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Ludwig Levy Collection

Identifier: AR 10030

Scope and Content Note

This collection covers the history of the Levy family of Hamburg, Germany from 1837 through 1942. The bulk of the material relates to Ludwig Levy and his wife Ida née Winterberg, particularly the wealth that they lost during Nazi persecution and their efforts to emigrate. Materials include business records for the family metal smelting business A. Levy Metallgeschäft, from its founding to its eventual forced sale and closure; banking, investment, and tax records; birth, marriage, and death certificates; an original certificate of Hamburg citizenship for Abraham Levy; inheritance papers; plans for gravestones; documentation of the capital levy (Vermögensausgabe) paid by Ida Levy; emigration papers; records of membership in and correspondence with Jewish organizations; limited personal correspondence; and a few photographs. Also included are clippings and official notices that document increasing restrictions set on Jewish residents of Hamburg during Nazi rule.


  • 1837-1942

Language of Materials

The collection is in German with a few documents in English, Russian, and Hungarian.

Access Restrictions

This collection is 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 "Request" button.

Biographical Note

The Levy family can be traced back to Levy Joseph Levy, a businessman, and his wife Fanny née Alexander. Their son Abraham was born in 1837 and later gained citizen status in Hamburg, where he founded A. Levy Metallgeschäft, a metal smelting business located at Ausschläger Elbdeich 74/76 in Hamburg. Abraham married Emma née Freudenthal in 1876, and they had two sons, Ludwig and Joseph.

Ludwig Levy was born on March 10, 1875 in Hamburg. In 1906, Ludwig and his brother Joseph took over the family business, A. Levy Metallgeschäft. In 1907, Ludwig married Ida Winterberger (born October 3, 1883 in Winterberg to the businessman Moses Winterberger and his wife Rickchen). The couple lived at Isestraße 67 and had one son, Hartwig (born April 11, 1908). Hartwig studied law in Germany and immigrated to New York in the 1930s, where he changed his name to Howard.

Ludwig served in the Germany army during World War I and was awarded the Iron Cross. He was taken ill during the war and suffered bad health thereafter as a result.

Ida’s sister Else Irma Levy lived together with Ludwig and Ida. Between 1938 and 1941, the three of them attempted to emigrate, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Else died of a serious illness on July 28, 1940. Ludwig was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in March of 1938 but later released. Ludwig and Ida redoubled their efforts to emigrate, collecting a great deal of necessary papers by November 1941.

Ludwig and Ida were deported to Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942 and then to Minsk on September 21, 1942, where they perished.

Ludwig gave his personal papers to a non-Jewish friend shortly before his deportation. In October of 1994, Günter Parrhysius, the son of this friend, gave these papers to the Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland in Heidelberg. From there, the papers were passed on to Irma Levy, the widow of Hartwig (Howard) Levy living in New York, who then donated the papers to the Leo Baeck Institute.


Yad Vashem. “Ida Levy.” The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. Retrieved 3 April 2013 from


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection covers the history of the Levy family of Hamburg, Germany from 1837 through 1942. The bulk of the material relates to Ludwig Levy and his wife Ida née Winterberg, particularly the wealth that they lost during Nazi persecution and their unsuccessful efforts to emigrate. Materials include business, banking, investment, tax, and inheritance records as well as vital records, emigration papers, clippings, official notices to Jewish residents in Hamburg, limited correspondence, and a few photographs.


The arrangement of the collection is based on the original order of the materials, about half of which were held in binders dedicated to particular themes. The rest of the papers were held loosely in folders. To follow this order, the first nine folders contain the materials that were originally bound together in binders, followed by the loose materials arranged alphabetically by the name of the individual to whom they relate.

Digitization Note

This collection was digitized in its entirety.

Separated Material

Two pieces of artwork depicting the Hamburg port by Hans Haumann and F. Herzog have been removed to the LBI Art and Objects Collection. Oversized materials were placed together in an oversized folder in the oversized box OS 153.

Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Materials were unfolded and flattened where necessary. All materials were placed into acid-free folders. Materials were removed from binders in which they were held fastened together to make access to individual items easier and because the binder clasps were rusting. The process of rehousing was done so that the original order of documents was preserved to the closest degree.

Guide to the Ludwig Levy Collection 1837-1942 AR 10030
Processed by Leanora Lange
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Described, encoded, and digitized as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • 2014-July-06:: T.R. Mendenhall added hyperlinks in container list to digitized manifestations of this collection's contents.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States