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Browse selected archival holdings online from the eighteenth century through the post-war period. Personal and official documents speak to the life of a nineteenth-century journeyman, early modern merchant rights, desperate attempts to emigrate during Nazi rule, and much more

  • Adoption contract with stamps.

    Adoption contract Gloeden and Loevy

    Even a Jewish-sounding name could be cause for discrimination. So the siblings Erich and Ursula Loevy chose to be adopted by Bernhard Gloeden, a grammar school teacher and family friend.

  • Letter with redactions.

    A desperate letter to their son in Sweden

    “As long as we are still here, we will write to you every third day,” wrote Paul and Sophie Berliner to their son, Gert, who was living in Stockholm, on 6 November 1941.

  • Employee ID with photo and stamps

    Martin Riesenburger’s Service Card

    A provisional document from February 1953 certified that Martin Riesenburger was a rabbi responsible for pastoral care in East Berlin prisons.

  • Index cards.

    Index cards from the British Army

    Thousands of German emigrants fought against Germany in the British Army during the Second World War. In case of capture, they had to change their names, as these index cards document.

  • A bag filled with several letters.

    Frieda Neuber’s Leather Pouch

    Shortly before being deported to Theresienstadt, Frieder Neuber gave this leather pouch to her niece. The letters inside it document her desperate attempts to leave the country.

  • Various crumpled documents with Hebrew letters, a shoe and a bag

    Memmelsdorf Genizah

    In February 2002, workers renovating a house discovered a burlap sack filled with papers and personal items when they opened up a section of the ceiling. The house had been owned by Jews from 1775 to 1939.

  • Completed document with stamps.

    Red Cross Letter to Emmy Warschauer

    After the outbreak of the Second World War, the aid organization’s message service gave emigrants a way to contact relatives in Germany. That’s how Emmy Warschauer received confirmation that her daughter was alive.

  • Page of the walking book.

    Journeyman’s Book Belonging to the Shoemaker Leopold Willstätter

    Leopold Willstätter traveled around southwest Germany and France as a journeyman from 1836 to 1843. The journeyman's book with a precise description of him also served as a form of identification.

  • Handwritten document from the 18th century.

    Letter of Protection for the Jews of Ichenhausen

    Until the nineteenth century, the residence and trading rights of Jews in the German territories were defined in letters of protection (Schutzbriefe), which had to be purchased.

  • A letter.

    Siegfried Leopold’s Get for His Wife Resi

    According to Jewish law, a marriage is only annulled when a bill of divorce is drawn up and presented by the husband to his wife.