Guide to the Correspondence of Stefan Zweig and Siegmund Georg Warburg

AR 7277

Processed by Joern Esch

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2012 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey in October 2012. Description is in English.
March 05, 2015  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Warburg, Siegmund Georg
Title: Stefan Zweig-Siegmund Warburg Correspondence
Dates:bulk 1934-1941
Abstract: The Stefan Zweig-Siegmund Warburg Correspondence comprises an ample exchange of letters between the Austrian author Stefan Zweig and the German banker Siegmund Warburg. While their central topics are contemporary social and political developments, Zweig's perception of the various countries he travelled as well as their personal relationship can be glimpsed.
Languages: The collection is in German and English.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet.
Identification: AR 7277
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Stefan Zweig was born in Vienna on November 28th, 1881. He was one of the most important German-language authors of his generation. He wrote pieces in several genres, such as prose, poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction. In 1934, Zweig immigrated to Great Britain and became a naturalized citizen in 1940. In the same year, however, he moved to the United States. He settled in Brazil in 1941. It was in Petropolis, Brazil, where he and his second wife Charlotte Altmann committed suicide on February 23rd, 1942.

Siegmund Georg Warburg was born in Seeburg, a village in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, on September 30th, 1902. He trained as a banker at his uncle’s (Max Warburg) bank in Hamburg and the Rothschild Bank in London, England. In 1934 he immigrated to Great Britain and continued his work as a banker. He was furthermore involved in activities on behalf of Jewish causes. He was knighted in 1964, and died in London on October 18th, 1982.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the exchange of letters between Stefan Zweig and Siegmund Warburg. Zweig and Warburg mainly exchanged their thoughts about current political developments as well as the role and future of Jewish identity and the Jewish Community. Furthermore, Zweig asked Warburg for help and guidance in financial and political matters quite a few times. There are very few other materials, i.e. texts in honor of Stefan Zweig and two letters from Zweig to other people.

The following individuals are mentioned in the collection: Asch, Schalom, 1880-1957; Dos Passos, John Randolph, 1844-1917; Flesch-Brunningen, Hans, 1895-1981; Gorki, Maxim, 1868-1936; Hirschfeld, Magnus, 1868-1935; Holroyd-Reece, John, 1897-1969; Lewisohn, Ludwig (1882-1955); Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950; Schickele, René, 1883-1940; Warburg, Felix, 1871-1937; Wolff, Theodor, 1868-1943.

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The collection is arranged in two series.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

Researchers are allowed to use the material, but have to ask for permission if they intend to publish extracts of it.

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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

Related Material

The LBI Library holds most of Stefan Zweig’s literary works. The LBI Archive holds the "Stefan Zweig autographs collection. 1915-1942" (AR 834), a collection of newspaper clippings about Stefan Zweig (AR 1476) and several collections connected to Stephan Zweig.

The LBI Library holds a vast amount of literature about the Warburg family. The LBI Archive holds the Warburg Family Collection (AR 1154) and several other collections connected to the Warburg family.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Stefan Zweig-Siegmund Warburg Correspondence; AR 7277; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.


Series I: Correspondence Stefan Zweig-Siegmund Warburg, 1923-1941

This series is in English and German.
0.15 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Series I comprises the ample correspondence between Stefan Zweig and Siegmund Warburg. The first letter from Zweig to Warburg dates from 1923. They seem to have met in Salzburg, Zweig’s place of residence then. While only Zweig's letters to Warburg have been preserved from the 1920s, their correspondence from 1934 onwards is completely included in the collection.

Both Zweig and Warburg were keen observers of their times. Thus, political and social developments are central topics in their correspondence. The collection particularly provides deep insights into Stefan Zweig's and Siegmund Warburg's perception of the rise of National Socialism, World War II and the respective political strategies of the U.S.A. and Great Britain. It also sheds some light on how Zweig and Warburg thought to deal with National Socialism, particularly in terms of anti-Nazi propaganda.

Zweig and Warburg furthermore discussed the founding of a Jewish emigrant periodical. Although Zweig informed Warburg frequently about the people he approached to this end, the periodical as such did not come into being and their concept remained in a planning stage. Their mutual commitment to Jewish emigrants can be retraced in the collection, too.

The correspondence of Stefan Zweig and Siegmund Warburg touches upon Zweig's experiences in the various countries to which he travelled. It also sheds some light on Stefan Zweig’s financial affairs, since he sometimes called on Warburg’s professional expertise regarding financial matters.

11Correspondence Stefan Zweig-Siegmund Warburg1923-1938
12Correspondence Stefan Zweig-Siegmund Warburg1939-1941
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Series II: Other Material, 1917-1943

This series is in English and German.
0.05 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Series II contains primarily materials pertaining to Siegmund Warburg and his relationship to Stefan Zweig.

Folder 3 contains a sheet of paper with handwritten notes from November 12th, 1934. It is reasonable to suppose that Siegmund Warburg wrote these, as some of it is about ideas regarding the name of the periodical Zweig and him were planning. The folder furthermore contains a pamphlet from November 28th, 1943: Stefan Zweig. Eine Sonderpublikation der "Funktionaerblaetter" aus Anlass des 62. Geburtstages des Dichters. The pamphlet praises the late Zweig's cultural achievements. There is also a carbon copy of Warburg's manuscript for the pamphlet from October 14th, 1943. Folder 4 holds an undated item-level inventory of the letters. Each letter and its main topic are mentioned in the inventory, which, thus, could be very useful when approaching the collection.

Finally, there are two original letters by Stefan Zweig in folder 4: In a letter to Siegmund Warburg's wife, Zweig thanks her for sending him an essay and asks her and her husband to meet him for dinner. Another, totally unrelated letter from Stefan Zweig is addressed to Hermann Hesse; it was probably written in 1918 and expresses Zweig's disgust with contemporary politics.

13Siegmund Warburg1934-1943
14Correspondenceundated, 1918?-1930s
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