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Hildegard Sekler Collection

Identifier: MSE/MD 6408

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the correspondence of Hildegard Sekler as well as Sekler family legal, professional and emigration documents and miscellanea. The core of the collection is personal correspondence to Hildegard Sekler in London, from her parents and Liatowisch, and letters concerning Hildegard's studies from Goller.

Several themes of special note occur throughout the collection. These include discussions of conditions for Jewish people in Vienna in the late 1930s and early 1940s, uncertainty about the movements of relatives, and difficulties in communication. Also included are description of Hildegard's life as a child refugee and London nights during the German air raids.

Materials include manusrcipts, letters, postcards, records, and related materials.


  • Creation: 1903 - 1972
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1939 - 1945


Language of Materials

Collection materials chiefly in English or German, with some correspondence in French.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection 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.

Biographical / Historical

Hiledegard Sekler (Goller) was a Jewish woman born in 1922 and raised in Vienna. Due to the contemporary political climate, her family sought to emigrate from Austria in 1938. Her parents, Leopold and Toni Sekler, were able to gain permission for then sixteen-year-old Hildegard to immigrate to London in January of 1939. Her parents were unable to secure documents to leave the country themselves. A friend, Suzi Liatowitsch, writing from Basel and Paris, was often able to act as an intermediary and maintained contact with both Hildegard and her parents after their separation. Hildegard lived in a youth hostel in London and pursued academic studies guided by a tutor, Dr. Judah Simon Goller, whom she married in 1960.

Leopold and Toni Sekler were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in October 1942. They were transported from there to Auschwitz on October 12, 1944. Neither survived. The final correspondence from Leopold Sekler is dated September 23, 1944 and postmarked November 14, 1944.


1 Cubic foot


The collection is arranged chronologically. Correspondence are grouped as received, with postcards and letters in separate files and letters from family filed separately from those from friends and acquaintances.

Related Materials

The Beruh Family Correspondence, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, consists of letters generated by a Viennese Jewish family separated by the Holocaust, after two daughters were sent by Kindertransport to England in January 1939.

Processing Information

This collection utilizes the initials of Hildegard Sekler (H.S.), Suzi Liatowitsch (S.L.) and Judah Simon Goller (J.S.G.) on the physical folder titles within the collection.

Hildegard Sekler Collection
Jennifer Brcka
June 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556