Guide to the Ernst Collin Collection, 1899-1966 

AR 2916

Processed by Ilse Turnheim and Julie Dawson

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2011 Leo Back Institute, New York. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Finding aid encoded in EAD 2002 by Julie Dawson on 2011-10-18. Finding aid written in English.
March 21, 2012  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Creator:Collin, Ernst, 1886?-1953
Title:Ernst Collin Collection
Abstract:The collection contains writings, mostly poems, of Ernst Collin, as well as correspondence from numerous prominent figures in the art and intellectual world of pre-WWII Germany.
Languages:This collection is in German.
Quantity:0.25 linear feet : 3 folders
Identification:AR 2916
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute Archives
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Biographical Note

Ernst Heinrich Schoenfeld was born in Nordhausen on March 10, 1882 to Fritz Schoenfeld and Adele nee Bon. His father died when he was 3 years old and his mother remarried Adolf Collin. Ernst grew up in Berlin and attended a private boys school. His older brother, Paul, to whom he was very close, died of diphtheria when Ernst was 13. In high school Ernst fell in love with one of his fellow (male) students and wrote of this in his diary and a series of poems. Some of these poems were published when he was 19 years old by the Axel Juncker publishing house under the title Lieder eines Knaben [Songs of a boy] and were well received. He began his university studies in Berlin, then moved to Munich where he quickly became attached to a circle of artists, writers, and other intellectuals. Here he became close friends with the painters Rudolf Levy and Hans Purrmann; he had become close to Julius Bab already in Berlin. He worked as a language teacher in London and Turkey, but returned to Germany to enlist at the start of WWI. He survived the war and married the widow of the painter Albert Weisgerber. He returned to Berlin and worked as a tutor and then as an archivist for the company Dreyfus & Co., until its Aryanization. He moved to Great Britain in the late 1930s and died there on March 19, 1953.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains writings, mostly poems, of Ernst Collin, as well as correspondence from numerous prominent figures in the art and intellectual world of pre-WWII Germany.

Folder 1 contains a biographical essay written by Collin's wife, Margarete, in which she recounts his early love affairs, with both men and women. The writings are mostly poems and other short manuscripts and notes.

The correspondence and other materials in folder 2 include letters from Max Brod, F. Dornseiff, Hirsch, Erich Kahler, G. Karpeles, and Hans Purrmann and material about Rudolf Levy and Martha Kassel. There is also a poem written by Josef Andreas Welten of Prague, a child who was killed at Auschwitz. Folder 3 contains correspondence to his wife, Margarete Weisgerber-Collin, from Julius Bab, Heinz Braune, Ernst Feder, Erich Kahler, Erich Lichtenstein, Else Lasker-Schueler, and a eulogy for Albert Weisgerber.

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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

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Related Material

See also his diary in the memoir collection Tagebuch von Ernst Collin-Schoenfeld and his book Lieder eines Knaben held by the library.

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Photographs removed to Photograph Collection

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Ernst Collin Collection; AR 2916; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Other Finding Aid

The original 3-page German-language inventory is in folder 1.

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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.


Container list:

11Biographical info and writings1899-1928
12Correspondence, poems, eulogies, photos, and clippings from and about friends and colleagues1903-1966
13Correspondence to Margarete Weisgerber-Collin from friends, eulogy for Albert Weisgerber1901-1962
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