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Hermann Simon Collection

Identifier: AR 6372 / MF 1033

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the significant life experiences, and to a lesser extent, the profession of Hermann Simon. In addition, it provides some material on the lives of his family members and some of his colleagues. The collection includes a large amount of correspondence, as well as publications and clippings, notes and notebooks, family trees and histories, and some legal documents.

The primary focus of this collection is the life of Hermann Simon. Among the papers of this collection are a copious amount of correspondence relating to his early life, education, and time spent in the United States military during World War II. Letters that mention Simon's early life and university education comprise Series I. Information on these aspects of his life may be accumulated from the correspondence between Simon and his family members. Letters from Simon home to his family are especially detailed during the years he studied in Berlin. These letters address not only lectures he attended or other matters related to his studies, but also frequently discuss the political and economic changes during the interwar years. His family's situation in Frankfurt is also made clear in this correspondence. Further material on his studies may be found in Series IV: Education, which holds Simon's notes on his legal studies. Detailed correspondence relating to Simon's years in the United States Army during World War II are available in Series II. A small amount of material is also present regarding Hermann Simon's legal practice. This includes some legal publications found in Series V, papers depicting his interest in postwar restitution work in Subseries 2 of Series VI, and some legal correspondence found among Subseries 3 of Series VI.

This collection holds a considerable amount of material on the Simon family and its history. Much information on the lives of Hermann Simon's parents, Emil and Gertrude ("Gerty") Simon, and his brother, Friedrich ("Friedel") Simon, may be gleaned from the correspondence of Series I. Further information on the Simon family and their forebears will be found in various areas of the collection. Series III includes a comprehensive memoir of Jakob Epstein, Gerty Simon's father. This memoir recounts his life in detail, placing the significant events of his life in context with frequent observations of notable historical events. In addition, it provides information on other family members, such as his father, grandfather, and children. A second, but considerably less voluminous, memoir on the Simon side of the family is also present in this collection, in Subseries 2 of Series VI.

Researchers should note that many folders in Series I-IV contain typed English summaries of the contents of each folder.


  • 1904-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1918-1945


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 1033.

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

Hermann E. Simon was born on October 11, 1900 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the second son of Emil and Gertrude ("Gerty") Simon; he had an older brother named Friedrich ("Friedel"). Hermann Simon studied law in Berlin, Bonn, and Frankfurt. He assisted other German Jews in emigrating before leaving Germany himself in 1937, when he settled in New York City. From 1942-1945 he served in the United States Army, including duty in Germany; for this work he was given the Bronze Star. Following the war, Hermann Simon worked for the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson. He died on August 14, 1990 in New York City.


3 Linear Feet


This collection records the life and profession of the lawyer Hermann Simon as well as provides information on the lives of some of his family members. Notable topics in the collection consist of his university and legal education, his service in World War II, and his legal work, including restitution. Other subjects include the histories of the Epstein and Simon families. The collection consists largely of correspondence, but also contains memoirs, clippings, publications, and notes.

Related Material

The Anne Fischer Collection (AR 10519) includes an extensive amount of correspondence between Hermann Simon and Anne Fischer.

The LBI Memoir Collection holds the memoirs of Jacob Epstein, Hermann Simon's grandfather (ME 125).

Processing Information

The collection was reprocessed in preparation of an EAD finding aid in May 2009. During reprocessing, material of similar types or functions were grouped together to form series and subseries. Series were largely based upon the initial arrangement found within the collection, and for this reason addenda has not been incorporated into the other series of the collection. Within some series, the order of folders have shifted somewhat from the initial processing. This fact, combined with the reboxing of folders due to overfilled and underfilled boxes for preservation purposes, required the renumbering of folders. Most folders in Series I-IV include typed English summaries at the front of each folders that highlight the contents of each folder, provided during previous processing of the collection; due to the abovementioned renumbering of folders, the folder numbers indicated on these summaries have changed. In a few cases, very overfilled folders were divided into two folders for preservation purposes, but such folders were retained in consecutive order.

Guide to the Papers of Hermann E. Simon (1900-1990) 1904-1989 AR 6372
Processed by Dianne Ritchey Oummia and Gabrielle Glueckselig
© 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HermannSimon.xml

Revision Statements

  • 2010-11-16 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl.
  • October 2013: Box 3, Folders 22-26 edited in finding aid to reflect digital content.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States