Letters of an antifascist. Marianne Angermann to her parents, antifascists in Germany from 7 / 5 / 1936 to 14 / 7 / 1936.


  • Marianne Angermann University of Otago




Marianne Angermann was a German biochemist who emigrated to  New Zealand in 1948 when her husband, the German-Jewish physician Franz David Bielschowsky, took up a position in Dunedin as director of research for the British Empire Cancer Research Fund (today, the New Zealand Cancer Society). This publication focuses on copies of her letters from 1936 which are held in the Hocken Collections at the University of Otago. The letters were written to her parents in Germany (Langenberg and Berlin) from Spain where Marianne had moved to take up a position at the Instituto de investigaciones médicas (Institute of Medical Research) at the invitation of Professor Carlos Jiménez Díaz. Her colleagues were drawn from the elite of Spanish scientific researchers and included future Nobel laureate Severo Ochoa de Albornoz. Angermann describes daily life in Madrid and makes references to the country's political tensions as the nation headed towards the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939). She also discusses the work undertaken to establish Jiménez Díaz's institute based at the medical faculty on the new Madrid University campus (the Ciudad Universitaria). In November 1936 this facility would become the site of bitter fighting between Republicans and Franco's Nationalist forces. The introduction provides biographical information on Marianne Angermann: her upbringing in the Rhineland, her father's position as mayor of Langenberg, the political turmoil of the 1920s (inflation, French occupation of the Rhineland), her study at the universities of Greifswald and Freiburg, the difficulties faced by women in the field of chemistry, and the fates of her Jewish colleagues and friends when the Nazis seized power in 1933.

Keywords: Angermann, Bielschowsky, medical, research, Dunedin, Jews, migration, New Zealand, National Socialism, anti-Semitism, Spain, Spanish Civil War, Madrid, university, Carlos Jiménez Díaz, Germany, Instituto de investigaciones médicas, Spanish Republic, Nationalists