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Papers of the Friedmann-Braun Family, 1884-1958


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The majority of the Friedmann-Braun papers were kept in Gertrud Friedmann-Braun's flat at Kurfürstenstrasse 119 in Berlin, the contents of which were lost when she and Hildegard were arrested in December 1942. When emigrating to the UK Konrad Braun and Gerhard Braun were only able to save some of the papers and other family memorabilia which they had in their possession. Therefore, most of the papers of the Friedmann-Braun family date from after 1938, but they include correspondence with family members left behind in Germany.


  • Creation: 1884-1958

Language of Materials

  • German

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Braun 30-32

Biographical / Historical

Felix Friedmann (1861-1934) was a lawyer and senior judge ('Landgerichtsdirektor') at the provincial court in Berlin. He married Gertrud Lehfeldt (1870-1942), daughter of the judge and national-liberal politician Leonhard Lehfeldt, in 1891. They had four children, Hildegard, Gerhard, Konrad and Johannes. The family was part of the well-educated upper middle class in Berlin. In 1911, Felix Friedmann adopted his mother's maiden name Braun, changing his and his wife's surname to Friedmann-Braun, and their children's surname to Braun. Hildegard Braun (1892-?1944) was a professional singer and music teacher. Gerhard Braun (1893-1946) studied medicine and became a gynaecologist. Konrad Braun (1896-1969) was a lawyer and judge at the Berlin Court of Appeal ('Kammergericht'). Johannes Braun (1900-1942) was an actor with engagements at theatres nationwide.

The family was Protestant and part of the Prussian-German establishment, but due to their Jewish ancestry, faced discrimination and persecution under the Nazi regime. Gerhard Braun, after losing his posts in the public health system and seeing his practice limited to private patients and later to Jews only, was arrested in the course of the 'Reichspogromnacht' in November 1938 and taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was detained for five and a half weeks. He was released in December 1938 on condition that he emigrated, and was able to come to England with his wife Anneliese and adopted daughter Ruth. Johannes was arrested by the Gestapo in spring 1942 and brought to a concentration camp near Lublin where he was reported to have died of Tuberculosis in July 1942. At about the same time his mother Gertrud suffered an attack, possibly a stroke, after which her health deteriorated steadily and she was dependant on her daughter Hildegard's care. From 1941 Hildegard was deployed as a forced labourer to the pharmaceutical company Riedel-de Haën in Britz on the outskirts of Berlin. Konrad's and Gerhard's desperate attempts to find a way for their mother and sister to emigrate from Germany ultimately failed. Gertrud and Hildegard were fetched from their flat in Kurfürstenstrasse on 12 December 1942 and brought to a 'collection point' ('Sammellager'), probably in Gerlachstrasse, where Gertrud died. Hildegard's fate is unknown. She is on the list of names on a transport from Berlin to Auschwitz and there is uncorroborated evidence that she worked as a nurse in Theresienstadt and died there, or after being transported on to Auschwitz in 1944; but she was not officially recorded at either camp.

Related Materials

Papers relating to Compensation Claims made by Konrad Braun in the 1950s and 1960s on behalf, and as legal heir, of Gertrud Friedmann-Braun, Hildegard Braun and Johannes Braun, can be found in Ms. Braun 51.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom