In 2011 the IISH acquired with help of the Friends of the IISH an original typescript (176 pp.) by Nadja Strasser (1871-1955). This typescript tells the story of Nadia Ossipovna, known as 'Dina', who grew up in the provincial town of Novodub, Ukraine, in the 1870s to the 1890s. The story sees Nadia breaking away from the restrictive environment of her upbringing, and eventually joining the subversive, politically active Jewish intellectual circles in Warsaw, Poland. In 1917, before the October Revolution, Strasser published 'Die Russin', a tribute to Russian women. After a short return to her family, she began studying at Vienna University. She spent some years living in Vienna and Berlin, and then went with the architect Alexander Levy to Palestine in 1920. Lack of funds caused them both to return to Berlin in 1927. They went into exile in Paris in 1933. Levy was taken to Auschwitz in August 1942, but Nadja survived in France. She died in Berlin in 1955.
Nadja Strassers manuscript is important because it reminds us of the status of Jews in Eastern Europe and the expectations young people had of socialism and feminism. Some years ago Nadja was rediscovered in Germany, when Birgit Schmidt published two books about her: Jungle World (2004) and Aschkenas. Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kultur der Juden [The Ashkenaz: Journal of Jewish History and Culture, 2006]. But Schmidt saw only fragments of the typescript, and it is a good thing that the complete typescript is now preserved in the 'Eastern Europe/various manuscripts collection' no 95-96.
Some fragments of this typescript can be found in the papers of Rudolf Rocker (inv. nr. 455).
Brief archival description
Die Russin, Call number 2011/1438