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Herta Grove Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25203

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains personal papers and clippings about Moses and Bertha Levi and their children Walter J. Levy and Herta Grove née Levi. Folder 1 contains a family history for the Cohn-Levi family, tracing its roots back as far as the 16th century. Folder 2 holds photocopies of clippings about the legal career of Moses Levi. Folder 3 includes clippings, photographs, and memorabilia related to Herta Grove's trips to Germany for memorials and dedications in honor of her mother, Bertha Levi. Also included is a transcript of an interview of Herta Grove by the Workshop of Remembrance of the Institute for Contemporary History in Hamburg (Werkstatt der Erinnerung, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg). Folder 5 contains clippings, photographs, and biographical information about Walter J. Levy covering some parts of his career as a U.S. government oil consultant. Also included are a few photographs of Walter J. Levy, including one of Levy in the Oval Office with President John F. Kennedy that seems to have been signed by Kennedy. A plaque given to Levy in 1968 for his service to the U.S. government is also included.


  • circa 1930s-2003


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

Moses Levi (1873-1938) was a criminal defense attorney in Altona, Germany. Levi created a name for himself defending Roma and Sinti individuals accused of crimes. In 1905, Moses Levi successfully defended Mpundu Akwa, called the “Crown Prince” of Cameroon by German imperialists, in a high-profile case in which Akwa was accused of fraud. In 1905, Moses Levi and Bertha (Betty) née Lindenberger (1882-1942) were married. Bertha Levi was deported to Auschwitz in July of 1942, where she perished shortly afterwards. In 1997, the Betty-Levi-Passage in Altona was named after her.

Moses and Bertha Levi’s son Walter J. Levy studied law in Heidelberg, Kiel, and Berlin. He immigrated to London in 1933, where he enrolled at the London School of Economics. In London, he worked as an assistant to the editor of the Petroleum Press Bureau. In 1941, Walter moved to the US, where he served in the petroleum section of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington from 1942-1945. After the war, he continued to serve as an oil consultant to the US government. In 1982, he published a book, Oil Strategy and Politics, 1941-81. He died in 1997.

Moses and Bertha Levi’s daughter Herta Grove née Levi fled Nazi Germany to England, where she founded the Great Missenden Choral Society in 1948. She served as its musical director until 1954. She then immigrated to the United States, where she and her husband Victor Grove worked as interpreters for the State Department. She died in Pennsylvania in January of 2014.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection contains personal papers and clippings related to Herta Grove née Levi, her parents Moses and Bertha (Betty) Levi, and her brother Walter J. Levy, a noted oil consultant for the U.S. government. Materials include a family tree, a history of the Cohn-Levi family, an oral history interview transcript, records of memorials of Holocaust victim Betty Levi, clippings and biographical information, photographs of Walter J. Levy with government officials, and a plaque.


The collection is arranged by document type.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety with the exception of folder 7, which was not digitized due to technical issues.

Related Material

The LBI Archives also hold Herta Grove's memoirs (ME 1419), "Conversations with Walter Levy" (ME 1420), two video recordings by Walter J. Levy, and a videotape of Herta Grove's Yad Vashem interview from 2001. A copy of Moses Levi's speech for the defense of Mpundu Akwa may be requested from the LBI Library, which also holds Walter J. Levy's Oil Strategy and Politics, 1941-81. Walter J. Levy’s papers can be found at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center. The finding aid can be accessed online: Inventory of the Walter J. Levy Papers, 1911-1988.

Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Photographs were placed in archival sleeves. Negatives were placed in polypropylene sleeves. The title page and table of contents of the 38th edition of Marquis Who’s Who (1974-1975) and a finding aid for Walter Levy’s collection at the University of Wyoming were removed. A handheld conversion tool for measurements called the “Convertisor” was also removed.

Guide to the Herta Grove Family Collection circa 1930s-2003 AR 25203
Processed by Leanora Lange
© 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States