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John L. Englander Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25170

Scope and Content Note

The John L. Englander Family Collection mostly contains correspondence between the family members. These letters are written in German and English and describe the daily life of the family members in America and Germany. A family tree and genealogical information are included in the letters of Series I.

Series I contains correspondence among the family members during the Holocaust. The first section consists of letters written by Lisl Husserl between 1937 and 1938 after her emigration to her family and friends in Augsburg. It is followed by letters written by Hans (John) Englander and his grandparents Hugo and Lina Steinfeld in Augsburg to Lisl in New York. The next section consists of correspondence of the Sturm family. Finally, there are letters written by Paul and Hedwig Englander, many written to Lisl as well. A separate section of correspondence contains the farewell letters written by Paul and Hedwig Englaender and Hugo and Lina Steinfeld. The series also contains farewell letters that express the desperation and the need for relief the parents and grandparents felt.

Series II contains photographs and other memorabilia of the family. Two poetry books include photographs of family members during the 1930s, while another folder holds later photographs. A few newspaper clippings on various subjects are also present.


  • 1879-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1937-1943


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Hugo and Lina Steinfeld (née Heilbronner) lived in Augsburg. They had twin daughters: Hedwig, who married Paul Englander and had two children, Hans (John) and Lisl (Elisabeth) Husserl; and Anna, who married Max Sturm, and had three children, Walter, Ilse (Felgran), and Guenther (George).

Lisl Husserl (née Englaender), was the first family member to immigrate to the U.S. in 1937. Her brother Hans (John) followed a year later, in 1938. He was drafted into the army in 1941, and served until the end of 1945, the last two years in Europe. The Sturm family came to the U.S. in 1939.

Hugo and Lina Steinfeld remained in Augsburg. Not wanting to be deported, they committed suicide in 1941. Their daughter Hedwig and her husband, Dr. Paul Englaender, survived in Augsburg until March of 1943, when they also committed suicide on the eve of deportation.

After coming to America, the family changed the original form of their name “Engländer” to Englander. They discussed that change in a letter too.


0.25 Linear Feet


The John L. Englander Family Collection describes the life of John L. Englander's mother and her family members. From 1937 to 1943 they corresponded between America, where John’s sister Elisabeth lived, and Augsburg. The letters describe their growing desperation and the need to send the children (Elisabeth and Hans, Elisabeth's twin sister stayed in Germany) out of Germany. The correspondence is the largest part of the collection. It furthermore contains poetry books and some photographs.

Guide to the Papers of the John L. Englander Family 1879-2004 AR 25170
Processed by Marie-Theres Kohn and Dianne Ritchey
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from JohnEnglander.xml

Revision Statements

  • April 08, 2015 : dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States