Dora Sophie Kellner (1890-1964)




1890 : born in Vienna, 06.01.1890


Father: Leon Kellner (1859-1928)
Mother: Johanne (Anna) Weiss (1862-1941)


1885 Paula Kellner
    born 08.02.1895 in Vienna,
    died 05.09.1968 in Bejamina/Binyamina, Israel
1890 [Self]




1) 1912 Max Pollack




2) 1917, 16th. April she married Walter Benjamin (1892-1940)
1930 : Divorced 24.04.1930 after a long separation.


1918 Stefan Rafael Benjamin, born 11.04.1918 in Bern, died 06.02.1942 in London UK.


3) 1938 : Heinrich Mörzer/Morser

The Vienna Morsers were very friendly with the LEON KELLNER family (prominent Viennese newspaper person and author) and during the war, Harry, long since divorced from both wives, married Dora Kellner, in name only, in order to to facilitate her getting out of Vienna and getting legal entry into England.
More below ....






1964 London, GB.

If this is the same Dora Kellner*, then she was previously married to the jewish writer and philosopher, Walter Benjamin:
Am 16.4. 1917 heiratete B. in Berlin Dora Sophie Pollak geb. Kellner (6.1. 1890-1964), vermögende Tochter des Wiener Anglisten Leon Kellner (1859-1928), . . . die erst nach langjähriger Trennung am 24.4. 1930 vollzogene Ehescheidung Rough translation: Dora Sophie Kellner, daughter of Leon Kellner, married W.B. in Berlin in 1917. ... after a long separation, they divorced in 1930 Was At: link no longer available.

More on Walther Benjamin at: Wiki article: Walter Benjamin

I don't know what happened to Dora (Morser) after she married Harry.
There is a reference in National Archives of South Africa (NASA) for 1950-55 for a Dora Sophie Morser, but I don't know what kind of record(s) are involved.

*Update: September 2010
Just found this on the internet:

After Hitler's rise to power, Dora Sophie Benjamin moved to Italy; where she first served as cook and later owner of the Hotel Miramare in San Remo. On several occasions she provided refuge to her penniless former husband at the hotel. In 1938 she undertook a marriage of convenience with a South African businessman, which enabled her to move to London in 1938 with her son Stefan. She died there in 1964.
DORA: [...] If I, Fräulein Dora Dora Sophie Kellner, who then became Frau Pollack and then stuck to Frau Benjamin ... even after our divorce ... was willing to become Mrs. Morser ----
SCHOLEM: Morser?
DORA: Harry Morser ... a kind South African who was guest in my pension in San Remo. Walter may remember him.
SCHOLEM: A fake marriage?
DORA: Not fake. Let us call it a compassionate marriage of convenience that got me safely to London.
Four Jews on Parnassus. A conversation: Benjamin, Adorno, Scholem, Schöneberg. Carl Djerassis, Gabriele Seethaler.
(Available online, search the internet for "Four Jews on Parnassus")
Her marriage to Morser is considered to be have been a marriage of convenience, which allowed her to seek refuge in England with her son Stefan in 1939.
Walter Benjamin. THe production of an intellectual figure. Sandra Hoenle 1999.
Ph.D. Thesis, University of British Columbia. Availabe as PDF file on the internet.)

Sandra Hoenle's thesis provides a lot of details about Dora Sophie Kellner's life (1890 - 1964), but only up to 1939. She is described in the Internationales Germanistenlexikon as
"Übersetzerin, Journalistin, Fremdsprachensekratärin" (Translator, journalist, foreign-language secretary)

She was expropriated ("enteignet") in 1936:
Reichsanzeiger-Datum: 360817§ Status: f Name: Kellner, Dora Sophie Mädchenname: Kellner, Geburtsort: Wien Geburtsdatum: 06.01.1890 Wohnort: Berlin; Ausland Witwe (geschieden): (Benjamin) Kommentar: 21050.-/02.06.1936; aufgehoben RA361228§ Behörde: Name+Ort: Fin.-Amt Berlin-Wilmersdorf-S. Namen von 1936 enteigneter Personen
Note the Status f = Reichsfluchtsteuer !
(i.e. Taxed for fleeing the country which would have killed her otherwise !)

Internet searches for Dora Sophie Kellner show that she worked as a translator ("Aus dem englischen von ..."), translating many english books into german. Amongst other books she translated the "Father Brown" series from G. K. Chesterton.

She lived in Notting Hill in London until her death in 1964.

For some more information on Dora Sophie Kellner, see this article
A Woman's Many Names - Dora Sophie Kellner by Maya Nitis in AVIVA.