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Kornfeld family papers

Identifier: Mss 1065-026

Collection Overview

Photographs, passports, immigration records, and other papers of the Kornfeld family of Vienna, Austria. Also included is Alexander Kornfeld's memoir, which details his family history, his Austrian military service in World War I and subsequent business career, and his struggle to flee Austria with his family at the beginning of World War II. Materials consist of digital images and photocopies.


  • Creation: 1905-1961


Language of Material

Materials in English, German, Czech, and Italian

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Alexander and Mathilde Spitz Kornfeld lived in Vienna, Austria, with their son, Walter, prior to World War II. Alexander Kornfeld was a World War I veteran and worked as an executive in a textile business. The German occupation of Austria in 1938 and subsequent persecution of Austrian Jews forced the Kornfeld family to make plans to escape the country.

Mathilde Kornfeld's nephew, Paul Kern, had immigrated to the United States in the 1920s and provided the Kornfeld family with U.S. affidavits for immigration. Walter Kornfeld obtained his American visa in January 1939 and traveled to America aboard the RMS Queen Mary in February. Alexander and Mathilde Kornfeld, who received their American visas on August 20, 1939, had difficulty obtaining exit permits from the German government, a problem compounded by the outbreak of war. But in October 1939, the Kornfelds obtained exit permits and tickets for travel to New York aboard the Italian ship SS Rex. The Kornfeld family reunited and settled in the Bronx before moving to Athens, Georgia, in 1955, where Walter taught veterinary medicine at the University of Georgia.


0.1 linear feet (2 folders)


The collection consists of photographs, passports, immigration records, and other papers of the Kornfeld family of Vienna, Austria. The Kornfelds, fleeing Nazism, immigrated to the United States in 1939.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2005 and 2008 by Thomas Kornfeld.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca McClure, October 2011.



Inventory of the Kornfeld Family Papers, 1905-1961
Processed by: ; machine-readable finding aid created by:
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Language of description
Script of description
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)