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Harvey P. Newton Collection

Identifier: AR 5827

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers of Harvey P. Newton, and includes personal and family documents and correspondence. It also contains materials on the Holocaust and Jewish life in Hitler's Germany, including materials on the concentration camp at Buchenwald. The collection also contains documents related to the Jewish community in Breslau and materials on Groß Breesen, a training farm for young Jewish people in preparation for emigration. Included are also papers concerning the Jewish resistance and Jewish war veterans.

Personal papers in this collection, located in Series I, include biographical information on Harvey P. Newton as well as official documents such as passports, a driver's license and school report cards. This series also holds a small amount of papers on his family history and papers belonging to distant relatives.

Material on Jewish war veterans may be found in several places in this collection. Newton's U.S. Army records will be found in Series I: Personal and provide information on his service during World War II, his training and deployment as an interrogation officer, and his wounding and eventual retirement from the army. Correspondence found in Series II provides details on Newton's attempts to contact other German Jewish war veterans, while Series III holds articles on Jewish soldiers in the U.S. Army.

Another topic frequently encountered in this collection is the Auswanderer-Lehrsgut Groß Breesen, where young Jewish men and women studied farming and related subjects in order to gain skills that would help them emigrate from Germany. Series I: Personal holds Newton's diploma for his training there as well as letters of reference attesting to his ability to perform agricultural work. Articles on the farm and materials pertaining to reunions of former students will be found in Series III. Articles written by Curt Bondy, the founder of the Groß Breesen training farm, will be found in Series IV: Offprints and Reprints.

A third area often represented in the Harvey P. Newton collection is the experiences of individuals in Nazi Germany. Harvey P. Newton's own recollections are related in a lenghty letter found in the "Biographical information" folder of Series I as well as the memoir of his time in the Buchenwald camp, located in Series III. Others' accounts of life under the Nazis will be found among the articles on the Holocaust in general in Series II as well as among the publications of former Groß Breesen students. In addition, Series III also contains two memoirs on growing up in the Third Reich.


  • Creation: 1851-1999


Language of Materials

The collection is in English, German, with a small amount in Spanish and Dutch.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection has been digitized. Please follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Collection is microfilmed; use MF 963.

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.

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

Harvey P. Newton was born Hermann Neustadt in 1920, the son of an upper-middle class, assimilated Jewish family in Breslau (now Wrocaw, Poland). His father, a decorated veteran of World War I who had seen combat in the Somme campaign, established a textile factory together with his cousin, and married the daughter of a liberal rabbi in Halle an der Saale. The parents on both sides could trace back their families to the early 19th century.

After completing elementary school and a few years of Gymnasium education, Hermann Neustadt chose not to follow in the footsteps of his father due to the rising anti-Semitism in Germany. Instead, he decided to join a group of young Jewish people who opted for agricultural training at the Auswanderer-Lehrsgut Groß Breesen, a farm that prepared young people to seek a new life outside Germany. He completed his training, thereby earning a diploma. Like thousands of other Jews, he was sent to the concentration camp in Buchenwald after "Kristallnacht." With the help of the Jewish Committee in Holland, Hermann Neustadt was permitted to practice his new trade on another training farm, Wieringerwaard. In 1940 he emigrated to the United States, and worked briefly at the Hyde Park training farm in Virginia before enlisting in the U.S. Army. In 1944 Hermann Neustadt changed his name to Harvey P. Newton.

Newton remained in the army until 1946. In February 1944 he was transferred to the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, due to his fluency in German. There he was trained in interrogation, and worked as an interrogator of German civillians and officers until he was wounded in France in November 1944. Thereafter he worked at the Enemy Prisoners of War Information Bureau. Harvey Newton was promoted several times during his service; by the time he retired from the army in 1946 he had received the rank of First Lieutenant.

Harvey Newton returned to school as a beneficiary of the G.I. Bill, attending Rutgers University. By 1948 he had earned a B.S. in Agronomy and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology in June 1951. From 1952 to 1956 he held various positions as a soil expert and was then dispatched to a number of underdeveloped countries on behalf of the U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture, working in Venezuala, Costa Rica, Somalia, and Ecuador. Harvey Newton spent his last years in Costa Rica, where he died on April 1, 1998. He had three adopted daughters: Gema, Rita, and Suzanna, all of whom were originally from Mogadishu, Somalia.


1 Linear Feet


This collection documents the life and career of Harvey P. Newton, including life during Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Personal papers include correspondence, family history, school, military, and work-related documents. Papers about Nazi Germany include documents concerning World War II, concentration camps, and war veterans.


The collection is on three reels of microfilm (MF 963):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/15
  2. Reel 2: 1/16 - 2/6
  3. Reel 3: 2/7 - 2/11

Separated Material

Photographs have been removed to the LBI Photo Collection.

Processing Information

Prior to encoding the finding aid in EAD 2002 in May 2005, Dianne Ritchey Oummia gave folders more concise titles and grouped those containing material of a similar nature together to form series. Series descriptions were added and the collection's biographical and scope and content notes were revised.

Guide to the Papers of Harvey P. Newton (1920-1998), 1851-1999 AR 5827
Processed by Arthur Rath and Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2001
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HarveyNewton02.xml

Revision Statements

  • May 2005.: Converted to ead 2002. Revised as HarveyNewton02.xml by Dianne Ritchey Oummia. Removed deprecated elements and attributes, updated repository codes, added language codes, changed doctype declaration, etc.
  • January 2006.: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.
  • March 2009.: Microfilm inventory added.
  • October 2010: Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • 2010-10-12 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States