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Paul Schrecker collection of Austrian World War I ephemera and publications


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.

Overview and metadata sections

Paul Schrecker (1889-1963) was a philosopher and professor. Born in Vienna, Austria, on October 31, 1889, Schrecker was the son of businessman Theodor (1854-1921) and Berta Neurath (1861-1931) Schrecker. He obtained his education from the University of Vienna (LL.D in 1913) and the University of Berlin (Ph.D. in 1928). Following the completion of his law degree in 1913, Schrecker worked at his father's furniture manufacturing business. There is little information on Schrecker's life during World War I, except that he appears to have been a civilian in Vienna. Schrecker married Leonie Sabotka (1892-1985) in 1914 and they were the parents of Anthony Wolfang Schrecker (1915-1993). The marriage ended sometime between 1921 and 1927, when Schrecker married Claire Bauroff (1895-1984) in Berlin. They separated in 1932 and divorced in January 1935. Schrecker's brother, Robert (1893-1957) appears to have been a prisoner of war held at Alexandra Palace in London circa 1915 to 1917.

In 1933, with the passing of the Nuremberg Laws, Schrecker was dismissed from his position at the Prussian Academy of Sciences and fled to Paris where he taught at the University of Paris from 1933 to 1940. He moved to the United States after the German occupation of France in 1940 and taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1941 to 1945; at the École Libre des Hautes Studies in New York from 1942 to 1945; as a professor at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges (probably from 1945 to 1950); and as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 1950 until his retirement in 1960. His last year of teaching was spent as John Hay Whitney visiting professor at the Claremont Graduate School. He edited the works of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) from 1929 to 1933 and Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715) from 1934 to 1940, and is the author of Work and History: An Essay on the Structure of Civilization, published by Princeton University Press in 1948.

Paul Schrecker married Anne Martin in 1951 and his son, Theodore, now a professor at Durham University in the UK, was born in 1954.

Works consulted:

Czapla, Ralf George. Die ungleichen Geschwister: Der Unternehmer Friedrich Baur und die Tänzerin Claire Bauroff. München: Piper, 2015.

Kustatscher, Erika. "Berufsstand" oder "Stand"?: Ein politischer Schlüsselbegriff im Österreich. Wien: Böhlau, 2016.

This collection documents a Viennese citizen's home front experience during World War I. Shrecker saved material relating to the Central Powers's propaganda, efforts to finance the war, war heroes, prisoner of war camps, and rationing. In regards to Central Powers's propaganda, researchers will find information relating to England and Italy specifically via war bulletins, maps, newspapers, poems, postcards, and stamps; and Europe more generally via three satirical maps. In regards to the Central Powers's efforts to finance the war, the collection contains insurance records, subscriptions, war bonds, and Red Cross merchandise (including a bookmark, bookplates, and calendar) which were probably sold to raise funds. Central Powers war heroes are documented in a number of postcards; although the postcards also memorialize the dead, celebrate battles, and contain significant propagandist imagery. The prisoner of war ephemera in the collection includes several Red Cross postcards (one sent to Paul Schrecker); two holiday postcards sent to Schrecker from his brother, Robert, who was held as a civilian prisoner of war at Alexandra Palace in London from circa 1915 to 1917; a photocopy of a camp newspaper; and prisoner of war currency (Lagergeld) which was paid to prisoners who "were usually forced to work, for a derisory payment, of which only a token amount was ever given to them in worthless 'camp coupons' rather than real currency, and had little say over the tasks involved," (Jones). The envelope in which the lagergeld is contained indicates that the currency may have been sold as souvenirs rather than used in the camps. Currency for camps in Brunn am Gebirge, Freistadt, Grödig, Hart (or Harth) bei Amstetten, and Kenyermezo are included. Ration cards reflect the shortage of milk, bread and flour, coffee, sugar, tobacco, and even shoes. Most of these appear to be from Vienna, but there are a few from Hungary; and some were issued as late as 1922, indicating the financial struggles Austria, Hungary, and Germany continued to experience following the end of the war. Researchers will note that the 1919 election is documented in this collection.

There are also a number of publications that document specific events or memorialize World War I generally. Of particular interest may be the press coverage of the death of Emperor Franz Joseph on November 21, 1916 and the days just preceding the November 11, 1918 Armistice. As some of the publications memorializing World War I were published before the end of the war, it is possible that they were intended to raise money for the war effort. Publications are arranged alphabetically by their German (or French) title and are followed by a rough translation.

At the time of gift, the entirety of this collection was placed haphazardly in a purchased scrapbook entitled "Kriegs-Erinnerungen, 1914" (War Memories). The scrapbook, with expandable folders sewed into the binding, was used as intended; however, items were folded and the expandable folders were overstuffed. For access to and preservation of the material, all items were removed from the scrapbook and foldered. The items did not appear to have been placed in the expandable folders in any intentional order. The empty scrapbook was retained for its artefactual value and can be found in box 2, folder 8.

Works consulted:

Jones, Heather. "Prisoners of War." International Encyclopedia of the First World War (accessed 2017 November 28)

Gift of Paul Schrecker, 1953.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Holly Mengel
Finding Aid Date
2017 November 28
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.

Collection Inventory

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Army command reports (typescripts), 1915 April, June.
Box 1 Folder 1
Election and political material from 1919, including ballot papers for the Democratic, Social Democratic, and Borgeois-Democratic parties; rally notices; and Christian Socialist party information, 1918 December-1919 July.
Box 3 Folder 6
Financial documents including insurance, subscriptions, and war bonds, 1915.
Box 1 Folder 2
German propaganda regarding England ("The Collapse of England"), 1915 February 2.
Box 1 Folder 3
German propaganda regarding Italy including war bulletins, map, poem, and document regarding Italy revoking the Triple Alliance, 1915.
Box 1 Folder 4
German propaganda regarding Italy including newspaper and propaganda leaflet, 1915.
Box 2 Folder 1
Illustrated satirical map: "European Revue: Kill that Eagle," designed by J. Amschewitz, 1914.
Drawer 100 Folder unknown container
Illustrated satirical map: "Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark" with note by Walter Emanuel, designed and printed by Johnson, Biddle, & Co. Ltd., 1914.
Drawer 100 Folder unknown container
Illustrated satirical map: "Gedrängte Frühjahrsübersicht von Europa im Jahre 1915," published by Lucas Gräfe, Hamburg, 1915.
Drawer 100 Folder unknown container
"Kriegs-Erinnerungen, 1914," empty scrapbook which formerly contained collection material, circa 1914.
Box 2 Folder 8
Post cards documenting German military figures; memorials; battles; camp life; the Christmas holiday; the Red Cross; songs; poems; subscription requests; and propaganda against England, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Scotland, circa 1914-1918.
Box 1 Folder 5
Poster, possibly relating to the anniversary of the Battle of Tannenberg, after 1914 August.
Box 3 Folder 1
Prisoner of war ephemera including L'Echo de Zossen, Journal des prisonniers du Camp de Zossen (photocopy), postcards, and Lagergeld (prisoner of war currency), circa 1914-1918.
Box 1 Folder 6
Ration cards, 1915-1922.
Box 1 Folder 7
Receipt relating to a boy's school in Vienna, 1915 February 28.
Box 1 Folder 8
Red cross bookmark, bookplates, and calendar, circa 1915.
Box 1 Folder 9
Stamps ("Gott Strafe England!" and "Den fürs Vaterland Gefallenen Helden"), 1915, undated .
Box 1 Folder 10

Arbeiter-Zeitung (Arbeiter Newspaper, daily of the Social Democratic Party), 1916 November 22.
Box 3 Folder 5
Bruxelles et Ses Affiches de Guerre, Nos. 1-16 (Brussels and its War Notices), 1914 October-1915.
Box 1 Folder 12
Bruxelles et Ses Affiches de Guerre, Nos. 17-26 (Brussels and its War Notices), 1915.
Box 1 Folder 13
Bunte Kriegsbilderbogen, Nos. 1, 16, 20, 23, 30, 33, and 40 (Colorful War Images), undated.
Box 3 Folder 2
Das U-Boat (The U-Boat), 1915.
Box 1 Folder 15
Der Abend (The Evening), 1918 November 9.
Box 3 Folder 3
Die Vierte Österreichische Kriegsanleihe (The Fourth Austrian War Bond), 1916.
Box 1 Folder 17
Die Zeit (The Time), 1916 November 22.
Box 3 Folder 3
Fremden-Blatt (Foreign Journal), 1915 May 23.
Box 3 Folder 4
Gesammelte Kriegserklärungen zur Errinnerung an den Weltkrieg, 1914-1915 (Collected War Declarations to Commemorate World War, 1914-1915), circa 1915.
Box 1 Folder 11
Karnisch Julische Kriegszeitung Illustrierte Neujahrsausagabe (Karnisch Julische Illustrated War Magazine, New Year's edition), 1916.
Box 1 Folder 16
Kriegs-Flugblätter, Nos. 1-28 (War Files), undated.
Box 2 Folder 2
Kriegszeitung (War Newspaper), 1915 September 5-6.
Box 2 Folder 3
L'Humanité (Humanity), 1918 November 8.
Box 3 Folder 3
Liller Kriegszeitung (Liller War Newspaper), 1915 July-September.
Box 2 Folder 4
Mittags-Zeitung (Lunchtime Newspaper), 1915 May 25, 1918 February 9.
Box 3 Folder 4
Neue Freie Presse (New Free Press), 1915-1916.
Box 3 Folder 4
Neues Wiener Journal (New Viennese Journal), 1915 May 20, 1916 December 12.
Box 3 Folder 5
Prime Minister proclamations regarding the coat of arms, 1915 November.
Box 1 Folder 14
Tagblatt (Daily Leaflet?), 1914-1918.
Box 2 Folder 5
Welt-Blatt (World Journal), 1916, 1917.
Box 2 Folder 6
Wiener Zeitung, Nos. 118, 174, 175 (two copies), 240, and 269 (Vienna Newspaper), 1914-1916, 1918.
Box 2 Folder 7
Zeitgeschichtliches Dokument (Contemporary History Document), undated.
Box 3 Folder 5

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