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Following the Lehman Family from Rimpar to Yale

Family History Update

Mo., 19. Sep. 2022

The famous banking family with roots in Bavaria was the focus of a recent visit to Germany and came up during a family history program about using US college records for genealogy research.

Karen S. Franklin, LBI’s Director of Family Research, recently traveled to Rimpar, the ancestral home of the Lehman family. Franklin has been working for over a decade with the family to document their efforts to assist hundreds of refugees, many of them cousins, prior to the Second World War.

In Rimpar, she was warmly received by the Mayor, Bernhard Weidner, and historians of the local Jewish community Roland Flade and Hannelore Mintzel. Schloss Grumbach, the palace in the center of Rimpar, honors the illustrious family with several exhibitions about their former residents and descendants.

The Lehmans also came up at a public program sponsored by LBI and, which focused on the pioneering Jewish students at American colleges and universities, many of whom came from German-Jewish backgrounds.

Dan A. Oren, a professor at the Yale medical school and author of Joining The Club: A History of Jews and Yale (Yale University Press, 1986 and 2001) focused on one influential Yale alum, Robert Owen Lehman, Sr. (1891–1969), who became head of Lehman Brothers, philanthropist, and donor of a major collection to the Metropolitan Museum.

Cynthia Francis Gensheimer, an independent historian, spoke about her research on the first Jewish students at Seven Sisters colleges. She especially highlighted the exemplary case of Clara Landsberg (1873–1966). Like many of her Jewish peers at the elite Northeastern women’s colleges, Landsberg was the American-born daughter of a German rabbi and pursued a career in social work. Of interest to genealogists was Gensheimer’s discussion of the college records she has used in her research, including yearbooks, diaries and correspondence in private hands and library collections.

From LBI News 114.