LBI News

Jerry Brotman—Hands-on Volunteer

Jerry Brotman while barcoding books in the LBI library stacks.

He is neither a scholar nor a librarian, but Jerry Brotman knows the LBI Library Collection more intimately than anyone else. Over the past eight years, Brotman affixed barcodes to some 66,000 books, a labor as important to the functioning of a library as it is, some might say, tedious. In 2014, he claimed the singular distinction of being the only person in history to lay hands on every cataloged monograph in the Library’s 80,000-volume collection.

Gaby Glueckselig: Stammtisch Hostess Celebrates a Century of Bliss

Glueckselig celebrates her 100th birthday at Leo Baeck Institute.

Gaby Glueckselig came to the Leo Baeck Institute in the late 1980s as a volunteer archivist. For years she helped to preserve German-Jewish culture by cataloging the Institute’s extensive photograph collection. On April 27, 2014, Glueckselig returned to LBI to celebrate her 100th birthday with friends and family.

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.

Exhibition: Facing History: Portraits from the LBI Art Collection

Artist unknown. Unidentified mother and daughter. Germany, mid-19th century.

At the core of LBI’s Art Collection are well over 1,000 portraits of Jews from Central Europe that reflect the changing cultural dynamics from the 18th century to the 20th century.

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…