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Markus Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25418

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of personal papers, restitution records, and genealogical materials related to the family of Jakob Markus of Lohr am Main. The collection is separated into three small series based on document type: Personal papers, Restitution and financial records, and Genealogy.

The personal papers focus mainly on Jakob Markus and his immediate family. Apartment leases, education records, official records, and official correspondence related to Jakob Markus and his family reflect their immigration experience and the career and health challenges Jakob faced in the United States. The correspondence in folders 12-13 is personal in nature and includes letters signed Max Allmann, Frieda, Else, Sigmund, Lotte, and Selma. The official records relating to the Goldbach and Stern families include official correspondence related to their emigration attempts as well as Red Cross tracing service papers showing that Lotte Stern and Erich Goldbach, a niece and nephew of Jakob Markus, were likely killed at Auschwitz. The folder containing the emigration papers of other family members covers the emigration of Selma Markus née Bernheimer’s mother Lisette Bernheimer as well as others. The photographs in this series depict Jakob Markus and his family before their emigration from Germany.

The restitution materials included in the collection focus mainly on Selma Markus’ restitution claims, particularly her successful claim of damages to her career. She eventually received a monthly pension from the German government for this and other family claims. Claims made by Jakob Markus for damages to his career and for emigration costs can be found in folders 1-2. Several failed attempts at restitution can also be found throughout the series. Also included in this series are Jakob and Selma Markus’ investment records as well as Selma Markus’ correspondence with the Bundesversicherungsanstalt für Angestellte, the German federal agency responsible for retirement pensions.

The genealogical materials relate to both Jakob and Selma Markus’ sides of the family. The family trees mention the following family names: Bacharach, Bernheimer, Fold, Foldner, Gold, Goldschmidt, Gutmann, Heineimann, Kirchhausen, Levi, Markus, Nussbaum, Rothschild, Schloss, and Stern. The Markus family folder primarily includes vital records of Leopold, Lazarus, and Marianne Markus, alongside others with the same last name. The Schloss family folder contains vital records for Sara, Joseph, Jakob, and Terese Schloss as well as education records for Terese Schloss. The materials related to Laupheim, Lohr, and Buttenhausen include speeches, clippings, greeting cards, and flyers. Selma Markus née Bernheimer was born in Buttenhausen, where the Bernheimer family was well established, and she lived in Laupheim before marrying Jakob Markus of Lohr.


  • 1857-2001
  • Majority of material found within 1939-1978


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German.

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

Jakob Markus was born in Lohr am Main on October 10, 1888 to the merchant Leopold Markus and his wife Therese née Schloss. Jakob Markus was a textile merchant in Lohr with a shop on Hauptstrasse (Adolf-Hitler-Strasse during the 1930s). He married Selma née Bernheimer, the daughter of the merchant Heinrich Bernheimer and his wife Lisette née Rothschild. Selma and Jakob Markus had two children, Resi (born 1924) and Walter (born 1929).

Jakob Markus was arrested on Kristallnacht in November 1938. He was released from prison eight days later under the condition that he and his family emigrate as soon as possible. The family arrived in the United States in May of 1939 and settled in New York City. With the sponsorship of Sol May of Chicago, the family was able to procure an immigration visa for Selma’s mother, Lisette Bernheimer. They struggled in vain to assist with the immigration of Jakob Markus’ niece Lotte Stern as well as Jakob Markus’ sister Elsa Goldbach, her husband, and two sons.

After finishing school in New York, Walter Markus became a radio telephone operator and later a printer. Resi (alternatively Rosi after immigration) Markus married and moved to Israel.

Several Markus family members made restitution claims from the late 1940s through the 1970s. Jakob Markus was awarded restitution for damages to his property because of emigration and moving costs as well as the payment of special taxes. Selma Markus was successful in her claim of damages to her career, and Walter Markus was successful in claiming damages to his education.

Jakob Markus died in 1958, and Selma Markus in 1979.


1 Linear Feet


This collection consists of personal papers, restitution records, and genealogical materials related to the family of textile merchant Jakob Markus of Lohr am Main. Jakob and his family fled Germany to New York City in 1939 and later attempted to procure visas for other family members. They successfully claimed restitution during the 1950s-1970s.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible with the exception of selected images from box 1 folders 3, 10, 19, and 20, which were restricted due to privacy concerns. Researchers with questions regarding the suppressed items may contact the LBI archivist at

Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Materials were rehoused into acid-free folders. The following items were removed: a volume of Henrik Ibsen’s plays in German, two pamphlets about the city of Laupheim and exhibits at its Museum zur Geschichte von Christen und Juden and the Laupheimer Gespraeche Wissenschaftliches Symposium, print-outs from a 1997 website about the history of Lohr am Main, pages 6-11 of the N. Y. Staats-Zeitung und Herold from June 5, 1956, and a calendar of Schwaben.

Guide to the Markus Family Collection 1857-2001 (bulk 1939-1978) AR 25418
Processed by Leanora Lange
© 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • November 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States