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Lilo Goldenberg Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25799

Scope and Content Note

This collection tells the story of Liselotte (Lilo) Thekla Lamm, her parents Leo Lamm and Margarete (Gretel) Lamm née Falk, husbands Norbert Goldenberg, Hans Gerhard Ollendorff, and William (Bill) Thurnauer, their children and grandchildren, and members of their extended families.

Lilo, her parents, and her husbands were all born in Germany, and their lives there are recorded through vital and educational records, photographs, and correspondence among members of the extended Lamm, Falk, and Goldenberg families. Immigration records the Lamm family and Norbert Goldenberg include government records, lists of belongings brought from Germany, ship programs and menus, and trip reports.

A significant portion of this collection is a variety of writings by Lilo Goldenberg and Norbert Goldenberg in particular. Writings by Norbert are diverse in format and topic, including an account of his immigration to the United States, medical articles by Goldenberg and poems, skits, and speeches written by him for holidays, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, weddings, and wedding anniversaries of family and friends. Writings by Lilo focus on her remembrances of, as well as biographical information about, her husbands Norbert Goldenberg, Hans Gerhard Ollendorff, and William (Bill) Thurnauer. Further essays by Lilo Goldenberg on a wide array of topics can be found in AR 25740 Memoirs of Lilo Goldenberg. Poems, songs, skits, cards, speeches, reports, and diaries by various family members can be found throughout the collection.

Information regarding professional, political, and philanthropic activities is also prevalent in the collection. Norbert Goldenberg’s medical career is represented most strongly through his work providing medical expert reports for victims of Nazi persecution in order for them to receive restitution from the German government. Correspondence, photographs, articles, clippings, invitations, and programs portray Norbert and Lilo Goldenberg’s involvement with the New World Club and Aufbau, Norbert’s participation in the congressional campaigns of Jacob K. Javits, the work of Lilo, her sister Anita, and her daughter Eva Lynn with Women’s American ORT and UJA, and William Thurnauer’s founding and continuous support of the Thurnauer School of Music at JCC on the Palisades.


  • Creation: circa 1883-2018


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

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

Leopold (Leo) Lamm was born on May 11, 1887, in Homberg an der Ohm, Germany, to Josef Lamm and Hilda née Frank. Margarete (Gretel) Lamm née Falk was born on July 14, 1894, in Berlin to Abraham (Adolf) Falk and Berta née Neumark. Leo Lamm and Margarete Falk were married on July 6, 1919, in Berlin. They had two daughters, Liselotte (Lilo) Thekla (born October 16, 1920) and Anita (born August 31, 1923).

Margarete Lamm died on February 2, 1970, in New York. Leo Lamm died on May 10, 1981, in New York. Anita Gans née Lamm died on January 12, 1991, in Leonia, New Jersey.

Liselotte (Lilo) Thekla Lamm was born on October 16, 1920, in Berlin to Leo Lamm and Margarete (Gretel) Lamm née Falk. She had one sister, Anita Gans née Lamm (1923-1991). In addition to her schooling in Berlin, Lilo also studied English at Mansfield College in Hove, England (1933-1934), French at Pensionnat de Jeunes Filles in Montreux, Switzerland (1935), and photography at the Bloomsbury Trade School, London (1936).

Lilo immigrated to the United States in 1937, arriving in New York on November 23 of that year. Starting in 1938, she was employed as a secretary for the German-Jewish Club (later the New World Club), where she met her first husband Norbert Goldenberg. After their marriage on March 10, 1940, Lilo worked as a medical secretary to Norbert. Lilo and Norbert Goldenberg had two children, Eva Lynn (born February 21, 1941) and David Alan (born August 26, 1948). After Norbert’s death in 1974, Lilo returned to Aufbau as an executive secretary and board member. She was also actively involved in Women’s American ORT, UJA Bergen County Women’s Division, and Israel Bonds.

Lilo Goldenberg was also married to Hans Gerhard Ollendorff from 1982 until his death in 1996 and William (Bill) Thurnauer from 2000 until his death in 2006. Through Thurnauer, Lilo became involved in the Thurnauer School of Music, a commitment that lasted until her death in 2017.

Norbert Goldenberg was born on March 7, 1909, in Gross Felda (Oberhessen) to cattle merchant Julius Goldenberg (Kestrich July 6, 1881-New York April 7, 1968) and Rosa Goldenberg née Goldenberg (Kestrich July 21, 1884-New York July 25, 1964). Norbert’s sister Helma Seewald née Goldenberg was born August 5, 1912. He attended primary school in Kestrich and secondary school in Alsfeld, passing his Abitur in 1927. Goldenberg studied chemistry, later chemistry and medicine, at the University of Frankfurt in 1927 and 1928. From 1928 till 1930 he studied chemistry and medicine at the University of Giessen, then clinical medicine in Munich (summer 1930), Cologne (winter 1930-1931), and three more semesters in Giessen. In 1932, Goldenberg passed his medical state examination and doctoral exam, receiving his medical degree from the University of Giessen in 1933. His dissertation was entitled Über den Einfluss des Arsens auf die Neutralschwefelausscheidung.

Upon completion of his schooling, Goldenberg worked for a year at the Jewish Hospital in Hannover. During this time, he received an appointment at the University Department of Internal Medicine in Frankfurt, which was to begin on January 1, 1934. Due to Nazi racial laws, this position was revoked in September 1933. Realizing that he would not be able to practice medicine in Germany, Norbert Goldenberg immigrated to the United States in April 1934. He began his medical career at Montefiore Hospital shortly after his arrival in the United States.

Norbert was also a long-standing member of the New World Club, serving as budget director, vice president, and president. Upon his assumption of the presidency in 1968, he also became responsible for publication of the Aufbau.

On March 10, 1940, Goldenberg married Lilo Lamm in New York. They had two children, Eva Lynn (born February 21, 1941) and David Alan (born August 26, 1948). Norbert Goldenberg died September 25, 1974.

Hans Gerhard Ollendorff was born in Leipzig, Germany, on June 3, 1907. He married Ilse Davidsohn in 1936. Hans and Ilse obtained visas for France and left Germany on September 16, 1938. They stayed in Paris until receiving visas for the United States; the Ollendorffs arrived in New York on October 30, 1938. Hans and Ilse Ollendorff had two sons, Thomas and Peter. Ilse Ollendorff died on July 3, 1975. Hans Ollendorff and Lilo Goldenberg were married in New York on November 2, 1982. Hans Ollendorff died on March 13, 1996, in San Diego, California.

William (Bill) Thurnauer was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on October 11, 1913, to Emil Thurnauer and Berta Blum. In 1931, he immigrated to the United States to work in the business of his maternal uncle Julius Blum. Bill Thurnauer married Maria Hirschmann in December 1944. They had two children, Andrew and Joan. In January 1987, Bill and Maria endowed the Thurnauer School of Music at JCC on the Palisades; both were heavily involved with the music school until Maria’s death on May 27, 1999.

On June 11, 2000, Thurnauer married Lilo Goldenberg in Teaneck, New Jersey. Lilo also became a dedicated supporter of the Thurnauer School of Music, a commitment that lasted beyond Bill Thurnauer’s death on March 12, 2006.


5 Linear Feet


This collection tells the story of Liselotte (Lilo) Thekla Lamm, her parents Leo Lamm and Margarete (Gretel) Lamm née Falk, husbands Norbert Goldenberg, Hans Gerhard Ollendorff, and William (Bill) Thurnauer, their children and grandchildren, and members of their extended families. The families’ lives in Germany, immigration to the United States, and professional, political and philanthropic activities are documented through vital documents, photographs, correspondence, writings, articles, and clippings.

Related Material

The Leo Baeck Institute also holds the Memoirs of Lilo Goldenberg (AR 25740) and an Interview with Lilo Goldenberg (DM 316).

Separated Material

Sang und Klang im XIX./XX. Jahrhundert : Ernstes und Heiteres aus dem Reiche der Töne and Die Wartburg, Mappe II: Das Burginnere have been removed to the LBI Library. Medals have been removed to the LBI Art and Objects Collection.

Processing Information

During processing, materials were removed from photograph albums with adhesive pages, binders, envelopes, cigar boxes, and other non-archival housings and placed in archival folders and boxes. Papers were removed from plastic sleeves and paper clips and rubber bands were removed.

Guide to the Lilo Goldenberg Family Collection undated, 1883-2018 AR 25799
Processed by Sarah Glover
© 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States