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Anton Finkelstein Collection

Identifier: AR 25536

Scope and Content Note

The Anton Finkelstein Collection largely consists of Finkelstein's writings and related correspondence, which include in-depth discussion in the areas of literature, philosophy and politics. The collection includes unpublished typescripts and manuscripts, correspondence, notes, and a few examples of Finkelstein's published work.

Series I contains letters of Anton Finkelstein's friend Hanns Fischer. Most of the series consists of their exchange of letters, although some letters by Anton Finkelstein's son Gerhart and Hanns Fischer's close friend Ernst Maretzki are also present. Much of the correspondence discusses the literature of various well-known German authors such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Thomas Mann as well as philosophers like Karl Jaspers or Martin Heidegger. The actions of such individuals as well as the concepts found in their works or philosophies are debated between Fischer and Finkelstein in detail.

Series II holds Anton Finkelstein's writings, which provide more specific delineation of some of the ideas expressed in Finkelstein's letters. Like the letters they often pertain to the theories of various philosophers or authors, but also include discussions of historical events such as the background of World War I or the attempted assassination of Hitler. In addition, one article portrays his relationship with his new homeland of Bolivia while another concerns the German Jews and "Das andere Deutschland." Some of Hanns Fischer's writings are located in this second series as well.


  • 1923-1965
  • Majority of material found within 1943-1956


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with a small amount of Spanish.

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

Anton Finkelstein, a lawyer in Leipzig, was interred in a Nazi concentration camp, which he escaped with the help of an SS man, whom he had known from their political activities with the SPD in Berlin. This former comrade smuggled Finkelstein to Portugal or Spain, from where he escaped to La Paz, Bolivia. There he earned his living as a violin player, teacher and member of the local orchestra. He was active with "Das andere Deutschland" and eventually received a decoration from the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in La Paz. He also wrote articles for the publication Das andere Deutschland/ La otra Alemania and lectured for groups such as the Deutsch-Republikanischer Verein. In March 1958 he decided to move to São Paulo, Brazil, to be closer to his son Gerhart (Gerald).

Anton Finkelstein's daughter and son Gerhart (later Gerald) E. Finkelstein, together with their mother, left Germany for Santos, Brazil on board the "Cap Ancona" in October 1938.


0.5 Linear Feet


The Anton Finkelstein Collection documents some of the written work of Anton Finkelstein in philosophy, politics and literature. It contains unpublished manuscripts on assorted topics within these fields as well as his discussions via correspondence with Hanns Fischer. A few letters by others and typescripts by Fischer are also included.


The collection is arranged in two series:

Related Material

The LBI Library also has editions of Das andere Deutschland/ La otra Alemania, the publication in which several of Anton Finkelstein's articles were published.

Separated Material

Publications have been removed to the LBI Library, with copies of Anton Finkelstein's articles retained in the collection.

Processing Information

The collection had little discernable original order; series were established during processing in preparation of the EAD finding aid. Correspondence and unpublished manuscripts were further subdivided by correspondent and subject, respectively. Correspondence with Hanns Fischer was organized chronologically.

Guide to the Papers of Anton Finkelstein 1923-1965 AR 25536
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from AntonFinkelstein.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 25, 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