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Papers of, and concerning, Konrad Braun, 1896-1997


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  • Creation: 1896-1997

Language of Materials

  • German
  • English

Biographical / Historical

Konrad Braun (1896-1969) was born into the prosperous, culturally lively Berlin household of Felix Friedmann-Braun and his wife Gertrud née Lehfeldt. After service in the field artillery and a period as a prisoner of war in Bordeaux during the First World War, he completed his legal studies and embarked on a successful career as a civil servant in the Ministry of Justice and as a judge. In 1933 he was appointed as one of the youngest ever judges of the Berlin court of appeal ('Kammergericht') but was dismissed at the end of 1935 under the Nuremberg race laws. During the 1930s he came into contact with the group of Quakers in Berlin, and, although not intending to emigrate, happened to be on a study visit to Woodbrooke, the Quaker study centre in Birmingham, when the Gestapo sought to arrest him at the time of the Crystal Night pogrom in November 1938. With the help of the Cadbury family in particular, Konrad was able to bring his wife Hildburg and son Thomas over and, after being interned as an enemy alien for 7 months in 1940-1941, build up a new life in England. He was employed for 20 years as a tutor and lecturer in international affairs at Woodbrooke. In 1950 he gave the annual Swarthmore Lecture to British Quakers on Justice and the Law of Love. On retiring in 1961 he moved to Jordans, Buckinghamshire. During his last years he broadcast a number of Sunday evening talks on the BBC German service.

Konrad Braun married Hildburg Weber in 1934; they had two sons, Thomas Braun (1935-2008) and Christopher Braun (born 1943). Konrad had a wide ranging love and knowledge of history and literature, especially of the life and works of Goethe. He was a keen amateur violinist.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom