Guide to the Hanni Sondheimer Vogelweid Collection

Special Collections & Archives
University Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326


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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


Box 1, Folder 1

Correspondence: Red Cross, Immunization, and U.S. Army Command, September 1942-September 1946

Box 1, Folder 2

Correspondence: Western Union Telegrams, December 1946

Box 1, Folder 3

"From Shanghai to Vegas," Gluckman, Ron, June 1999

Box 1, Folder 4

Identification Certificates, September 1941-July 1945

Box 1, Folder 5

Identification Certificates and Armband, December 1941

Box 1, Folder 6

Immunization Certificates, 1946

Box 1, Folder 7

Jewish World Review, February 1998

Box 1, Folder 8

Los Angeles Times, November 1981-November 2002

Box 1, Folder 9

Marriage Certificates, September 1946

Box 1, Folder 10

The Old China Hand Press

Box 1, Folder 11

Old China Hands Reunion, December 1995

Box 1, Folder 12

Publications: Old Shanghai Articles, 1986-2010

Box 1, Folder 13

Old China Hands Reunion "The Legacy Continues," September 1996

Box 1, Folder 14

Passport Affidavits, December 1946

Box 1, Folder 15

The Rickshaw Express Web, September 2001

Box 1, Folder 16

The Rickshaw Express Web, March 2002

Box 1, Folder 17

The Rickshaw Express Web, April 2002

Box 1, Folder 18

San Diego Jewish Journal, June 2003

Box 1, Folder 19

The Scribe, December 1998

Box 1, Folder 20

Shanghai: A City for Jews in China, March 2002

Box 1, Folder 21

The Shanghai Herald

Box 1, Folder 22

Shanghai Refuge

Box 1, Folder 23

Visa and Census Forms, 1941

Box 1, Folder 24

Women Rescuers Testimonial, March 2002

Box 1, Folder 25

Work Recommendations and Permit, January 1944-August 1946

Box 1, Folder 26

Yuan, 1941-1980