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Marianne Steinberg Ostrand Collection

Identifier: AR 25745

Scope and Content Note

The Marianne Steinberg Ostrand Collection holds the papers of the physician Marianne Steinberg Ostrand and her husband Arnold Ostrand, with documentation of members of the Steinberg and Kaufmann families. Prominent themes in the collection include the emigration plans of the Steinberg family members and their lives after emigrating from Germany, Marianne Steinberg Ostrand's medical education, the travels of Arnold and Marianne Ostrand as young people before World War II, and the search for Selma Steinberg and her sisters after their deportation from Essen. The collection includes extensive correspondence, much of it between Marianne, her mother, and her siblings; official and educational documents; diaries, notebooks, notes, and a friendship album; travel memorabilia; and newspaper clippings and articles, including biographical articles about Marianne Ostrand and the Steinberg family.

The emigration of Steinberg family members from Germany, including Marianne Steinberg herself, is the most prominent topic in the collection. Series I, which contains the collection's correspondence is the largest area of the collection. Although the correspondence covers many subjects, the efforts of Steinberg family members to leave Germany is a reoccurring subject. The correspondence in Series I contains the discussion of various plans between the family members, especially the emigration of Kurt Steinberg after his incarceration in Buchenwald in 1938, and the Steinberg siblings' attempts to acquire visas and ship's passages for their mother and aunts, with much conversation between them about what should be done and how, finances, and the changing of plans when circumstances changed. Letters from Kurt Steinberg and Charlotte Kaiser Blüth in Palestine (and later Israel) to their sister Marianne in the United States also often describes their lives in Palestine, including details of life during World War II and the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. Marianne's letters also often discuss her family and career. Series II holds official documents related to the emigration of Marianne and Arnold Ostrand, including passports, birth certificates, and other identifying documentation used in the immigration process, immigration forms, naturalization certificates, and other papers. In addition, Series includes other papers from their lives in the United States, such as ration books from World War II, driver's licenses, or a few papers related to their education and professional qualifications. Series III, which holds the majority of educational and professional papers of Marianne and Arnold Ostrand, includes documentation on their postwar careers in the United States.

Marianne Steinberg Ostrand's medical studies and training in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States is another focus of this collection. In her letters of Series I her medical training in Europe and the United States is mentioned, with later letters describing the medical practice she set up in her own apartment and discussing its progress. Her medical studies in Germany, including many certificates regarding examinations and practical training, are primarily documented in Series III, although a few documents in Series II pertain to them as well. Series II also includes her diary from the late 1920s and early 1930s, which references her medical studies. A proposed plan for her to work as a physician in India is mentioned both in the correspondence of Series I and the education papers of Series III.

Both Arnold and Marianne Ostrand traveled frequently as young people in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, often cycling trips where they stayed in youth hostels. They both also kept diaries of some of these travels, which are located in Series II. Marianne's travels through Switzerland by bicycle while studying medicine in Bern is also included here. Other travel memorabilia of hers is also in this series. In addition, Series I includes some letters from the time she spent in England in 1933-1934, or from friends she made there.

Another topic found in several locations in this collection is the search for Selma Steinberg and her sisters Henny and Emma Kaufmann after Selma and Henny were deported to Müngersdorf and they all were later deported to Theresienstadt. Many of the letters exchanged between Marianne and her siblings discuss the search for them and the Steinberg siblings eventual realization of their deaths; prior to the liberation of Theresienstadt they expected to find the sisters still there. Series II includes documentation related to Selma Steinberg and Henny Kaufmann's deportation and deaths in Auschwitz, and includes the obituary Marianne Ostrand had published on behalf of her siblings in the newspaper Aufbau for their mother and aunts.


  • Creation: 1926-1990

Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and a small amount of Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

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 "Reserve" 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

Marianne Steinberg was born February 2, 1911, in Altenessen, a borough of the city of Essen, to Alex and Selma (née Kaufmann) Steinberg. She had two elder siblings: Kurt (born 1906) and Charlotte (called Lotti, born 1908). In their household lived also Selma's sister Henriette (called Henny) and Alex's brother Hermann. Alex Steinberg was a grain wholesaler, and Selma and Henny had a manufactured goods store. The family's large apartment was located above this store.

After attending the Jewish primary school, Marianne Steinberg attended the Luisenschule (Städtisches Lyzeum und Oberlyzeum, a girls' high school), where she was elected prefect for several years and graduated with honors. She competed in several sports while in school, including tennis, swimming, triathlon, and running and belonged to her school's rounders team. She also traveled frequently as a young woman.

Although she at first wanted to study law like her brother, after a trip to Norderney where she saw a home for sick children, Marianne decided to study medicine instead. In summer 1930 she began her medical studies at the university in Freiburg im Breisgau, and continued her preclinical studies at the universities of Kiel and Würzburg. In summer 1932 she passed the preliminary medical exams in Würzburg, and began her practical training in Würzburg and Düsseldorf. In Würzburg she also worked as a dissecting demonstrator for anatomy and histology courses. In June 1933 her father died. She spent some time in 1933 and 1934 in England, where she worked as a cook and nanny. In December 1935 she passed the German state exams in medicine in Düsseldorf, but since she could not complete her medical studies in Germany due to being Jewish, she matriculated later that month at the University of Bern, financing her studies there with the assistance of a scholarship from the International Student Service. In February 1936 she passed the Swiss medical exams and was granted permission to begin work on her doctoral thesis. In August 1936 she returned to Essen, and from September 1936-April 1938 had an internship in internal medicine and gynecology and obstetrics at the Israelitisches Asyl für Kranke und Altersschwache. On April 11, 1938 she was informed by the German Ministry of the Interior that she had met the qualifications to receive a medical degree except for proof of German (Aryan) descent. Later that year she completed her thesis, titled Letzte Aufzeichnungen von Selbstmordern nebst kurzer Selbstmordstatistik der Stadt Bern 1929 bis und mit 1935 (Last notes of suicides including brief suicide statistics of the city of Bern from 1929 until and including 1935). She received her medical degree from Bern in June 1938 and that same month left for the United States, assisted by distant relatives who had previously emigrated.

Marianne Steinberg spent her first months in the United States studying to pass the New York State medical exams in order to practice as a physician, which she did in September 1939. At the same time she worked as a nurse for the elderly and also as a first-aid counselor at a girls' summer camp in Connecticut. After submitting numerous applications for internships, she was accepted at the Tewksbury State Hospital and Infirmary, where she had a rotating internship from December 1939-January 1941.

While Marianne was continuing her education her siblings were also leaving Germany. Her sister Charlotte had married her first husband Hans Kaiser Blüth and they had emigrated to Tel Aviv by 1935, where Charlotte opened a dental practice. On November 8, 1938 their brother Kurt was arrested and taken to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. His fiancée Hanna Levy eventually was able to free him at the end of the month; they joined Charlotte in Tel Aviv in February 1939. As news of the conditions in Germany spread Marianne and her siblings tried various ways to get their mother, aunt Henny, and aunt Emma Kaufmann out of Germany, at first trying to acquire American visas for them. After American consulates were closed in Germany Marianne pursued Cuban visas for them; Selma was issued a Cuban visa in November 1941 but Germany had by then refused to permit Jews to leave the country. In February 1942 Selma and Henny were sent to the Müngersdorf ghetto outside of Cologne, and in September 1942 were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. They were later deported to Auschwitz.

By December 1939 Marianne Steinberg had met Arnold Oestreicher in Massachusetts. Arnold was a fellow immigrant born in 1911 in Leipzig who had studied structural engineering at the Technische Hochschule (technical university) of Berlin and later changed his surname to Ostrand. The couple married in March 1941 and would later have two children. Marianne became an American citizen in November 1943, Arnold the following April. After their marriage Marianne established a medical practice in their apartment in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, where their living room doubled as a patients' waiting room, and the bedroom as her office.

In 1955 the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia granted her a medical degree, retroactive to March 1938.

In 1957 the Ostrands moved to Englewood, New Jersey, where Marianne opened her own practice and also worked as an attending physician at the Englewood Hospital until her retirement in 1981. On May 28, 2002 she passed away in Maryland; Arnold passed away in Maryland in 2004.


2 Linear Feet


The Marianne Steinberg Ostrand Collection documents the education, emigration, and early professional life of the physician Marianne Steinberg Ostrand as well as the lives of members of her family, especially her husband, engineer Arnold Ostrand, and her mother and siblings, with much documentation of the emigration or attempted emigration from Germany of her family members. About half the collection is correspondence. In addition it contains many educational certificates, official documents, diaries, notebooks, notes, and a friendship album, travel memorabilia, and newspaper clippings and articles.

Other Finding Aid

A list of most of the correspondence in this collection is located in folder 1/7.

Related Material

The LBI Library contains the book Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust - A Jewish Family’s Untold Story(LBILD20131719), which is about the Kaufmann-Steinberg family. This book includes discussion of documents in this collection.

Separated Material

Two books were removed from the archival collection to the LBI Library: Geschichte der Altenessener Jüdinnen und Juden by Hans-Jürgen Schreiber and Da von dem Erwerb des Titels meine Zukunft abhängt: Die Bedeutung der Medizinischen Fakultät der Universität Bern zwischen 1933 und 1945 für die von den 'Rassengesetzen' betroffenen Doktorandinnen aus Deutschland by Désirée Aebersold and Sonja Stalder. Both of these works contain chapters about Marianne Steinberg Ostrand.

In addition, multiple copies of abstracts of Marianne Steinberg Ostrand's dissertation were removed from the collection, along with two publications showing her membership in professional organizations; photocopies of the pages of the latter where she was listed were retained in the collection along with title pages of the publications.

Duplicate photocopies of papers in the collection were removed during processing of the archival collection.

Processing Information

During processing of the archival collection, series were created based on dominant types of documentation found in individual folders, or by content. A number of folders held correspondence arranged chronologically; these now form Subseries 2 of Series I. Some of the chronological correspondence folders were further subdivided due to their large size. Notations on original folders regarding folders' contents were retained in the collection. Two books and two publications were removed from the collection during processing, with copies of their bibliographic information and content about Marianne Steinberg Ostrand retained in the collection. Duplicate photocopies of documents were removed from the collection during processing. The final series of the collection was previously a separate archival collection of the same name, with the call number AR 5823.

Guide to the Papers of Marianne Steinberg Ostrand 1926-1990 AR 25745
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from MarianneSteinbergOstrand.xml

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States