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8 plays, 8 poems and a semi-autobiographical novel published in 1999. Included are excerpts from the book The Real Mrs. Miniver, a biography of Dolt's first wife the renowned author Jan Struther, written by her granddaughter Ysenda Maxtone Graham. A chapter in the book about Dolt's stay in London after he left Vienna makes reference to his poetry. Dolt's play Henry V as well as his short novel Traumfardt Mit Der Familie ("Dream-Journey With The Family") are translated from their original German by my father Paul Stern, Dolt's lifelong friend and brother-in-law; (in 1951,Dolt's sister Susan and Paul were married). Paul's career as a translator included working with Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.D. Snodgrass on Gallows Songs as well as with Maurice Sendak and Lore Segal on their book The Juniper Tree and other Tales From Grimm.
Photographs: Dolf with Paul, left, in medical school, standing over a cadaver, possibly the one mentioned on page 117 of The Real Mrs. Miniver that describes Dolt's severe short-comings as a medical student: Attempting to perform a simple appendectomy on a cadaver," Dolf was told that he had killed his 'patient' 14 different ways." Portrait of Dolf in 1933. Dolf in his Army uniform with Jan Struther. Jan died in 1953. Dolf and his wife, Bev, who has just turned 100 years old. It was Bev who suggested that Dolf s work be donated to Columbia. A family picture from June 1985. From left, Cousin Ernst Phillip, Bev Placzek, Dolf s sister, Susan Stern, brother-in-law Paul Stern.
Documents: Photo-copy of a document from the University of Vienna that Dolf received when he transferred from studying medicine to studying philosophy. He was essentially forced to become a medical student by his step-father, a prominent Viennese physician (see page 115 of The Real Mrs. Miniver). The swastika embossed identification document identifies Dolf, a philosophy student, who is (translated) Excluded under the Nazi regime. To the right of Excluded, the word Jew (Jude) is handwritten.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Conditions Governing Use
Single reproductions may be made for research purposes. It is the responsibility of the user to secure permission for publication or use from the appropriate copyright holder.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Adolf K. Placzek Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Adolf K. Placzek, former Avery Librarian at Columbia.