The Ilse and Fritz Michel family collection comprises both personal and official papers documenting, on the one hand, the developing lives of Fred and Ilse Michel as immigrants to the United States between 1937 and 1942, as well as indicating the political climate of that time impending on those remaining in Germany, on the other. The bulk of this family collection contains correspondence documents, including mostly personal letters and some emigration papers. A number of various official documents, such as birth and death certificates, photographs and passports, complements the collection.Fritz (Fred) Michel (1902-1992) was born in Bingen am Rhein, Germany, the son of Adolf Michel and Franziska Michel, née Seligmann. Fred Michel’s wife, Ilse Hess (1911-2003), was born in Leipzig, daughter of Hermann Hess and Helene Hess, née Hirschfeld (1866-1943). Hermann Hess died in 1922 in Frankfurt/Main. After having been denied immigration to the US, Ilse’s mother Helene was deported to Theresienstadt in 1942, where she died in 1943.Fritz (Fred) Michel emigrated from Frankfurt/Main to the U.S. via Antwerp, Belgium, in 1937. In the U.S. he changed his name to Fred. Ilse emigrated a year after that, via Hamburg, in 1938. Upon immigration Fred and Ilse remained separated for about two years, working in various areas in the state of New York, before they eventually settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1939, where they were married in 1940. There, Ilse started up a millinery business, while Fred maintained a position as bartender. They became naturalized citizens in 1943. The same year Fritz joined the U.S. army and served until 1945.Processeddigitize
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