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Julius and Margarete Goldstein Collection

Identifier: AR 7167 / MF 720

Scope and Content Note

This collection details the life and professional interests of Julius Goldstein and Margarete Neumann Goldstein. It contains information on topics such as German Jewish family life, life during the First World War and the early years of the Weimar Republic.

The most prominent topic of this collection is German Jewish family life; material pertaining to this topic will be found throughout the diaries of Julius and Margarete Goldstein and their correspondence, located in Series II and Series III. The diaries and correspondence often feature similar themes, and describe life in early twentieth-century Germany, including political events, family life and household concerns, and child-raising. Another interesting topic found in the diaries and correspondence is the trip taken by Margarete and Julius Goldstein to America in 1923-1924, and correspondence between them and family members in Germany discusses differences between the two countries at that period in time.

Professional activities of both Julius and Margarete Goldstein are located in Series IV and V. Series IV largely holds material on Julius Goldstein's lectures as well as a few reviews of his published works, drafts of essays, and notes. Many of Julius Goldstein's lectures and written works focused on topics such as the role of technology in society and cultural or philosophical problems of contemporary society. Margarete Goldstein was primarily involved in charitable work, and documents pertaining to her professional activities focuses on the work of the welfare organization Frauenhilfe im Krieg and the World Union for Progressive Judaism; all of this material will be found in Series V. Papers of the Frauenhilfe im Krieg detail the work of this group as well as recognition given to Margarete Goldstein. Documents on the World Union for Progressive Judaism include published and unpublished articles on the organization's activities and notes used by Margarete Goldstein in speeches on progressive Judaism.

Although the Goldstein's children are mentioned in diary entries and correspondence, there is very little material pertaining specifically to them. There are also only a few papers on Margarete Goldstein's life after the death of her husband Julius in 1929, especially concerning her marraige to and later life with Leon Benevenisti in England.


  • Creation: 1834-1944
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1906-1925

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with some Hebrew and French.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Collection is microfilmed (MF 720).

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

Julius Goldstein was born to a Hamburg merchant family in 1873. After completing secondary school he studied philosophy at the Universities of Jena and Berlin and the Technical Institute in Darmstadt, completing his doctorate in 1899 and his habilitation in 1903.

From 1903 to 1924, with an interruption for army service in the First World War, Goldstein taught at the Technical Institute in Darmstadt, but never obtained a chair in the department. He was forced to support himself and his family by freelance lecturing and journalism. During this time he lectured in various cities in Germany, and was often away from his family. In 1923-1924 Julius Goldstein took his wife Margarete with him on a lecture trip to America, where they traveled to many cities in the United States. Finally, in 1924 the state government of Hessen appointed him an Extraordinarius over the objections of the Darmstadt faculty. Goldstein remained in that position until his death in 1929 of liver disease.

As a philosopher Julius Goldstein was an adherent of the pragmatic school, being heavily influenced by Henri Bergson, William James and Goldstein's teacher Rudolf Eucken. Goldstein was also very interested in the ethical and social implications of the development of technology. His major works were Wandlungen in der Philosophie der Gegenwart (1913) and Die Technik (1913).

He was active in the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens and the B'nai B'rith. He was a prominent opponent of anti-Semitism, giving many public addresses on the topic and writing a widely circulated pamphlet Rasse und Politik (1924), which analyzed and criticized racist ideas. After the First World War, he was active in the Democratic Party of Hessen and served as chief editor of the liberal Darmstädter Zeitung. His editing experience also extended to more academic fields and between 1924 and 1929 he was editor of the Jewish philosophical journal, Der Morgen.

In 1907, Goldstein married Margerete (Gretel) Neumann, the daughter of a middle-class Jewish family in Mainz. She had graduated in 1904 from a teachers' seminary. The Goldsteins had three children in the earlier years of their marriage: Wolfgang, born in 1908, Elsbeth in 1911, and Hannah in 1912. After six years of marriage and these three children she became active in social work, a reflection of the teacher-training she had received before her marriage.

During the First World War, Margarete Goldstein was chairman of the Darmstadt Womens' War-Work Committee (Frauenhilfe im Krieg). There she helped arrange feeding centers and soup kitchens, welfare work, and the food education program that instructed Germans on the careful use of food during the war. In 1918, Julius and Margarete Goldstein had their fourth and final child, Ernst. Margarete Goldstein continued to do voluntary work throughout her marriage and until 1932, and helped to support her family by occasionally doing translations as well as sometimes assisting her husband with his writing and with the editing of Der Morgen.

Following her husband's death in 1929 she immigrated to the United Kingdom. There Margarete Goldstein worked as the Organizing Secretary of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in London and in that capacity traveled and lectured throughout Central and Eastern Europe during the first half of the 1930s. In 1938 she married Leon Benevenisti, a British citizen. From 1941-1942 she worked as a social worker with the West Central Jewish Day School. Margarete Goldstein Benevenisti died in 1960.


4 Linear Feet


This collection details the life of the philosopher Julius Goldstein and his wife Margarete Neumann Goldstein. Among the topics present in these papers include German family life in the early twentieth century, the First World War and its aftermath in Germany, the political and economic changes during the Weimar Republic, German Jewish communities, and progressive Judaism. The collection is comprised largely of correspondence, diaries, and clippings, but also contains reports, publications, and personal papers.


This collection has eleven microfilm reels (MF 720).

  1. Reel 1: 1/1-1/21
  2. Reel 2: 1/22-1/25
  3. Reel 3: 1/26-1/34
  4. Reel 4: 2/1-2/8
  5. Reel 5: 2/9-2/17
  6. Reel 6: 2/18-2/25
  7. Reel 7: 3/1-3/10
  8. Reel 8: 3/11-3/23
  9. Reel 9: 3/24-4/2
  10. Reel 10: 4/3-4/26
  11. Reel 11: 4/27-OSL 19

Related Material

A copy of Julius Goldstein's book Rasse and Politik is available in the LBI Library.

Processing Information

This collection was reprocessed in April 2005 by Dianne Ritchey following the arrangement found in the previous paper finding aid. Some description was added, materials were placed in new folders, and basic preservation work was performed.

A copy of Julius Goldstein’s doctoral diploma was accessioned as archival collection AR 11841 and microfilmed on MF 1351.

Guide to the Papers of Julius (1873-1929) and Margarete (1885-1960?) Goldstein, 1834-1944 AR 7167 / MF 720
Processed by LBI Staff
© 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from J_and_MGoldstein.xml

Revision Statements

  • December 11, 2012 : 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