Hanni Sondheimer Vogelweid was born on October 5, 1923, in Berlin, Germany. Her family was living in Lithuania when World War II began, and fled to Japan in an attempt to emigrate to America where they had relatives. This did not work out, and the family was forced to move to Shanghai, as they had become officially stateless upon leaving Lithuania. Vogelweid lived in Shanghai from 1941 to 1946, and during the war was forced to live in the Hongkew ghetto with other Jewish refugees. The collection consists of personal documents Vogelweid used when she lived in Shanghai, including correspondence, vital records, personal identification documents, and some publications.