Manuscript Collection MS Coll 00115A - Meinhardt Papers

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS Coll 00115A


Meinhardt Papers


  • 1939-1952, 2016-2019 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

4 boxes (.8m)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Emmi Oligschläger married Hermann Meinhardt in 1939, and they had one daughter, Ingeborg (Inga). Herman Meinhardt was killed by Allied Troops near Felbecke, Germany in April 1945. Emmi remarried in 1947 and soon lost touch with most of the Meinhardt family.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Hermann Meinhardt (1910-1945) was the son of Alfred and Arnoldine (née von Wedell) Meinhardt. Hermann had three siblings, his elder sister Hedwig (Heidi), his younger sister Charlotte (Lotti) and Ernst, a younger brother. Alfred Meinhardt was a businessman who owned what would be referred to today as a commercial dry-cleaning company, specializing in preserving restaurant draperies. His wife Arnoldine’s love for the Arts influenced a broad artistic education for their children. Hermann studied at the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Heidi became a dancer and Lotti dabbled in painting for most of her life. Difficult economic times in the 1930’s guided Hermann towards more practical pursuits and he found employment in the offices of the Braunkohlen Synidcat in Cologne. Hermann Meinhardt married Emmi Oligschläger in 1939, and they had one daughter, Ingeborg (Inga). Herman Meinhardt was killed by Allied Troops near Felbecke, Germany in April 1945.
Wartime records indicate that Hermann was a member of the German Airforce 3. Batterie, I. Abteilung, Flakregiment 4 (I./Flak Regt. 4), which took him to France, Austria, Ukraine, Romania and Southern Russia, and that he held the position of Obergefreiter (leading aircraftsman) on 08.03.1943.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Inga Khan, 2019.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection contains two photograph albums belonging to a German couple, Hermann and Emmi Meinhardt, which separately record their wartime experiences. Hermann Meinhardt’s album provides a personalized look at his experiences serving with a flak regiment in the Luftwaffe, which served in France, Austria, Ukraine, Romania and Russia, with photographs focusing on the war-torn landscapes, moments of camaraderie, and battle. Emmi Meinhardt’s album shows the experience of a young mother and her daughter, who were evacuated from Cologne to the Bavarian countryside. Together, both albums demonstrate a unique look at how the war was experienced on the front and at home. This collection also contains a selection of loose photographs belonging to Hermann Meinhardt, which were not included in the album, and date from 1941 to December 1942. Additionally, Hermann Meinhardt’s posthumous medals, including his Iron Cross and his Eastern front medal, were donated along with the photographs. This collection also contains extensive contemporary research on Hermann Meinhardt, his battalion and his military experiences, which was conducted by Inga Kahn, Herman and Emmi Meinhardt’s daughter, her friend, Barbara Tangney, and librarian, Danielle Van Wagner. A book, Vom Train zum Roland: Eine Geschichte der deutschen Flugabwehrtruppe (1988), contains a published account of Meinhardt’s battalion, I./Flak Regt. 4, which provides extensive context to Hermann Meinhardt’s album and photographs.

Contains series:
• Series 1: Hermann Meinhardt Photographs and Medals
• Series 2: Emmi Meinhardt Photograph Album
• Series 3: Contemporary Research

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No restrictions on access.

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

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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