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E. Hans Freund Collection

Identifier: AR 25358

Scope and Content Note

This collection provides documentation on the professional work and selected events of E. Hans Freund's life. The collection contains correspondence, unpublished typescripts, papers from official agencies, and notes. E. Hans Freund is often addressed as "Hans Freund" in correspondence and on some official papers; his American citizenship and military papers list him as Ernest Hans Freund.

Many papers in this collection pertain to Freund's professional career. Series I contains some papers that document his university studies among its official papers; these show his registration as a student of philosophy at universities in Berlin and Freiburg. In addition, Series I holds correspondence with other colleagues as well as with professors while he wrote his dissertation, most notably including letters to Martin Heidegger regarding his dissertation topic. Series II includes a copy of this dissertation. Evidence of his time in the military will be found in Series III. Series II additionally includes an essay written by Freund for new immigrants on the history of the United States.

Another subject of this collection is the Freund family; material on family members is located in several areas of the collection. Series I includes some correspondence from other family members to Hans Freund, including several from his mother; these primarily update him on family news. Among the papers of Series II are texts of plays and songs used by family members; some play scripts list family members as cast participants. Series III also holds items pertaining to family members. Chief among these is a photo album; although most of the photographs are unidentified they may depict family members. In addition, there is documentation on the last will and estate of Ernst and Margarete Freund.

Documentation of Hans Freund's experiences in Nazi Germany and his immigration are also present in this collection. Most prominent among such papers are his memoirs of his time in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp following his arrest on Kristallnacht. These memoirs are available in both German and English, and are located in Series II: Writings. Official papers that document his immigration to Cuba, and eventually the United States, are located in Series I and Series III.


  • 1924-1945
  • Majority of material found within 1924-1934


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Collection is microfilmed - MF 1029.

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

E. Hans Freund was born on June 10, 1905 in Berlin as Hans Ernst Sigfrid Freund, the son of the businessman Ernst Freund and Margarete Freund née Philippi. In 1923 he graduated from the Arndt Gymnasium in Berlin-Dahlem. His university studies were conducted in Berlin, Marburg, and Freiburg im Breisgau, where he took courses in philosophy, mathematics, and physics. In 1933 his doctoral dissertation, Ontologische Untersuchungen zum Cantor'schen Mengenbegriff [Ontological Research into Cantorian Set Theory], was published; his academic advisor was the well-known philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Following the events of Kristallnacht in November 1938, Freund was incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for one month. He immigrated to the United States via Cuba, and arrived in Miami, Florida in December 1940. From 1941-1943 he taught at the Pendle Hill School in Pennsylvania. From 1943-1945 he served in the U.S. Army, where he achieved the rank of sergeant. Upon his naturalization, his name officially became Ernest Hans Freund. Following his discharge from the military he returned to teaching at the Pendle Hill School briefly. In 1946 he became an assistant professor of philosophy at Pennsylvania State University; he remained with this institution until the late 1950s.

He died in 1994 in Mount Holly, New Jersey.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection holds the papers of the philosophy professor E. Hans Freund. Notable subjects include the development of his professional life, the Freund family, and his experiences in Nazi Germany. The collection consists of correspondence, official documents, memoirs, manuscripts, official documents, and photographs.


Collection is available on 1 reel of microfilm (MF 1029).

  1. Reel 1: 1/1-1/26

Processing Information

Similar material was grouped together to form series during processing of the collection. Other work entailed the removal of extra photocopies of some typescripts and letters.

Guide to the Papers of E. Hans Freund (1905-1994) 1924-1945 AR 25358
Processed by Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EHansFreund.xml

Revision Statements

  • 2010-12-16 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States