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Guide to the Jutta Schütt Collection

MSE/MD 3826


Collection Summary

Title: Jutta Schütt Collection
Dates: 1916-1939
Collection No.: MSE/MD 3826
Creator: Schütt, Jutta (b. 1910)
Creator: Russo, [NED] (b. 1897)
Creator: Grandinetti, Rose Elvira (b. 1901)
Extent: 53 folders; 3 containers; 1.5 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English and German
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A series of documents and letters from Jutta Schütt, Rose Elvira Grandinetti, Nicholas Emerson Dante Russo, and others, beginning in July 1916 and ending in July 1939.

Selected Search Terms

Third Reich, 1933-1945.
World War, 1914-1918.
American women in the 20th century.

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Jutta Schütt Collection, [Collection and folder no.], Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Jutta Schütt Collection was purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2016, from Michael Brown. Arranged and described 2017, by Hannah Herbst. Finding aid 2017, by Hannah Herbst and Julie Tanaka.

Biographical Note

Jutta Schütt was born 27 October 1910 in Germany and lived in Berlin. She met Russo while he was studying in Heidelberg. Her correspondence began with Russo after he left Germany, a few months after the birth of her child. Her son, Ulrich Schütt, was born 34 March 1935. She also referred to Ulrich using a variety of names, including "Blinkins," "Justin," "Ulli," and "Bunny." Schütt was able to secure a secretarial position at "Elektroworks." She and her son temporarily lived in a home for unwed mothers. Due to financial difficulty, she was forced to change homes multiple times. Her relationship with Russo caused considerable tension between her and her family. Russo also had an affair with Lisa Schmücking before he left. This created a strained relationship for Schütt and Schmücking. Schütt assisted Russo in his writing ventures, including "St. W." ("Sterile World.") Jutta Schütt believed for a long time that Russo would return to Germany to take her and her son to the United States. As of 1939, he still had not done so.

Rose Elvira Grandinetti was born 3 June 1901 in New York, New York and lived in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1916, while still in high school, she met Russo, who was twenty. Grandinetti married another man and likely had an illegitimate daughter (named Pat) with Russo during that period. She eventually married and lived with Russo.

Nicholas Emerson Dante [NED] Russo was born 4 March 1897 in New York, New York. He claimed to be an Italian American Roman Catholic. Russo used various forms of his name throughout his life, which resulted in the frequent scrambling of his name. Russo participated the First World War as a doctor. He spent some time in Germany, studying in Heidelberg, before returning to the United States. He had multiple affairs with women younger than him. He eventually married Vira Grandinetti, with whom he had had an illegitimate daughter, and started his own private practice. He also considered himself to be a writer.

Scope and Content Note

The Jutta Schütt Collection contains letters from a single, German mother recounting her experiences living under the Nazi regime. The collection also includes a series of early 20th century American courtship letters between NED Russo and Vira Grandinetti, beginning in 1916. The correspondence within the collection cover issues of American politics. The Schütt letters also deal with the evolving social and legal situation in Nazi Germany particularly in regard to custody and Aryan verification.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged chronologically by sender in four series: 1. NED Russo's correspondence with the Grandinetti family; 2. Miscellaneous Documents, including letters from other women in Germany to NED Russo; 3. the Jutta Schütt letters to NED Russo; 4. Ephemera.

Container List

  • Series 1: NED Russo - Grandinetti Family Correspondence 
    • Folder 1 (MSE/MD 3826-1) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 July - August. ALS, 3 letters.
      • Folder 2 (MSE/MD 3826-2) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 September. ALS, 9 letters.
        • Folder 3 (MSE/MD 3826-3) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 October. ALS, 15 letters.
          • Folder 4 (MSE/MD 3826-4) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 November. ALS, 32 letters.
            • Folder 5 (MSE/MD 3826-5) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 December. ALS, 19 letters.
              • Folder 6 (MSE/MD 3826-6) NED Russo - Saul Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 - 1917. ALS, 6 letters.
                • Folder 7 (MSE/MD 3826-7) NED Russo - Mrs. E Grandinetti Correspondence. 1916 - 1917. ALS, 4 letters.
                  • Folder 8 (MSE/MD 3826-8) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 January. ALS, 19 letters.
                    • Folder 9 (MSE/MD 3826-9) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 February. ALS, 23 letters.
                      • Folder 10 (MSE/MD 3826-10) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 March. ALS, 22 letters.
                        • Folder 11 (MSE/MD 3826-11) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 April. ALS, 27 letters.
                          • Folder 12 (MSE/MD 3826-12) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 May. ALS, 18 letters.
                            • Folder 13 (MSE/MD 3826-13) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 June. ALS, 5 letters.
                              • Folder 14 (MSE/MD 3826-14) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 July. ALS, 5 letters.
                                • Folder 15 (MSE/MD 3826-15) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 August. ALS, 12 letters.
                                  • Folder 16 (MSE/MD 3826-16) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 September. ALS, 5 letters.
                                    • Folder 17 (MSE/MD 3826-17) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 October. ALS, 3 letters.
                                      • Folder 18 (MSE/MD 3826-18) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1917 November. ALS, 2 letters.
                                        • Folder 19 (MSE/MD 3826-19) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1918. ALS, 32 letters.
                                          • Folder 20 (MSE/MD 3826-20) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1919. ALS, 17 letters.
                                            • Folder 21 (MSE/MD 3826-21) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1920 -1924. ALS, 14 letters.
                                              • Folder 22 (MSE/MD 3826-22) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. 1932 - 1936. ALS, 9 letters; 2 photographs.
                                                • Folder 23 (MSE/MD 3826-23) NED Russo - Vira Grandinetti Correspondence. No date. ALS, 6 letters.
                                                  • Folder 24 (MSE/MD 3826-24) NED Russo Letters. Unaddressed. No date. ALS, 4 letter fragments.
                                                  • Series 2: Miscellaneous Documents 
                                                    • Folder 25 (MSE/MD 3826-25) Laboratory Reports. 1934. 4 papers.
                                                      • Folder 26 (MSE/MD 3826-26) Lisa Schmücking Letters and Photographs. 1935 - 1936. TL, ALS, 8 letters; 5 photographs.
                                                        The majority of the letters are from Lisa Schmücking to NED Russo. The two experienced considerable tension after Russo left Germany. There is a fragment of what appears to be a script written in Schmücking's handwriting.
                                                        Two of the photographs are of Jutta's baby. One photograph is of a woman, presumably Schmücking, with the note "that's for remembrance, Yours Lisa" on the reverse. There is another photograph of the same woman in the Alps. Another photograph is of a potted plant from Schmücking's apartment window.
                                                        • Folder 27 (MSE/MD 3826-27) Miscellaneous Letters to NED Russo. 1935 - 1936. ALS, 4 letters.
                                                          One letter was sent by Trudel, who wrote to Russo, accusing him of having "written such a hurting letter to Lisa." Two letters are from Elli Rotzoll to Russo. The first discusses Schütt and her child. The second was sent almost a year later, discussing Schütt and Schmücking's vacation plans and their financial difficulties. Another letter was sent by a secretary of Dr. Ostwald. Russo attempted to contact Dr. Ostwald; the office in turn attempted to contact Jutta Schütt.
                                                          • Folder 28 (MSE/MD 3826-28) Miscellaneous Envelopes to NED Russo. No date. 5 envelopes.
                                                          • Series 3: Jutta Schütt Letters 
                                                            • Folder 29 (MSE/MD 3826-29) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. April 1935. ALS, 1 letter.
                                                              Schütt writes to Russo, discussing the difficulty she has with her living situation as a single mother. She refers to Lisa Schmücking and her having "no jealousy" anymore, implying that Russo had an additional affair with Schmücking. She apologizes to Russo for her negative comments and declares her love to him, reassuring him that she and her son are fine.
                                                              • Folder 30 (MSE/MD 3826-30) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. May 1935. ALS, 4 letters; 2 photographs.
                                                                Schütt refers to Russo's Heidelberg records being subject to some scandal that is "settled already." She believes that her family is attempting to persecute her and Russo. She attempts to work out her inheritance through the Potsdam court and delcares "if they don't answer as they should, we'll go right on to Hitler." She spends most of her time with Schmücking and Rotzoll. She misses Russo, but she continues to reassure him that everything on her "side of the ocean" is fine. She believes that she will reunite with Russo and they will spend their lives together.
                                                                Two photographs attached are borth headshots of Jutta Schütt.
                                                                • Folder 31 (MSE/MD 3826-31) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. June 1935. ALS, 6 letters; TLS, 1 letter; TLS, 1 document; 4 photographs.
                                                                  Schütt goes to see a Nazi propaganda play with the chief of her office. She wishes Russo could have seen it in order to understand "a little bit more of what the whole movement is about." The Potsdam court does not rule in her favor regarding the line of inheritance. She also faces legal obstacles to becoming the legal guardian (Vormund) of her son because Russo has not declared to the German Consulate that he is the father. Russo apparently keeps both of his children a secret from his parents. Schütt expresses anxiety about the government opening her letters. She discusses enclosing the patent application. A letter in German from the German state legal guardian of Schütt's child requests that "Mr. Architect Dante Emmery Reusso-Emerson" declares his fatherhood of Ulrich Schütt to the German Consulate. Schütt tells Russo that, in order for her to have custody of her son, they need to either get married or entirely break off their relationship.
                                                                  Included is the patent application applied for in Germany for a "closefitting box with a cover, which thru side pressure against the vertical border of the cover is easily opened." The patent application is typed in both English and German. It was agreed that Russo would receive "full powers of atorney [sic]."
                                                                  Three of the photographs show Jutta Schütt holding her infant son in her arms, about 3 months old. The other attached photograph has an "x" labeled over Schütt's chief from her office.
                                                                  • Folder 32 (MSE/MD 3826-32) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. July 1935. ALS, 4 letters.
                                                                    Russo did not reply to Schütt's letters for the first half of July. Schütt expresses distress that Russo may be getting married to Vira Grandinetti. She is afraid that Russo will abandon her son. Russo apparently reassures her that he will not marry anyone. It appears that Russo is deeply unhappy that the German Consulate contacted him. Schütt reassures him that he can respond with proof of fatherhood when he is "good and ready."
                                                                    • Folder 33 (MSE/MD 3826-33) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. August 1935. ALS, 5 letters; 2 photographs.
                                                                      Schütt continues to miss Russo. She experiences tensions with Lisa Schmücking. She discusses "a new rise against the jews [sic]." The home for working mothers is going to be closed October 1st. She continues to work with Russo on his manuscript. She uses the abbreviation "St. W." to discuss it. It has been suggested that the title of the manuscript is Sterile World. She seems to refer to a potential sequel, titled Chaotic World, as well as a third book. They intend to enter Sterile World into a contest.
                                                                      Two photographs of Jutta Schütt with her infant son. Written on the backsides are "For Emy to replace the one in his pocketbook that is no longer men. Peewee." and "This isn't so good! Therefore I only send it to you, dear. Lovingly Peewee."
                                                                      • Folder 34 (MSE/MD 3826-34) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. September 1935. ALS, 3 letters.
                                                                        Schütt continues to have the same problems. She references "Abessinia [sic]," referring to the Abyssinian Crisis of 1935, and hopes that neither the United States nor Nazi Germany will get involved. She refuses to return home to her family. Russo refuses to recognize Schütt's son as his child. She tries to get Dr. Ostwald to sign a certificate for Russo with no success.
                                                                        • Folder 35 (MSE/MD 3826-35) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. October 1935. ALS, 4 letters.
                                                                          Schütt still waits for the second half of Russo's manuscript. Trudel has been living with a Jewish man for ten years and, despite the "new laws," refuses to leave him. Schütt continues to fantasize intensely about ending up with Russo. She believes that she will be with him in a few months. Russo still has not declared that he is the father of her son. Russo threatens to lengthen the period of their separation. She discusses the loan Russo took out from Lisa in order to return to the United States.
                                                                          • Folder 36 (MSE/MD 3826-36) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. November 1935. ALS, 2 letters.
                                                                            Schütt continues to believe that she will be with Russo by "next spring." She continues to wait for the full draft of Sterile World. Her chief learns that she has a baby. He continues to make advances toward her. She moves in with Schücking and must live apart from her son.
                                                                            • Folder 37 (MSE/MD 3826-37) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. December 1935. ALS, 3 letters.
                                                                              Schütt sends a Christmas package to Russo, Grandinetti, and their daughter, Pat. She continues to wait to go to the United States. She is distressed that she cannot take care of her son herself.
                                                                              • Folder 38 (MSE/MD 3826-38) Jutta Schütt to Anneleise Marien. 22 December 1935. ALS, 1 letter.
                                                                                Written in German. Schütt discusses housing arrangements. She wants to make plans with Marien when she comes by. Schütt also discusses the treatment of her son.
                                                                                • Folder 39 (MSE/MD 3826-39) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. January 1936. ALS, 2 letters.
                                                                                  Schütt applies to become the legal guardian (Vormund) of her child. She waits for Russo to send in the required paperwork. She expects to see Russo in March and begins to make preparations.
                                                                                  • Folder 40 (MSE/MD 3826-40) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. February 1936. ALS, 3 letters.
                                                                                    Russo's lack of trust in Schütt's faithfulness causes her stress. She discusses her loneliness frequently. She is having difficulty at work. Her chief continues to make advances on her; he tells her Russo will not come and get her. Schütt apologizes for being jealous of the relationship Russo had with Schmücking. Russo continues to accuse Schütt of cheating on him, that she is being influenced by others, and that she doesn't love him. She says that Russo thinks of her as "lousy" and "stupid." He calls her a parasite and admits that he doesn't want to marry her. Included are a type-written fragment of a story and receipts for two German money orders for the amounts of 50 and 55 Reichsmark.
                                                                                    • Folder 41 (MSE/MD 3826-41) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. March 1936. ALS, 3 letters.
                                                                                      Schütt fluctuates between extreme emotions. Her son gets sick. Schütt thinks that Russo doesn't have any empathy for what she is going through. Russo thinks that she "got with child to have a means to get money" out of him. She is upset that he expects her to "prove" that she is not a parasite. She wants Russo to come to Germany when the Olympics begin. She encloses a fragment of a story. She returns to court, and another judge requests Russo's birth certificate and those of his parents to certify that he is not Jewish. Without Aryan verification, her son will not be able to go to school.
                                                                                      • Folder 42 (MSE/MD 3826-42) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. April 1936. ALS, 4 letters.
                                                                                        Schütt's son is still sick. She continues to struggle with her family, including a very difficult relationship with her mother. She continues to beg Russo to get a job. She discusses publication through a competition ending after April. Schütt misses Russo and advises him on how to fix his life situation and talks about how she views the world. She is also involved in establishing a Jew-free theater group. She discusses celebrating Nazi Labor Day on 1936 May 1. Enclosed is a card from that day.
                                                                                        • Folder 43 (MSE/MD 3826-43) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. May 1936. ALS, 3 letters.
                                                                                          Schütt discusses her people's theater (Volkstheater.) They are planning to act out plays in English. She talks about Russo's loan from Schmücking, instructing him how to manipulate Schmücking into his favor. Her work situation improves. Russo continues to write to her infrequently. She asks him for money again. She also talks about her son, fear, current events in the United States, and other topics that she believes she has a deep perspective on.
                                                                                          • Folder 44 (MSE/MD 3826-44) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. June 1936. ALS, 3 letters.
                                                                                            Schütt continues to contact judges about Russo's birth certificate and custody of her son. Russo intends for Grandinetti and Schütt to be friends, but Schütt says that their friendship cannot be forced. She discusses Russo's inability "to resist women," and acknowledges that he cannot stop cheating on the women in his life. She begins working out because she wants to be beautiful for Russo when he arrives.
                                                                                            • Folder 45 (MSE/MD 3826-45) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. July 1936. ALS, 2 letters.
                                                                                              Schütt continues to ask Russo to take her to the United States. She acknowledges his affairs with other women. She is desperate for help and momentarily threatens to get married "to anybody to give Blinkins [her son] a home."
                                                                                              • Folder 46 (MSE/MD 3826-46) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. August 1936. ALS, 5 letters.
                                                                                                Unsigned note dated 1936 August 6 that reads, "You are not with us nor even thought of us!" Schütt went on vacation. She agrees to make copies of Sterile World. She continues to wobble on her decision to remain faithful to Russo. Grandinetti thinks that Schütt is not respecting her relationship with Russo. Russo accuses Schütt of imposing on him. Schütt tries to get him to empathize with her "situation" and is frustrated that Russo antagonizes her.
                                                                                                • Folder 47 (MSE/MD 3826-47) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. September 1936. ALS, 4 letters.
                                                                                                  Schütt discusses Lisa Schmücking and their theater group as well as the possibilities of family life and her own living situation. She doesn't believe that Russo wants to be with her and thinks that he "would even run away from New York" if she came to the United States by herself. She says that in six months a new law regarding illegitimate children will come into practice where the child takes the legal name of his father. She wants to take Russo's name so that her name matches her son's.
                                                                                                  • Folder 48 (MSE/MD 3826-48) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. October 1936. ALS, 1 letter.
                                                                                                    Schütt continues to experience tension with Russo. She understands that Russo will not marry her, but it continues to upset her. She wishes she had gotten married to anyone. She says that she will only be with Russo if he considers her his wife.
                                                                                                    • Folder 49 (MSE/MD 3826-49) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. November 1936. ALS, 2 letters.
                                                                                                      Schütt attaches a letter from the Reichsschrifttumskammer, which says a man Russo has been looking for is no longer in Germany. Schütt begs Russo for money to help her son, who is very sick.
                                                                                                      • Folder 50 (MSE/MD 3826-50) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. December 1936. ALS, 4 letters.
                                                                                                        Schütt confesses that she doesn't believe Russo will take her and her son out of Germany. She encloses a lock of her son's hair. Russo did not help her get medical care for her son so she had to borrow from her parents. She encloses a letter she didn't plan on sending in which she discusses suicide and self-hatred. There is a receipt for baby bedding and a letter to Russo, who is called "Herr Dr. D.E.Reusso-Emerson [sic]" from an umbrella manufacturer, stating that Schütt requested that they give Russo a receipt for a child's umbrella. By the end of December, Russo attempts to restore Schütt's faith in him. Schütt believes that she must leave Germany by Easter.
                                                                                                        • Folder 51 (MSE/MD 3826-51) Jutta Schütt to NED Russo. January 1937. ALS, 2 letters.
                                                                                                          Schütt discusses her financial situation and concludes she cannot afford to care for her son. She says that she has three options: marriage, returning to her family, or selling her body. She says she will have to leave Russo. Schütt writes about finding herself and becoming "uncaged." This is the last letter she says she will send to Russo before she sees him in person.
                                                                                                          • Folder 52 (MSE/MD 3826-52) Jutta Schütt to Vira Grandinetti ("Vera Emerson"). July 1939. TLS, 1 letter; 1 form; 1 photograph.
                                                                                                            Schütt writes to Grandinetti, sending the form that would qualify her son as an Aryan and, therefore, be able to go to school. She describes her side of events in Russo's leaving, discussing how she and Schmücking paid for Russo to return to the United States. Schmücking needs her money back from Russo, who still has not repaid her. Schütt also wants her letters to Russo returned to her. Grandinetti still has not given her a picture of her daughter, Pat. Attached is the "Fragebogen über die arische Abstammung," requesting her son's family history in order to certify that he is Aryan. Schütt had already filled out part of the form, translating some of the words so that it would be easier for Grandinetti or Russo to fill it out. The form is ridden with errors.
                                                                                                          • Series 4: Ephemera 
                                                                                                            • Folder 53 (MSE/MD 3826-53) Ephemera. No date. 5 items.
                                                                                                              Includes a card listing medical material and information, a copy of a graduation pamphlet from Emerson Grammar School from 1917 listening Elvira Grandinetti as one of the graduates, a map of Berlin, a poem draft, and a press release for a play called The Shining Hour by Keith Winter.