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Neue Archivsammlungen

Neu bearbeitete und digitalisierte Archivbestände

New Archival Collections at the Leo Baeck Institute

The Leo Baeck Institute is continually collecting new archival materials related to the history of German-speaking Jews. Please see in the following a list of recent acquisitions, each with a short synopsis. Clicking on the link underneath the title will lead to the collection’s finding aid, which in turn contains links to its digital objects.

Heilberg Breslauer Addenda, AR 25727
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Helen Joyce Breslauer and her parents, Marianne (née Schäffer) and Henry Breslauer; 1942.

The collection - a legacy of Marianne Breslauer née Schäffer, affectionately and respectfully assembled by her daughter Helen - combines a wide variety of documents that derived largely from the estate of three related women: there are letters, photographs, vital documents, professional and educational records, diaries, family trees, and much more from Helen Breslauer herself, as well as materials describing the lives of her mother Marianne; and of Marianne’s maternal aunt Frieda Heilberg. Frieda Heilberg, born in Breslau in 1894, was an economist and social worker in Germany and in the U.S., highly active with the National Council of Jewish Women and other international organizations; she died in Milwaukee, WI in 1986. And Marianne Breslauer née Schäffer - born in Bresalu in 1914 and a learned social worker in her own right - devoted her life largely to her father Hans Schäffer (1886-1967) in Germany, Sweden, and the in U.S., as well as to her husband Henry Edward (Heinz Eduard) Breslauer (the wedding of Marianne Schäffer and Henry Breslauer was held in Aunt Frieda’s apartment in Manhattan.)

Gertrude S. Goldhaber collection, AR 25820 A
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber
Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber. Photo: AIP Emilio Segr Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection, American Institute of Physics.

The collection documents life and science of nuclear physicist Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber (1911-1998), offering professional correspondence, materials related to conferences and lectures, articles, research notes, as well as personal correspondence, diaries, educational records, and much more. Born into a Jewish middle-class family in Mannheim, she clearly had “no interest in studying law” and followed her early fascination with nuclear physics. She completed her Ph.D. in experimental physics summa cum laude at the University of Munich in 1935. With the need to escape Nazi Germany, she contacted Maurice Goldhaber (1911-2011), whom she had previously met as a student in Berlin and worked in a post-doctoral position at the University of London's Imperial College. When Maurice Goldhaber moved to Urbana, Illinois to become a physics professor at the University, Gertrude followed, and they got married in 1939. Because of strict anti-nepotism rules, Gertrude had to work as an unpaid assistant in Maurice’s nuclear physics laboratory: a glass ceiling for women that she could not break throughout her career. Among many contributions to the world of physics, Gertrude Goldhaber worked on spontaneous nuclear fission, and her discovery was kept classified until after World War II in 1946. In 1950, the Goldhabers moved to Long Island, joining the staff at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. In addition to her research, Gertrude Goldhaber was involved with many organizations, such as a committee on the Status of Women in Physics, and she promoted science education for children and college students, particularly girls and women. – The Gertrude S. Goldhaber collection is part of the larger “Maurice and Gertrude Goldhaber Collection”, which is processed for LBI at the Center for Jewish History’s Shelby White & Leon Levy Archival Processing Laboratory.

Kaiser family collection, AR 25801
Finding aid with links to digital objects

MaxKaiser_AR 25801
Max Kaiser

150 years in the lives of Miriam (Kaiser) Harel’s large family that had resided in Germany for hundreds of years: Seven densely packed boxes with correspondence, vital records, certificates of education and emigration, photographs, as well as detailed writings document the family of Arthur (1859-1912) and Mathilde Kaiser née Steinberg (1866- 1930) and their children, particularly Isidor and his brother Max.

The memoirs of Isidor Kaiser cover the period from his birth in Brilon in 1890, through his emigration from Germany in August 1939. He portrays his parents, childhood home, aspects of their Jewish family life, the political and social landscape of Prussia at that time, and his education, including remembrances of antisemitic taunting by other students. - Max Kaiser’s memoirs span almost his entire life, from his birth in Wittenberg in 1910, to becoming a United States citizen in 1995. The memoirs include remembrances of his childhood and the difficult years of World War I.; his engineering exam in March 1933 and his decision to emigrate to Palestine after Hitler came to power. Max documents his voyage to Palestine in 1934 and his career in the paper industry. An entry written in 1992 on his daughter Miriam’s 50th birthday describes the situation in Palestine the year of her birth, their family life, and her later military service and studies.

Paul and Margaret A. Engel collection, AR 25921
Finding aid with links to digital objects

MEngel_AR 25921
German passport for Margaretha Anna “Sara” Engel, Landau i.d.Pf., 1939.

The bulk of these material pertain to the restitution claims of Paul Engel; his wife Margaret A. Engel née Elikann; Margaret’s sister Selma Hacker née Elikann; and Selma’s husband Carl Hacker. Documents include claim forms, correspondence with lawyers, correspondence with relevant governmental agencies in Germany and in the United States, correspondence amongst legal heirs, correspondence with banks, financial records (including bank statements), and newspaper clippings. The two couples focused their claims on the estates of their respective parents and requested compensation for lost businesses, household belongings, and other valuables, as well as lost income, and life insurance policies. - Also included is Correspondence among family members in Karlsruhe; in the French internment camp in Gurs, and in the United States, ranging from 1938 to 1942. Post-war correspondence includes a mix of personal and family updates and discussion of the family’s restitution claims. - Vital records, such as education and emigration certificates and others shed more light on the individuals’ lives.

Edna Ehrlich papers, AR 25639
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Edna-Ehrlich_AR 25639
Edna Ehrlich

The Edna Ehrlich Papers, dating from 1898-2014, document the personal and professional life of Edna Ehrlich, an economist with the Federal Reserve of New York for 43 years. The collection focuses on her work as an economist expert in Asian markets and her relationships with her husband Otto Ehrlich, an economy professor, and her friend Jin Xiang, a Chinese composer. The collection contains personal documents and images relating to the Gottesman and Ehrlich families; Otto Ehrlich’s interests in art and musical history; photographs, slides, albums, and other vacation documents from Ehrlich’s travels; interviews, writings, and correspondence from her work as a consultant and economist at the Federal Reserve; administrative and concert planning documents for the East-West Music Exchange Association; and Jin Xiang’s compositions, concert programs and reviews, and correspondence relating to royalties, organizations, other musicians, and professional opportunities.

Leo and Anne Marie Grebler family collection, AR 25872
Finding aid with links to digital objects

AnneMarie-Grebler_AR 25872
Anne Marie in 1923.

The Leo and Anne Marie Grebler Family Collection records the Greblers’ personal and professional lives in Germany and the United States through correspondence, documents, family histories, writings, and photographs. Both the personal correspondence and photographs available in the collection demonstrate the Greblers’ close relationships with their extended family and friends, particularly Jacob (called Jascha) and Marianne (called Bertel) Marschak. A substantial quantity of information regarding the Grebler, Gerson and related families is also available. Writings by Leo Grebler elucidate his career as an economist and his special interest in real estate and housing finance.

Interview with "Betty", DM 359
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In the 1970s, Jacqueline Sonderegger-Zenner worked at a “button” (trimming) store in the Washington Heights section of New York City on Broadway (circa 181st Street). Also employed was a German Jewish immigrant called “Betty”, who had survived several concentration camps during the Holocaust. As a college student, Jacqueline wrote her final paper under the tutelage of Elie Wiesel, based on this interview with “Betty”.

Ruth Jacobsen collection, AR 25902
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Ruth Jacobsen Collage V

The collection contains photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, notebooks, collage books and works of art relating to the artist and author Ruth Jacobsen, a Hidden Child of the Holocaust. The collection is dedicated to Jacobsen’s attempt to cope with her past and sharing her testimony with others through her art. - Ruth Jacobsen was born in 1932, in Frankenburg, Germany, growing up under the Nazis’ restrictions imposed on Jewish life. After escaping to the Netherlands, Ruth was separated from her parents and hidden by multiple Christian families. Towards the end of the war, they were reunited, but both of Ruth’s parents committed suicide shortly after. Ruth immigrated to the United States in 1953, and dedicated herself to her art, creating collage works centering around the Holocaust; the 1980s AIDS crisis; and Indigenous rights.

Hans Heller collection, AR 25858
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Bronze bust of Hans Heller and his son Marc by their wife and mother, Helen Heller.

Artist, author, businessman and thinker: the papers of Austrian born Hans (John) Heller (1896-1987) describe his rich career in Austria, England and in the United States. Between the World Wars, Heller worked in his family’s famous candy business, “G.&W Heller”, and at the same time his home was a center for liberal intellectuals, artists, and Freudian psychologists. Heller contributed to periodicals such as ‘Die Weltbuehne’, and published one of the first anti-Nazi novels, "A Man in Search of His Homeland" in 1936. He fled Austria after the Anschluss, ultimately arriving in the US, where he reestablished the Heller Candy Company, producing hard, filled candies. The collection contains Heller’s memoirs and manuscripts of his literary oeuvre, as well as papers documenting the Heller Candy Companies in Vienna, Liverpool, New York City, and Paterson, NJ.

Salomons-Fox family collection, AR 25886
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Salomons-Fox_AR 25886_small
Circus midget Jackie Gerlich balancing a friend.

The Salomons-Fox family collection documents the lives of various family members of the extended Salomons-Fox family. Topics of the collection are the education; the emigration or attempted emigration to the United States; the establishment of a new life in America; and the professional career of the individuals represented in the collection by family trees; passports; photographs; and correspondence. An extensive amount of the collection focusses on the artistic career and life of Dave Fox. Also included are papers pertaining to his brother, the circus artist and actor, Jackie (Leo) Gerlich, as is documentation about the ’Weinberg Torah’, originally from Rheda, Germany.

Richard Straus family collection, AR 25680
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Richard-Straus_AR 25680
Richard Straus with wife and child.

This collection contains the documents of diplomat Richard Straus, his wife Elaine, and his son Alan, in addition to documentation on extended family members, especially including members of the Straus, Heimberger, and Niedermann families. The most prominent topics relate to Richard Straus’s career; family members’ emigration and Holocaust experiences; and Alan Straus’s early life. Also present are materials relating to family members’ lives in Germany prior to the 1930s. The collection includes extensive personal family correspondence and photographs; official, educational, and professional documents; family members’ writings as well as articles about them; childhood and educational memorabilia; and documentation related to the deaths of family members.

Nikolaus Bela Braun : 1900-1951, MS 1105
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NikolausBraun_MS 1105
Nikolaus Braun.

Two very short manuscripts shed some light on the life of the German artist Nikolaus Braun. Born in Berlin in 1900, Nikolaus Braun studied with Arthur Segal at the Kunstschule in Berlin and joined the Novembergruppe, a loose union of radical artists, which was created in December 1918 in Berlin under the impression of the November revolution. In 1938, he and his first wife, the artist Anne Ratkowski destroyed their paintings, before escaping Nazi Germany with their little son Andy. Nikolaus Braun and his wife, the opera singer Ilse Asch survived the Holocaust in Budapest, before immigrating to New York City, where he died shortly after his arrival. – A third manuscript is part of the Anne Ratkowski-Wanger Collection, AR 6326, folder 9.

Landau family collection, AR 25806
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Correspondence and photographs, as well as legal, financial, and genealogical documents pertain to the family of Marianne Landau, née Ehrlich, and specifically to her restitution claims for her estate and its property at Pariser Platz 6a in Berlin.
Marianne Olga Ehrlich, born on January 23, 1886, was the daughter of German Nobel Prize-winning chemist, Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) and the wife of the mathematician Edmund Georg Landau. They had four children: Herbert, Charlotte, Susanne, and Matthias. After the war, their granddaughter Elizabeth Brody (daughter of Charlotte Schoenberg, née Landau) helped attain reparations from the German government for lost property and disseminated the funds amongst members of the Landau family. Elizabeth was also active in genealogical research to determine the familial relatives of Paul Ehrlich; her genealogical research is documented in the Pinkus Fränkel Ehrlich genealogy research collection, AR 25807.

Eric Kruh collection, AR 25816
Finding aid with links to digital objects

EKruh_AR 25816
Eric Kruh, 1922-2011

Personal and professional correspondence, official documents, curricula vitae and résumés illustrate the life of the Austrian-American academic Eric (Erich) Kruh, from his early years in Austria; his lives in England, Canada, and New York; to his work as a professor at various universities, mostly at Southampton College, where he taught literature, history, German and French, from 1964 to 1992. – Also included are Professor Kruh’s correspondence and documents, related to restitution and pension payments.

Walter Zvi Bacharach collection, AR 25814
Finding aid with links to digital objects

WalterBacharach_AR 25814
Professor Walter Bacharach at a lecture in Seligenstadt in 1991.

Personal and professional documents; certificates; correspondence; and published materials allow insight into life and work of the Israeli, German born academic Zvi (Walter Adolf) Bacharach, a professor for antisemitism and Holocaust studies. The collection also touches on his life in Germany and the Netherlands, his harrowing captivity during the Holocaust with his father and brother, and his academic career in Israel. The Library of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York holds selected writings by Zvi Bacharach.

Deutsch-Edel family collection, AR 25826
Finding aid with links to digital objects

Family correspondence as well as memoirs by the physician George Deutsch and others are in the center of this collection, documenting the lives of George; his wife Sabine, née Edel; their children Thomas and Elizabeth; and other family members, originally from Vienna, Austria. The papers, together with education and immigration records tell about the plight of “Racial Jews” in Vienna, their escapes to France or England, and their successful acculturation in Ohio. Vignettes on religion, Austria-Hungary, composer Arnold Schoenberg, and other topics help to enrich the picture.

Rabbi Henry Joseph Messing collection,  AR 25813
Finding aid with links to digital objects

HenryMessing_AR 25813
Portrait of Rabbi Henry J. Messing.

A collection of original writings, mostly handwritten sermons by Rabbi Henry Joseph Messing (1848-1913), who was born in Poland, but at age 19 immigrated with his two brothers to the United States, where they all three became congregational rabbis. Henry J. Messing spent more than 30 years as Senior Rabbi at the United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1880, he opened the Hebrew Free and Industrial School Society, the first Jewish community school in the city. Also included are non-liturgical texts, newspaper clippings, and notebooks.

Addenda to the John (Hans) and Trude Schiff Collection, AR 25730


Photographs by John D. Schiff depicting a wide array of artists’ portraits and their works, such as Sidney Alexander; Shusaku Arakawa; Rafaello Busoni; Ludwig Bemelmans; Adolf Dehn; Katherine Dreier; Marcel Duchamp; Marisol Escobar; Richard Vernon Goetz; Theo Hios; Lester Johnson; Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler; Harold Kanowitz; Bella Kaufman; Dikran Kelekian; Sol LeWitt; Louise Nevelson; Lionello Venturi; Abraham Walkowitz; William Carlos Williams; William Zorach; and others. Also included – next to some written documents - are photonegatives depicting art exhibits, artworks, as well as plants and animals.