Margarete Hoebich Shanghai-California Papers

Processed by Edward C. Fields
Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Fax: (805) 893-5749
© 2006-2012
Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Margarete Hoebich Shanghai-California Papers, ca. 1931-1961

Collection number: Bernath Mss 135

Department of Special Collections

Davidson Library

University of California, Santa Barbara
Processed by:
Ed Fields
Date Completed:
Mar. 28, 2005
Latest revision:
June 8, 2012
Encoded by:
D. Gartrell, A. Demeter
© 2006-2012 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Title: Margarete Hoebich Shanghai - California Papers
Dates: ca. 1931-1961
Collection number: Bernath Mss 135
Creator: Hoebich, Margarete
Extent: .6 linear feet (1 document box and 1 oversize box)
Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
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).
Languages: English, German

Access Restrictions


Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

Margarete Hoebich Shanghai - California Papers. Bernath Mss 135. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2005.


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.

Indexing Terms

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.


Series 1.  Documents

Box 1: 1

Personal documents, 1934-1947

Box 1: 2

Documents and publications, most relating to China, n.d, 1936-1944

Box 1: 3

Kaiser Wilhelm Schule/other education-related, 1939-1946


Series 2.  Correspondence

Box 1: 4

W. Fuchs, 1939-1944

Box 1: 5

Unidentified correspondence (English), 1941-1947

Box 1: 6

E. Little, 1947-1953

Box 1: 7

Unidentified correspondence (German), 1950-1959


Series 3.  Photographs

Box 1: 8

Miscellaneous photographs (8 items), 1948-1961


Series 4.  Oversize materials

Box 2: 1

Newspapers and clippings, 1941-1949

Box 2: 2

Miscellaneous large-format documents (2 items), n.d., 1944