A book from the library of Felix Halberstadt

The owner stamp in the upper left corner reveals that this popular Torah

The owner stamp in the upper left corner reveals that this popular Torah translation belonged to Felix Halberstadt.

On November 27, 2015  representatives of the State and University Library Hamburg transferred a book that was previously owned by Felix Halberstadt to the Leo Baeck Institute New York, as part of their efforts to restitute books that were looted during the Third Reich.

Felix Halberstadt (1877-1942) was a sales agent for textiles in Hamburg. He lived a religious life and took an active part in various Jewish organizations including the Burial Society of Hamburg. Felix Halberstadt and his second wife Josebeth were deported on December 6, 1941 together with Hamburg’s prominent Rabbi Joseph Carlebach and his family who lived in the same apartment house at Hallerstrasse 76. They were all shot near Riga on March 26, 1942. The Gestapo confiscated his belongings like that of other deported or emigrated Jews. The book that was identified, a German translation of the Pentateuch, was handed to the State and University Library Hamburg by the Gestapo in 1943.

Felix Halberstadt’s son Helmuth Halberstadt (1911-2003) was able to emigrate with his wife Jenny Heckscher to the United States via London in March 1939. In America, they changed their names to Howard and Jenny Hall. Their estate has been deposited with the Leo Baeck Institute New York as the  “Howard and Jenny Hall Collection” and includes extensive correspondence between 1939 and 1941 documenting their efforts to bring family members from Germany to the United States. Felix Halberstadt was related to the well-known photographer Max Halberstadt from Hamburg  who decided to transfer the book to the Leo Baeck Institute in order to connect it with the family papers.

View Description of the restituted book

View Howard and Jenny Hall Collection

View Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg: Blog about restitution case : December 7, 2015

Visit the website of the Arbeitsstelle Provenienzforschung – NS-Raubgut at the State and University