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Max Kreutzberger Collection

Identifier: AR 7183

Scope and content note

The Max Kreutzberger collection is made up of research materials, correspondence, and a few personal documents. The research material focuses on Jews in Germany and German-Jewish history, especially under National Socialism.

The most prominent type of material found in this collection is research material. A large amount of this material deals with the treatment of Jews after the Nazis rose to power as well as the situation of refugees and aid given to them. Many of the documents here, especially in Series I, consist of photocopies of documents on these topics. The research material in Series I is comprised of photocopies of documents from various archives, in particular the Foreign Office of London, the Wiener Library, the Bundesarchiv Koblenz, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. These documents include such items as records of German government offices and records of refugee aid organizations. In addition, several folders in Series II and the Subject Files in Subseries 5 of Series III also contain research materials on specific works, individuals, and topics.

Another topic often encountered in this collection is the development of the Leo Baeck Institute. Information on the LBI will be found among Max Kreutzberger's correspondence as well as one folder in Subseries 1: Personal of Series III. Subseries 4 of Series III also holds material on the Institute, especially clippings and articles, as well as some material concerning LBI publications.

The correspondence of Max Kreutzberger is located in Subseries 2 of Series III. It includes letters to and from Kreutzberger from friends and acquaintances during the later part of his life. The correspondence also provides some insight into the growth of the Leo Baeck Institute.

Personal documents will mainly be found in Subseries 1 of Series III. Series II also holds a few folders of material on the seventieth birthday and death of Max Kreutzberger. Personal documents in Series III include items with information on Max Kreutzberger, such as clippings on his death, copies of his citizenship certificate, and a transcript of a lengthy interview with him. Other personal information may be gleaned from the correspondence in Series III. This collection contains very little material on Max Kreutzberger's family.

The collection has been arranged using the order of the original arrangement provided by Irmgard Foerg, Max Kreutzberger's secretary. Series I comprised the original collection, and is described in the original paper finding aid for the collection. Series II and III consist of addenda added to the original collection. A numbered inventory list was available in the collection for Series III. The folders of photocopies of research material found in Subseries 1 of Series I have been rearranged so that materials originating from the same repository are grouped together. Numbers in parentheses correspond to the "Foerg catalog numbers" designated by Max Kreutzberger's secretary. Documents concerning similar topics in Series II have been placed together. Series III has also retained the "catalog numbers" given to sections of the series.


  • 1848-2001


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, with French, Hebrew, Dutch, Russian, Swedish.

Access restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Collection is microfilmed (MF 798).

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.

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

Max Kreutzburger was born on January 31, 1900 in Königshütte, Germany (now Chorzów, Poland). There he attended the local Oberrealschule, and graduated in 1917. He joined the military, but World War I ended soon thereafter.

After leaving the military Max Kreutzberger attended the Universities of Freiburg, Munich, and Breslau, where he studied philosophy, history, and political economics. In 1925 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Breslau (now in Wroclaw, Poland). He then dedicated himself to Jewish social work and studied law on the side.

In 1925 he became head of the social policy department of the Zentralwohlfahrtstelle der deutschen Juden (Central Welfare Agency for German Jews) and in 1928 became the manager of the organization. The Zentralwohlfahrtstelle belonged to the Liga der freien Wohlfahrtspflege (League of Free Welfare Services), whose members included non-Jewish agencies as well, such as Caritas, the Innere Mission, and the Arbeiterwohlfahrt. During these years he worked on questions of law and social policy, and published works that fell into these fields. In his capacity as manager of the Zentralwohlfahrt he involved himself in the work of the Internationales Arbeitsamt in Geneva. In 1933 Max Kreutzberger became head of the Reichsvertretung der deutschen Juden, the head of organizations of Jews in Germany. By the end of 1935 he had left Germany with his wife Lisbeth and son Daniel and emigrated to Palestine. There he became General-Secretary of an organization of German Jews who had emigrated to Palestine, the Hitachduth Olej Germania, and involved himself specifically with the topics of colonization and settlement. He remained in this position until 1948.

In 1948 Max Kreutzberger went to Germany as the Director of the Jewish Agency in Germany especially to work on questions of law and restitution. In 1955 he gave up this position and went to America to further his historical studies and in 1957 became Director of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. He died in Locarno, Switzerland in 1978.


11 Linear Feet (+ 3 card file boxes)


This collection contains research material and information on the life of Max Kreutzberger, a former Director of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) in New York. A large portion of this collection consists of copies of documents from archives in Europe, Israel, and the United States. There is also information on the Leo Baeck Institute in general, LBI events, and LBI publications. In addition, the collection holds Max Kreutzberger's correspondence, writings, and some personal papers.

Other finding aid

This collection has an earlier paper-based finding aid.


The collection is on twenty-eight reels of film (MF 798):

  1. Reel 1: Box 1, Folders 1-5
  2. Reel 2: Box 1, Folders 6-14
  3. Reel 3: Box 1, Folder 15; Box 2, Folders 1-4
  4. Reel 4: Box 2, Folders 4-8
  5. Reel 5: Box 2, Folder 9; Box 3, Folders 1-2
  6. Reel 6: Box 3, Folders 3-6
  7. Reel 7: Box 3, Folder 7; Box 4, Folder 1
  8. Reel 8: Box 4, Folders 2-10
  9. Reel 9: Box 4, Folders 11-20
  10. Reel 10: Box 5, Folders 1-8
  11. Reel 11: Box 5, Folders 9-18
  12. Reel 12: Box 5, Folder 19; Box 6, Folder 1
  13. Reel 13: Box 6, Folders 2-7
  14. Reel 14: Box 6, Folders 8-10
  15. Reel 15: Box 6, Folder 11; Box 7, Folder 1
  16. Reel 16: Box 7, Folders 2-3
  17. Reel 17: Box 7, Folders 4-13
  18. Reel 18: Box 7, Folders 14; Box 8, Folders 1-4
  19. Reel 19: Box 8, Folders 5-11
  20. Reel 20: Index Cards
  21. Reel 21: Box 8, Folders 12-61
  22. Reel 22: Box 9, Folders 1-42
  23. Reel 23: Box 9, Folders 43-56
  24. Reel 24: Box 9, Folders 57-71
  25. Reel 25: Box 10, Folders 1-11
  26. Reel 26: Box 10, Folders 12-46
  27. Reel 27: Box 10, Folder 47; Box 11, Folder 1
  28. Reel 28: Box 11, Folders 2-22

Related material

Related material will be found in the Kreutzberger / Foerg Clippings Collection (AR 25011), located at the LBI Archives.

Separated material

Some duplicated items already in the LBI archives were removed from the collection prior to reprocessing.

Processing information

The collection was reprocessed by Dianne Ritchey Oummia in February 2005, although the arrangement was based on the original order of the collection and catalog numbers provided by Irmgard Foerg, Max Kreutzberger's assistant. Some titles of folders were given more concise wording. Folders of documents originating from the same archives in Series I were grouped together. Subject files in Series III were ordered by their catalog number so that the original order of files within subseries would be retained. Catalog numbers assigned to files have been retained in parantheses. Basic preservation work was performed.

Guide to the Papers of Max Kreutzberger (1900-1978), 1848-2001 AR 7183 / MF 798
Processed by LBI Staff and Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from MaxKreutzberger.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 2008.: Microfilm inventory added.
  • March 2011: 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