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Call No.: MC 379
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Lilli Cohen Kretzmer
Title: Papers of Lilli Cohen Kretzmer, ca.1945-1981
Quantity: .21 linear feet (1/2 file box) plus 1 reel of microfilm (M-119)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Memoir, postcards, photographs, clippings, etc., of Lilli Cohen Kretzmer, lawyer and refugee advocate.
Lilli Cohen Kretzmer was born in Germany, in Moenchen-Gladbach, Lower Rhineland, and studied law at the University of Bonn. She married Dr. Eugen Kretzmer, a dermatologist; they had two children: a daughter Lore, and a son Ernest.The Kretzmers and Lilli Cohen Kretzmer's mother left Germany in 1939, staying for a short time on the Isle of Man while waiting for papers allowing them to enter the United States. In 1940 they settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Eugen Kretzmer died in 1955.In 1948 Lilli Cohen Kretzmer became Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Office of the Worcester Section of the National Council of Jewish Women; she also chaired the newly-created Resettlement Department, which worked with the Jewish Family Service to help Jewish refugees who came to the United States after World War II. In the early 1950s, as a representative of the United Restitution Organization, she helped refugees from Germany fill out the necessary forms and file claims for restitution. In 1966 the President of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded Kretzmer the Officer's Cross of the German Order of Merit in recognition of her work in aiding refugees.With her earlier legal training and her experience in working with refugees, Kretzmer was able to pass the necessary examination so that in 1949 the Board of Immigration Appeals of the United States Department of Justice licensed her to appear in court to handle cases in this field.
"The Years Which the Locust Hath Eaten" is a bound typescript, with a brief handwritten addendum. The narrative covers approximately the period from 1936 to 1945, and describes the events and thoughts leading to the Kretzmer family's decision to leave Nazi Germany and seek refuge in the United States. The volume includes two postcards and 13 photographs, most of buildings and landscapes in places that the Kretzmers visited or in which they stayed. Also included is a folder of clippings about Kretzmer.