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Wiener Library

Weiner, Joyce (fl 1933-1980)


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 734

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Weiner, Joyce (fl 1933-1980)

Date(s): 1933-1934

Level of description: collection

Extent: 1 folder

Name of creator(s): Weiner | Joyce | fl 1933-1980


Administrative/Biographical history:

In April 1933, Joyce Weiner was a young free-lance journalist who had recently spent two semesters as Hilfslektorin at the University of Leipzig. She had many friends in Leipzig and was, therefore, aware of the situation in which the Jewish population found itself. In view of this, she agreed to become the Honorary Secretary of the Hospitality Committee organised by the ladies of the B'nai Brith (in association with the main German Refugees Committee). At the committee she met many talented and distinguished refugees from Germany, the vanguard being professional people such as artists, writers, doctors and scientists. Amongst them was Frau Irma Sernau, a well-known fashion editor from Berlin. Because Joyce Weiner was able to render some service to friends of Frau Sernau, that lady desired to make some return. Her sister, Lola Sernau, was, at that time, private secretary to Leon Feuchtwanger, who was, in Sanary with other famous writers. Lola Sernau arranged for interviews with four of these writers, it being understood that these would be published in John O'London's Weekly, then a reputable and highly regarded literary paper of a popular nature. This was in the summer of 1933. Accordingly, Joyce Weiner had four fascinating conversations with, in turn, Feuchtwanger, Thomas and Heinrich Mann and Arnold Zweig. On her return to England, however, she received a letter from Lola Sernau asking her to stay her hand for the reasons stated in the letter and so the interviews were not published. In fact, for safety's sake they were not written. Irma Sernau went to and from Germany during this period, helping friends to emigrate. She managed to get to France just before the outbreak of war. There she took an active part in the resistance, escaping death many times but surviving and having an unexpected reunion with Joyce Weiner in the late 1950s. Lola Sernau had an honoured place among the exiled writers in Ascona, where eventually Irma died and is buried.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Joyce Weiner, 1933-1934, comprising copies of correspondence from Arnold Zweig to Weiner on the subject of his literary problems, 6 Sep 1933-30 Dec 1934; copy of a letter from Lola Sernau to Weiner, 3 Aug 1933 and a short biographical account of Weiner, 8 Apr 1934.


Language/scripts of material: German and English

System of arrangement:

Original order

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

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

Finding aids:

Detailed description on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by Joyce Weiner, Apr 1980.



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.

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: Mar 2008

Antisemitism | Racial discrimination
German history | European history | National history
German literature | European literature | National literatures
Jews | Religious groups
Refugees | Migrants
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines

Personal names
Zweig | Arnold | 1887-1968 | German writer and pacifist

Corporate names

Germany | Western Europe | Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe