This collection consists of correspondence, transcripts, publications, manuscripts, and photographs.
William Hermanns (1895-1990) was born in Koblenz, Rhineland, Germany, to Michael and Bertha Hermanns, née Wolff, and was the
third child of four siblings (Hans, Gretel, William, and Hildegard). After he was orphaned at ten years old, Hermanns was
raised by his aunt, Veronika Hermanns. Hermanns was of Jewish ancestry, and later converted to Christian Science, then to
Catholicism. In 1914, he enlisted in the Kaiser's army at the beginning of World War I and became one of the longest-living
survivors of the Battle of Verdun in 1916. After Germany's loss, Hermanns was captured by the French and held prisoner for
forty months. Following his release, he returned to Germany to study at the Universities of Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt,
where he received a doctorate in Sociology by 1926.
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