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Davidsohn Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25313

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains material about the Rothenstein and Davidsohn families, such as vital records, photographs, and restitution documents.

Rothenstein family material includes educational documents for Fritz Rothenstein's high school (Gymnasium) and university attendance and Cecilie Rothenstein's stint in library school at Columbia University, and vital documents such as birth and death certificates, passports, vaccination books, naturalization certificates, and papers relating to Cecilie Rothenstein's work at the New York Public Library.

The photographs are mostly unidentified, but are probably of the Rothenstein's friends and family. There are also photographs of interiors and exteriors of a large house, and a photo of the grave of Willy Loewy (1889-1914). Formats include cabinet cards, black and white and color snapshots, mounted photos, and an instant photograph. A family photo album (from Hamburg, Germany) belonging to Cis and Fritz Rothenstein contains photographs of unidentified individuals and a photograph of the warehouse (Speditions u. Lagerhaus) of the international moving company Brasch & Rothenstein. A small photo album of Rothenstein family photos ranges from cartes de visite to color snapshots.

Also found here are two poems for the 25th wedding anniversary of Louis and Victoria Hagen. Their relationship to this collection is unclear.

Davidsohn family material includes an undated personal letter to Else Davidsohn; vital and official records of John Davidsohn, including a birth certificate, education documents, an immigration petition, and English resident alien documents; and correspondence and documents concerning a restitution case.


  • 1904-1990s


Language of Materials

This collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Biographical Note

Friedrich (Fritz) Rothenstein (1895-1973) was the son of Heinrich Rothenstein (d. 1911) and Agnes née Mossne. In 1927 he married Marie Cecilie née Landecker ("Cis") (1899-2000), whose parents were Benno Landecker and Bertha née Grünzweig. Their seven-year-old son, Heinrich Peter Benjamin Rothenstein, died in 1936, in Switzerland. Marie and Fritz immigrated to New York from Berlin in the 1930s. Fritz continued working in the import-export business, while Marie went to library school at Columbia University and worked at the New York Public Library, primarily at the Bloomingdale branch.

John Davidsohn (1904-1985) was born to Sally Davidsohn (? - 1938) and Toni Davidsohn née Goldschmidt (1877-1941?) in Osterholz-Scharmbeck bei Bremen. In 1936, Davidsohn emigrated to England, and later went to New York. His cousins Edwin Davidson and James M. Davidson (sons of Herman Davidsohn, Sally's brother), were already long-time American citizens and signed an affidavit to help him immigrate. Other cousins include Ernst Davidsohn (d. 1945?) and Johanna Rosendahl, the children of John's uncle Eduard Davidsohn (married to Otillie née Leeser (d. 1939)). In 1942, he married Else née Eichwald (1906-2001).

The connection between the two families appears to be that Cecilie Rothenstein's sister, Wilma Goldschmidt, married a younger brother or nephew of Toni Davidsohn's. However, this is only an informed guess, based on the documents in the collection.


0.25 Linear Feet (one box)


This collection contains material about the Rothenstein and Davidsohn families, such as vital records, photographs, and restitution documents.


This collection is arranged into two series, with one series each for materials by or about the Rothenstein family and the Davidsohn family.

Separated Material

A bronze figurine (8 cm) has been removed to LBI Arts and Objects.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders. Loose photographs were placed in folders. The cover of the 1930s photograph album was removed. Photographs in the album dated 1900s-1990s were removed and placed in folders.

Guide to the Davidsohn Family Collection Undated, 1904-circa 1990s AR 25313
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • January 03, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States