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.
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.
Jones, Heather. "Prisoners of War." International Encyclopedia of the First World War (accessed 2017 November 28)
Gift of Paul Schrecker, 1953.
- Prisoner-of-war camps
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Austria
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Germany
- World War, 1914-1918
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Propaganda
- 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.