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Ernst Marcus (Breslau) Collection

Identifier: AR 25006

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials relating to Breslau lawyer Ernst Frederick Marcus, including his personal correspondence and other documents.

Marcus's correspondence in this collection is mostly personal, primarily with family and friends originally from Breslau, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Notable correspondents include author Ruth Hoffmann, West German politician Herbert Hupka, and Ernst's mother Doris Marcus, who perished in the Holocaust.

Other notable materials include Marcus's Breslau documents, which show his efforts to keep working as an attorney in Breslau under the Nazi government, and general documents and correspondence relating to the Jews of Breslau. Also found here are items related to the Verein Alter Heiliger Geister, an alumni group for his gymnasium in Breslau. Among other assorted materials the collection also includes photographs and some educational, military, and vital records.

Materials relating to Marcus's wife Lucie Ritter Marcus include samples of commercial and personal artwork (mostly drawings), professional correspondence, ephemera, and a brief handwritten biography by Ernst Marcus.


  • 1908-1983
  • Majority of material found within 1954-1980


Language of Materials

The 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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Ernst Marcus (1890-1982)" href="" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Portrait of Ernst Marcus (1890-1982)"/>

Ernst Frederick Marcus (September 20, 1890, Breslau - December 31, 1982, San Francisco) was born to Leopold Marcus (d. 1910) and Isidore (Doris) née Gomma (1867-circa 1942) in Breslau. He attended the gymnasium "Zum Heiligen Geist" in Breslau and studied law at the universities of Munich and Breslau. He served in the German army during World War One, earning an Iron Cross, second class in 1917. In 1919 he became an attorney in Breslau. In 1921, he married Lucie Ritter (1895-1967), daughter of Gustav (Moses Gerschel) Ritter and Luise née Salamonski.

Marcus was able to keep practicing law despite the 1933 anti-Semitic laws barring Jews from the professions due to the exemption for World War One veterans. He and his wife emigrated to Holland in September 1938 and then to New York, where he changed his first name to Ernest. They soon left for Los Angeles, and in the 1950s settled in San Francisco. He worked as a bookkeeper and accountant in the United States. Marcus had a particular interest in the history of ethnic Germans expelled from eastern Europe after World War Two.


1 Linear Feet (1 box) + 1 OS folder (OS 2)


This collection contains materials relating to Breslau lawyer Ernst Frederick Marcus. It includes his personal correspondence, as well as professional documents showing his efforts to keep working as an attorney in Breslau under the Nazi government. Additional materials include items relating to the Jews of Breslau, photographs, vital documents, and other records.


The materials were divided into two series, Correspondence and Documents. Folders within each series are arranged alphabetically.

Related Material

The LBI Archives holds Ernst Marcus's memoir, Mein Leben in Deutschland vor und nach dem 30. Januar 1933, 1900-1940 (My life in Germany before and after 30 January 1933, 1900-1940) in both the original German (ME 423) and in English translation (ME 1204).

The LBI Archives also holds a small amount of material related to Marcus's wife, Lucie Ritter Marcus (AR 4393).

The LBI Library holds "A community under siege : the Jews of Breslau under Nazism" (2007) by Abraham Ascher. This work quotes extensively from Marcus's memoir.

Separated Material

Three medals (Iron Cross, second class; First World War service medal; Merit Cross 1st Class, Federal Republic of Germany) were removed to the LBI Arts and Objects collection.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders. Photographs were placed in envelopes. Materials pasted into a "magnetic" album were removed and placed in the 90th Birthday folder. The album's cover was photocopied and the album then discarded.

Correspondence was already roughly arranged, possibly by the donor. When a particular correspondent was grouped together, he or she was broken out into individual folders. Within folders, no significant rearrangement was done. The reading notes removed from a 3-ring binder.

Prior to this processing, the former AR 6451 was incorporated into this collection. Please contact the Leo Baeck Institute for folder lists of the old collection.

Guide to the Ernst Marcus (Breslau) Collection undated, 1908-1983 , bulk 1954-1980 AR 25006
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann and LBI Staff
© 2013
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

  • September 08, 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