Skip to main content


Identifier: 2

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Gusti Kollman papers date from 1910 to 2007 and measure 4.5 linear feet in 13 boxes. The papers are arranged in four series: Binstock and Kollman families, Correspondence, Photographs, and Artifacts. This collection documents the life of an Austrian Jewish family from Vienna during the Nazi occupation and the family's subsequent immigration to the United States in 1939. The bulk of the collection is correspondence between Gusti and Erich Kollman and their extended family, in particular Erich Kollman’s sister Käthe Kollman.

The Binstock and Kollman families series (1935-2007) contains information about several members of the Kollman and Binstock families. The Gusti Kollman biographical folder includes oral history interviews with Kollman recorded by her daughter Miriam Kollman in 2007, in which she spoke at length about her life in Vienna during the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938 and 1939, as well as the process of immigration to the United States and assimilating to life in Iowa.

The Kollman family folders include newspaper clippings and autobiographical writings in English by Erich Kollman’s sister Käthe Kollman and a newspaper clipping, business cards, and a funeral pamphlet of Erich Kollman’s parents Else and Karl Kollman. This section of the series also contains a newspaper clipping and photograph of Lisl (Millet) Klein, a close friend of Käthe Kollman and Else Kollman.

The Binstock family folders contain several newspaper clippings in English that tell of Fritz Binstock, Gusti Kollman’s brother, who was imprisoned in Buchenwald and then fought with the British-Palestine Army during World War II. Also included are a funeral announcement for Gusti Kollman’s mother Klara Binstock, immigration documents of Gusti Kollman’s sister Erna Binstock, and materials concerning Gusti Kollman’s sister and brother-in-law Grete and Leon Ritterman, who migrated to Italy soon after the Nazi occupation of Austria.

Erich Kollman’s files—some in English, some in German—appear to date primarily from after the family’s immigration to the United States and include datebooks and planners, academic manuscripts, publications, and poems he wrote. Also included are resumes of other Viennese refugees and a blank Affidavit of Support form for immigrants to the United States. A sesquicentennial history of Cornell College by C. William Heywood contains information about Erich Kollman, the College’s first Jewish faculty member. Two recipe books from the 1930s, one in English and one in German, complete the series.

The Correspondence series (1910-1980) is primarily in German. The bulk of the series is letters and postcards between Gusti Kollman, Erich Kollman, and Käthe Kollman and members of the Kollman and Binstock families, as well as correspondence with friends, students and colleagues. Among the topics discussed in the correspondence of the 1930s to 1950s are daily life, Vienna during the Nazi occupation, World War II, and the family’s immigration to the United States in 1939. [need some detail or examples here]. Correspondence of the 1960s and 1970s concerns family matters, Erich Kollman’s professional life, and the family’s travel to Europe and within the United States. There is a small amount of correspondence from Gusti Kollman’s brother Fritz Binstock.

The Photographs series (1923-1969) contains photographs and photo albums from the Kollman and Binstock families, particularly of family members, friends, and their travels around Europe. The photograph identifications are primarily in German. Included in this series are a number of blank postcards depicting sites and cities in Europe, along with a few from the Middle East.

The Artifacts series consists of the Seal of the City of Vienna, given to Erich Kollman in 1970 at the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Republic of Austria.


  • Creation: 1910-2007


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 4.50 Linear Feet

From the Collection: Photographs in boxes 11 and 12; 5 DVDs [d0493-d0497] items

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)