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Wiener Library

Wolffheim, Nelly (1879-1965): Account of a Kindergarten Seminar, Berlin


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 1261

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Wolffheim, Nelly (1879-1965): Account of a Kindergarten Seminar, Berlin

Date(s): 1934-1939

Level of description: Collection level

Extent: 1 file

Name of creator(s): Wolffheim | Nelly | 1879-1965 | teacher


Administrative/Biographical history:

Nelly (Elenore) Wolffheim, born 29 March 1879, the second and youngest child from a relatively well to do Jewish family in Berlin; mainly taught privately on account of serious childhood illness; at the end of the 19th century she graduated from 'Pestalozzi-Fröbelhaus', a kindergarten teacher-training school and went on to work in a number of other training schools. Renewed illness meant that she had to spend the following several years in various sanatoriums. In 1914 she opened a private kindergarten in Hallensee, Berlin, which was run according to the philosophy of the Fröbel school, the central idea of which was to treat the school like a large family. In 1921 Nelly Wolffheim suffered another serious set back regarding her health; thereafter she commenced psychoanalysis and after several years of training, she began running the first kindergarten in Germany on the lines of depth psychology; developed an interest in the study of infant sexuality, and was disappointed by the lack of interest shown by anyone else in the field on the subject. She had to stop running the kindergarten again in 1930 on account of her health, but also because she felt too old to work with small children; gives up her publishing activities and discontinues her lecture tours after the Nazi seizure of power, 1933; ran the only remaining Jewish Kindergärtnerinnenseminar, 1934-1939, of which the document in this collection is an account. Emigrated to England, 1939, and lived in Oxford and London; published works again in Germany after the war, in particular her book Kinder aus Konzentrationslagern was well received; died in London, 2 April 1965.


Scope and content/abstract:

Typescript, annotated, incomplete, account of Nelly Wolffheim's experience running the last remaining Jewish Kindergarten school in Berlin, 1934-1939.


Language/scripts of material: German

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

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


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Nelly Wolffheim


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



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: February 2008

Child development | Personality development | Developmental psychology
Jews | Religious groups
Preprimary education | Preschool education | Educational levels
Educational institutions

Personal names
Wolffheim | Nelly | 1879-1965 | teacher

Corporate names