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Gottschalk and Krakauer Families Collection

Identifier: AR 25695

Scope and Content Note

The Gottschalk and Krakauer Families Collection contains papers of members of the related Gottschalk and Krakauer families. The collection contains a large amount of material on the immigration experiences of the Gottschalk family, correspondence on of Auguste Krakauer, photographs of Hans Krakauer, and other documents.

About half the collection contains the correspondence of members of the Gottschalk family, with a prominent theme among the extensive correspondence of Series I being the immigration of family members. The correspondence includes detailed discussion of family members' daily lives, with mention of Hans and Elizabeth Krakauer's lives in New York, the Gottschalk family members' efforts to receive visas in order to leave Germany, as well as news of others and their lives while the Gottschalks waited and prepared to leave Germany. Later correspondence describes their lives in England. Telegrams in Series II related to the family's efforts to secure the release of Fritz Gottschalk from Buchenwald as well his later correspondence to acquire visas in order to bring Gottschalk and Krakauer family members to the United States. Correspondence of Auguste Krakauer prior to her emigration from Germany is also present in Series II.

Series I additionally contains some documentation on Molling & Co., the department store owned by the family. Other documentation includes information on Henriette Gottschalk's deportation to Theresienstadt and Walter Gottschalk's photographs of the repatriation of Germans from Japan at the end of World War II.

In addition, Series II holds documentation on the education and professional lives of Hans and Elizabeth Krakauer. Such papers include photographs of Hans Krakauer's membership in the Kartell-Convent der Verbindungen deutscher Studenten jüdischen Glaubens as well as photographs of his work as a physician in Germany. Elizabeth Krakauer's career as a librarian, and in particular her service in the library field as a Peace Corps member in Colombia, is also described in Series II.


  • 1900-2016
  • Majority of material found within 1937-1942


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, 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

Elizabeth Gottschalk was born on August 2, 1911 in Hannover, Germany, the daughter of Fritz Joseph and his wife Therese (née Molling) Gottschalk. Fritz Gottschalk was owner of the Molling & Co. department store in Hannover.

Hans Siegfried Krakauer was the son of Ludwig and Auguste (née Mayer) Krakauer, born November 9, 1905 in Landau, Germany. In 1931 he received his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg and later became chief resident in internal medicine at the Jewish Hospital in Hannover. On August 21, 1936 Elizabeth Gottschalk and Hans Krakauer married in Hannover. On July 29, 1937 they arrived in New York City, later moving near Buffalo, New York.

Following Kristallnacht, Fritz Gottschalk was arrested and sent to Buchenwald. In July 1939 he and Therese Gottschalk emigrated to England, where they joined their youngest children, Walter and Ursula. In the 1940s they immigrated to the United States to join Hans and Elizabeth Krakauer in New York.

Hans Krakauer died in 1961 in Buffalo, New York. After the death of her husband Elizabeth Krakauer earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology, then a Master's in anthropology and library science while working as a reference librarian at the State University at Buffalo. After receiving her degrees, she was head librarian at Prescott, Bard, and Goddard Colleges. At age 64 she joined the Peace Corps, and worked for six years as a library consultant at the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Columbia, where she focused on the care of rare books, including the identification of previously unknown incunabula, as well as also introducing a cataloging system for rare books, teaching about preservation and cataloging methods, and participating in exhibits. Later she wrote about the cataloging of rare books in Columbia.

Elizabeth Krakauer died in 2007 in Durham, North Carolina.

Hans and Elizabeth Krakauer had two sons, John and Thomas, born in Buffalo in 1941 and 1942, respectively.


0.75 Linear Feet


The Gottschalk and Krakauer Families Collection provides documentation primarily on the immigration of family members of these two related families, but also documents the professional lives of family members along with other topics. The collection includes family correspondence, official papers and correspondence, material relating to the Molling & Co. department store, photographs, and notes.

Related Material

Related to this collection is the book by Thomas Krakauer, Family portrait : History and genealogy of the Gottschalk, Molling and Benjamin families from Hannover, Germany. This item is located in the LBI Manuscript Collection [MS 557]. This book provides a great deal of context for this collection, especially providing detailed information on the correspondents in Series I.

Processing Information

The collection originally consisted of some material on the Krakauer Family. Later, documentation on the Krakauer and Gottschalk families was added to the collection. During the processing of the archival collection in December 2016 these two areas were separated into two distinct series. Gottschalk material was further subdivided in subseries.

Guide to the Papers of the Gottschalk and Krakauer Families 1905-2016 AR 25695
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2016
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Gottschalk_and_Krakauer_Families.xml

Revision Statements

  • June 2017 : 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