Skip to main content

Ruth Neumann Block Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25116

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists entirely of materials related to the restitution claims of Clementine Neumann on behalf of herself and her husband, Isak Neumann, for the loss of personal property and pianos they owned as part of their piano-leasing business in Frankfurt am Main. The correspondence in the collection relates entirely to the matters of restitution and inheritance claims, and the main correspondents are the Neumanns’ lawyers Fritz Mertens and Georg Kappus and various officials or banks. Correspondence from the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization is also included. Materials related to this correspondence include affidavits and court decisions. The Neumanns received some restitution for the appropriation of their apartment in Frankfurt am Main, the loss of their property within the apartment, and the loss of the value of pianos they leased. The summary of the correspondence was written shortly after the collection was donated to the Leo Baeck Institute in 2003. It presents the contents of the correspondence and documents in the rest of the collection and includes some translations of these materials into English.


  • Creation: 1936-1965, 2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1965


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

Isak (alternatively Isaac or Isaak) Neumann (1881-1951) and his wife Clementine Neumann (1889-1967) owned a piano store in Frankfurt am Main. They had one daughter, Henriette Ruth. The family visited the United States in the summer of 1938 and decided not to return to Germany. They lived in Mexico for a short period and officially immigrated to the United States in 1940. They settled in California, living in San Diego and then Los Angeles. Shortly after the end of World War II, the Neumanns initiated restitution claims for the loss of their apartment in Frankfurt am Main, which had been appropriated by the Nazis and used as office space to collect taxes. After Isak’s death in 1951, Clementine received some restitution for the loss of their apartment, personal property within the apartment, and the loss of leased pianos that had belonged to their business, but was unable to receive restitution for the full value of the family's property.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection documents the restitution claims made by Clementine Neumann (1889-1967) on behalf of herself and her husband, Isak Neumann (1881-1951), who ran a piano-leasing business in Frankfurt am Main before the Neumann family emigrated in 1938. The collection contains correspondence, legal documents, and some financial records.


Materials are arranged chronologically.

Digitization Note

This collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Empty envelopes that did not contain any further information about a piece of correspondence than was already indicated on the letter itself were removed. Materials were rehoused into acid-free archival folders.

Guide to the Ruth Neumann Block Family Collection 1936-1965, 2003 (bulk 1950-1965) AR 25116
Processed by Leanora Lange and Margot Gerson
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Described, encoded, and digitized as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • 2014-12-30:: Biographical Note and Scope and Content Note edited to reflect information from donor.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States