Strauss Family Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection contains personal correspondence, publications, diaries and journals, business papers, and other material belonging to the Strauss family, a Jewish family from Germany. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between Arthur and Lucy Strauss between the years of 1900 and 1933. Most of the collection is in German.
- 1839-1935, undated
- Other: Date acquired: 09/24/1976
- Strauss family (Family)
3.50 Linear Feet
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to researchers without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Biographical or Historical Information
Arthur Strauss, the main focus of the collection, was a physician, poet, art collector, and painter. He was born in 1864 in Halle, Westphalia, Germany. His father, Abraham Strauss, was a physician. Arthur studied medicine and received his medical diploma in 1888. He specialized in Dermatology and published a textbook on skin diseases in 1895. He settled in Barmen, Germany where he had a successful medical practice. In 1900 Arthur married Lucy Hertz. Arthur and Lucy traveled extensively throughout Europe and also to the east coast of the United States. Many of the letters in the collection were written during these travels.
Arthur and Lucy had one son, Arnold, in 1902 who also became a physician. Arnold worked as a pathologist at a hospital in Berlin. In 1933 Adolf Hitler came into power in Germany and began to implement his policies against Jews. Because the Strausses were of Jewish ancestry they were subject to these discriminative policies and found it hard to continue to work. In 1933 Arnold and his parents immigrated to the Netherlands. In 1935 Arnold secured a position at St. Vincent's Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia and immigrated to the United States. Arthur who was a very patriotic man and loved Germany greatly, was reluctant to leave Europe. It wasn't until 1938 that he finally gave up hope of returning to Germany and agreed to immigrate to the United States. Thus when Arnold began trying to obtain immigrant visas for them to join him in the United States it was probably too late due to the large numbers of people also trying to leave Europe at the time. He also unsuccessfully tried to obtain an immigration visa for his fiancee, Irmgard Keun, a German author. When the German army invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 the Strauss' became trapped there. Arthur and Lucy Strauss endured four months of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Then after apparently losing hope of being able to join Arnold in the United States, they took their own lives in September 1940. Arnold's long-distance relationship with Keun eventually came to an end as well. In 1941 Arnold married an American, Marjory Ware Spindle. Arnold died in 1965.
Note written by Special Collections Staff
Language of Materials
Collected by Arnold F. Strauss. Includes personal correspondence, diaries and journals, documents and business papers belonging to the German-Jewish Strauss family. Among the papers are many belonging to Arthur F. Strauss, a respected and successful doctor in Barmen, Germany. He was also a well known poet, art collector, and painter, closely aligned with German Expressionism. German language materials predominate.
The collection is arranged into four series: Series I: Personal Correspondence; Series II: Publications; Series III: Certificates and Legal Documents; and Series IV: Miscellaneous.
Source of Acquisition
Marjory S. Strauss
Method of Acquisition
Gift. Accession #A76-54
- A Guide to the Strauss Family Papers
- Special Collections Staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.