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Wiener Library

Kessler, Siegfried (b 1879): correspondence


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 973

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Kessler, Siegfried (b 1879): correspondence

Date(s): 1939-1944

Level of description: collection

Extent: 1 file

Name of creator(s): Kessler | Siegfried | b 1879 | civil servant


Administrative/Biographical history:

Siegfried Kessler was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1879; he was married with two sons who all accompanied him to England in 1939; and when he left Czechoslovakia he was a retired senior civil servant.

He was a member of the Jewish Social Democratic Workers' Party Poale Zion for 30 years. He was also vice president of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (Jewish cultural community), Brno for which organisation he managed the provision of assistance to prospective Jewish emigrants in the late 1930s. It was in this capacity that he was arrested by the Gestapo on the day that the Nazis marched into Czechoslovakia. After release and continual harassment he eventually managed to secure visas for himself and his family and arrived in England in June 1939.

Whilst in England he maintained contact with the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, Brno and applied himself to assisting with the expatriation of Czech Jews. He was involved with such organisations as the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, the Jewish Agency Group, the Self Aid Association and the Jewish Agency for Palestine.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Siegfried Kessler, a Czech Jewish exile in London, 1939-1944, chiefly correspondence between organisations and individuals, shedding light on the conditions for Czech Jews in Czechoslovakia in the early years of the Second World War and the processes involved in Jewish emigration from Czechoslovakia.


Language/scripts of material: German, Czech and English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Kessler family



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2007

Emigration | Migration
Jews | Religious groups
Refugees | Migrants
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Kessler | Siegfried | b 1879 | civil servant

Corporate names
Czech Refugee Trust Fund
Israelitische Kultusgemeinde x Jewish Community

Czechoslovakia | Eastern Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe