Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00610 - Klement Family Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Klement Family Papers


  • 1933-2004 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

17 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

The Klement family was a wealthy Jewish family in pre-World War II Prague. They owned a large fashion house and two clothing stores, and lived in an elegant apartment in the city. Soon after Tomi was born, his parents Egon and Hedvika (Heda) purchased a house outside the city, with a large garden and staff. Within two years, Tomi was diagnosed with a nerve disease known as Sydenham’s chorea (commonly known as St.Vitus Dance), and his fragile health made him even more precious to his family. Beginning at age two, his grandmother created albums for him. In July 1943, the Klement family was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp and fourteen months later they were shipped to Auschwitz where Anna, Heda and Tomiwere gassed. Egon was taken to a labour camp at Gleiwitz, survived a death march and returned to Prague. He eventually settled in Toronto with his new wife, Františka and her son Miro.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Klement family

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers consist of “birthday books”- albums created by Anna Pachner Klement for her grandson, Tomaš (Tomi), beginning at age two, when he was diagnosed with Sydenham’s chorea. Albums depict stories of a young boy and his adoring grandmother and the life of one Jewish family during the 1930’s. Two years after Tomi’s birth, Adolf Hitler came to power, and the albums begin to record the changing attitude towards Jews in Czechoslovakia. The last album was written in 1940 and in it Mrs. Klement describes how they are forbidden to go to the theatre or the movies. Also included in the family papers are photo albums, photographs, Anna Klement’s diaries, poems by Anna Klement, family papers including obituaries, marriage certificates, etc., and Olga Klement’s diaries as well as her art work, autobiography, correspondence, notebooks and betacam tapes.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Czech
  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Alternative identifier(s)

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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