Guide to the Carl A. Grosser (1912–1985) Collection
1889-1985

AR 10559

Processed by Kevin Schlottmann

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

© 2012 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Kevin Schlottmann in 2012. Description is in English.
March 25, 2015  dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Grosser, Carl A.
Title: Carl A. Grosser Collection
Dates:1889-1985
Abstract: This collection contains materials by and about Carl A. Grosser (1912-1985) and his family. It includes correspondence, emigration materials and official and vital documents, and other materials. It also contains items about other members of Carl Grosser's family, including a family tree and materials about Grosser's father Oscar and mother Else.
Languages: This collection is in English and German.
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Identification: AR 10559
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note
Portrait of Carl Grosser (1912-1985)

Portrait of Carl Grosser (1912-1985)

Carl Anatole Grosser (1912–1985) was born in Vienna, Austria to Oscar Grosser (1878-1930) and Else (Elsie) Grosser (1886-1959, née Fleischner, later remarried to Ernst Witz). He attended Wasa Gymnasium in Vienna. After graduation, and after his father's death in 1930, Grosser went to England to learn about business, and upon his return worked in the Grosser tie factory until 1938. After fleeing Austria in the summer of 1938, via Czechoslovakia and Italy, Grosser arrived in the United States. Through family connections in the Midwest, he ended up settling in South Bend, Indiana. He worked variously as a cab driver, a car salesman, and a translator, as well as in the apparel industry.

Grosser's mother Else left Austria in 1939 for the United States, arriving via Cuba. After some time in New York, she also lived in South Bend, Indiana, from 1946 to 1948, but then returned to Vienna. Her second husband, Ernst Witz, took over the former Grosser tie business there.

In 1944, Grosser married Frida Ilmer Grossman (1906-1992). She was a professor for German at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. They had one daughter, Susan. In 1982, the couple moved to Florida, where Carl Grosser died in April 1985.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials by and about Carl A. Grosser and his family. It includes correspondence, mostly from 1938-1939, between Carl Grosser and his friends and family; Grosser's emigration materials and official and vital documents; some professional materials; ephemera, and a few alumni newsletters about Grosser's Viennese high school, the Wasa Gymnasium.

The collection also contains materials about other members of Carl Grosser's family, such as a family tree (descended from Salomon Grosher, circa 1700s); two letters from the late nineteenth century; and materials about Grosser's father Oscar and mother Else.

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Arrangement

This collection was arranged into two series. Within each series, folders are arranged alphabetically.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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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 Archives holds materials about Grosser's wife, Frida Ilmer Grosser (AR 10562).

A memoir by Carl Grosser, "The Story of the House of Grosser" (1973, 97 typescript pages, incomplete), is found in the LBI Memoir Collection (ME 1634).

Many photographs from this collection were previously removed to the LBI Photograph collection and have been digitized.

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Separated Material

A memoir by Carl Grosser was removed to the LBI Memoir Collection (see Related Materials).

The following books were removed to the LBI Library. Dedications and title pages of the Busch and von Doderer works were photocopied and placed in this collection.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Carl A. Grosser Collection; AR 10559; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

Duplicate items were removed. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and reboxed. Two fragile 19th century letters were placed in Mylar sleeves. Photographs were placed in envelopes.

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Container List

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.

 

Series I: Carl Grosser, 1917-1985

This series is in English and German.
Arrangement:

Folders are arranged alphabetically. Correspondents with a significant amount of correspondence were placed in separate folder and arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials by and about Carl A. Grosser. Correspondence to Carl Grosser found in this series includes postcards and letters from Carl's mother, Else, particularly in 1939 when she was in Cuba; a handful of letters from his father Oscar and his stepfather Ernst Witz; some letters from Carl's friends Hans Schaller (later known as Steve Shaw) and Maria Schöney; and letters and postcards from friends and family in Vienna, the Czech Republic, Indiana, Israel, and Michigan. Some outgoing letters of Grosser's, primarily from early 1939, are also found in this series, as are some letters from Grosser to author Heimito von Doderer. The bulk of the correspondence is from 1938-1939, and mostly concerns efforts of various friends and family to leave Europe.

The emigration materials include a variety of documents related to Grosser's 1938 flight from Austria to the United States, such as affidavits, consular correspondence, and steamship materials such as his ticket and meal menus. Official and vital documents include a birth certificate, report cards, passports, residence registrations, citizenship papers, and selective service materials.

Professional materials relate to Grosser's wide range of activities, as a businessman and manufacturer of ties, a car salesman, and a translator, and include clippings, business cards, correspondence, union cards, and an essay about Jewish translators. Items concerning Grosser's prestigious high school in Vienna, the Wasa Gymnasium, are primarily alumni newsletters.

The Various folders contains a variety of ephemera, such as shoulder patches (Wien, Tirol, Austria); clippings; business cards; war ration cards; a map of Havana; a map of Czechoslovakia; an announcement card for Grosser's bar mitzvah; a pin; a tiny pendant that includes a fold-out collection of photos of Vienna; Grosser's 1938 datebook; a 1939 speech given in Michigan, about the political situation in Europe; and other materials. It also includes a photocopy of the dedication to him from his parents in the Wilhelm Busch book removed to the library.

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Correspondence -- Friends and family1938-1939, 1957-1982
  

Includes photographs

 
12Correspondence -- Grosser, Carl (outgoing)1939, 1959
13Correspondence -- Grosser, Oscar1929
14Correspondence -- Schaller, Hans1938-circa 1940s
  

Includes photographs

 
15Correspondence -- Schöney, Maria1957-1958
  

Includes photograph

 
16Correspondence -- von Doderer, Heimito1965-1966
17Correspondence -- Witz, Else1929-1959
18Correspondence -- Witz, Ernst1938, 1959-1961
19Emigration1938
110Professional1931-circa 1980s
111Various1917-1975
  

Includes photocopy

 
112Vital and official documents1930-1944
113Wasa Gymnasium1930-1985
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Series II: Grosser Family, 1889-circa 1970s

This series is in English and German.
Scope and Content:

This series contains materials about other members of Carl Grosser's family. It includes a family tree (descended from Salomon Grosher, circa 1700s), which also includes information about the Herrmann family; two letters from the late nineteenth century, one (1889) to Adolf Grosser, Carl's grandfather, and another from 1898, both concerning births of relatives; and materials about Grosser's father Oscar (ephemera, a Trauerbuch and obituaries, and birth, marriage, and death certificates) and mother Else (a will and death notices).

BoxFolderTitleDate
114Grosser (Grosher) genealogycirca 1970s
115Grosser, Oscar1907-1930
116Letters1889, 1898
117Witz, Else1957-1959
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