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George and Hildegard Lewin Collection

Identifier: AR 6264

Scope and Content Note

The George and Hildegard Lewin Collection contains personal papers, correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, journals and other items created and collected by George and Hildegard Brandes Lewin. Three series are dedicated to the Lewins as a couple, to George Lewin, and to Hildegard Brandes Lewin, respectively. Documents pertaining to restitution and indemnity claims for the couple are in Series I, subseries 1. Family photographs of the couple and oversized music manuscripts and drawings are in Series I as well. Series II contains the medical licenses, medical school diplomas and transcripts of George Lewin. The revocation of his license to practice medicine is also here. Documents regarding his participation in orchestras and chamber ensembles and a collection of autographs of contemporary opera stars are also in Series II. Music manuscripts and compositions by Hildegard Brandes Lewin, concert programs, playbills and clippings are in Series III, subseries 2.


  • 1814-1987
  • Majority of material found within 1919-1945


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, French and Spanish.

Access Restrictions

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

George Lewin was born in 1897 to Max Lewin and Rosalie Lewin née Rehfisch in Exin (now Kcynia, Kujawsko–Pomorskie Province, Poland). Max Lewin was a watchmaker from Ostrowo, where George Lewin attended high school. George Lewin left school in 1914 in order to volunteer and serve in the German army during World War I. In 1919, Lewin attended a “Course for War Participants” and in the same year, began pre-medicine at Royal Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin. He graduated from Universität Berlin medical school in 1922 with specialties in surgery, gynecology and obstetrics and obtained a license to practice the following year. Lewin worked in a clinic for the next seven years. He married Hildegard Brandes in 1927. In 1930, he established and directed a 40-bed hospital for gynecological surgery in Berlin until 1933, when he was arrested and imprisoned by the authorities, resulting in the loss of his clinic. The German government revoked his medical license in 1938 and restricted his practice to Jewish patients exclusively. He immigrated to the U.S. in the same year. Before Lewin could resume his medical career in the U.S., he had to embark on a re-certification process of several years. From 1942 to 1943, George Lewin was a resident in pathology at Newark Beth Israel Hospital. In 1948, he obtained a license to practice obstetrics and gynecology and began a private practice in New York City. Lewin had a musical life as an oboist and cellist. He was an oboist with Jüdische Symphonie Verein of Berlin and the Amateur Symphony Orchestra of New York City, and he also played contrabass and cello in chamber ensembles. George Lewin died on May 23, 1990.

Hildegard Lewin née Brauchbar (Brandes) was born on January 6, 1900 in Hamburg to Oskar Heinrich Eugen Brauchbar, a medical doctor, and Margarete Brauchbar née Fabian, a musician. Her father died one year after her birth. She earned a music degree from Akademische Hochschule für Musik in Berlin in 1921 and in 1932, she completed a course and earned a certificate in exercise/physical training from Private Schule für Korperbilding Alice Caminer. Hildegard Brandes married George Lewin in 1927. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1939, one year after her husband George. Upon her arrival in New York City, Brandes Lewin was sponsored by banker Gerald Felix Warburg, whose father had been a friend of Brandes Lewin’s father. She found work as an exercise trainer, modern dance instructor and music teacher. Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s Brandes Lewin enjoyed a career in music, dance, theatre and radio. She performed as a pianist and a percussionist with chamber ensembles and orchestras. For live theatre productions, Brandes Lewin composed and performed music and worked as a costumer. In 1944, she hosted a classical music quiz show on radio station WBNX, Bronx, NY.


2.5 Linear Feet


This collection contains documents and artifacts belonging to George and Hildegard Brandes Lewin and their family members. In addition to vital records, correspondence and photographs, there are handwritten music manuscripts and pencil drawings.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Related Material

The Leo Baeck Institute Library holds the Nachtlicht Family Collection (AR 25031 / MF 975).

Separated Material

Some photographs have been separated and are housed in the LBI Photograph Collection.

Guide to the George and Hildegard Lewin Collection 1814-1987 bulk 1919-1945 AR 6264
Processed by Angela Lawrence
© 2011
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

  • May 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.
  • July 2015: dao link for oversized folder added and digitization note updated by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States