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Martha Kirchheimer Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25472

Scope and Content Note

This collection traces the experience of the Kirchheimer family from 1911 through 2011. The focus of the collection is on the personal lives of the family members and their ties to the cities of Wolfenbüttel, Bremerhaven, Bad Driburg, and surrounding towns. Materials include photographs, speeches, correspondence, education records, ephemera, poems, small notebooks, a diary, a copy of the 1949 high school yearbook from the New York City High School of Commerce, and few vital records. Clippings on almost every family member are also included.

Dates

  • 1911-2011

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

Siegfried Kirchheimer (1891-1991) was the eldest of four sons of Moritz Kirchheimer and his wife Caroline. Siegfried studied medicine and served as a medical officer in the German army during World War I. He married Martha Müller, and the couple lived in Wolfenbüttel from 1918 until 1938. Siegfried became a highly-regarded doctor in Wolfenbüttel during this time and created strong ties to the city.

In 1938, Siegfried and his eldest daughter Lore (alternatively Hannelore) immigrated to the United States. Martha Kirchheimer and their other daughters Grete and Alice followed two years later.

Siegfried Kirchheimer remained in close contact with the city of Wolfenbüttel and residents he had treated there for the rest of his life, often writing letters to the city on special occasions that were published in the city’s newspaper the Wolfenbütteler Zeitung. In 1990, he was awarded the Wappenteller der Stadt Wolfenbüttel (plaque Wolfenbüttel city crest) for his service to the city. After his death, the city of Wolfenbüttel named a street Dr.-Kirchheimer-Straße in his honor. Siegfried was also an avid photographer and had an interest in sailing and ships. Many of his photographs of Bremerhaven were used for the anniversary book 150 Jahre Bremerhaven by Harry Gabckes.

Siegfried and Martha Kirchheimer’s first daughter Lore settled in New York and worked as a saleswoman. Their second daughter Grete (alternatively Greta) Kirchheimer was born in 1924 and married Gerd Leven, who had served in the U.S. Army during World War II and studied traffic management. Alice Kirchheimer was born on June 3, 1930. She began school in Bad Driburg and completed high school in 1949 at the High School of Commerce in New York City. She became a secretary at a law firm in Manhattan and revisited Wolfenbüttel several times later in her life with her sister Lore.

Siegfried’s brother Bert Kirchheimer (1897-1985) was born in Bremerhaven and studied business. After serving in the German army during World War I, he ran the department store E. Weil Söhne in Saarbrücken. During this time, he became a prolific caricaturist whose work was published in the Dortmunder Generalanzeiger and the Saarbrücker Zeitung. He immigrated to the United States in 1936, where he worked for Forbes.

Bert Kirchheimer’s son Manfred (alternatively Manny) Kirchheimer was born in Saarbrücken in 1931 and emigrated with his family in 1936. Manfred became a documentary filmmaker in New York City. His film We Were So Beloved focused on the experience of German-Jewish refugees who immigrated to the United States between 1933 and 1941 and settled in the Washington Heights community of New York City.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection traces the Kirchheimer family from 1911 until 2011 and focuses on the personal lives of the family members and their ties to the cities of Wolfenbüttel, Bremerhaven, Bad Driburg, and surrounding towns. Materials include clippings, photographs, speeches, correspondence, education records, ephemera, poems, small notebooks, a diary, a high school yearbook, and few vital records.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the individual to whom the items primarily pertain. Folders containing items related to the family as a whole are placed at the beginning of the collection and arranged chronologically.

Related Material

The LBI Archives holds a copy of Manfred Kirchheimer's film We Were So Beloved, and the LBI Library holds a copy of the book We Were So Beloved: Autobiography of a German Jewish Community by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer containing some of the interviews of Washington Heights residents used in the film.

Folder 12 contains a list of manuscripts by Siegfried Kirchheimer that were held in the Niedersächsisches Staatsarchiv as of 1992.

Separated Material

All clippings donated with this collection that did not directly deal with the members of the Kirchheimer family were made into a separate clippings collection, AR 25472 C. These clippings cover topics and personages that were of interest to the Kirchheimers, such as sailing, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, Wilhelm Busch, Goethe, Mimi Grossberg, and Lotte Jacobi, as well as news from the cities of Wolfenbüttel, Bad Driburg, Bremerhaven, and Nieheim.

Two videocassettes were removed to the LBI A/V Collection. One of these seems to be a home video.

The May 4, 1951 issue of Aufbau addressed to George Leven was removed. This issue can be accessed via LBI and the Internet Archive: Aufbau, May 4, 1951.

The following books were separated to the LBI library. Copies of their title and copyright pages were retained in the collection along with correspondence found tucked inside of them.
  1. Brinkmöller, Karl. Jüdische Bürger in Bad Driburg 1900 bis 1945. Heimatverein Bad Driburg, Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit Paderborn, ed. Bad Driburg: Druckerei Bergann, 1997.
  2. Brinkmöller, Karl. Ergänzungen und Nachträge zur Dokumentation: Jüdische Bürger in Bad Driburg 1900 bis 1945. Heimatverein Bad Driburg, Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit Paderborn, ed. Bad Driburg: Druckerei Bergann, 1999.
  3. Bolle, Fritz, ed. Knaurs Lexikon A-Z. München : Droemersche Verlagsanstalt Th. Knaur Nachf., 1956.
  4. Borek, Ingeborg. Meine Erinnerungen an die Tochter des Kaisers. Osterwieck: Pigge Druck + Service, 2005.
  5. Heimat: Zeichnungen deutscher Künstler ausgewählt aus Bildern des Kalenders „Kunst und Leben“ Deutsche Gedichte. Berlin-Zehlendorf: Verlag Fritz Hender, 1918.
  6. Müller, Wolfgang. Gartenstraße 6: Zur Geschichte eines Detmolder “Judenhauses” und seiner Bewohner. Panu Derech Bereitet den Weg. Detmold: Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit in Lippe, 1992.
  7. Raveh, Karla and Rosenberg, Helene. Überleben: Der Leidensweg der jüdischen Familie Frenkel aus Lemgo. Forum Lembo: Schriften zur Stadtgeschichte. 3rd ed. Lemgo: S. Rehberg, 1987.
  8. von Preußen, Viktoria Luise, Herzogin zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Bilder der Kaiserzeit. 2. Auflage. Göttingen: Göttinger Verlagsanstalt, 1969.

Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Materials were flattened and rehoused into acid-free archival folders. Original folders were removed. Photographs were separated into separate folders and placed in archival envelopes. Clippings were separated from other materials by acid-free paper.
Title
Guide to the Martha Kirchheimer Collection 1911-2011 AR 25472
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Leanora Lange
Date
© 2013
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History."

Revision Statements

  • April 02, 2015 : dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States