Collection ID: AR 11055

Collection context


Susanne Schall née Oliven (1916-1999) was the daughter of librettist Fritz Oliven (“Ridemaus”). She left Berlin, Germany with her family in 1939 for Porto Alegre, Brazil and later immigrated to the United States. This collection consists of the personal papers of the Oliven, Schall, and Meyer families. Personal correspondence makes up the bulk of the collection. Other materials include biographical and autobiographical writings, wedding invitations and poems, obituaries, genealogical tables, notes, a few balance sheets, and a drawing.
The collection is in German , English , and Portuguese .


Scope and Content:

This collection contains the personal papers of several members of the Oliven, Schall, and Meyer families. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence among Oliven and Schall family members. The main correspondents are Susanne Schall’s father Fritz Oliven, her mother Leonie Oliven, her brother Klaus Oliven, and Klaus’ wife Seldi. Letters composed by each of these correspondents are filed in the same folder, and these letters are often addressed to several different persons, mainly other family members. Also included is the correspondence of Susanne’s husband Herbert Schall as well as correspondence between Susanne and her nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Some of the correspondence from Leonie Oliven is fragmentary and much of it is brittle.

Beyond the correspondence, other materials in the collection include biographical notes and poems written by or for Fritz Oliven, loose notes and autobiographical writings by Leonie Oliven related to her emigration from Germany, invitations and poems related to the wedding of Susanne and Herbert Schall, and genealogical materials on the Meyer family, a branch of the Oliven family. Included with the Meyer family materials are two short family history memoirs by two of the Meyer family members, Rebecca Steinthal and Flora Meyer. The miscellaneous folder includes balance sheets, some of which relates to taxes, loose notes on German history, and a drawing.

Biographical / Historical:

Susanne (alternatively Susi) Schall née Oliven was born in Berlin in 1916 as the daughter of Leonie and Fritz Oliven, who was well known under the pseudonym of "Rideamus" as a lyricist of many German operettas of the 1920s and early 1930s. The family emigrated to Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1939. Having studied art in Berlin, Susanne worked as an artist in Brazil. After the death of her husband Herbert Schall in 1952, she moved to New York, where she earned an M.A. degree from City College. She died in Portland, Oregon, in 1999.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or family.

Physical location:


Leo Baeck Institute
Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011, United States