LBI News

Conservation of the Fürth Megillah

The Fürth Megillah drying under tension during conservation efforts at the CJH. Fürth Jewish Community Collection, AR 994

This colorfully illustrated Megillah from Fürth originated in the 18th century, when Jews comprised a fifth to a quarter of the city’s population and enjoyed freedoms unheard of elsewhere in Bavaria. Felicity Corkill, a conservator at the Center for Jewish History, describes how she prepared this treasure for public display at the CJH during Purim in 2014.

Student-playwrights Meet Theresienstadt survivor at LBI

Theater teacher Sarah Cusick of Columbia Grammar and Preparatory school (l) asks a question of Miriam Merzbacher.

On April 4, 2014, the students from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School quietly filed into the Center for Jewish History’s Lillian Goldman Reading Room to hear from Miriam Merzbacher. Miriam is a Berlin native who was interned in Theresienstadt, Hitler’s “model ghetto,” from September 1944 until the end of the war.

New Exhibition on Jewish Berliners in Weimar Germany held in Ambassador’s Residence

(© Germany.info / Zacarias Garcia)

On Monday, March 17, Ambassador Peter Ammon hosted the opening of a new Leo Baeck Institute exhibition at his residence. “Advancing Modernity: Jewish Berliners in Weimar Germany, 1919-1933″ was curated by the Leo Baeck Institute from its extensive collection of personal papers, books and other artifacts. The exhibit features the outstanding achievements of several Jewish…

Archives: Hoerlin Collection Combines Intrigue, Alpinism, and Physics

Folders from the Hoerlin collection. Visible are correspondence between Käte and Hermann Hoerlin, Herman Hoerlin’s reports on the observation of nuclear tests from space, and a hand-drawn map of a region in Germany. AR 25540

The Kate and Herman Hoerlin Collection, recently added to the LBI Archives, contains the papers of a couple whose lives took a dramatic course shaped by events as diverse as the Rohm Putsch, a German expedition in the Himalayas, and US nuclear testing in Los Alamos. Kate Tietz was born to a Jewish family but…

Library: Sparrow Makes her Way

Samson, Meta and L. Szkolny (illus). Spatz macht sich. Berlin: Jüdischer Buchverlag, 1938.

“Wishing that you may make your own way just like this ‘sparrow.’ Love, Evi, your Aunt Becker. Cologne, Rosh Hashanah 5699,” reads the inscription in this slender volume. The sparrow (in German, “Spatz”) in the inscription refers to the title character of the book, Spatz Macht Sich (Sparrow Makes her Way). This children’s novel by…

Research Profile: Michaela Raggam- Blesch on “Half-Jews” in Vienna, 1938–1945

Kurt Kelman and Gusti Dressler pose in front of a sign reading “Juden verboten!”
(Jews forbidden), at the Augarten Park in Vienna. Summer 1938.
Kurt Kelman Collection, AR 11292

Michaela Raggam-Blesch When I was conducting oral history interviews for the project “Topography of the Shoah in Vienna” in 2010, I met a number of interview partners who had survived the entire war in Vienna as so-called “half-Jews.” Though they ultimately escaped the Nazi genocide, they had lived in the most precarious circumstances in wartime…

What’s in a Name? Dennis Baum and the Simson Company

LBI Trustee Dennis Baum in 2014.

Dennis Baum fought for restitution of his family’s assets in Germany for years following German reunification in 1990. In January, Baum joined his former negotiating partners in a public forum at the Jewish Museum Berlin to discuss what went wrong 20 years ago. The records of the Simson Company and the case of its restitution…

Jerry Lindenstraus: Sprechen Trotz Allem

Jerry Lindenstraus talks to German school pupils at the headquarters of the
Schwarzkopf Stiftung in Berlin in December 2013.

Over six-feet tall, impressively agile for his 84 years, and sharply dressed, long-time LBI volunteer Jerry Lindenstraus cuts a striking figure. His faintly continental accent leads many people he meets to ask him where he’s from. That’s not such an easy question to answer. “When I tell them that I lived in Danzig, most people…

Art: Lotka Burešová and her Terezín Friends

"Calm and prudence—breathe deeply!" reads the Czech inscription on
this drawing by Lotka Burešová. Franz Feigl Collection AR 5269

Anna Hájková, a scholar of the Theresienstadt Ghetto, describes how the discovery of a small watercolor painted there in 1944 led to insights into the cultural dynamics of the ghetto’s transnational enforced community.

Donation of Biochemist’s Library a Case Study in Provenance & Restitution

Provenance markings that proved that these books belonged to Carl Neuberg. In the lower right hand corner, a piece of paper has been pasted over Neuberg’s name and address.

The LBI Library has been enriched by 40 volumes of scientific literature from the former library of Carl Neuberg (1877–1956), a pioneer in the study of biochemistry. This donation, the result of restitution efforts by the Central and Regional Library of Berlin (Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin – ZLB), is an emblematic case study in the complexities of provenance research and the restitution of looted cultural works.