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Wiener Library

Hollitscher, Wilhelm (b 1873): Diaries


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 1277

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Hollitscher, Wilhelm (b 1873): Diaries

Date(s): 1939-1943

Level of description: collection

Extent: 16 files

Name of creator(s): Hollitscher | Wilhelm | b 1873


Administrative/Biographical history:

Wilhelm Hollitscher arrived in England on March 31 1939 at the age of 66 from Vienna. Apparently a life-long diarist, he recommenced writing his diaries on 13 June 1939. After his arrival in England Hollitscher stayed at Salford, soon after moving to Petts Wood, Kent, where he lived throughout the duration of the diaries, except for a period of 10 weeks internment [25 June- 1 September 1940].


Scope and content/abstract:

Diaries of Wilhelm Hollitscher, a Jewish refugee in England, 13 Jun 1939-16 Oct 1943. Hollitscher begins his diaries by remembering his last days in Vienna, but soon turns to a discussion of the political news of the day. In this case a secret meeting between Hitler and Mussolini. Hollitscher is furious about Hitler's treachery, abandoning South Tyrol as a gift to Mussolini. From this time on Hollitscher chronicles the political, and later, military developments and the diaries become a history of the period seen through the eyes of a Jewish emigrant living in England. The tense months leading up to the war, the declaration of war and the war itself are described. Likewise is the landing of Rudolf Hess; the bombing of English towns and later of German ones; Stalingrad; and even events in the Pacific and China.

Comments on the political situation are regularly interspersed with notes on family and friends, most of whom, seem to have escaped Austria. Letters written and received and the more mundane events of daily life at Petts Wood are recorded faithfully.

Hollitzer is very conscious of the fate of the Jews in Germany, Austria and Poland and he notes any news he receives. On the fourth anniversary of his arrival in England he is grateful for four years of a 'blessed old age' and for the fact that his children and grandchildren are safe and healthy. In 1943 he mentions heart troubles, difficulties in sleeping and cramps. The diaries close rather abruptly on 6 October 1943.


Language/scripts of material: German

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

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

Finding aids:

Descriptions of this archive exist on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Hollitscher 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: February 2008

Aerial bombardment | Air warfare | Warfare | Military engineering
Diaries | Nonfiction | Prose | Literary forms and genres | Literature
Emigration | Migration
German history | European history | National history
Jews | Religious groups
Refugees | Migrants
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)
Primary documents

Personal names
Hollitscher | Wilhelm | b 1873

Corporate names

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe