ger003
German and Jewish Intellectual Émigré Collections
Collection ID: ger003
online content

Walter A. Friedländer (Friedlaender) Papers, 1914-1984

Collection description

Summary

Abstract:
The Walter A. Friedländer (Friedlander) Papers consist of 45 archival boxes of materials, dating primarily from 1932 to 1984, with the bulk of material comprising Friedländer's voluminous correspondence (30 boxes). The collection also contains biographical materials, manuscripts and publications by Friedländer, as well as course materials and materials pertaining to national and international social welfare conferences, publications by other scholars, and materials collected by Friedländer on topics of interest, particularly social welfare topics.
Extent:
45 cubic ft.
Language:
English , German .
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Walter A. Friedländer (Friedlaender) Papers 1914-1984 (GER-003). M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Friedländer (Friedlaender) Papers).

Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Terms Of Use:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Background

Scope and Content:

The Walter A. Friedländer (Friedlander) Papers consist of 45 archival boxes of materials, dating primarily from 1932 to 1984, with a small number of items dating from as early as 1914. The largest part (nearly two-thirds) of the collection is comprised of Friedländer's voluminous correspondence (30 boxes). The collection also contains biographical materials, manuscripts and publications by Friedländer, as well as course materials and materials pertaining to national and international social welfare conferences, publications by other scholars, and materials collected by Friedländer on topics of interest, particularly social welfare topics.

The collection is divided into eight series: 1) biographical materials; 2) correspondence; 3) manuscripts; 4) publications; 5) conference materials; 6) course and lecture materials; 7) offprints and publications by other scholars; 8) misc. materials collected by Friedländer.

The voluminous correspondence, dating primarily from 1932-1984, contains over 40,000 letters predominantly by and to Walter A. Friedländer. The major portion of the correspondence is professional in nature and includes correspondences with numerous prominent professionals in the fields of social work and social welfare, correspondence with social welfare organizations, government officials and politicians, and correspondence concerning publications by Friedländer.

Friedländer's publications are also well-represented in the collection with typescript and manuscript versions of many of his published writings, as well as published versions of his books and journal articles. Included in the collection of manuscripts and published works are many early articles (1926-1933), which were written by Friedländer during his years as Head of the Youth Welfare Commission in the Prenzlauer-Berg section of the city of Berlin, Germany.

Also noteworthy to the collection is the section containing materials pertaining to various conferences, predominantly on social work/welfare. Especially well-represented are the International Conferences on Social Work / Welfare (1937-1974), especially the Munich Conference of 1956.

In addition, the collection also contains a large number of supporting materials on topics in social work and social welfare, which Friedländer collected to support his research interests. These include offprints and publications by other scholars, course and lecture notes, and clipping/materials files on individuals or topics.

Biographical / Historical:

Walter Friedländer was a prominent leader of the reform movement in the fields of social policy, social welfare and public health in Weimar (pre-Hitler) Germany. Friedländer, an active Social Democrat and a Jew, was forced to flee Nazi Germany in March of 1933, and eventually immigrated to the United States via France, where he continued to play a leading role as an educator and leader in the field of social work and social welfare education in this country.

Walter Friedländer was born on September 20, 1891 in Berlin, the oldest son of Hugo and Ernestine (Lichtenstein) Friedländer. He grew up under the socialist-oriented influences of his father, a founding member of the pacifist Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft, and later under the influences of his uncle, socialist politician Hugo Haase. In autobiographical statements, Friedländer describes the influences of the youth movements (Jugendbewegung) in Weimar Germany and his membership in the Sozialistischer Studentbund during his student years in Berlin. As a law student in Berlin and Munich (1910-1914), Friedländer became interested in the development of juvenile justice and volunteered his time doing probation work. He also met and later became engaged to Li Bergmann (1914), also involved in the youth movement in Berlin, and they were married in February 1919.

Friedländer served in the German army from 1916 to 1918, and after his return to Berlin in 1919, became actively involved in politics. He was first elected as a delegate for the USPD (Independent Social Democrats) to the district assembly in Schmargendorf in 1920, and, in April 1921, to district councilor in the Prenzlauer Berg section of Berlin.

Friedländer's first involvement with the field of youth welfare and social work was through the juvenile justice movement, which was just gaining momentum in Berlin around the time he began his legal studies. His teachers included Paul Kahl and Franz von Liszt, leaders in the juvenile justice movement. The influence of Liszt and his daughter, Elsa von Liszt, led to Friedländer's involvement in the Deutsche Zentrale für Jugendfürsorge, a private youth welfare organization in Berlin, where he at first participated on a voluntary basis, and later served an internship during the first two years of World War I.

Social democratic policy regarding youth welfare was developed in Germany after 1918 by a relatively small group of individuals, among them Hans Caspari, Marie Juchacz, Helene Simon, and Walter Friedländer. The central idea of social democratic youth welfare policy was the child's right to education and material assistance provided by the state, set up by the Arbeiterwohlfahrt, the workers' welfare organization founded by the Social Democrats in 1919. The Fachkommission für Jugendwohlfahrt (Youth Welfare Commission), created in 1925 and attached to the headquarters of Arbeiterwohlfahrt, was chaired by Friedländer from 1925 until his dismissal in 1933. Its members included Helene Simon, Hedwig Wachenheim, Hans Maier, Otto Krebs, Rudolf Schlosser and Louise Schröder. The youth welfare committee drafted parliamentary resolutions for the SPD, formulated reform proposals and compiled reports on problems of youth welfare. In addition, the intent was to provide youth welfare committee members with representation at major youth welfare conferences and on central committees of the established youth welfare organizations. Friedländer also became Chairman of the Deutsche Zentrale für freie Jugendwohlfahrt in 1931.

In his 12 years as District Councilor and Director of Youth Welfare in Prenzlauer Berg, the district gained a reputation for developing new and innovative programs in social, and especially youth, welfare, with particular emphasis on the areas of juvenile delinquency (rehabilitation) and youth unemployment.

Friedländer escaped from Germany in February 1933, ostensibly to attend an international conference of the International League of Social Welfare in Geneva in March of 1933. He was officially dismissed from his position in March 1933 and remained in Switzerland after the conference, where his wife and young daughter joined him in May.

He left for Paris in June 1933 at the invitation of the French Minister of Education, however his promise of employment evaporated with the fall of the French cabinet. Instead, Friedländer became co-director of a legal counseling service for political refugees from Germany and helped to set up other organizations to aid his fellow refugees. With the aid of a fellow political refugee from Germany, (John) Otto Reinemann, who had emigrated to the U.S. in 1934, Friedländer received an invitation to lecture at the University of Chicago in 1936 and left Paris in December of the same year.

The Friedländers arrived in Chicago in January 1937, where Walter lectured in the Department of Social Welfare of the University of Chicago until 1943. He also worked as a librarian for the Chicago Jewish vocational service and, at the same time, set up a refugee organization, Selfhelp for Immigrants, patterned after a similar organization founded by Paul Tillich in New York.

In 1943, the same year he became an American citizen, Friedländer left Chicago to lecture at the University of California in Berkeley, where he eventually became professor in the School of Social Welfare and taught until his emeritation in 1959.

Although Friedländer's career in the U.S. became less politically active, he continued to maintain his contacts with Social Democrats and members of the Arbeiterwohlfahrt in post-war Germany, and his correspondence with U.S. politicians is evidence to his continued interest in political affairs.

Friedländer's primary focus in the U.S. became his teaching and writing. Social work training had always been a strong concern for Friedländer during his tenure as stadtrat (councilor) in Prenzlauer Berg (Berlin) and teaching consumed a considerable portion of his energies even during this time period. In addition to pursuing an active teaching career at the Social Welfare Departments of the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, Friedländer continued to publish monographs and later textbooks in the field of social work and social welfare. His most successful work, Introduction to Social Welfare (first published in 1955, and reprinted in 1957, 1968, 1974 and 1979), became the standard basic textbook for social welfare courses throughout the United States. Friedländer also continued to pursue his interest in comparative social work, as evidenced both in his active participation in numerous international social welfare conferences, as well as his publications (including Concepts and Methods of Social Work, 1958 and 1976, and International Social Welfare, 1975).

He died December 20, 1984 in Oakland, California.

1891 20 September, born in Berlin. Father, Hugo Friedländer (manufacturer); mother, Ernestine, née Lichtenstein. 1897-1910 Attended Falk-Real-Gymnasium, Berlin 1910 Easter, received Abiturium from the Falk-Real-Gymnasium. 1910-1914 Studied law, economics and social sciences at the Universities of Berlin and Munich; trained at the Deutsche Zentrale für Jugendfürsorge (German Central Committee for Youth Welfare) and in the Deutsche Vereinigung für Jugendgerichtshilfe (German Association for Probation Services to Juvenile Courts). 1914 April, received degree of Gerichts- und Regierungsreferendar. 1914-1916 Post-graduate studies at the University of Berlin with field training in courts, offices of the state attorney, prison and municipal administration. 1916-1918 Military service. 1918-1920 Continuation of post-graduate studies. 1919 Married Lina (Li) Bergmann. 1920 Spring, received degree of Gerichts- und Regierungsassessor by the Prussian Ministry of Justice. 20 April, received Doctor of Philosophy Degree, majoring in Economics from the University of Berlin. April -- September Assistant Judge (Gerichtsassessor) at the District Court of Potsdam. 21 May, birth of daughter, Dorothee (married name Mindlin) October, admitted to the bar of Berlin 1920-1921 Private practice in Berlin (October 1920-May 1921). 1921 May, elected to Board of Supervisors (Stadtrat) from the district of Berlin-Prenzlauer-Berg. 1921-1933 Served as City Commissioner for Child Welfare and Public Assistance (Vorsitzender des Wohlfahrts- und Jugendamts). 1926-1927 October -- June, lecturer in Social Work at the Social Pedagogic Seminar, Charlottenburg. 1927-1933 April -- March, faculty member of Sozialpädagogisches Seminar der deutschen Hochschule für Politik, renamed Berliner Seminar für Sozialarbeiter (Social Pedagogic Seminar of the German Academy of Political Sciences, also known as the Mennicke School), affiliated with the University of Berlin. 1929-1933 April-March, Associate Professor of Social Work and Child Welfare at the Wohlfahrtsschule des Hauptausschusses für Arbeiterwohlfahrt (School of Social Work of the Central Committee for Workers' Welfare), Berlin. 1933 March, left Germany after Nazi takeover; relocated in Switzerland, March -- June. 1933-1936 June -- December, in France. Served as Associate Director of Service Juridique et Social pour les refugiés (Legal and Social Service for Refugees), Paris 1936 December, left Paris for Chicago. 1937 Founded Selfhelp for Emigrés, Chicago. 1937-1943 Served as Director of Selfhelp for Emigrés, Chicago. 1937-1943 February - October, lecturer in the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago. 1938-1943 January -- October, served as Head Librarian of the Joint Library of the Jewish Charities of Chicago. 1943-1959 Served as Lecturer and later Professor of Social Welfare in the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley. 1944-1945 Lecturer in Economics, Univ. of California, Berkeley. Taught at the Pacific School of Religion, Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation. 1944-1946 May -- Autumn, served as consultant and executive secretary of the West Coast Panel of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. 1946-1947 Chairman, California East Bay Chapter, AASW. 1947-1951 Chairman, Joint Committee on International Social Work, Northern California. 1955-1956 Chairman, Committee on International Social Work, California Golden Gate Chapter, NASW; member of executive committee of chapter. 1959 Emeritation from the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkley. 1959-1960 Visiting Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. 1961 January 8-14, Delegate to the International Conference of Social Work, Rome, Italy. 1963-1964 Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota. 1964 Served as Chairman of the Committee on Sociology and Social Work of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. 1966 Visiting Professor of Sociology at University of Cologne, West Germany. 1967 Visiting Professor at the Free University, Berlin, with lectures in Berlin, Bonn, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Zurich, Montreux, Lausanne, Geneva and London. 1971 Visiting Professorships in Cologne and Berlin. 1973 Visiting Professor, University of Munster, Westfalen. 1974-1979 Consultant to the faculty and students, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley. 1977 June 16, death of wife, Li Friedlander. 1984 Died December 20 in Oakland, California.

Acquisition information:

All items in this manuscript group were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Dorothy Mindlin on February 2, 1988.

Arrangement:

The collection is organized into eight series: 1) biographical materials; 2) correspondence; 3) manuscripts; 4) publications; 5) conference materials; 6) course and lecture materials; 7) offprints and publications by other scholars; 8) misc. materials collected by Friedländer.

Processing information:

Processed in March 2004 by Sandra H. Hawrylchak.

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Restrictions:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
Terms of Access:
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Walter A. Friedländer (Friedlaender) Papers 1914-1984 (GER-003). M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Friedländer (Friedlaender) Papers).