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Raphael Straus Collection

Identifier: AR 628

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the scientific work and life of the historian Raphael Straus. It contains selected correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, archival and research notes, reviews and original documents.

The correspondence, which is held in Series I, tells about the difficulties Straus faced in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s. Not finding work, the correspondence provides information on Straus's constant struggle for financial support and professional recognition. Being often disappointed, early letters reveal his plans to move to the United States, which he did not do until 1945 – two years before his death. His partially unfinished research projects represent the greater part of the collection. Straus worked on Judaism, the history of Judaism, its status in Europe and the relation of Christianity and Judaism (II.1). He specialized in the history and economic situation of Jews in Bavaria in the Middle Ages (II.2).

Straus's research contains a his critical look on the lives and works of different Jewish thinkers. Scrutinizing their time, social recognition and adoption, Straus provided a valuable insight into Jewish life and thinking, in his Biographical Writings (II.3). He explored structures and contexts. Conducted by this principle, his research also investigated the main features and defining topics of modern Jewish history (II.4).


  • 1912-1946


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, Hebrew, and French.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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

Raphael Straus was born in 1887 in Karlsruhe. Straus studied history in Freiburg, Berlin and Heidelberg and gained his doctorate in 1910 with a thesis entitled Die Juden im Königreich Sizilien unter Normannen und Staufern [The Jews in the Kingdom of Sicily Under the Normans and Staufers]. In 1913 Straus took over the Holbein publishing house, which he resold in the late 1920s. As a research associate of the Bayrischer Landesverband der israelitischen Kultusgemeinden [Bavarian Regional Association of Jewish Communities], Straus received the opportunity to again devote himself to research after 1927. In 1932 his book Die Judengemeinde Regensburg im ausgehenden Mittelalter [The Jewish Community of Regensburg at the Conclusion of the Middle Ages] was published, which became one of the most important works of Straus. From 1929 to 1932 he edited the periodical Zeitschrift für die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland [Magazine for the History of the Jews in Germany].

Raphael Straus left Germany in 1933 to live in Palestine. With the aid of several scholarships Straus continued his research in Jerusalem, although the struggle for support, scholarships and publication drained a lot of his energy. The manuscripts Urkunden und Aktenstücke zur Geschichte der Juden in Regensburg, 1453-1738 [Documents and Records on the History of the Jews in Regenburg, 1453-1738] and Die Juden in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft [The Jews in Economy and Society] were not published in Germany until the 1960s.

His correspondence reveals his wish to move to the United Stated which he could not fulfill until 1945. Raphael Straus died in New York in 1947.


3.75 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers of the historian Raphael Straus. Mainly consisting of research material, the collection holds typescripts and manuscripts, a galley, articles, reviews, and, above all, archival notes and research notes. In addition, there is also the correspondence of Raphael Straus.


The collection is on five reels of microfilm (MF 1005):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/7
  2. Reel 2: 1/8 - 1/12
  3. Reel 3: 1/13 - 2/2
  4. Reel 4: 2/3 - 2/8
  5. Reel 5: 2/9 - Oversized (OS)

Processing Information

This collection was processed in August 2000. In 2008 it was reprocessed to reflect the addition of addenda and to group similar materials together and give them new numeration, although much of the older processing order remained the same. In addition, series descriptions were added, as well as a collection-level scope and content note.

Guide to the Papers of Raphael Straus (1887-1947) 1912-1946 AR 628 / MF 1005
Processed by LBI Staff and Laetitia Lenel
© 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from RaphaelStraus.xml

Revision Statements

  • December 2009.: Microfilm inventory added.
  • December 03, 2012 : 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