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Ernest Goodman Collection

Identifier: AR 10662

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the lives of Ernest Goodman and his second wife, Carole Goodman, née Vad, with a focus on their personal lives. The manuscript collection consists of personal correspondence between Ernest, Carole, and their family members, as well as correspondence between Ernest, Carole, their lawyers, and officials in Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, and New York. Official documents and correspondence reflecting Ernest’s efforts to enable his parents’ emigration from Germany to the United States and his and Carole’s later restitution attempts are included. Personal family correspondence and various official documents belonging to Ernest, Carole, and their parents are also included. The sizable photograph collection covers Ernest and Carole’s lives from their childhoods through later life. The collection also contains a family tree of the Gutmann family created circa 1995.


  • 1889-1996
  • Majority of material found within 1936-1975


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German with a few documents in French.

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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Ernest Goodman(1910-2001)" href="" show="embed" title="Portrait of Ernest Goodman (1910-2001)"/>

Ernest Goodman was born Ernst Gutmann on June 19, 1910 in Strasbourg, France (then Germany), to Sigmund Gutmann (July 23, 1871-circa 1941), a textile salesman, and his wife Rose (sometimes spelled Rosa or Rosel), née Schild (April 26, 1887-circa 1941). Ernest worked as a sales apprentice and later salesman for buttons, costume jewelry, and accessories at Heinrich Wertheimer in Frankfurt am Main from 1926-1936.

In 1936, Ernest immigrated to the United States under the sponsorship of an uncle living in Greenwood, Missouri. He found work in Greenwood and later in New York City, where he eventually settled. Ernest married Ruth Mosse on May 31, 1940, and they had two children, Marion and Spencer. They later divorced, and Ernest married Carole Vad (otherwise spelled Karole, Karola, or Carola) in 1952.

From 1936 until 1941, Ernest tried to enable his parents to immigrate to the United States, but because of bureaucratic delays, his efforts were unsuccessful. His parents were taken to the Łódź ghetto in October of 1941 and were never heard from again.

Carole Vad (later Goodman) was born on December 27, 1909 to Andreas Peter Vad and his wife Therese, née Blumann. Carole survived National Socialist persecution by hiding in a doctor’s home and later in a hospital after she took medicine to purposely become ill. She later worked in cosmetics and as a secretary in Germany and New York.

Both Ernest and Carole applied for restitution from the German state. Ernest’s claims were mostly successful. Carole could only claim damages for the few months that she was hospitalized and not able to work. It is unclear whether her claims were successful in the end.

Carole died in May 1980, and Ernest died on September 10, 2001.


1 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box + photographs)


Ernest Goodman (born Ernst Gutmann) was a button and accessories salesman who immigrated to the United States in 1936. The collection contains correspondence and official papers belonging to him and his second wife, Carole Goodman née Vad. The collection documents Ernest’s unsuccessful attempts to bring his parents to the United States between 1936-1941 and his and Carole’s applications for restitution for themselves and their parents. A large collection of family photographs, a photo album, and a family tree are also part of the collection.


The collection is divided into two series: personal papers and photographs. The papers were not further subdivided into series because of the small size of the collection. A previous inventory and folder list served as a basis for the arrangement.

Digitization Note

This collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Related Material

LBI Archives holds the Ruth Marion Mosse Collection (AR 10665), which contains vital and educational records pertaining to Ernest Goodman and Ruth Mosse, his first wife.

Separated Material

The vast majority of photographs and a photo album belonging to this collection were separated and placed within the Leo Baeck Institute’s Photograph Collection. They can be accessed online at Digital Collections: Ernest Goodman Collection

Processing Information

When necessary because of warping, materials were transferred into new acid-free folders and archival boxes. Duplicates of correspondence and empty envelopes without new date or address information were removed. While the photographs and album remain physically separate from the manuscript collection, it was decided to include the photographs in the intellectual description of the collection.

Guide to the Ernest Goodman (1910-2001) Collection 1889-1996 (bulk 1936-1975) AR 10662
Processed by Leanora Lange
© 2012
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.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States