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About this collection

Leo and Hertha Mohl were long-time residents of Colorado Springs, small business owners, dairy farmers, and world travelers. They were also some of the first European war refugees to live in Colorado Springs.

 

Hertha Mohl was born in Vienna, Austria, on August 15, 1912, to Gustav and Auguste Pistol. Hertha worked as a dressmaker in Austria until, after almost getting caught passing out anti-Nazi literature, she smuggled herself into England. While living in London, Hertha served in the British Air Raid Precaution Service. Leo Mohl was born in Vienna, Austria, on October 28, 1909, to Adolf and Frieda Mohl. As a young man, Leo served as secretary of the trade union movement. Leo was taken to concentration camps in Dachau and Buchenwald for his political activities. In 1939, he was released and immigrated to England where he met Hertha.

 

Hertha and Leo married on December 31, 1939, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fearing for their safety, the Mohls decided to immigrate to the United States. They arrived in New York on October 19, 1940, on the Cameronia ship. A New York Passenger List shows Leo and Hertha as being Jewish, speakers of both German and English, and having the ability to read and write. While on their journey to America, the Mohls were shown a postcard of the Colorado Springs Antlers Hotel. The mountains in the background of the postcard reminded them of Austria and they decided to make Colorado their home. After living in New York for a brief period, Leo and Hertha hitchhiked to Colorado Springs.

 

The Mohls raised dairy cows on farmland that is now owned by the Air Force Academy. They also operated a bookstore called The Book Home and a reweaving shop called Master Weavers of America. The businesses were located in the same building, first on Kiowa Street and later on Dale Street. During World War II, Leo joined the U.S. Army and served as a private.

 

Leo was the founding president, and Hertha the co-founder, of the Austrain-American Enzian Club. Their other major interest was travel and together they visited 50 countries. In 1995 the Mohl family made their first trip back to Austria. They had three children: Richard, Bob, and Gerda.

Hertha died on June 15, 1997. Leo died on November 22, 2003.

 
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