Gerda Nischan Papers, 1930, 1946-1947, 1976-2014

Manuscript Collection #1000

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Gerda Nischan Papers
    Creator: August von Goethe Literaturverlag.
    Nischan, Gerda
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: The Gerda Nischan Papers contains letters (1930, 1946-1947), handwritten in German between Otto Baumann and his wife, Barbara Hock, all but one written during the time Baumann was a German soldier in a French prisoner of war camp, 1946-1947, and typescripts in English by Baumann's daughter, Gerda Nischa, including an explanation of the letters, and 7 poems inspired by the letters. In 2010 Gerda Nischan wrote a book based on the letters titled Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen, an English translation written in 2014 ( Letters to a Prisoner of War), and a novel in German (2013) called Dieses neue Leben which are included in these papers.
    Extent: 0.877 Cubic feet,
  • Description
     

    Most notably the papers contain hand written letters between Nischan’s parents Otto Baumann and Barbara Hock. All but one were written during the time Baumann was a German soldier in a French POW camp, (1946-1947). There are typescripts in English by Nischan, including an explanation of the letters (2004), a translation of the first letter and 7 poems inspired by the letters.

    Also included is correspondence with Ralph Hardee Rives, a retired East Carolina University English professor, spanning the years 2002to 2009 in which Rives discusses his political beliefs, former colleagues, contemporary political figures such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, and John Kerry and Teresa Heinz, and international political affairs such as terrorism, the Venezuelan government and Fidel Castro. Much of the correspondence is light and conversational and many are Christmas cards or “notes”.

    Also included in the papers are Nischan’s curriculum vitae, donor requests from ECU, certificates recognizing her donations to various organizations, a publishing agreement (1976), information on book signing events, a Neue Literatur! article featuring Gerda, correspondence in German, a contract for a book signing event, assorted newspaper articles, a photograph of Gerda at Book Fair in Leipzeig and a signed copies of Nischan’s books Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen, Letters to a Prisoner of War, and Dieses Neu Leben.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Gerda Nischan of Frankenthal, Germany was born on March 24th, 1940. Her father was a German soldier in a French POW camp from 1946-1947. She attended local schools until she left for Switzerland in 1958. Later she moved to England to attend an International Language School to further her education. In 1967 she left for the United States to work at the German Consulate in Philadelphia, and she met her future husband in 1967 while working there. The Nischans moved to Greenville, NC, in 1969, when Bodo accepted a position on the East Carolina University History Department faculty. After her move to North Carolina she started writing seriously and joined the East Carolina University Poetry Forum. She published many of her poems in Poetry Journals and started giving readings of her work in the U.S. as well as in Germany. In recent years she has published several books both fiction and non-fiction.

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    May 4, 2004, 49 items, 0.02 cubic feet; Letters (1930, 1946-1947, 2004), handwritten in German between Otto Baumann and his wife, Barbara Hock, all but one written during the time Baumann was a German soldier in a French prisoner of war camp, 1946-1947; and typescripts in English by Baumann's daughter, Gerda Nischan, including an explanation of the letters, 4/23/2004, a translation of the first letter, 9/24/1930; and 7 poems inspired by the letters. Holographs and Typescripts. In English and German language. Donor: Ms. Gerda Nischan

    April 22, 2005, (addition 1) 7 items, 0.002 cubic feet; Translations and transcriptions (3/28 - 6/7/1946) of letters from a German soldier, Otto Baumann, to his wife, Barbara Baumann, while serving as a prisoner of war in France after World War II; also, photographs of Otto and Barbara Baumann (ca. 1929, 1946). Donor: Ms. Gerda Nischan

    April 22, 2009, (addition 2) 143 items, 0.75 cubic feet; Papers (ca. 1982-2009) including correspondence form Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives, her curriculum vita, documentation concerning Mrs. Nischan's charitable donations, and correspondence concerning the North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop series. See preliminary inventory. Donor: Gerda Nischan

    July 17, 2011, (addition 3) 5 items, 0.027 cubic feet; Book (2010) titled Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen written by Gerda Nischan based on letters written by her parents while her father Otto Baumann was a German soldier in a French prisoner of war camp after World War II; a photograph of Gerda Nischan at the book fair in Leipzig, Germany (March 2011), where her book was formally presented; and newspaper clippings concerning the reading she gave from her new book in her hometown of Frankenthal, Germany. Donor: Gerda Nischan

    May 29, 2013, (addition 4) 2 items, 0.025 cubic feet;Addition includes Neue Literatur! Catalogue for 2012 put out by August Von Goethe Literaturverlag which contains information about Gerda Nischan and her 2010 book Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen, and a card promoting her upcoming novel Dieses Neue Leben to be published in 2013 by August von Goethe Literaturverlag. Donor: Gerda Nischan

    August 7, 2015, (addition 5) 0.053 cubic feet; Addition (1976, 2011-2014) contains documents, clippings, and correspondence (mostly in German) related to the publishing and promotion of publications by Gerda Nischan including Red Sky in the Night, Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen, and Dieses neue Leben. Also included are autographed copies of her books Dieses neue Leben (in German) and Letters to a Prisoner of War (in English). Donor: Gerda Nischan

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Ms. Gerda Nischan

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Copyright and literary property rights are retained by the donor for the book she wrote titled Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen. Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Gerda Nischan Papers (#1000), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Encoded by Lindsay Flood, April 3, 2008

    Processing completed January 20, 2017, by Megan Turner.

Container List

  • Box 2
     
    Correspondence from Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.
    Correspondence from Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.
    Nischan's curriculum vita, documentation concerning Mrs. Nischan's charitable donations, and correspondence concerning the North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop series.
    Autographed copy of Briefe an einen Kriegsgeangenen, photograph, German newspaper articles.
    Issue of the catalogue Neue Literatur! featuring article with Gerda Nischan, promotional card for her novel Dieses neu Lieben.
    Documents, clippings and correspondence related to the publishing and promotion of publications by Gerda Nischan including Red Sky in the Night, Briefe an einen Iriegsgefangenen and Dieses neue Leben. Autographed copies of her books Dieses neue Leben in German and Letters to a Prisoner of War in English.
    Autographed copy of Dieses neue Leben and Letters to a Prisoner of War.

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Container List

  • Box 2
     
    Correspondence from Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.
    Correspondence from Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.
    Nischan's curriculum vita, documentation concerning Mrs. Nischan's charitable donations, and correspondence concerning the North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop series.
    Autographed copy of Briefe an einen Kriegsgeangenen, photograph, German newspaper articles.
    Issue of the catalogue Neue Literatur! featuring article with Gerda Nischan, promotional card for her novel Dieses neu Lieben.
    Documents, clippings and correspondence related to the publishing and promotion of publications by Gerda Nischan including Red Sky in the Night, Briefe an einen Iriegsgefangenen and Dieses neue Leben. Autographed copies of her books Dieses neue Leben in German and Letters to a Prisoner of War in English.
    Autographed copy of Dieses neue Leben and Letters to a Prisoner of War.


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