Siegbert J. Weinberger Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection documents the restitution claims made by the Weinberger family for property in Berlin that formerly belonged to them and Gebrüder Weinberger, the wholesale grocery firm that they owned from the early 1920s through its forced closure in 1936. Other materials in the collection include Adolf Weinberger’s personal correspondence, personal restitution materials, and business papers related to his employers in the United States.
The restitution materials regarding the property that formerly belonged to the Weinberger brothers consist mainly of correspondence between the Weinberger family members and their lawyers, Richard and Bruce Burns of New York City and Dietrich Jacob of Berlin. Much of the correspondence to Jacob around 2000 is related to memorials for the Weinberger family and sales of their properties. Also included are inventories, contracts, financial records, and legal documents (affidavits, powers of attorney, court decisions, etc.) related to the Gebrüder Weinberger business. These materials document the prolonged process for claiming restitution for property that fell into the hands of the East German government after World War II.
The papers related to Adolf Weinberger were originally held in a separate accordion folder labeled “Affairs, Berlin, Adolf Weinberger.” These materials include papers on businesses in the United States that employed Weinberger or in which Weinberger held stocks, including Meat Import, Inc., Eastern Sausage and Provision Co., and La Marquise Footwear. Also among Adolf Weinberger’s papers are vital documents, restitution materials for personal claims (health, loss of property, immigration costs), and some further claims materials related to Gebrüder Weinberger. Adolf Weinberger’s personal correspondence discusses not only family and personal life but also touches on issues of restitution and the business matters of a small grocery business that some of the Weinberger family members founded in Berlin after the end of World War II.
The memorial ceremony from 1995 commemorated the Gebrüder Weinberger business as the most important wholesale grocery business of its time. The photographs depict a plaque that was laid at Brunnenstraße 188-190, the former headquarters of Gebrüder Weinberger.
- Weinberger, Siegbert J., 1924-2013 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in English and German with a few documents in Polish.
This collection is open to researchers.
Adolf Weinberger founded and ran a prominent wholesale grocery firm called Gebrüder Weinberger at Brunnenstraße 188/190 Berlin along with his brothers Joseph, Hermann, and Salomon. Founded in the early 1920s, the firm grew to become a corporate group that, in addition to Gebrüder Weinberger, included Müller & Braun A.G., Motzen GmbH, Macuse & Ohrbach GmbH, Hase & Kiebler GmbH, Otto Tuermann GmbH, and Rosenthaler Tor GmbH. The business suffered under discriminatory laws when the Nazis came to power and was shut down by Nazi decree in 1936. All four Weinberger brothers fled Germany by immigrating to the United States, where they settled in New York City. A large portion of their personal and commercial property fell to municipal government of East Berlin. This property encompassed not only Brunnenstraße 188/190, but also properties in Bergstraße, Kaiserdamm, Pragerstraße, Westarpstraße, and Rosenheimerstraße, and Chorinerstraße. The Weinbergers began filing for restitution for their lost property a few years after the end of World War II, and Adolf Weinberger’s son Siegbert J. Weinberger continued to pursue these claims after the reunification of Germany through the early 2000s.
1.25 Linear Feet
This collection consists mainly of materials related to the restitution claims of the Weinberger family members who owned a group of grocery stores in Berlin from the early 1920s until its forced closure in 1936. These materials include correspondence, legal papers, inventories, and financial records. Also included are some personal papers of Adolf Weinberger as well as speeches and photographs from a memorial ceremony.
The arrangement of the collection follows the original order. Where folder titles were given for materials, they were retained. These original folder titles are indicated in quotation marks in the container list.
The collection was digitized in its entirety with the exception of oversized materials. Access to box 1 folders 13-22, box 2 folders 1-4, and selected materials in box 1 folder 8 is restricted due to privacy concerns. Researchers with questions regarding suppressed materials may contact the LBI Archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This collection was donated to the Leo Baeck Institute along with a number of books, which were separated to the LBI Library.
Materials were flattened and those that were severely damaged were placed in Mylar sleeves. Oversized materials were flattened and placed in an oversized folder and box. Duplicates were removed. Materials were rehoused into archival folders and boxes. Photographs were placed in archival envelopes. Negatives were placed in archival sleeves. The arrangement was kept as close to the original order as possible. Where original folders held too many documents for archival folders, the materials held in the original folder were separated into two archival folders and the numbers 1 and 2 were added to the folder title.
- Berlin (Germany)
- Financial records
- Gebrüder Weinberger
- Grocery trade
- Jewish families
- Legal documents
- New York (N.Y.)
- Official documents
- Restitution -- Germany
- United States -- Emigration and immigration
- Weinberger family
- Weinberger, Adolf
- Weinberger, Siegbert J., 1924-2013
- Guide to the Siegbert J. Weinberger Collection 1899-2003 AR 25562
- Processed by Leanora Lange
- © 2013
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Processing made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History." Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
- May 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.