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Science and Survival

A new outdoor exhibition documenting one family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Germany.

On view through Spring 2023
 

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Science and Survival street view

View of Science and Survival from the entrance of our museum.

Science History Institute/Meredith Edlow

Drawn from the Papers of Georg and Max Bredig, a recently digitized collection of correspondence belonging to the German father and son chemists of Jewish descent, Science and Survival reveals the harrowing story of the Bredig family’s struggle to escape the Nazi regime.

View digitized items from Science and Survival >>

The outdoor exhibition features large-scale reproductions of letters, postcards, and photographs installed on the façade of the Institute’s building at 315 Chestnut Street in Old City Philadelphia.

Read English translations of the letters in our digital collections:

 

 
Letter from Georg Bredig to the Daniel Sieff Research Institute

Fearing that his library might be destroyed under the Third Reich, Georg Bredig offers to send his publications to the Daniel Sieff Institute in Rehovot, Palestine.

May 21, 1937

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Portrait of Georg Bredig

Photograph of Georg Bredig seated at a desk in his study, regarding the book and papers in front of him.

1930s

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Radiogram from Georg Bredig to Max Bredig

Georg Bredig tells his son, Max Bredig, that he has sent his documents to Princeton University and that he should be leaving for the United States soon.

January 14, 1940

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Georg Bredig’s Immigrant Identification Card

American immigration identification card belonging to Georg Bredig. His name on the card is “Salomon J. G.” for Salomon Julius Georg Bredig. “Salomon Julius” were Jewish names given to him at birth and which he never used, but was mandated to readopt in 1938 after the Third Reich implemented a law forcing German Jews to have Jewish names.

January 11, 1940

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Telegram from Max Bredig to Marianne Homburger

Telegram from Max Bredig informing his sister, Marianne Homburger, that he has secured three tickets for the S.S. Nyassa.

April 4, 1941

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Max Bredig Working in His Laboratory

Photograph of Max Bredig working in his laboratory.

Circa 1930

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Letter from Marianne and Viktor Homburger to Georg and Max Bredig

In a joint letter to Georg and Max Bredig, Marianne Homburger and her husband, Viktor Homburger, describe their life in Marseille, France, after their release from the Gurs concentration camp.

April 15, 1941

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Portrait of Georg Bredig and Marianne Homburger

Photograph of Georg Bredig and his daughter, Marianne.

Circa 1930

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Letter from Arthur and Erna Dalem (Alfred and Eva Schnell) to Max Bredig

Message from Alfred Schnell and Eva Schnell to Max Bredig saying that they are living in the country and are being helped by friends.

Sent: July 3, 1943; received November 24, 1943

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Photograph of Alfred and Eva Schnell

Photograph of Alfred and Eva Schnell, with Eva’s mother in the foreground.

Undated

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Max and Lydia Bredig with Marianne and Viktor Homburger in Colorado

From left: Viktor and Marianne Homburger (Max Bredig’s brother-in-law and sister), and Max and Lydia Bredig. An inscription on the back of the photograph reads, “Happy Ending in Colorado.”

Circa 1943

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Letter from Georg Bredig to the Daniel Sieff Research Institute


Fearing that his library might be destroyed under the Third Reich, Georg Bredig offers to send his publications to the Daniel Sieff Institute in Rehovot, Palestine.

May 21, 1937

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Some Holocaust stories may never be known. Trauma and loss prevent many from ever being told. Science and Survival helps give voice to these silent memories.

Personal and professional connections saved the Bredig family from the Third Reich. Max Bredig fled Germany in 1937. He convinced his father, Georg, to leave in 1939. Two years later, Max’s bribes and letters helped his sister, Marianne, and her husband, Viktor, flee a French internment camp. But other friends and colleagues such as Alfred and Eva Schnell did not survive.


The Science History Institute thanks the Walder Foundation for its generous support of the acquisition of the Papers of Georg and Max Bredig. Digitization and cataloging of this collection was made possible through the generosity of the Council on Library and Information Resources. Additional support comes from Aetna CVS Health Community Partnership Initiatives, Ari Kaplan, and Vidya Plainfield.

Learn more about the Papers of Georg and Max Bredig