Elizabeth Biddle Yarnall Refugee Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection contains materials concerning the Yarnalls' work with German and Austrian refugees after the March 1938 Anschluss. Primarily correspondence, it includes letters concerning refugee projects and letters from refugees asking for help, especially the musician Karl Weigl and his wife, Vally, who emigrated in October 1938. There are some family letters from Elizabeth Yarnall sent from Europe in the summer of 1938 and letters from Dorothy Canfield Fisher in her effort to create an American children's relief organization for German children. Also several essays by Elizabeth Yarnall on her Vienna experience and notes for a talk. The material conveys the difficulties involved in Jewish emigration in the years just preceding the war.
Organized into two series:
- Yarnall, Elizabeth Biddle, 1897-1975 (Person)
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Copyright and Rights Information
Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-RUU/1.0/.
Biographical / Historical
Elizabeth Biddle Yarnall (1897-1975) was a graduate of Westtown School and Bryn Mawr College and taught at the Oakwood School. In 1923 she married fellow Quaker, David Robert Yarnall, the son of Edward Smedley and Sidney Garrett Yarnall. and they had three children, D. Robert, Jr., James, and Nancy. D. Robert Yarnall (1878-1967) was a mechanical engineer and member of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. He served the Society of Friends in many capacities, including Clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox), Chairman of the Board of Pendle Hill, and Chairman of the American Friends Service Committee Child Relief Mission to Germany after WWI and Refugee Committee before WWII. In the years preceding WWII, he sought to convince the German government to modify its stance against minorities and to expedite the emigration of Jews from Germany and Austria. He, along with George Walton and Rufus Jones, represented the AFSC in a meeting with the Gestapo in Berlin in December 1938 to discuss Quaker relief work.
Elizabeth Yarnall was a founding member of Chestnut Hill Meeting and a member of the AFSC Mission Committee which was active in feeding starving children in Germany after World War I. During the summer of 1938, she accompanied her husband to work at Friends Center in Vienna, Austria, aiding German and Austrian refugees.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
Elizabeth Biddle Yarnall and her husband, D. Robert Yarnall, were Quakers, active in the American Friends Service Committee relief efforts. They worked with the Quaker center in Vienna, Austria, during the summer of 1938 to help in the emigration of German and Austrian Jews. The collection contains correspondence concerning their work with refugees and letters from refugees asking for assistance, especially the musician and composers Karl Weigl and his wife, Vally, who emigrated in October 1938. Also several essays by Elizabeth Yarnall on her Vienna experience and letters from Dorothy Canfield Fisher in her efforts to create an American children's relief organization for German children. The material conveys the difficulties in Jewish emigration in the years just preceding the Second World War.
For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donor: Antje Mattheus and David Kairys
Accession number: 2004-015
The papers were received unsorted.
- Austria -- History -- 1938–1945
- Church work with refugees -- Society of Friends
- International relief -- Societies, etc
- Jewish refugees -- 1938–1945
- Reconstruction (1914-1939) -- Societies, etc.
- Refugee children
- Refugees -- Austria
- Refugees -- United States
- Society of Friends -- Austria
- Society of Friends -- War relief and reconstruction
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Austria
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief
- Yarnall, Elizabeth Biddle, 1897-1975 (Person)
- Weigl, Karl, 1881-1949 (Contributor, Person)
- Weigl, Vally (Contributor, Person)
- Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958 (Contributor, Person)
- Yarnall, D. Robert (David Robert), 1878-1967 (Contributor, Person)
- American Friends Service Committee. Refugee Section (Contributor, Organization)
- Yarnall, Elizabeth Biddle, 1897-1975 (Contributor, Person)
- Finding aid for Elizabeth Biddle Yarnall Refugee Papers, 1938-1945
- FHL staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
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