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Wachtel Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25174

Scope and Content Note

This collection reflects the experience of the Wachtel family members during the 1940s as well as some of their restitution efforts and the investigation into the disappearance and supposed murder of Arnold Wachtel in later decades. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, either personal correspondence to Leo Wachtel from his mother and brother or official correspondence regarding restitution and the death of Arnold Wachtel. A few official papers belonging to Arnold Wachtel are also included, such as residency forms and a few items related to his possible emigration.


  • Creation: 1939-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1939-1946


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

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.

Biographical Note

Markus Wachtel (born 1898) and his wife, Regina née Guttenberg (born 1898), were born in Poland and later lived in Berlin, Germany. Markus Wachtel was arrested by Nazi forces and deported in 1939. He died in 1940. Regina Wachtel was arrested at the Jewish hospital in Berlin in 1941. She was deported and perished in the Holocaust. Her younger son Arnold (born 1921) survived six years in concentration camps in Germany including concentration camps at Sachsenhausen, Ausschwitz, Warsaw, Dachau, and Bebra. After the end of the war, he rebuilt his life in Markt Schwaben near Munich, although he considered immigrating to the United States. In July of 1946, Arnold Wachtel and his friend Heinz Karliner hoped to become trustees of a department store, Kaufhaus Müller, alongside its then owner, Fritz Müller, a former Nazi party member. On the night of July 10, 1946, Arnold disappeared and seems to have been murdered. His older brother Leo (born 1919) fled Nazi Germany to Manchester, England and then immigrated to the United States in 1948. Leo died in 1995 in San Diego, California.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection consists mainly of correspondence among the Wachtel family members in the 1940s. Regina and Markus Wachtel were both deported and perished in the Holocaust. Their older son Leo immigrated via England to the United States. Their younger son Arnold survived imprisonment in several concentration camps, but disappeared in 1946, seemingly murdered. In addition to correspondence, a few official documents and restitution materials are included.


The collection is arranged by document type.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Processing Information

Photocopies of letters that were likely made during a previous box inventory were removed. Materials were placed in archival envelopes where necessary, and a spacer was placed in the box.

Guide to the Wachtel Family Collection 1939-circa 2004 (bulk 1939-1946) AR 25174
Processed by Leanora Lange
© 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States