Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Margarete Hoebich Shanghai - California Papers
Dates: ca. 1931-1961
Collection number: Bernath Mss 135
.6 linear feet
(1 document box and 1 oversize box)
University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Abstract: Mainly personal and official documents and ephemeral items relating to Hoebich's life in Shanghai's German community, including
the Kaiser Wilhelm Schule where she worked from 1939 to ca. 1945. Hoebich and her son emigrated to California after the war.
Physical location: Del Norte (box 1); Del Norte Oversize (box 2).
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
Margarete Hoebich Shanghai - California Papers. Bernath Mss 135. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University
of California, Santa Barbara.
Margarete Hoebich was a German national born in Breslau in 1907. She received her education in Berlin and began her career
as a nursery school teacher there. In 1931 she emigrated to China (apparently via Tsintao [Qingdao], home to a sizeable German
colony since 1898) where she worked at a variety of jobs as a governess, teacher and in various offices including her husband's
architectural firm in Shanghai. After a return to Germany in 1935 that lasted through 1936, she returned to China, residing
first in Hong Kong and eventually coming back to Shanghai where she found work as a teacher in the German community of that
city at the Kaiser Wilhelm Schule.
She divorced in 1939 and continued to live in Shanghai with her son Christian throughout the years of the Second World War.
In 1947 she and her son emigrated to California, eventually settling in San Francisco, where she worked in a variety of educational
and business settings while she raised her young son.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection contains a number of personal and official documents and ephemeral items relating to Hoebich's life in Shanghai's
German community. Many items pertain to the Kaiser Wilhelm Schule where she worked from 1939 to ca.1945. There is a file of
business correspondence (in German), mostly with Hoebich's attorney Walter Fuchs, with a number of documents concerning her
divorce from her husband Frank in 1939 and several other correspondence files, the most notable being a series of letters
(1947-1954) written between Hoebich and Edward Little, a friend from Shangahai (later Australia). In these letters, Hoebich
describes her arrival in the United States and her early struggles in settling, finding employment, adjusting to a new life
in America and raising her son. Margarete Hoebich died in San Francisco on December 9, 1988.
The collection contains the following:
Documents. Mainly personal documents (including MH's
Lebenslauf (curriculum vitae) for the years 1907-1939.) Contains official documents and other items relating to the years in China with
additional general documents and publications relating to China, 1934-1947. (Some documents use dating system established
by the Republic of China and based on its founding in 1912. Western dates are determined by adding 11 to the
min kuo year.)
Correspondence. There are separate folders for: Business Correspondence, with attorney W. Fuchs, some relating to her divorce from Husband
Klaus, 1939-1944; personal correspondence (in English) with Edward Little, 1947-1954; personal correspondence (in German)
with unidentified friends, 1950-1959.
Photographs. Eight photographs and photo postcards, mostly unidentified, many undated, 1948-1961.
Oversize materials. Includes newspapers and clippings (
The North China Daily News,
The Shanghai Evening Post,
The Shantung Daily News), 1941-1949 relating to the activities of Germans in China and miscellaneous large-format documents (2) 1944 and n.d.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Hoebich, Margarete -- Archives.
Shanghai (China) -- Relations -- Foreign countries.