Hermann Teifer was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of German-speaking parents, who had survived the Holocaust in the ghetto of Czernowitz, then Romania. He developed a deep interest and appreciation for German language and culture, as well as for secular Judaism. While studying at the University of Vienna, he was active in Austria’s ‘Union of Jewish Students’. He acquired his doctorate with a thesis about “theater and aggression”. Teifer then emigrated to Jerusalem but moved quickly to New York to join his Budapest-born wife. He worked as a freelance author and translator, while primarily raising a family. In a following career, he acquired a Master of Library Science degree at New York City University’s Queens College. Soon thereafter he joined the staff of the newly founded Center for Jewish History and then became an archivist at the Leo Baeck Institute.