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Edmund Hadra Collection

Identifier: AR 1249

Scope and Content Note

The Edmund Hadra Collection details the prominent events and experiences of Edmund Hadra. The collection consists of a number of manuscripts as well as official, educational and professional documents, correspondence that frequently mentions his writing, and some research materials.

The bulk of this collection centers on Edmund Hadra's reflections on his life. These reflections are comprised of his many biographical manuscripts, primarily located in Series IV but also including his description of his years in Theresienstadt, in Series III. Particularly prominent is his detailed and extensive memoir Sunset Years , which mentions most items in this collection, especially his other compositions, and describes his life from his childhood through his arrival in the United States along with discussions of the various periods in which he lived and his interactions with family members. Other biographical writings of Series IV include Das Haus gegenüber and Unsere Familiengeschichte. Nicht Judenmission – Mission der Juden describes Hadra's feelings about Christianity and Judaism. Series III holds an extremely detailed description of his life in the camp at Theresienstadt, where he was incarcerated from August 1942 until 1945, written a few years after his release. In addition to biographical writing, Series IV also contains some works contemplating art, literature or social themes as well as one fictional piece relating to the history of the Naumburg Cathedral.

This collection additionally contains official documents pertaining to Edmund Hadra's profession and training as a doctor, which will primarily be found in Series I, although a few such documents can be found in Series III, among the immigration papers, including some which attest to Hadra's work as a doctor in rural Bolivia. A few examples of his professional writing will be found in Series IV among the folder of medical writings.

Series II is comprised of some general correspondence on various subjects. Some correspondence concerned with Edmund Hadra's professional work, especially letters of recommendation and letters relating to his acquiring a medical license in the United States, is located in the folder of professional papers of Series I. Correspondence pertaining to Hadra's immigration and correspondence from Theresienstadt is located in Series III, while correspondence pertaining to specific writings and found with his manuscripts remains in Series IV.


  • 1877-1971
  • Majority of material found within 1939-1966


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in German with some English, Czech and Spanish.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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 Reserve button.

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

Edmund Georg Hadra was born September 17, 1877 in Berlin. He was the youngest of ten children, the son of the banker Leopold Hadra and his wife Franziska Hadra née Lesser. Edmund Hadra determined to study medicine like his eldest brother Salomon. After attending universities in Berlin and Munich, he received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Leipzig in 1906 and began practicing as a physician in Berlin, where he eventually specialized in the field of gynecology. Shortly after his twenty-second birthday Edmund Hadra converted to Protestantism. On October 12, 1909 he married Elsie Frieda Loewenthal. Their daughter Ellinor was born in July 1910.

He served from 1914-1918 in World War I, where he was wounded three times; as a result he received the Knight's Cross of the Royal Order of the Hohenzollerns with Swords (Das Kreuz der Ritter des königlichen Hausordens von Hohenzollern mit Schwerten). After the turmoil and food shortages in Berlin in 1918-1919, Edmund Hadra moved with his wife and young daughter to Schwerin in Mecklenburg, where he resided until 1936, when he returned to Berlin.

In 1942 Edmund Hadra was sent to Theresienstadt, where he worked in the hospital until he himself became too ill to practice. On May 23, 1943 Edmund Hadra married his second wife, Josefa Ruben, a nurse.

In July 1945 he returned to Berlin after three years in Theresienstadt. In February 1947 Hadra fled the Russian sector of Berlin with the help of the American Joint Committee. He and his wife made their way to Bolivia with brief stays in Paris and Rio de Janeiro along the way. In Bolivia he worked as a physician of the government in San Ignacio (province of Velasco) from July 1947 until March 1948. With the assistance of an affidavit from his daughter Ellinor, who lived in Pennsylvania, he and Josefa were then able to immigrate to the United States, arriving in August 1948.

At first Hadra stayed for a year with his daughter in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where he accustomed himself to American practices in medicine by accompanying his daughter, also a physician, as she visited hospitals where she worked; Edmund Hadra also and took graduate courses and attending professional meetings. In August 1949 Edmund Hadra moved to New York City, where he was employed as a resident physician at the New York Cancer Institute. Following this position, he worked as chief resident at the Metropolitan Hospital Annex and in 1952 became chief admitting physician at the Bird S. Coler Memorial Hospital.

Edmund Hadra died April 7, 1971 in Manhattan.


2 Linear Feet


This collection holds papers of the physician and author Edmund Hadra. Much of the collection is composed of unpublished manuscripts of his writing, a significant part of which is autobiographical in nature and describe some of the most notable events of his life. In addition to these works are other writings on themes such as literature and art. The collection additionally contains official, educational and professional documentation, some correspondence and a few research notes.


The collection is on five reels of microfilm (MF 1075):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/22
  2. Reel 2: 1/23 - 1/39
  3. Reel 3: 2/1 - 2/7
  4. Reel 4: 2/8 - 2/16
  5. Reel 5: 2/17 - 2/19

Related Material

A typed German memoir by Edmund Hadra about the history of his family is located in the LBI Memoir Collection [ME 247]. This memoir has already been digitized and may be viewed online. The English translation of this memoir is present in this collection.

Separated Material

Photographs have been removed to the Photo Collection. A few books on the Naumburg Cathedral without notations have been removed from the collection.

Guide to the Papers of Edmund Hadra (1877-1971) 1877-1971 AR 1249 / MF 1075
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EdmundHadra.xml

Revision Statements

  • November 2010.: Microfilm inventory added.
  • March 28, 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