Englishwoman living in Germany with family fighting on both sides. The correspondence is almost entirely comprised of letters written by either Richard or Alice Hohenemser, with the exception of the final folder, which contains condolence letters sent to their son Kurt Hohenemser after their deaths by suicide on April 6, 1942.

Biographical Note:

Richard Heinrich Hohenemser was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on August 10, 1870. His parents were Heinrich Bernhard Hohenemser (September 4, 1834-November 26, 1894) and Mathilde Sophie Hohenemser née Löwengard (September 10, 1847-May 15, 1920). Like two of his siblings, Richard Hohenemser was blind from birth.

From 1889 through his graduation in 1891, Hohenemser attended the Kaiser-Friedrich-Gymnasium (today the Heinrich-von-Gagern-Gymnasium) in Frankfurt am Main. He then studied music history in Berlin from 1892 to 1896 before continuing on to the University of Munich, from which he received his doctorate in 1899. His doctoral thesis was entitled Welche Einflüsse hatte die Wiederbelebung der älteren Musik im 19. Jahrhundert auf die deutschen Komponisten?. A respected musicologist, Hohenemser wrote articles for a variety of publications in his field as well as biographies of the composers Clara Schumann and Luigi Cherubini. The biography of Cherubini, entitled Luigi Cherubini, sein Leben und seine Werke (1913), was Hohenemser’s principal work. He also wrote several philosophical works, including Arthur Schopenhauer als Psychologe (1924) and Versuch einer kritischen Würdigung der Hauptlehren Nietzsches (unpublished).

On January 7, 1905, Richard Hohenemser married Alice Matilda Florence Salt. Alice was born on May 19, 1879, in England to the Reverend Henry Richard Salt (January 10, 1843-August 13, 1929), a Baptist minister, and Rebecca Alice Salt née Chambers (July 1, 1843- ). Richard and Alice Hohenemser’s only child, Kurt Heinrich Hohenemser, was born in Berlin on January 3, 1906.

On April 6, 1942, Richard and Alice Hohenemser committed suicide by deliberately leaving the gas on in their Berlin apartment, rather than face the possibility of deportation. Richard’s niece Elisabeth Schumacher née Hohenemser and her friend Philipp Schaeffer, both of whom belonged to the anti-Nazi resistance group Rote Kapelle, tried to save the couple but were ultimately too late. Schaeffer was badly injured after falling while trying to enter the Hohenemsers' window from the roof; he remained in the hospital until his arrest by the Nazis on October 2, 1942. Sentenced to death for treason for his resistance activities, he was beheaded on May 13, 1943. Elisabeth Schumacher was arrested on September 12, 1942, sentenced to death for treason on December 19, 1942, and beheaded on December 22, 1942.

Richard’s two sisters Julie Klara Hohenemser and Marta Elisabeth Hohenemser, both of whom were also blind, committed suicide later in 1942 to avoid deportation to concentration camps. Due to their Jewish heritage, many members of the extended Hohenemser family were killed during the Holocaust.

Subseries 1: Writings and Official Documents, undated, 1915-1946

In English and German.
Box 1, Folders 1-3. 3 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains typescripts of short stories written by Alice Hohenemser as well as reviews for a book by Richard Hohenemser entitled Arthur Schopenhauer als Psychologe (1924). One bound typescript of Alice Hohenemser's work contains literary accounts of episodes from her childhood in England; an earlier draft of this work with handwritten additions and corrections is also included. The other writings by Alice Hohenemser found in this subseries are fictional short stories.

The third folder consists of correspondence, family trees, and official documents such as birth and marriage certificates assembled by Alice Hohenemser in order to prove her Aryan descent and her English family's Baptist faith. Also included are the last wills of Richard and Alice Hohenemser, Alice Hohenemser's German identity card, and a small number of birth, death, and marriage certificates for various members of the Hohenemser family.

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Hohenemser, Alice — short storiesundated, 1915
12Hohenemser, Richard — reviewscirca 1924
13Official documents and family trees1919-1946

Subseries 2: Correspondence, undated, 1885-1942

In English and German.
Box 1, Folders 4-8. 5 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

Letters written by Richard and Alice Hohenemser constitute the bulk of this subseries. The Hohenemsers wrote primarily to family members in both England and Germany, particularly Alice’s father Henry Salt and Richard’s mother Mathilde Hohenemser, to each other, and to their son Kurt Hohenemser. The letters date from Alice’s childhood in England in the late 19th century through 1942, the year of their deaths.

Of particular interest are letters from Alice Hohenemser to her father in England and her mother-in-law in Frankfurt am Main. Many of these letters date from the time period of World War I, and though they are of a generally personal nature, they give insight into the divided loyalties of an individual with close family and friends on both sides of the conflict. In letters to her father, Alice explains both her strong belief in the necessity of Germany’s posture in the war as well as the obligation she feels to try and explain the English position to friends and family in Germany. At the same time, letters to her mother-in-law express her disillusionment with Germany’s conduct in the war, particularly in regards to the country’s use of submarines, and confess to coming around to the English point of view on some aspects of the conflict. The letters also include updates on Richard’s two brothers serving in the German Army.

Letters between Richard and Alice Hohenemser date from the year of their engagement through the year of their deaths. Many of the letters are from periods when Alice visited family in England and are largely personal in nature, giving updates on travel and daily family life. Letters from Richard and Alice to their son Kurt Hohenemser focus mainly on his schooling in early years, and eventually to discussion of the wellbeing of his own family after his marriage and births of his two children.

The final folder in this subseries contains condolence letters sent to Kurt Hohenemser by family members and friends after the deaths of his parents on April 6, 1942. Also included are death notices for Richard and Alice Hohenemser and a eulogy.

BoxFolderTitleDate
14Hohenemser, Alice — Elfriede Zimmermann1931-1936
15Hohenemser, Alice — extended family in Englandundated, 1885-1928
16Hohenemser, Richard — extended familyundated, 1912-1942
17Hohenemser, Richard and Alice1904, 1915-1942
18Hohenemser, Richard and Alice — death1942
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Series II: Kurt and Kate Hohenemser, Germany, undated, 1927-1947

In German and English.
Box 1, Folders 9-47. 39 folders.
Arrangement:

This series is arranged in four subseries:

Scope and Content:

This series documents Kurt Hohenemser’s personal and professional life in Germany from his birth in 1906 through his immigration to the United States with his wife and two children in 1947. The primary source of information regarding this time period is his memoir "Woran ich mich noch erinnere bis 1935,” found in folder 12, which covers the years from his birth through 1935, when he began working for Anton Flettner’s aircraft company. In this manuscript, Hohenemser details his education from primary school through his doctoral studies, as well as his work at and ultimate dismissal from the University of Göttingen. Information regarding his personal life includes descriptions of his childhood homes in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main, remembrances of his mother and father, and studies for his confirmation undertaken at the Katharinenkirche in Frankfurt am Main.

Correspondence in this series of Kurt and Kate Hohenemser with their extended families and friends dates mostly from the two-year period between the end of World War II and the family’s immigration to the United States. Common topics throughout both subseries of correspondence include conditions in Germany during the war and in its immediate aftermath, the fates of various members of the Hohenemser family during the war, Hohenemser’s difficulties in trying to reclaim his assistantship at the University of Göttingen, and his efforts to secure the necessary documentation and funds to immigrate to the United States with his family.

The final subseries concerns Kurt Hohenemser’s career in Germany at both the University of Göttingen’s Institute of Applied Mechanics and Anton Flettner’s aircraft company, which specialized in the manufacture of helicopters. Correspondence of Hohenemser with both Anton Flettner and William Prager, his colleague in Göttingen, mostly dates from after the war’s end and focuses primarily on the process of immigrating to the United States and the possibilities for employment after immigration. In letters between Hohenemser and Flettner, there is additional discussion of what will become of their German patents after they emigrate from Germany. In contrast, correspondence between Hohenemser and Ludwig Prandtl, under whom he worked at the University of Göttingen, dates from Hohenemser’s approach to Prandtl regarding a possible position at the university in 1930 through the end of his attempts to regain his position there in 1947. Hohenemser’s efforts to regain his assistantship are detailed through correspondence found in the final folder of this series.

Subseries 1: Diaries and Memoirs, 1931-1947

In German.
Box 1, Folders 9-12. 4 folders.
Arrangement:

Chronological

Scope and Content:

From 1945 through 1947, Kurt Hohenemser wrote "Woran ich mich noch erinnere bis 1935” to create a record of these years of his life, after almost all written documentation of this time was destroyed during World War II. The typescript covers the period from his birth in 1906 through the end of his work for the aircraft manufacturer Fieseler Flugzeugbau in Kassel, right before he started working for Anton Flettner. Hohenemser gives an account of his education from primary school in Berlin through his doctoral degree at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, including secondary education at the Goethe-Schule in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Hermann-Lietz-Schule in Haubinda, and Ziehenschule in Eschersheim. Discussion of his schooling is divided between his academics and the friendships he formed throughout his education; he kept in touch with many of his schoolmates for the rest of his life. Hohenemser also documents his work at the Universität Göttingen, including the many great thinkers there from whom he was able to learn, his close relationships with colleagues and lifelong friends William Prager and Gustav Mesmer, and his dismissal from the university.

The typescript also includes accounts of Hohenemser’s personal life, including descriptions of his family’s various residences in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main, remembrances of his mother and father (particularly their musical activities), various vacations taken with family and friends, and studies for his confirmation undertaken with Wilhelm Veit at the Katharinenkirche in Frankfurt am Main. Like his school friends, Hohenemser kept in touch with friends from his confirmation class throughout his life. Correspondence with both schoolmates and confirmation classmates can be found throughout the series of general correspondence in this collection.

In addition to this typescript, handwritten notes providing additional information regarding Hohenemser’s life in 1931 and 1932 can be found in folder 9. The subseries also includes reports by both Kurt Hohenemser and his wife Kate Hohenemser stemming from their 1936 travels to Turkey.

BoxFolderTitleDate
19Sachliche Chronik1931-1932
110Reise nach Istanbul 7.10.-25.10.36.1936
111Türkei 19361936
112Woran ich mich noch erinnere bis 19351945-1947

Subseries 2: Family Correspondence, 1931-1947

In German and English.
Box 1, Folders 13-17. 5 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

The bulk of the correspondence in this subseries dates from the end of World War II through the Hohenemser family’s immigration to the United States in 1947. Much of the correspondence between Hohenemser and members of his mother’s family in England and members of the extended Hohenemser family who had previously immigrated to the United States focuses on reestablishing contact that was cut off during the war and apprising them of the fates of various family members during the war and their current status. In letters to his mother’s family in particular, Hohenemser outlines the details of his parents’ deaths, informs them of his own family’s survival, and discusses with them the current shortage of food in Germany. These relatives likewise share with Hohenemser their experiences in England during the war and conditions of life in post-war England, including shortages of food and fuel. Despite these shortages, some of his mother’s relatives are able to send care parcels of food to Hohenemser’s family in Germany.

Correspondence with members of the extended Hohenemser family in the United States is similar in nature, reporting on their experiences during the war and current status, as well as thanking them for care parcels of food and clothing that they are able to send. In correspondence between Kurt and Kate and their various family members living throughout Germany, there is discussion of the differences in conditions under different Allied zones of occupation, particularly food rationing. Updates on the family’s process for immigration to the United States, such as procuring affidavits and other necessary documentation, can be found throughout the correspondence in this series.

BoxFolderTitleDate
113Hohenemser, Christoph and Veronica — drawings1944-1947
114Hohenemser, Kate — extended family1945-1947
115Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family1942-1947
116Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family in England1946-1947
117Hohenemser, Kurt and Kate1931-1947

Subseries 3: General Correspondence, 1939-1947

In German and English.
Box 1, Folders 18-36. 19 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

The overwhelming majority of correspondents in this subseries are friends of Kurt Hohenemser, including some individuals with whom he had maintained friendships since childhood. However, the most voluminous correspondence is between Hohenemser and Muriel Madox Hueffer, wife of the author Oliver Madox Hueffer and a school friend of his mother’s. The correspondence begins with Hohenemser’s description of the final years of his parents’ lives and their deaths in 1942, along with the fates of various other members of his extended family. Hohenemser details the current political situation in Germany and the difficulties he is facing in trying to reclaim his assistantship at the University of Göttingen. He also discusses his need for employment, efforts to immigrate, and eventual approval of his application to immigrate to the United States with his family.

A large amount of the correspondence between Kurt and Muriel describes the lengths she went to in order to ensure that Hohenemser and his family received care parcels with food, clothing, and other necessities. As it was difficult for her to send parcels from her home in England to the Hohenemser family in the American-occupied zone of Germany, she coordinated with her friends in the United States as well as members of the extended Hohenemser family there to ensure that Kurt and his family received the needed supplies. Muriel also made inquiries into possible positions for Kurt and contacted his extended family members in the United States to coordinate needed affidavits and funds for his family’s immigration.

Much of the correspondence in this subseries contains discussion of these topics found in Kurt and Muriel's correspondence, including the social and economic conditions of life throughout post-war Germany, Hohenemser’s efforts to recover his position in Göttingen and the general difficulty of finding suitable employment, sending and receiving parcels of food and clothing from abroad, and Hohenemser’s efforts to secure the necessary documentation and funds to immigrate to the United States. Throughout all of the correspondence are also descriptions of the correspondents’ everyday lives, including travels, business and professional activities, updates on children’s health and schooling, and passing along news of other friends and acquaintances.

Though general correspondence is almost exclusively comprised of letters to and from Kurt and Kate Hohenemser, folder 27 contains letters to their son Christoph from his schoolmates during his recovery from an operation.

BoxFolderTitleDate
118Address book1945-1947
119Arndt, Clara1943-1947
120Bernoully, Anneliese1947
121David, Fritz W.1947
122Ebner, Marga1945-1947
123Frank, Lothar1939-1947
124Gebb, Irmgard1946-1947
125Hahn-Neuroth, Anny1946-1947
126Hildebrand-Krückmann, Irmgard (Tschai)1946-1947
127Hohenemser, Christoph — schoolmates1946-1947
128Hueffer, Muriel Madox1946-1947
129Hüpeden, Theo and Grete1945-1947
130Jennissen, Joseph and Liesel1947
131Odqvist, Folke1946-1947
132Schröter, Richard and Martha1945-1947
133Schweitzer, Jürgen and Dorothee1945-1947
134Wilson, H.C. and Dorothea1946-1947
135Wirth, Peter and Ulla1945-1947
136Miscellaneous correspondence1945-1947

Subseries 4: Professional Correspondence and Notebooks, undated, 1927-1947

In German.
Box 1, Folders 37-47. 11 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This subseries documents Kurt Hohenemser’s career in Germany at both the University of Göttingen’s Institute of Applied Mechanics and Anton Flettner’s aircraft company, which specialized in the manufacture of helicopters. Though the bulk of the series is comprised of correspondence, several notebooks and photographs are also included. The notebooks entitled by Hohenemser as “Phil. Lit. Hefte” contain notes he took on various publications in the field of the philosophy of science by such leading thinkers as Hans Reichenbach, Richard von Mises, Friedrich Waismann, and Arthur Eddington. Another notebook is filled with engineering formulas. Of the handful of photographs found in this series, the majority are of Kurt Hohenemser, Anton Flettner, and Ludwig Prandtl, director of the Institute at Göttingen.

The correspondence in this subseries is mainly that of Kurt Hohenemser with Anton Flettner, Ludwig Prandtl, and William Prager, Hohenemser’s thesis advisor and later colleague in Göttingen. Hohenemser’s correspondence with both Flettner and Prager dates mostly from after the end of the war and focuses primarily on the process of immigrating to the United States and the possibilities for employment after immigration. Correspondence with Prager includes extensive conversation about two different positions Prager secured for Hohenemser in the United States—a position in the War Department, which Hohenemser turned down, and a position at McDonnell Aircraft, which he accepted. Correspondence between Hohenemser and Flettner includes discussion of what will become of their German patents after they emigrate from Germany.

Correspondence between Hohenemser and Ludwig Prandtl, under whom he worked at the University of Göttingen, can be found in both folders 46 and 47. This correspondence documents the entirety of their relationship in Göttingen, from Hohenemser’s initial approach to Prandtl about possible opportunities at the university through Hohenemser’s efforts to reclaim his assistantship there, in which controversy around Prandtl’s own position at the university played a central role. When Hohenemser submitted his application to reclaim his assistantship, he charged that Prandtl had been forced out of his directorship at the Institute of Applied Mechanics and that Max Schuler, the Institute’s director at the time when Hohenemser was seeking to reclaim his position, had received the directorship due to the intervention of Thomas Gengler, Schuler’s assistant and regional leader of the Nazi Party in Göttingen. Schuler denied these accusations, and the conflict between Hohenemser and Schuler is a crucial issue throughout the correspondence documenting Hohenemser’s efforts to reclaim his assistantship as well as the final outcome.

Throughout much of the correspondence and supporting documentation found in folder 47, the official reason given for Hohenemser’s dismissal from the University of Göttingen is the Civil Service Law passed by the Nazi Party in April 1933, which allowed for the termination of non-Aryan civil servants. Other documents throughout the collection, however, record that both Hohenemser and William Prager were dismissed after anti-Nazi statements they made during a political discussion group were reported by a colleague with Nazi sympathies, Erich Hahnkamm. After Max Schuler took control of the Institute at Göttingen, he selected Hahnkamm to fill the vacant assistantship position.

BoxFolderTitleDate
137Flettner, Anton1943-1947
138Hohenemser, Kurt — Flettner colleagues1946-1947
139Lilienthal-Gesellschaft für Luftfahrtforschung1940
140Notebookundated
141Notesundated
142Phil. Lit. Hefte (1 of 2)undated
143Phil. Lit. Hefte (2 of 2)undated
144Photographs1927-circa 1945
145Prager, Williamundated, 1936-1947
146Prandtl, Ludwig (photocopies)1930-1946
147University of Göttingen — Rehabilitation1945-1947
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Series III: Kurt and Kate Hohenemser, United States, undated, 1947-1962

In German and English.
Box 1, Folder 48-Box 3, Folder 22. 98 folders.
Arrangement:

This series is arranged in four subseries:

Scope and Content:

This series records Kurt Hohenemser’s personal and professional life from 1947, the year in which he immigrated to the United States with his wife and two children, to 1962, the year of his wife Kate Hohenemser’s death from breast cancer. Description of the family’s immigration and earliest years in the United States can be founded in a diary kept by Kurt Hohenemser from 1947 to 1950, located in the first subseries. Hohenemser circulated copies of these reports to friends and family in Germany; their responses to his writings about their new life in the United States can be found throughout the correspondence in this series.

Correspondence between Kurt and Kate Hohenemser and friends and family living in Germany is a mixture of communications that are personal in nature and discussions of the political and economic situation in Germany during the post-war and Cold War era. Commonly discussed topics include the Marshall Plan, 1948 currency reform, 1949 German elections, 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet threat to Western Germany, and the politics of the East and West during the Cold War. In the immediate post-war years, Kurt and Kate shipped parcels with needed food and clothing to friends and family throughout Germany, and related discussion of food shortages and rationing can also be found throughout the early correspondence in this series.

Throughout correspondence with friends and family, the most significant subject of a personal nature is Kate Hohenemser's diagnosis with breast cancer in 1956, her health and treatments, and her death from cancer in 1962. There are two folders pertaining specifically to her illness and death in this series, one containing letters Kate received from family and friends while she was hospitalized during the last month of her life, the other containing letters of condolence sent to Kurt and their children after her death. Hohenemser also documented the last month of her life in a diary present in this series, in which he recorded details of her physical and mental state, treatments she received during this time, and her death and burial.

The final subseries includes professional correspondence dating from the years that Hohenemser was employed by McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. Hohenemser communicated with individuals working in the aviation industry, discussing his work at McDonnell and their projects at various firms and universities and receiving requests for consultations on technical problems, as well as offers of employment. Of particular interest is a folder with correspondence between Hohenemser and Anton Flettner, with whom he continued to collaborate after both men immigrated to the United States.

Biographical Note:

Katharina (Käthe, later Kate) Dietrich was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on March 11, 1910. She married Kurt Hohenemser on February 11, 1933. Their son Christoph (later Chris) was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 29, 1937. Their daughter Veronika (later Veronica) was born in Berlin, Germany, on January 18, 1940. After the family immigrated to the United States in 1947 and made their home in St. Louis, Missouri, Kate Hohenemser enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis in 1953, from which she received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work, completing the latter degree in June 1958. She worked at the Jewish Family Service Agency from February 1957 until her death from breast cancer on August 22, 1962. She was originally diagnosed with the disease in November 1956.

Subseries 1: Diaries and Itineraries, undated, 1947-1962

In German and English.
Box 1, Folders 48-52. 5 folders.
Arrangement:

Chronological

Scope and Content:

Diaries found in this subseries cover portions of the period of time from Kurt Hohenemser’s immigration to the United States with his family in 1947 through 1962, the year of his first wife Kate Hohenemser’s death from cancer. The most expansive document in the subseries is the 215-page typed diary Hohenemser began when the family sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany, on July 8, 1947, and concluded at the end of the year 1950. In this series of reports, each dated roughly two to four weeks apart, Hohenemser records his family’s first three-and-a-half years in the United States.

After his description of the voyage, early entries in the diary focus on the beginning of Hohenemser’s professional career in the United States. Though Hohenemser had committed to working for McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, he was frequently in contact with Anton Flettner, who had immigrated shortly beforehand and wanted Hohenemser to join him at his own company that he planned to found in the United States. Due to uncertainty surrounding Flettner’s ventures and the role that Hohenemser might have in them, he moved to St. Louis to begin his employment with McDonnell, and his diary through the summer and early fall of 1947 concerns his first months of employment at the company and his impressions of his colleagues there.

When Kate and the children joined Kurt in St. Louis in October 1947, having stayed in Brooklyn, New York, until that point, the focus of the diary shifts almost exclusively to his personal and family life. Much of the diary focuses on the family’s process of adapting to life in the United States and their difficulties in doing so. This includes the children’s struggles in starting school without knowing English, Kate’s feeling of homesickness and distance from her family in Germany, and Kurt’s anxieties about life in a new country. Hohenemser also kept a record of everyday life, such as the family’s housing situation, help provided by colleague’s families in helping them establish themselves, the children’s progress in school and adjustment to life in a new country, and trips taken with neighbors and friends. In addition to recording everyday life, Hohenemser provides commentary on aspects of American versus German society, such as segregation of African Americans, lack of a social safety net in the United States, and his feeling that the American population is detached from world events. He also frequently discusses the situation in Germany, especially as it is portrayed in American newspapers, and the anti-German bias he sees in these reports. The later portions of the diary do not include much information about Hohenemser’s professional life, and what discussion there is focuses on conferences he attended and articles he wrote, rather than his work at McDonnell.

The other diary in this subseries, dated from July 21 to August 26, 1962, includes daily reports on the last month of Kate Hohenemser’s life in the hospital before her death from cancer on August 22, 1962. She was originally diagnosed with the disease in November 1956. In this diary, Hohenemser provides details of her physical condition and her mental state, as well as medical treatments she received during this time. He also records their conversations, visits of family and friends to the hospital, and letters she wrote and received. After her death, Hohenemser discusses arrangements for her funeral and her burial.

In addition to these diaries, notes, itineraries, and descriptions of personal and professional trips throughout the United States and to Europe can be found in this subseries.

BoxFolderTitleDate
148Diary1947-1950
149Trip itinerariesundated, 1949-1960
150Vacation 19521952
151Diary 21 July to 26 Aug.1962
1521962 Trip1962

Subseries 2: Family Correspondence, undated, 1947-1962

In German and English.
Box 1, Folder 53-Box 2, Folder 3. 7 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence among Kurt, Kate, Chris, and Veronica Hohenemser and their extended family throughout Germany and the United States. Of the correspondence from Kurt Hohenemser’s nuclear family, Kurt and Kate wrote the majority of the letters to each other and to their son Chris after he left for college. Most of the letters between Kurt and Kate date from periods when Kurt was away from St. Louis on business, most often in Seattle utilizing Boeing’s testing facilities. These letters give updates on their everyday lives, with Hohenemser discussing his travel plans and the successes and setbacks he was experiencing on various McDonnell projects. Kate’s letters include discussion of their home and children, as well as her own education and work.

Letters to Chris after he left for college come mostly from Kurt, but there are a smaller amount from Kate and Veronica. Like the letters between Kurt and Kate, these letters largely document the family’s everyday lives, such as Kate’s schooling and work for the Jewish Family Service Agency, Veronica’s schooling, and Kurt’s work at McDonnell as well as courses he was teaching at Washington University in St. Louis. After Kate’s cancer diagnosis at the end of 1956, her health is also a common topic throughout the correspondence. Kurt also writes extensively about Chris’s education at Swarthmore, advising him on courses and majors, critiquing the school’s curriculum, explaining difficult scientific concepts to him, and fielding Chris’s concerns about his grades and struggles with some course material. During his time in college, Chris was also heavily involved in campaigns for nuclear disarmament, a cause that Kurt also supported, and there is much discussion of the movement in later correspondence. In addition to correspondence, folder 53 also contains Chris’s report on a bicycle trip through Europe that he took in the summer of 1957. This report is accompanied by short biographical notes that Kurt wrote about the family and friends Chris visited on his trip.

Correspondence of Kurt and Kate Hohenemser with their extended families in Germany from 1947 through 1962, particularly in the earlier years, contains a mix of correspondence of a personal nature and discussion of the political, economic, and social situation in Germany during the post-war years. Family members in Germany are anxious to hear how Kurt and his family are settling in the United States, inquiring about Kurt’s employment, the children’s schooling, and their housing situation. In later years, Kate’s cancer diagnosis and treatments are also an important topic in the correspondence. Kurt and Kate’s extended family also provide updates on their own family members’ health, studies, jobs, and travels, and pass along news of births and deaths. In addition to these personal communications, food shortages and rationing in Germany in the aftermath of World War II are central topics throughout the earlier years of this correspondence. Family in Germany reported on the pricing and availability of certain products, communicated the items they needed to Kurt and Kate in the United States, and received the needed parcels, the contents of which are documented in the correspondence. In addition to food for the family's own consumption, some of the food Kurt and Kate sent to Germany would be sold or traded on the black market. Family members in Germany also commented on other aspects of the economic (Marshall Plan, 1948 currency reform) and political (denazification, 1949 German elections, Soviet threat) situation in Germany.

BoxFolderTitleDate
153Hohenemser, Christoph1952-1961
154Hohenemser, Christoph and Veronicaundated, 1948-1955
155Hohenemser, Kate — extended family (1 of 2)1947-1948
156Hohenemser, Kate — extended family (2 of 2)1949-1962
BoxFolderTitleDate
21Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family (1 of 2)1947-1949
22Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family (2 of 2)1950-1962
23Hohenemser, Kurt and Kate1949-1962

Subseries 3: General Correspondence, undated, 1947-1962

In German and English.
Box 2, Folders 4-58. 55 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

Much of the correspondence in this subseries is between Kurt and Kate Hohenemser and friends still living in Germany. As such, the arc of the correspondence is very similar to that of their correspondence with their extended families in Germany. In the early years after the war, Kurt and Kate also sent parcels of food and clothing to their German friends, and the correspondence discusses the food shortages in Germany, needed items, and includes thanks for parcels received. Hohenemser circulated copies of his 1947-1950 diary reports, found in the first folder of this series, to his friends in Germany, so these letters also contain reactions to his reports of his family’s new life in the United States. In addition to inquiring about Kurt’s work, the children’s school, and Kate’s school and work, friends in Germany update the Hohenemsers on their own personal lives, including family member’s work and schooling, health and illnesses, moves, vacations and travels, marriages and deaths, and provide them with information on mutual friends. After Kate’s cancer diagnosis in 1956, her health and treatments are also commonly discussed.

In addition to correspondence of a personal nature, there is much discussion of the political and economic situation in Germany in the post-war and Cold War period. In particular, discussion of the economic situation in Germany includes dialogue of the 1948 currency reform and the Marshall Plan. Political discussion includes the 1949 German elections, 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet threat to Western Germany, and the politics of the East and West during the Cold War. There is a particularly large amount of discussion regarding contemporary politics in Hohenemser’s correspondence with his friend Anny Hahn-Neuroth, framed in the context of her support for the Nazi Party during World War II. Due to Kurt’s reports on the differences between American and German society, as well as Chris’s involvement in the cause of nuclear disarmament, the correspondence includes discussion of these topics as well.

Three folders in this series pertain specifically to Kate Hohenemser, in particular her illness and death from cancer in 1962. One folder contains letters written to Kate and Kurt while she was in the hospital during the last month of her life, as well as some copies of letters Kate sent to family and friends during this time, many of which are the final letter Kate wrote to these individuals. The folder also includes notes by Hohenemser on the final months of Kate’s illness. A second folder contains a copy of the letter Kurt sent to Kate’s friends after her death, which details her illness from diagnosis in 1956 until her death. This folder also contains condolence letters sent to Kurt, Chris, and Veronica after her passing. The final folder regarding Kate Hohenemser contains correspondence concerning her field work for and employment by the Jewish Family Service Agency during and after her completion of a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

BoxFolderTitleDate
24Addressesundated
25Arndt, Claraundated, 1947-1962
26Berg, Peter1948-1949
27Bernoully, Hans and Anneliese1948-1962
28Blencke, Elisabeth1948-1950
29Buttmann, Beatrice (Trix)1948-1962
210Coleman, Olive1948-1950
211David, Fritz W.1947-1948
212Disselnkötter, Liselundated, 1949-1962
213Ebner, Margaundated, 1947-1954
214Eynern, Gert vonundated, 1950-1957
215Finlay, Annundated, 1956-1957
216Förster, Ursula1958-1960
217Frank, Lothar1947-1962
218Friedlaender, Hildegard1955-1962
219Friedrichs, Nellie1949-1957
220Gebb, Irmgard1949-1962
221Goodman, Felicitas1948
222Hahn-Neuroth, Anny1947-1962
223Hammerschlag, Ludwig and Clara1947-1962
224Hildebrand-Krückmann, Irmgard (Tschai)1947-1962
225Hohenemser, Kate — death1962
226Hohenemser, Kate — illness1962
227Hohenemser, Kate — Jewish Family Service Agency1957-1962
228Hueffer, Muriel Madox1947-1962
229Hüpeden, Theo and Grete1948-1955
230Jennissen, Joseph and Liesel1947-1958
231Langer, Senator William1955
232Leinkauf, Elsbeth1960-1962
233Lenz, Hermann1948-1962
234Liefmann, Marie1948-1952
235Luneburg, Rudolf1948-1950
236Mesmer, Gustav and Emmiundated, 1957-1960
237Myers, Garry and Mary1947-1960
238Nathorff, Hertha1949-1956
239Odqvist, Folke1947-1958
240Oehmcke, Yvonne von1947-1948
241Ordelheide, Ilse1956
242Pass, Claire1948-1949
243Pentecost, Julanneundated, 1953-1960
244Pfister, Otto and Evaundated, 1951-1962
245Prager, William and Ann1958-1962
246Sabersky, Rolf and Bettinaundated, 1959-1962
247Schröter, Richard and Martha1947-1962
248Schwan, Hermannundated, 1947
249Schwarz, Egon and Dorle1954-1962
250Schweitzer, Jürgen and Dorothee1947-1962
251Senner, Ernst1949-1950
252Sittler, Margaret1948-1954
253Specht, Martin1947-1952
254Symington, Senator Stuart1957
255Thauer, Rudolf1949-1951
256Wertpapierbereinigung (securities settlement)1949-1952
257Wirth, Peter and Ulla1947-1962
258Miscellaneous correspondence1947-1962

Subseries 4: Professional Correspondence and Notebooks, undated, 1947-1962

In English and German.
Box 2, Folder 59-Box 3, Folder 22. 31 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains Kurt Hohenemser’s professional correspondence dating from the years 1947 to 1962, during which time he held the position of chief aerodynamics engineer of the helicopter division at McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. The vast majority of the correspondents are individuals working within the aviation industry in the United States, though there is one folder of correspondence from colleagues with whom Hohenemser worked at Anton Flettner’s company in Germany.

In correspondence with these industry professionals, common topics include Hohenemser’s updates on developments and projects at McDonnell, problems encountered at tests run by Hohenemser’s division at McDonnell and their solutions, reports to Hohenemser from those at other companies on their projects, requests Hohenemser received for consultations on various technical problems, job offers Hohenemser received from universities and other firms, Hohenemser’s inquiries to various colleagues regarding the benefits and drawbacks of the positions offered to him, and invitations Hohenemser received to speak or present papers. Copies of Hohenemser’s resume and descriptions of his education and qualifications can be found attached to correspondence throughout this subseries.

The most extensive correspondence in this subseries is between Kurt Hohenemser and Anton Flettner, with whom he stayed in close contact after both men immigrated to the United States. Though Hohenemser had accepted a position at McDonnell, he was prepared to withdraw from the position in order to join the company Flettner planned to found in the United States. As such, the earliest portions of the correspondence include ongoing negotiations regarding their possible work together, including contracts outlining the specifics of their cooperation. Flettner’s efforts to secure funding in order to reestablish his company are also detailed in these letters. Though Hohenemser ultimately remained at McDonnell, the two continued their collaboration, and he was officially employed by Flettner as a consultant after he founded the Flettner Aircraft Corporation in 1949. Due to this professional relationship, the correspondence contains ideas from Flettner for helicopter designs, including drawings of those designs, as well as discussion of various technical aspects of helicopter design. Other frequent topics include Hohenemser’s work at McDonnell and the American aerospace industry generally.

BoxFolderTitleDate
259Biographical notes and publication lists1947-1962
260Carroll, Harry R.1952-1959
261Chiarulli, Peter1956
262Compton, Arthur1948
263Dexter, Robert R.1948-1949
264Douglas, Lee L.undated, 1947-1949
265Einstein, Albert (photocopies)1947
266Fingado, Hans1959
267Flettner, Anton1947-1962
BoxFolderTitleDate
31Foa, Joseph1961-1962
32Gail, Al1948-1960
33Heberlein & Co. — patents1951
34Hohenemser, Kurt — Flettner colleagues1947-1954
35Horvay, Gabriel1948-1949
36Kelley, Bartram1952
37Klemin, Alexander1948
38Lucassen, L. R.1958
39Mack, Kurt W.1957-1958
310Mises, Richard von1948
311Pentecost, Horace1951-1958
312Phil. Lit. Hefteundated
313Photographsundated, 1956
314Prager, William1947-1961
315Prewitt, R. H.1947-1956
316Publications1948-1959
317Reissner, Hans1947-1948
318Sissingh, G. J.1950-1951
319Stanley, Paul H.1948
320Thompson, M. J.1951-1960
321Zakhartchenko (Zakh), Constantine1947-1948
322Miscellaneous correspondence1947-1962
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Series IV: Kurt and Rose Hohenemser, undated, 1962-2001

In German and English.
Box 3, Folder 23-Box 4, Folder 25. 53 folders.
Arrangement:

This series is arranged in four subseries:

Scope and Content:

This series records Kurt Hohenemser’s life from 1963 until his death in 2001, with a major focus on his relationship with his second wife Rose, whom he married on December 27, 1966. Rose’s decades-long struggle with mental illness is detailed in this series through diaries Kurt kept, correspondence between Kurt and Rose during the many periods they lived apart from each other, and Kurt’s correspondence with her family in Germany. In these diaries and correspondence, Kurt describes the manifestations of her illness, the many times she ran away from his home in St. Louis, her potential treatment options, stays at hospitals and other institutions, and addiction to prescription medication.

In contrast to the correspondence between Kurt and Rose and Kurt and her family, correspondence Kurt kept with his family, Kate’s family, and his friends and acquaintances is comprised almost entirely of updates on the correspondents’ children and grandchildren, their mutual friends, travels, health, schooling, work, holiday and birthday greetings, and notices of births, marriages, and deaths.

This series also contains a small quantity of professional correspondence, though none pertaining to Kurt Hohenemser’s career at Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked from 1966 until his retirement in 1975. The folder of miscellaneous correspondence contains letters between Kurt and various scholars inquiring about his career in Germany and the development of German helicopters during World War II.

Biographical Note:

Rose-Marie (Rose) Gertrud Ingeburg Sader née Geisel was born in Hamburg, Germany, on September 9, 1928. She emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1963 and met Kurt Hohenemser that same year. Kurt and Rose married on December 17, 1966. Rose Hohenemser died of breast cancer on March 5, 1998.

Subseries 1: Diaries and Itineraries, 1962-1993

In English and German.
Box 3, Folders 23-25. 3 folders.
Arrangement:

Chronological

Scope and Content:

Over the course of two diaries in this subseries, Kurt Hohenemser recorded his life from July 16, 1965, his last day working for McDonnell Aircraft, through March 1975. Many of these entries include notes on his everyday life, such as his work at Washington University, time spent with various friends in St. Louis, concerts and lectures he attended, trips he went on, and his health.

However, the major focus of the diaries is Hohenemser’s relationship with his second wife Rose, whom he met in 1963 and married in 1966, and her struggles with mental illness. Hohenemser describes in detail the manifestations of her disease, including her oscillations in mood, paranoia, auditory hallucinations, and suicide attempts. He additionally records the times that she ran away from home, stays at hospitals and institutions in the United States and Germany, and her addiction to various prescription drugs. He documents in detail their arguments, their feelings for each other, and his thoughts about their relationship. In addition to her illness, Hohenemser also keeps track of the various jobs Rose started and quit, as well as courses she took at several universities in St. Louis. In the diaries, Kurt acknowledges that he mainly focused on writing down the bad portions of these years together, though there were many periods of happiness as well.

The final folder in this subseries contains a list of trips Hohenemser took from 1962 through 1991 as well as trip diaries and reports, most of which describe trips he took to Europe, and to Germany in particular, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

BoxFolderTitleDate
323Trip itineraries and reports1962-1993
324DiaryJune 1965-March 1968
325DiaryJune 1968-March 1975

Subseries 2: Family Correspondence, undated, 1963-2000

In German and English.
Box 3, Folders 26-33. 8 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

The largest quantity of correspondence in this series is comprised of letters between Kurt and Rose Hohenemser, most of which they wrote during periods when they lived separately from each other. For the first 20 years of their marriage, Rose frequently ran away from Kurt’s home in St. Louis, spending significant portions of time living in various states across the country, as well as hospitals, institutions, and jails throughout the United States and in Germany.

The correspondence includes letters Rose wrote to Kurt when she would leave, including her reasons for doing so, along with Kurt’s responses expressing his feelings for her and explaining why she should stay. During times when Rose traveled around the country, she and Kurt wrote to each other about their daily activities, her mental state, and discussed the conditions under which she might return. For a period in the late 1970s, during which Rose moved throughout the Southwest, Kurt infrequently received communications from her and often did not know where she was. Letters Rose wrote from hospitals and other facilities include discussion of her condition and treatments; correspondence between Kurt and her doctors is also included. Frequent topics throughout this subseries include Rose’s addiction to prescription drugs, her financial situation, their living arrangements, discussions of possible divorce, her mental illness and need for treatment, and treatment options. Included with the correspondence are several suicide notes that Rose wrote during her illness.

Correspondence between Kurt and Rose’s family, particularly her mother and half-sister, also focuses heavily on Rose’s mental illness. Kurt kept Rose’s family members, all of whom lived in Germany, apprised of her condition, and the letters discuss Rose’s repeated running away, possible treatments that might help her, her addiction to medication, their relationship and living arrangements, and Rose’s brother, who also suffered from mental illness.

In contrast, letters between Kurt and his family, as well as between him and Kate’s family, only occasionally reference Rose’s health. Rather, these letters are mainly comprised of updates on various family members, including their health, schooling, work, travels, births, marriages, and deaths.

BoxFolderTitleDate
326Hohenemser, Kate — extended familyundated, 1963-1997
327Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family (1 of 2)1963-1986
328Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family (2 of 2)1987-2000
329Hohenemser, Kurt — extended family in Englandundated, 1963-1968
330Hohenemser, Kurt and Rose (1 of 2)1963-1975
331Hohenemser, Kurt and Rose (2 of 2)1977-1997
332Hohenemser, Rose — extended family (1 of 2)1963-1969
333Hohenemser, Rose — extended family (2 of 2)1970-2000

Subseries 3: General Correspondence, undated, 1963-2000

In German and English.
Box 3, Folder 34-Box 4, Folder 20. 37 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence between Hohenemser and individuals whom he had known since his childhood in Germany, as well as some whose acquaintance he made later in life through his involvement in a variety of political and social causes as well as his frequent trips to his Colorado cabin. As his friends’ children grew into adulthood, he also began correspondence with many of them as well.

Correspondence in this series is almost exclusively personal in nature. Common topics include updates on the correspondents’ children and grandchildren, their mutual friends, travels, health, work, holiday and birthday greetings, and notices of births, marriages, and deaths. Those with whom Hohenemser corresponded also frequently inquired about his children and grandchildren, health, work, trips to his Colorado cabin, and other travel plans. As many of Hohenemser’s friends predeceased him, death notices and memorial booklets are included with the correspondence. Reference to Rose Hohenemser’s health can be found throughout the correspondence, but it is not a topic of in-depth discussion.

Correspondence between Rose Hohenemser and Liselotte Dieckmann, as well as between Rose and Gustav Mesmer, documents Rose’s efforts to emigrate from Germany to the United States in 1963, as well as discussion of potential positions available for her at Washington University in St. Louis upon her arrival.

BoxFolderTitleDate
334Arndt, Clara1966
335Baacke, Margaret (Gretel)undated, 1965-1999
336Bernoully, Hans1976
337Brenneman, Merle and Eunice1973-1994
338Brodine, Virginiaundated, 1965-2000
339Buttmann, Beatrice (Trix)1963-1991
340Dieckmann, Liselotte1963-1998
341Disselnkötter, Lisel1963-1979
342Fletcher, T. Lloyd and Marthaundated, 1963-1997
343Flettner, Lydia1963-1973
344Frank, Lothar1965-1971
345Hahn-Neuroth, Anny1963-1991
346Hildebrand-Krückmann, Irmgard (Tschai)1963-2000
347Hohenemser, Kurt — medical and financial1991-2000
348Holland, Otto and Jeanette B.1963-1996
349Hueffer, Muriel Madox1963-1975
350Leinkauf, Elsbeth1963-2001
BoxFolderTitleDate
41Mesmer, Gustav and Emmi1963-1983
42Odqvist, Folke1982
43Pentecost, Julanneundated, 1983
44Perrot, Carola1999-2000
45Pfister, Otto and Eva1963-1997
46Prager, William and Ann1963-1994
47Richter, Giselaundated, 1989-1999
48Rodriguez, Gene and Eva Mesmer1964-2000
49Rosenberg, Reinhardt and Marieundated, 1990-1996
410Sabersky, Rolf and Bettinaundated, 1963-1991
411Sargent, Shirleyundated, 1963-1997
412Schwarz, Egon and Dorle1963-2000
413Schweitzer, Jürgen and Dorotheeundated, 1963-2000
414Stauss, Pauleundated, 1976-1993
415Taylor, Irmgard Wirth1963-1968
416Wellbery, Caroline1980-1993
417Westermann, Paul and Lisa1998-2000
418Wirth, Peter and Ulla1963-1998
419Wurtz, Sally1990-1990
420Miscellaneous correspondenceundated, 1963-2000

Subseries 4: Professional Correspondence and Papers, undated, 1963-2001

In English and German.
Box 4, Folders 21-25. 5 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains a small quantity of professional correspondence, though none pertaining to Kurt Hohenemser’s career at Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked from 1966 until his retirement in 1975. Several letters between Hohenemser and Hilda von Mises and Hohenemser and William Prager contain discussion of theoretical and technical concepts within their fields. The folder of miscellaneous correspondence contains letters between Hohenemser and various scholars inquiring about his career in Germany and the development of German helicopters during World War II. A paper by Kurt Hohenemser entitled "Contingency trajectories in quantum mechanics" is also included in this subseries.

BoxFolderTitleDate
421Contingency trajectories in quantum mechanicsundated
422Gail, Al1963
423Mises, Hilda von1963-1965
424Prager, William1963
425Miscellaneous correspondence1968-2001
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Series V: Hohenemser Family History, 1966-2007

In English and German.
Box 4, Folders 26-31. 6 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title

Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence, family trees, articles, and publications documenting the history of the Hohenemser family. Included are several family trees dating from the mid-18th century through early 21st century, with birth and death dates, as well as one printout that includes biographical notes for some family members. Correspondence in this series is between Kurt Hohenemser and various individuals interested in including information about Kurt or other members of his family in publications on topics such as anti-Nazi resistance, German mathematicians under the Nazis, and restitution. Information that Kurt provided can be found in the books Vertreibung, Rückkehr, Wiedergutmachung: Göttinger Hochschullehrer im Schatten des Nationalsozialismus by Anikó Szabó and Mathematiker auf der Flucht vor Hitler: Quellen und Studien zur Emigration einer Wissenschaft by Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze.

Of particular interest is the publication Reflections on the Life of Kurt Hohenemser, which was compiled by his children after his death in 2001. Containing remembrances from family members, friends, and colleagues, it provides insight into Hohenemser’s life and personality. Obituaries for Kurt Hohenemser can also be found in this series.

BoxFolderTitleDate
426Correspondence1974-1997
427Family treescirca 1986-2007
428Hohenemser, Kurt — obituaries2001
429Hohenemser, Rose — certificates and remembrances1966-1998
430Reflections on the Life of Kurt Hohenemser2004
431Schaeffer, Phillip — exhibit2004-2005
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