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Vogelweid (Hanni Sondheimer) Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents
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  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Hanni Sondheimer Vogelweid Collection
    Creator: Vogelweid, Hanni Sondheimer, 1923-2006
    Identifier/Call Number: OCH.HLS
    Extent: 0.21 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1941-2003
    Date (bulk): 1941-1946
    Abstract: Hanni Sondheimer Vogelweid was born on October 5, 1923, in Berlin, Germany. Her family was living in Lithuania when World War II began, and fled to Japan in an attempt to emigrate to America where they had relatives. This did not work out, and the family was forced to move to Shanghai, as they had become officially stateless upon leaving Lithuania. Vogelweid lived in Shanghai from 1941 to 1946, and during the war was forced to live in the Hongkew ghetto with other Jewish refugees. The collection consists of personal documents Vogelweid used when she lived in Shanghai, including correspondence, vital records,  personal identification documents, and some publications.
    Language of Material: English, Chinese, German

    Biographical Information:

    Hanni Sondheimer Vogelweid was born on October 5, 1923, in Berlin, Germany, to Moritz and Setty Sondheimer. The family moved from Germany to Estonia to do business, and later settled in Kaunas, Lithuania. At the start of World War II, the family, who was Jewish, began to look for a way out of Lithuania, as anti-semitism was rising in Eastern Europe. They were issued a visa to Japan by Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese vice consul in Lithuania credited with saving thousands of Jews by providing transit visas, and left Lithuania in February of 1941 with money sent from American relatives.
    They traveled to Yokohama, Japan, where they stayed for six months waiting for their American visa paperwork. At that point their transit visas had expired, and they were forced to leave Japan for Shanghai, which did not require any paperwork. The Sondheimers, who were now considered stateless, were able to acquire a room in Shanghai with the money they had left over from the planned move to America, and they stayed until 1943. They were then forced to move into the Hongkew ghetto, formally known as the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees, where the Japanese forced 20,000 Jewish and other refugees during the war. As the war went on and the family needed money, Vogelweid and her younger brother got jobs working in a Chinese weaving factory.
    After the war, Vogelweid worked for the US Army as a waitress and a switchboard operator. She then emigrated to the United States in 1946, after marrying Alfred Marion Gade, a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. They had one daughter, but the marriage ended soon after, and she later married Lloyd Vogelweid.

    Scope and Contents

    The Hanni Sondheimer Vogelweid Collection primarily consists of Vogelweid's personal documents dated between 1941 and 1946, when she lived in Shanghai.  It includes personal correspondence, identification documents, her immunization certificate, marriage certificates, passport affidavits, and a visa.  The collection also contains publications related to the Old China Hand experience, including Jewish World Review, The Rickshaw Express, and the Shanghai Herald. The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

    Related Material

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Lloyd Vogelweid, 03/18/2010

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Processing Information:

    Tim Kaufler, 2012

    Subjects and Indexing Terms