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Henry B. Sachs Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25574

Scope and Content Note

The Henry B. Sachs Family Collection holds the papers of Henry Sachs and his family with a focus on their immigration experiences. Most prominent in the collection are the papers of Henry, his wife Kate and daughter Dorothea (Thea Sachs, later Dot Sparer). Most folders contain notes from the latter with identification or further details of folder contents. Basic family dates will be found in the folder of family trees, which display the dates of several generations of the Sachs, Berlowitz and related families. The collection includes photographs and a photo album, a diary, correspondence, family trees, military papers, and various other family papers.

The immigration experiences of family members is located in several places in the collection. The first folder holds the emigration diary of Henry Sachs's mother-in-law Elly Berlowitz. This diary records her second emigration from May through July 1944 as well as describes a vacation to Italy in 1935 and a trip to visit her brother in Brooklyn in 1936. Descriptions of her trips primarily mention her tourist activities but also individuals she visited and give brief impressions of notable experiences. The pages of Kate Sach's journal detail the dates of the immigration of herself, her husband and her daughter from Königsberg to England to New York. Dot Sparer's talk to students at Clarke Central High School provide even more specifics of the family's immigration, including the arrest of Henry Sachs on Kristallnacht and her experiences during the evacuation of London children to the English countryside.

Henry Sachs's experiences in World War I and his professional life are documented as well. Material on World War I, found in folder 7, include his medals for military service along with certificates regarding their awarding or his permission to wear them during later years as a former front combatant. The preceding folder includes documentation of his professional life, including a photograph of Henry Sachs with other medical students, a number of his medical articles in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and a parking permit for his medical calls while a physician in New York City. His obituary from the newspaper Aufbau is also with these papers.

Two folders hold copies of loose family photographs (folder 3) and a photograph album (folder 11). Loose photographs show many members of the extended Sachs, Berlowitz and Marcus families, but especially focus on Henry Sachs's immediate family. Included is a group photograph from Hermann and Elly Berlowitz's apartment in New York City in 1948 that shows three generations of the family and a photograph of the Berlowitz quilt factory in Elbing. The photograph album focuses on Thea Sachs's early years but likewise shows many of the extended family as well.

One folder consists of the correspondence of Kate Sachs. Nearly all of it is restitution correspondence with lawyers regarding the possibility of a widow's pension, but there is also a lengthy letter to her from Ernest Rosenthal, a relative of Henry Sachs's, that imparts updated news of his family.


  • 1917-1960; 2012-2013


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German.

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 "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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Photograph of the Henry B. Sachs Family" href="" show="embed" title="Photograph of the Henry B. Sachs Family"/>

Heinrich (also known as Heinz) Benjamin Sachs was born June 24, 1899 in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He was the son of the businessman Fritz Sachs and Elfriede Sachs (née Rosenthal). During World War I he was wounded while serving in the army and later received the Iron Cross Second Class as well as the Bulgarian Memorial Medallion. Heinrich Sachs studied medicine and established a practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Berlin. In May 1931 he married Käte Berlowitz, daughter of Hermann and Elly (née Marcus) Berlowitz of Elbing (today Elblag, Poland). Hermann Berlowitz owned a quilt factory in Elbing. Heinrich and Käte had a daughter in 1932, Dorothea (usually called Thea).

On Kristallnacht Heinrich Sachs was arrested along with other Jewish men in Königsberg and needed to show intent to emigrate in order to be released. With the aid of Käte Sachs's uncle Paul Berlowitz in Brooklyn, New York, the family began plans to leave Germany. They went first to England to await their American visas, arriving in London in June 1939. When World War II began a few months later, Thea Sachs was evacuated to the countryside for safety along with other London children. Through a professional connection, Heinrich Sachs was able to secure a letter of recommendation for his American visa from Senator Harry Truman, then head of the Immigration Committee in Congress, which allowed the family to receive their visas in March 1940. They arrived in New York City on April 1, 1940. After immigration they became known as Henry, Kate and Dorothy (Dot) Sachs.

For the first year the family stayed with their Berlowitz relatives in Brooklyn, while Henry Sachs studied for his American medical licensing exam. After passing it, in 1941 he established his own practice in Manhattan and the family moved to the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Later Henry Sachs was able to bring to the United States his wife's parents, his father, and his sister's family. Elly and Hermann Berlowitz, the parents of Kate Sachs, emigrated first from Elbing to Israel, before traveling from Israel to the United States, where they arrived on August 6, 1944.

Henry B. Sachs died in New York City on November 16, 1960.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection consists of the papers of physician Henry B. Sachs and his family, including members of the related Sachs, Berlowitz and Marcus families. Included is information on the family's immigration, Henry Sachs's professional life, and other topics. The collection contains photographs and a photo album, a diary, correspondence, family trees, military papers, and various other family papers.


The collection is arranged alphabetically in one series.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Separated Material

Three books were removed form the archival collection to the LBI Library: Zeugnis vom Untergang Königsberg: ein "Geltungsjude" berichtet by Michael Wieck, Hernach by Willy Busch and a book on Elbing. In addition a DVD on East Prussia was removed.

Two CDs with scanned images of family photographs and documents were removed to the LBI Audiovisual Collection.

Processing Information

During processing of the collection unhoused materials were placed in folders and materials of similar content were brought together. Some folders were retitled and a book was removed from the collection. Donor contact information was also removed from the archival collection.

Guide to the Henry B. Sachs Family Papers 1917-1960, 2012-2013 AR 25574
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 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 Henry_B_Sachs_Family.xml

Revision Statements

  • June 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