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Eugenie Söderberg Collection

Collection Number
SC 219

OCLC Number

Eugenie Söderberg, 1903-1973

This collection was acquired in 1972 through Barbara Lipman-Wulf, who, with her husband, Peter Lipman-Wulf, were personal friends of Eugenia Söderberg.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note
The Eugenie Söderberg Collection consists of 38 linear ft. of  personal and professional correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, and works of art of Eugenia Söderberg, a Swedish-born journalist and author who came to the United States in 1940.

Arrangement and Processing Note
Inventorying of this collection is currently in-process. Materials listed below in the inventory section are described at either the container (box) level or folder level to facilitate access.
Finding aid by Kristen J. Nyitray, December 2019.

Swedish, German, French, English, Greek.

Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

[Item], [Box], Eugenie Söderberg Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note

Prepared by Barbara Lipman-Wulf, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Department of German and Slavic Language, Stony Brook University.
First published in Nordstjernan-Svea (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 110: 24 (June 17, 1982).

"Some of the readers of Nordstjernan-Svea may remember the Swedish-American writer and journalist Eugenie Söderberg, who has also written for this paper. The writer passed away in 1973 and her papers were transferred to the Special Collections Department at State University of New York at Stony Brook Library, where I began sorting the material in Fall 1980.

The importance of the archives lies not only in Eugenie Söderberg's manuscripts, notes and diaries, written in Russian, German, French, Swedish and English, but also in her correspondence with noteworthy literary personalities, and, most impressive, her regular exchange of letters with her beloved sister, Anna Riwkin, Sweden's foremost photographer, who died two years before Eugenie Söderberg.

Several Swedish scholars have shown interest in and visited the Söderberg archives because of the writer's connection with important Scandinavian intellectuals, such as Hjalmar Söderberg, her former father-in-law, Fanny Falkner, Strindberg's last love, and a whole group of well-known Swedish writers, like Gunnar Ekelöf, Harry Martinson, Karin Boye, Ebbe Linde, who, with many others, participated as writers and editors in the avant-garde Swedish magazine, Spektrum, founded by Eugenie's brother, Joseph Riwkin, in the early thirties.

Eventually I hope to publish some of my findings, in order to portray Eugenie Söderberg's importance on different levels: 1) as a writer, deeply concerned with women's questions (as in her novels and short stories), 2) as journalist and correspondent for Scandinavian and Finnish newspapers, and 3) as a close collaborator with her sister, Anna. Both sisters worked together several times on documentary travelogues, depicting folklore and customs from countries like Hawaii and Israel and from the American Indians, whereby children played a major role. Their regular exchange of letters, sometimes on a daily basis, over a time span from the early forties to the early seventies, reveals a great deal of the historical, cultural and political events in both America and Europe.

The following short biography of Eugenie Söderberg illustrates her development as a writer in the context of a cosmopolitan and highly cultivated home milieu during her formative years.

Eugenie Söderberg was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1903, where her father, Alexander Riwkin, a Russian-Jewish immigrant, studied philosophy. In 1912, after a short return to the family's home town, Gomel in Russia, Alexander Riwkin established himself in Stockholm, Sweden, as an industrialist. The Riwkin home became a cultural center, attracting and stimulating both established and upcoming literary figures from Scandinavia and abroad. Father Riwkin, himself a philosopher, lecturer and writer of short stories in Russian and Yiddish, encouraged his oldest daughter, Eugenie, to follow in his footsteps. Joseph, a younger brother, also followed that path, acting, for a while, as a stimulating nucleus within a group of the most aspiring young writers of Sweden.

Eugenie became a creative writer and earned soon a living as editor, journalist and newspaper reporter. In 1930 she gained overnight fame with her first novel Studentfabriken (The Student Factory), translated into fourteen languages and also produced as a film. In 1928 she had married Mikael Söderberg, himself a promising young writer, and the son of Hjalmar Söderberg. Despite the early death of her husband in 1931, Eugenie upheld a warm relationship with her in-laws, especially with her father-in-law. She also remained close to her brother Joseph and her sister-in-law, Ester Riwkin, both writers. But her photographer sister Anna was to be her closest friend throughout her lifetime.

In 1940 Eugenie Söderberg came to the USA as a reporter for Scandinavian newspapers. In 1941 she married the well-known art dealer and Plato scholar, Hugo Perls, and eventually she became an American citizen. Eugenie Söderberg-Perls continued to write both journalistically, covering American theater, music and art, and creatively, Her latest book, Min Son är Min (My Son is Mine), appeared in 1965 and was well received.

The writer died in January 1973, at the age of sixty-nine. My personal friendship with Eugenie Söderberg and my growing interest in modern German and Swedish literature led to the decision to study the Söderberg papers. Their cross-cultural value, incorporating also the American cultural climate, make this project especially attractive."

Special Note: Appendix of Relatives Names 

Arranged by Last Name 

Brick, Anna (Riwkin): sister, married to Daniel Brick  
Brick, Daniel: brother-in-law, married to Anna (Riwkin) Brick  
Carlsten, Dora (Söderberg): sister-in-law   (daughter of Hjalmar Söderberg and half sister of Mikael Söderberg)
Carlsten, Rune: brother-in-law, married to Dora (Söderberg) Carlsten  
Falkner, Eva (or Ada): sister of Fanny and Stella Falkner  
Falkner, Fanny: sister of Stella (Falkner) Söderberg, and a friend of Eugenia Söderberg  
Perlman, Frida see Riwkin, Frida  
Perls, Eugenia (Riwkin) (Söderberg) see Söderberg, Eugenia (Riwkin)  
Perls, Frank A., d.1975: son of Hugo Perls by a previous marriage  
Perls, Hugo: Eugenia Söderberg's second husband  
Perls, Klaus: son of Hugo Perls by a previous marriage  
Perls, Thomas A. (Tom): son of Hugo Perls by a previous marriage  
Riwkin, Alexander: father  
Riwkin, Anna see Brick, Anna (Riwkin)  
Riwkin, Ester: sister-in-law, married to Joseph Riwkin
Riwkin, Hojnjo see Söderberg, Eugenia  
Riwkin, Frida (née Perlman), September 16, 1881-July 19, 1944: mother  
Riwkin, Joseph, d.1965: brother. Former publisher of Spektrum magazine in Stockholm, 1931-1934. Later psychiatrist in New York (1940s and 1950s?). Opens a night club and restaurant (300 years old) in Paris in the early 1960s, "Franc Pinot."  
Riwkin, Matesjohn (?): brother  
Riwkin, Sev-....odow: brother or sister (Lipman-Wulf notes)  
Söderberg, Dora see Carlsten, Dora  
Söderberg, Eugenia (Riwkin). Name is Hojnjo Riwkin, Russian citizen, born in Heidelberg, Germany, 1903, March 25. Lipman-Wulf note. Died in New York, January 1973.  
Söderberg, Hjalmar: father-in-law  
Söderberg, Mikael, d.1931: son of Hjalmar Söderberg, Eugenia's first husband  
Söderberg, Stella (née Falkner): sister-in-law, sister of Fanny and Eva Falkner  
Söderberg, Thomas (Tom): brother, married to Stella Falkner Söderberg  

Arranged by First and Nick Names

Alexander Riwkin: father  
Anna Riwkin-Brick: sister  
Chan: Anna Riwkin-Brick  
Daniel Brick: brother-in-law  
Dora Söderberg: sister-in-law, daughter of Hjalmar Söderberg  
Ester Riwkin: sister-in-law  
Eugenia Riwkin Söderberg Perls  
Eva Falkner: sister of Fanny Falkner and Stella (Falkner) Söderberg  
Fanny Falkner: sister of Stella (Falkner) Söderberg and Eva Falkner  
Frank Perls: son of Hugo Perls by a previous marriage  
Frida Riwkin: mother  
Genia: Eugenia Riwkin Söderberg Perls  
Hjalmar Söderberg: father-in-law, father of first husband, Mikael  
Honja: see Eugenia Söderberg  
Hugo Perls: Eugenia Riwkin Söderberg Perls' second husband  
Jenja: Eugenia Riwkin Söderberg Perls  
Joseph Riwkin: brother  
Klaus Perls: son of Hugo Perls by a previous marriage  
Mikael Söderberg, son of Hjalmar Söderberg, Eugenia's first husband  
Rune Carlsten: brother-in-law, husband of Dora Söderberg  
Stella (née Falkner) Carlsten: sister-in-law  
Thomas Perls: son of Hugo Perls by a previous marriage  
Thomas (Tom) Söderberg, son of Hjalmar Söderberg  
Zhenia: see Eugenia Söderberg

Söderberg, Eugenie -- 1903-1973.
Women authors, Swedish.
Authors -- Europe -- Sweden -- 19th century -- 20th century.
Women intellectuals.
Perls, Hugo--1886-1977.
Riwkin-Brick, Anna -- 1908-1970.


Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4
Correspondence with family: includes Hjalmar Söderberg, Fanny Falkner

Box 5
Materials related to Spektrum ( magazine)

Box 6
Subject files on art

Box 7
Subject files on art

Box 8
Subject files on art

Box 9
Subject files on art

Box 10
Correspondence (non-family): includes Barbara Alving, Leo Black, Erik Blomberg, Gunnar Ekel öf (clippings), Anne-Marie Fjellgren, Jossi Grossman Graditsky, Langston Hughes, Agnes von Krusenstjerna, Olof Lagercrantz, Sara Lidman, Ebee Linde, Arthur Miller, Anais Nin, Ture Nerman, Moses Pergament, Lennart Sahlin, Ulla Sallert  

Box 11
Correspondence (non-family)

Box 12
Contacts, address books, phone numbers

Box 13
Correspondence with family: Anna Riwkin-Brick, ca. 1960s

Box 14
Correspondence  (non-family)

Box 15
Correspondence with family and manuscripts: includes Mikael Söderberg, Tom and Stella Söderberg, Dora Söderberg-Carlsten, Tom Carlsten, Ester Riwkin, Josef Riwkin

Box 16
Correspondence with family: includes Frank Perls, Hugo Perls, Klaus Perls, Lise Perls

Box 17
Correspondence with family: Anna Riwkin-Brick and Daniel Brick
Correspondence with family: Nathan ? regarding Alexander Riwkin
Subejct files on Lea Goldberg

Box 18
Correspondence with family: Anna Riwkin-Brick and Daniel Brick

Box 19
Subject files on and writings about Russia
Subject files on art, film, and theater

Box 20
Subject files and correspondence related to Finland
Correspondence with Hermann Katz
Correspondence with P.E.N. American Center

Box 21
Art and gallery greeting cards and postcards

Box 22
Subject files on Swedish-related topics

Box 23
Agendas, daybooks, and diaries, ca. 1920-1968

Box 24
Journals and daybooks, ca. 1919-1921: includes sketches, paintings, and photographs.

Box 25
Correspondence with Hugo Valentin, Franz Josef Katz, Mathilde Owen, and Andrei Voznesensky
Subject files on Russia
Assorted notes
Bills and receipts

Box 26
Biographical materials about Eugenie Söderberg-Perls: includes estate papers, IRS correspondence, press credentials, biographical sketches

Box 27
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, A to C

Box 28
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, D to F

Box 29
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, G to H

Box 30
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, K to L

Box 31
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, M

Box 32
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, N to P

Box 33
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, P to R

Box 34
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, S

Box 35
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, T to U

Box 36
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls, V to W

Box 37
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls

Box 38
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls

Box 39
Notepads with sketches and artwork by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls

Box 40
Manuscripts by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls

Box 41
Small notepads, ca. 1950s

Box 42
Envelope addressed by Eugenie Söderberg-Perls  but not sent to David Ben-Gurion
Correspondence with:
Anderson, Elisabeth (nanny, Söderberg children)
Brandius, Erik
Chanin, Abe and Margit
Enberg, Britta
Friedrich, Ruth
Halbreich, Bronja
Heller, Michael
Hellwig, Hans (cousin) and Sophie (aunt; mother's sister)
Henriques, Bertil
Heyman, Michael (Deputy Director, Zionist Archives)
Hjorth, Harriet
Horowitz, Jacob and Etschi
Imber, Vera or Linder, Vera
Jaffe, Benjamin (Jewish Agency, Jerusalem)
Kesten, Hermann
King Gustav of Sweden
Laudy, Marion
Lundblad, Jane
Marschalk, Marina
Masaryk, Jan
Pines, Don
Rivlin, Menachem
Sandberg, Herbert and Lisel
Sharp, Marta (alias, "Mussia")
Silberschlag, Milka and Eisig
Springer, Helen
Steigmann, Ben
Stiernstedt, Marika
Ungar, Eva
Valentin, Hugo
van Loon, Lawrence Gwyn
Vanner, Al
Weisman, Tuttan
von Cramer, Heine and Suzanne

Box 43
Correspondence with family: Anna Riwkin-Brick and Daniel Brick, 1950-1963

Box 44
Correspondence with family: Anna Riwkin-Brick, 1964-1970
Clippings about Anna Riwkin-Brick 
Biographical statement, Anna Riwkin-Brick 

Box 45
Subject files, manuscripts, and correspondence relating to Alexander Riwkin, Anna Riwkin-Brick, Joseph Riwkin, and Lilla von Saher Riwkin

Box 46
Correspondence with Hjalmar Söderberg: father-in-law, father of first husband, Mikael  
Correspondence with and files on Hermann Kesten

Box 47
Correspondence with Anna Riwkin-Brick

Box 48
Files relating to Spektrum (magazine) . Includes correspondence to or from Gunnar Ekelof, Joseph Riwkin, Karin Boye, Ester Riwkin, and Annette Stanger Eriksson 

Box 49
Diaries and daybooks, 1920s and 1930s

Box 50
Diaries and daybooks, 1930s

Box 51
Diaries and daybooks, 1940s

Box 52
Diaries and daybooks, 1940s

Box 53
Diaries and daybooks, 1950s

Box 54
Diaries and daybooks, 1960s

Box 55
Diaries and daybooks, 1960s

Box 56
Diaries and daybooks, 1970s

Box 57
Diaries and daybooks, undated

Box 58
News clipping files, 1960s

Box 59 
Correspondence to and from Anna Riwkin-Brick, Joseph Riwkin, Esther Riwkin
Assorted notes of  Eugenie Söderberg-Perls
Correspondence to  Eugenie Söderberg-Perls and Hugo Perls
Correspondence written in Russian language
Bills and invoices of Eugenie Söderberg-Perls

Box 60
Correspondence to and from Eugenie Söderberg-Perls