Wilhelm Sollman Papers, 1901-1991
Collection: DG 045
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (curator)
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Sollman, Wilhelm (1881-1951)
Willhelm Sollman Papers
Language of Materials
Materials in English and German
7 linear feet [papers only]
Friedrich Wilhelm Sollmann (1881-1951), German labor leader, journalist, and Reichminister. Exiled from Germany in 1933, Sollmann sought refuge in the United States and eventually became an American citizen, adopting William F. Sollmann as his preferred form of address. Sollmann was a member of the German delegation to the Versailles Peace Treaty conference and he served as a representative to the Constitutional National Assembly at Weimar. In 1920 Sollmann was elected to the first of his eight terms in the Reichstag where he was to be a prominent member of the committee on foreign affairs. Sollmann's career as a lecturer and advisor on Germany and international affairs commenced in 1937 and continued until the time of his death.
Restrictions to Access
Yes, original documents are stored off-site, patrons must use microfilm for boxes 1-17; to view boxes 18-19 (not microfilmed), patrons must contact SCPC staff at least two weeks in advance of visit to request this material from off site storage.
Alternate Form of Material
Yes, microfilm Reels 40.1-13
Gift of Kate Sollmann, Elfriede Sollmann, and Hertha Kraus, 1951 and 1998
Processed by SCPC staff, finding aid revised in 1998 and 2008 by Wendy E. Chmielewski
[Identification of item], in the Wilhelm Sollman Papers (DG 045), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law
Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record
Friedrich Wilhelm Sollmann (1881-1951), German labor leader, journalist, and Reichminister, was born in Coburg, Germany. Exiled from Germany in 1933, Sollmann sought refuge in the United States and eventually became an American citizen, adopting William F. Sollmann as his preferred form of address. Sollmann, who is credited with the co-founding of the University of Cologne in 1919, became editor-in-chief of the Rheinische Zeitung that same year and served in this post until 1933. In 1919 he was a member of the German delegation to the Versailles Peace Treaty conference and he served as a representative to the Constitutional National Assembly at Weimar. In 1920 Sollmann was elected to the first of his eight terms in the Reichstag where he was to be a prominent member of the committee on foreign affairs. Sollmann was also the Secretary of the Interior in two cabinets under Chancellor Gustav Stresemann. Attacked and nearly beaten to death by Nazi storm troopers in 1933, Sollmann, became a German exile, and took up the editorship of the Deutsche Freiheit, a daily paper of the Saar territory. Sollmann emigrated to the United States, where he became an associate staff member of Pendle Hill, a Quaker study center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Sollmann's views on the then-current world tension showed his deep confidence that the only solution would be conciliation and mutual adjustments by the nations concerned. His final advice was: "Maintain an equilibrium, however precarious, for 50, if necessary for 100 years. The deep changes which are required in society today cannot be hurriedly accomplished. Insist that high officials of the opposing governments and responsible persons of wide influence from both sides confer constantly in private, outside the orbit of the newspapers. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate." Sollmann's career as a lecturer and advisor on Germany and international affairs commenced in 1937 and continued until the time of his death.
The Wilhelm Sollmann papers include biographical material, writings, and correspondence. The biographical material gives information about Sollmann's life in Germany and afterwards in the United States. Tributes and memorials are also included in the collection. Sollmann was a prolific writer and many of his speeches, essays, pamphlets, and newspaper articles may be found here. A large portion of this collection consists of Sollmann's correspondence with prominent men and women of Germany and other parts of the world. There are also many letters with fellow exiles who write of political, financial, and marital difficulties resulting from the Nazi regime.
Several photographs of Wilhelm Sollmann and others
3 pen and ink drawings of Wilhelm Sollmann
1 oil painting of W. Sollman.
Arrangement of Collection
The Sollmann papers were deposited in the Peace Collection in two sections. The first, and largest, part of the collection arrived in 1951 soon after Wilhelm Sollmann's death. This material was organized into biographical material, correspondence, printed writings, typescript material, and publicity about Sollmann's work. All items are arranged chronologically within each category.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Biographical papers and major correspondence
General Correspondence, 1901-1924
General Correspondence, 1925-1933; 1934 - January 1936
General Correspondence, January - December 1939; 1937-1939
General Correspondence, 1940-1942
General Correspondence, 1943-1945
General Correspondence, 1946-1951 and undated
Printed articles: editorial, magazine, pamphlet, and newspaper, 1908-1926
Printed articles: editorial, magazine, pamphlet, and newspaper, 1927-1933
Typescripts in English; Typescripts in German
Publicity about W. F. Sollmann (newspaper and magazine articles, clippings and cartoons) 1911-1937;
Lecture engagements, correspondence, 1938-1951
Material from Elfriede Sollmann (Acc. 98A-080)