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Alma Mahler letters to Willy Haas

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Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Born Alma Maria Schindler, Alma Mahler was a composer, author, and editor. Born in Vienna, she was forced to leave Austria in 1938, after the Anschluss, seeking refuge in the United States. She was married to the composer Gustav Mahler, the architect Walter Gropius, and the author Franz Werfel. A life-long friend of Franz Werfel, Willy Haas assisted Alma with the German edition of her autobiography, Mein Leben. For a more extensive biographical note on Alma Mahler, see the Mahler-Werfel papers, 1880-2004 (bulk: 1898-1975), Ms. Coll. 575.

Born in Prague in 1891, Willy Haas studied law and participated in the literary and cultural circles that met at the Cafe Arco; other members of this set included Franz Kafka, Max Brod, and Franz Werfel, who became Haas' lifelong friend. After the First World War, Haas moved to Berlin, where he worked as a screenwriter, editor, and film critic, and where he founded the weekly newspaper Die literär Welt. After enduring political harassment from the German government, he returned to Prague in 1933, where he founded the short-lived and financially unsuccessful literary magazine Welt in Wort. [1] After the German occupation of Prague he moved to Italy and then to India, where he worked as a screenwriter for Indian films and as a censor for the British army in India. [2] At the end of the war he moved to Hamburg, where he wrote for the magazines Die Welt and Welt am Sonntag. Haas was married to the translator Jarmila Ambrozova from 1919 to 1921, to Hanna Waldeck (with whom he had a son in 1925) from 1924 to 1936, and to Herta Doctor from 1947 until his death in 1973. He and Herta Doctor were buried in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg. [3]

This collection consists almost entirely of letters written by Alma Mahler Werfel and sent to Willy Haas, a friend who helped her with the German edition of her autobiography, Mein Leben. The letters are all in German.

The collection also includes a photocopy of a letter from Oskar Kokoschka to Alma, dated 15 April 1912, and a photocopy of a letter from Alma to Baroness Annie Schey, dated 7 March 1917.

Sold by Dr. Herta Haas (Hamburg), 1989.

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Sam Allingham (processed prior to 2013)
Finding Aid Date
2020 September 19
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Alma Mahler, letters to Willy Haas, 1947.
Box 1 Folder 1
Alma Mahler, letters to Willy Haas, 1951-1957.
Box 1 Folder 2
Alma Mahler, letters to Willy Haas, 1958.
Box 1 Folder 3
Alma Mahler, letters to Willy Haas, 1959.
Box 1 Folder 4
Alma Mahler, letters to Willy Haas, 1960-1961.
Box 1 Folder 5
Alma Mahler, letters to Willy Haas, undated.
Box 1 Folder 6-8
"Cover copy", undated.
Box 1 Folder 9
Oskar Kokoschka, photocopy of a letter to Alma Mahler, 1912 April 15.
Box 1 Folder 10
Alma Mahler, photocopy of a letter to Baroness Annie Schey, 1917 March 7.
Box 1 Folder 11

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