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Clara Grunwald Collection

Identifier: AR 7014

Scope and Content Note

The Clara Grunwald Collection includes photocopies of the correspondence of Margarethe Lachmund. Folder one contains copies of twenty-four letters from Clara Grunwald to Lachmund. These letters contain descriptions of Grunwald’s daily life and her teaching activities at the hachshara farm. There are references to atrocities committed by Nazi officials and to her fear of deportation and the safety of the children she taught and cared for. Folders two and three contain a few letters from Clotilde Schenck zu Schweinsberg and Martin Gerson, including further information on Grunwald and the hachshara farm. Gerson was the leader of the hachshara farm and was later murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. Folder five contains typed transcripts of most of the letters included in the collection. There are also additional notes made by Lachmund, providing context.


  • 1941-1944


Language of Materials

This collection is in German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

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

Clara Grunwald was born in Rheydt, Germany, in 1877. She was the eldest of eleven children of the textile merchant Bernhard Grunwald and his wife Rosalie (née Aberle). Clara Grunwald attended a girls’ school and a teacher training college. After graduating in 1896 she taught in Berlin. Under the influence of Maria Montessori, Grunwald founded the Volkskinderhaus in Berlin-Wedding and lectured widely on the Montessori Method in Germany. She was prevented from teaching by the Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums (Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service) in 1933. In 1941 Grunwald started teaching at the hachshara farm Landwerk Neuendorf im Sande. She was deported on April 19th, 1943, as part of Transport no. 37 from Berlin to Auschwitz, where she was murdered.

Margarethe Lachmund was born on September 17, 1896, in Woldegk, Germany, and died on October 14, 1985, in Cologne. She was trained as a teacher and initially was a member of the conservative Deutschnationale Volkspartei before becoming active in left-wing causes, partially in reaction to the Kapp-Putsch and to the assassination of Walter Rathenau. During the Third Reich, Lachmund was active in the resistance and Quaker underground and had close relations with Jews who remained in Germany, such as Clara Grunwald. After the war, Lachmund was a prominent peace activist.


0.25 Linear Feet (and part of reel)


The Clara Grunwald Collection consists of photocopies of the correspondence of Margarethe Lachmund during World War II, including numerous letters from Clara Grunwald.


This collection consists of a single series.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Related Material

The LBI Library contains Und doch gefaellt mir das Leben; die Briefe der Clara Grunwald, 1941-1943 by Clara Grunwald [DS 135 G5 G788 A18], and Clara Grunwald: ihr Leben und Wirken fuer die Montessori-Paedagogik in Deutschland by Winfried Böhm, Dietrich Rüdiger and Waltraud Harth-Peter [LB 755 M7 C53 1995].

Guide to the Papers of Clara Grunwald (1877-1943) 1941-1944 AR 7014
Processed by Matthew Johnson
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ClaraGrunwald.xml

Revision Statements

  • April 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States