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The Judith Marcus and Zoltán Tarr Collection

Renate Evers
Mon, Feb 4, 2019

The Leo Baeck Institute preserves the documents and papers as well as the library of the Hungarian sociologists Judith Marcus and Zoltán Tarr. Thanks to a grant from the Cahnman Foundation, the archival collection was processed by Center for Jewish History (CJH) archivist Katherine Fanning and the library by CJH archivist Sarah Glover in 2018.

Judith Marcus and Zoltán Tarr were Hungarian sociologists. Both served as secretary of the Rashi Association for the Preservation of Jewish Cultural Monuments in Europe, founded by Werner J. Cahnman. Marcus and Tarr were married around 1956. After living in Budapest, Hungary, they moved to Germany and then to the US. They each pursued higher education at the University of Illinois between 1963 and 1968. Tarr became a naturalized citizen in 1967. The Tarrs then moved to New York City, both beginning positions in 1971. They both passed away in 2015 in New York City, NY.

Judith Marcus was born in Hungary on August 9, 1929. Marcus received education from the University of Budapest, University of Cologne (philosophy), University of Illinois (BA and MA in German Language and Literature), University of Kansas (PhD in German), and post-doctorate study in sociology at NYU. Areas of study included the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis, Thomas Mann, and Georg Lukács. Marcus taught at the University of Illinois, University of Kansas, Brooklyn College of CUNY, New School for Social Research, and SUNY. She authored Thomas Mann und Georg Lukács: Beziehung, Einfluss und representative Gegensatzlichkeit (1982) and Georg Lukács and Thomas Mann: A Study in the Sociology of Literature (1987). She edited Surviving the Twentieth Century: Social Philosophy from the Frankfurt School to the Columbia Faculty Seminars (1999).

Zoltán Tarr was born in Hungary on July 10, 1929. Tarr received education from the University of Economic Science in Budapest, Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen, and University of Illinois (BA in German Language and Literature, MA in Sociology/History, and PhD in Sociology/Political Science). He taught at the City College of CUNY, Rutgers, Kenyon College, Skidmore College, and the New School for Social Research. He authored The Frankfurt School: The Critical Theories of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno.

They co-edited Jews and Gentiles: A Historical Sociology of Their Relations (2004), Social Issues, Geopolitics, and Judaica (2007) and Deutsche Juden. Ihre Geschichte und Soziologie (2005) by Werner J. Cahnman. They also co-edited with Joseph B. Maier Weber and Toennies: Comparative Sociology in Historical Perspective (1989) and German Jewry: Its History and Sociology. Selected Essays of Werner J. Cahnman (1989) by Werner J. Cahnman.

The archival collection and the entire scholarly research library encompass the life and work of Judith Marcus and Zoltán Tarr, and their contributions to the work of the German sociologist Werner J. Cahnman after his death in 1980. The bulk of the material primarily dates after the Tarr’s immigration to the United States around 1960. It is comprised of their own research material, in subject areas such as the Frankfurt School of Social Research, as well as primary source material from the estate of Cahnman. The Cahnman material was used to publish some of his unpublished books and also for use in their unfinished Cahnman biography project.