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Jakob Altmaier Collection

Identifier: AR 2298

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the post-World War Two life of Jakob Altmaier. Personal documents include various identification cards, awards, funeral material, and obituaries/death notices from German and German-Jewish newspapers. Political materials include clippings, fliers, posters and ephemera related to Altmaier's campaigns, as well as three typescripts of speeches. The folder about the reparations treaty between Germany and Israel includes printed final and draft texts, a 15-page typescript by Altmaier describing in detail his involvement, a small amount of correspondence, and some clippings. Also found in the collection are items relating to Altmaier's meetings with US president Dwight Eisenhower and noted American Jewish general Julius Klein. The Various folder includes some miscellaneous clippings, business cards, and a copy of a United Nations pamphlet about genocide inscribed to Altmaier by Raphael Lemkin. The collection also contains about 20 articles by and about Altmaier, primarily in German newspapers. This includes a 15-part series about Altmaier by Werner Schiele written between 1989 and 1991.

Materials about the history of Jews in the town of Flörsheim include clippings, manuscripts, and ephemera.

Correspondents found in this collection include Konrad Adenauer, Theodor Heuss, the Joint Distribution Committee, Jacob Amery, Aufbau, the cities of Berlin and Braunschweig, Emanuel Cellar, J. Chaban-Delmas, Commission des Refugies (Casablanca), the city of Flörsheim, FOA, Israel mission, Rudolf Katz, J. D. Kennedy, Kurt Kersten, Julius Klein, Benno Lewy, Manchester Guardian, the Nation, Harold Nicolson, Horst Pelckmann, Leopold Rennert, Carlo Schmidt, Spyros Sellinas, F. E. Shinnar, SPD, Verband der jüdischen Gemeinden, Rachel Welch, and the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland. The correspondence folder also includes a few letters from Altmaier, and a few cards and unidentified letters.


  • Creation: 1918-1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1947-1963


Language of Materials

The collection is mostly in German, with some English and a small amount of French.

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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Jakob Altmaier (1889-1963)" href="" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Portrait of Jakob Altmaier (1889-1963)"/>

Jakob Altmaier, a Social-Democratic representative to the parliament (Bundestag) in the Federal Republic of Germany, was born on November 23, 1889 in Flörsheim. He was a soldier in World War One and was severely wounded. Thereafter he worked as a journalist for various social-democratic and left-wing papers, and after 1933 was a foreign correspondent in Paris and Belgrade. In 1940, he fled the advancing Nazi army for Cairo, and he spent World War Two in north Africa with the British army. A lifelong member of the Social Democratic Party, in 1949 he became a member of the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) representing Hanau-Gelnhausen, a position he held until his death. One of his main accomplishments was his participation in negotiations regarding the restitution treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Israel in 1952. He died on February 8, 1963 in Bonn.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box) + 1 OSL folder (OSL 1)


This collection documents the post-World War Two life of Jakob Altmaier. It includes personal documents, correspondence, and political campaign materials.


Materials were previously arranged by topic, and this arrangement was followed. Some individual items were rearranged so that materials are grouped more logically. The correspondence folder is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Related Material

The Kurt Kersten collection (AR 4061) contains 18 letters from Altmaier to Kersten.

The LBI Library holds two biographies of Altmaier.

The Archiv der sozialen Demokratie at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung also holds an Altmaier collection.

Separated Material

Most of the photographs were removed to the LBI Photograph collection during a previous processing. These are found in one folder include about 100 photographs, mostly black and white, showing Altmaier in portrait and at various political and memorial functions. Notable persons depicted with him include Pope Pius XII, German president Theodor Heuss, and American president Dwight Eisenhower. Also found there are snapshots from his visit to Israel in 1958 and photos of an exhibit about Altmaier, probably from the 1980s or 1990s. Duplicate photographs originally left in this collection were removed the photograph collection and placed at the end of the photo collection folder.

Two books were removed to the LBI Library: Als die letzten Hoffnungen verbrannten: 9./10. Nov. 1938. Mainzer Juden zwischen Integration und Vernichtung. Published by Anton Maria Keim and the Verein für Sozialgeschichte, Mainz (1988) and The Children of Israel / Les Enfants en Israel / Yalde Yiśraʾel. Edited by I. Klinov and L. Kuperstein (1952). Inscription on title page from Leopold Rennert to Altmaier photocopied and placed in this collection.

One journal was removed to the library: Zwischen Main und Taunus: Jahrbuch des Main-Taunus-Kreises (1996). The title page, table of contents, and articles with checkmarks were photocopied and placed in the Flörsheim folder.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in new acid-free folders and reboxed. Books were removed to the LBI Library. Duplicates and empty envelopes with no additional writing or information were discarded.

Guide to the Jakob Altmaier (1889-1963) Collection undated, 1918-1996 , bulk 1947-1963 AR 2298
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann and LBI Staff
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • July 07, 2014 : 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