(The following is a translation of a letter from Arthur Schoenberg to Ewald Schniewind with request to help his daughter Else incarcerated as a German national in Gurs internment camp in France


Landesbaurat Dipl. Ing             Munich 2, the 10 of Dec 1940

Arthur Schoenberg      Richard Wagner Street 1 ½):



Esteemed Mr. Schniewind,

The purpose of this letter is supposed to be to extend to you, as in years past, all the best for the New Year and, when possible, also to inform you about something joyful in my family which might also be a small joy for you. Unfortunately things always turn out differently than hoped and I can therefore report you some results of the tragedy which has afflicted us.

My older daughter, Else Schoenberg, born in Munich on 30 September 1901, a wondrously gifted and industrious person, has lived since 1933 in Paris, after studying for two years at the nearby university and reaching the level of “professeur pour le francais” with honors. During her seven-year-long stay in Paris, she supported herself independently, during the last four years as foreign correspondent in the Bank A Spitzer and Co. Paris VIII, 6 rue lisbonne.

Meanwhile she passed more exams and received the great medal of the Parisian Chamber of Commerce as best in her year at the business high school and also was magna cum laude. Also, shortly before the outbreak of the war, she received the “licence en droit” (which corresponds to the German Referendar).

In May of this year she was interned by the French for being German and still finds herself in the Camp de Gurs in Department Ayrenees Basses.

She could be set free if she had 40 dollars per month guaranteed living allowance.

Could I ask you to raise this sum – perhaps in cooperation with some of your friends – in order to save a brave and capable child who has been unpleasantly imprisoned?

I asked Mr. Held to get involved in this business with you.

Since my daughter has many and well-developed friendships and acquaintances, it is hoped that she will surely find a new means of supporting herself and she will no longer require your monetary support.

Please don’t consider my request evil, but to whom can I turn for support if not you, since you have already shown yourself to be a friend of your fellow human beings.

I hope this letter does not ruin the joyousness of your holiday and perhaps it will give you a reason to perform the type of good work which you and your wife so enjoy doing.

Your grateful servant,


Mr. Ewald H. Schniewind

460 West 34th Street

New York