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Hochherr Family Collection

Identifier: AR 6348

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the personal papers of members of the Hochherr family. Materials include a genealogical chart, a family history written by Liselotte Hochherr in 1936, vital records, official records of fines imposed on family members under the Nazi regime as part of the Jewish property tax (Judenvermögensabgabe), and official records of several family members’ deportations and deaths in Nazi extermination camps. An account of the Joseph family’s escape to Switzerland is included in both German and Dutch. A partially illegible photocopy of a Dutch-language account of life in Nazi-occupied Holland is also included. It is not clear who the author of this account is. Papers reflecting the unsuccessful attempt of Heinrich Hochherr and his wife Margot to emigrate with their daughter can also be found in the collection. The Gestapo file of Ernst Mendel, the husband of Jella née Hochherr, consists of official papers related mainly to the investigation of Dr. Mendel for political comments that his hairdresser accused him of making. The photographs in the collection are casual snapshots of family members in the 1930s and early 1940s or in the 1960s. With the exception of the photographs, the collection is made up entirely of photocopies.


  • circa 1910-2014
  • Majority of material found within 1936-1946


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and Dutch.

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 Hochherr family can trace its origins to fifteenth-century Speyer. The Hochherr family members were cobblers and tailors until Levi Hochherr (1838-1917) established a family business in grain and tobacco manufacturing. Levi lived in Berwangen with his wife Johanna (Hanna) née Kahn (1841-1913), the daughter of the merchant Abraham Kahn and Sarah née Steis of Affaltrach (now Obersulm). Hanna bore twelve children, eight of whom survived to adulthood: Salomon, Moritz, Sara(h), Bernhard, Gustav, Ferdinand, Natalie, and Simon. Ferdinand and Simon were cigar manufacturers; the other four brothers were merchants.

Ferdinand Hochherr (1873-1943) married twice, first to Jettchen née Ottenheimer (1878-1924) and then to Eva née Mainzer. His three children, Jakob (1904-1927), Jella (1907-1970), and Erika (born 1909), were raised in Walldorf. Erika married Franz Joseph of Mannheim, with whom she had a son, Paul (born 1938).

Simon Hochherr (1882-1944) had a son, Heinrich (alternatively Heinz, 1910-1942), with his first wife Karolina née Thanhauser (1886-1914) and a daughter, Liselotte (1920-1942), with his second wife Ella née Lieser (1886-1976). Heinrich Hochherr married Margot Baehr (died 1942), and the couple had a daughter, Susanne Carola (1939-1942).

The families of Ferdinand and Simon Hochherr moved to Amsterdam in 1938; they were denaturalized by the Nazis and lost their fortunes. After Germany conquered the Netherlands in 1940, the Hochherr family members in Holland were deported to the Westerbork concentration camp, from where Ferdinand Hochherr's family was sent to Sobibor and Simon Hochherr was sent to Auschwitz along with his daughter Liselotte, his son Heinrich, and Heinrich’s wife Margot and young daughter Susanne Carola. Liselotte had been studying in London, but had returned to the continent during the Blitz. With the exception of Salomon Hochherr, who had died in 1901, all of the children of Levi and Hanna Hochherr (Ferdinand, Simon, and all of their siblings) were murdered in the Holocaust along with many other family members.

Ella Hochherr (Simon’s second wife) was deported from Westerbork to Theresienstadt, which she survived. She immigrated to the United States in 1947. Ferdinand Hochherr’s daughter Erika Joseph escaped to Switzerland with her husband Franz and her son Paul. Erika’s sister Jella Mendel fled with her husband Ernst and their daughter Ellen Mendel to Belgium, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam before immigrating to the United States.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection consists of the personal papers of the Hochherr family of southwestern Germany. Materials include vital records, photographs, a genealogical chart, a family history, official records of family members’ deportations and deaths in extermination camps, an account of life in Nazi-occupied Holland, and an account of an escape to Switzerland. With the exception of the photographs, the collection consists entirely of photocopies.


The collection is arranged by document type.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Related Material

The LBI Archives also holds a record of a reunion of the Hochherr family with another branch of the family, the Bauers. This can be viewed online: Bauer-Hochherr family get-together.

Separated Material

Photographs in this collection have been separated to the LBI Photograph Collection and can be viewed online: Photographs from the Hochherr Family Collection.

Etchings of Rothenburg, Germany, other small town scenes, and landscapes were removed to the LBI Art and Objects Collection. Three books were removed to the LBI Library: ‘Israelitisches Gebetbuch’/'Deutsche Gebete' by J. Schwanthaler, 'K-C Liederbuch' by Ernst Mendel, and 'Ḥamisha ḥumshe torah’ / ‘Die fünf Bücher Moses' by Ludwig Isaak.

Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Photographs were placed in archival envelopes. Blank postcards were removed.

Guide to the Hochherr Family Collection circa 1910-2014 (bulk 1936-1946) AR 6348
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. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • June 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