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Hans Heinz Altmann Collection

Identifier: AR 6294

Scope and Content Note

This collection holds the restitution files of Hans-Heinz Altmann from the 1960s and 1970s, when he lived in Buenos Aires. Consequently, most of his clients were residents of Argentina and Uruguay. He worked closely with his German correspondent Hans-Hermann Keller. The documentation on the individual claims is not always complete.

To avoid inaccuracies in the translation, the German legal terms referring to the claims were kept. The term Rentenanspruch refers to pension claims from social security in the German Reich. This is the most frequent claim in this collection. Very often, the clients claimed a Gesundheitsschaden – a health impairment, which had to be documented by extensive medical opinions or attestations. Many Rentenanspruch cases included insurance records and job references. Claims include survivors' benefits for widows (Witwenrente) and restitution for loss of property (Vermoegensschaden), loss of professional, educational or economical advancement (Berufschaden, Ausbildungsschaden, Schaden im wirtschaftlichen Fortkommen) or losses due to expulsion (Vertreibungsschaden). Other cases deal with health insurance (Krankenversicherungszuschuss), disabled veterans' pensions (Kriegsopferversorgung) and certain tax exemptions granted to war survivors (Haertausgleich, Lastenausgleich).

In addition, the lawyers’ correspondence displays common legal practice, how facts are sometimes interpreted rather creatively in order to either win the case or get the fee. Water damage has affected the collection. Documents in 4/37 have been infested with mold. Copies were made, but the originals had to be discarded.


  • 1904-1974
  • Majority of material found within 1969-1972


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, some Spanish and a small amount of English, French and Dutch.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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

The collection contains very little information about the personal life of Hans-Heinz Altmann. He was born in Breslau in 1908 and worked as a lawyer for the Jewish community in Berlin between 1933 and 1939, when he immigrated to South America. In Argentina, he worked for the Joint Distribution Committee as a bookkeeper, before he engaged himself in restitution and indemnification matters. Hans Heinz Altmann was a member of a freemasons’ lodge in Buenos Aires. In 1973, he returned to Germany and was active in the Jewish community of Freiburg. He died in 1993, only 3 years after publishing his autobiography, Grenzsituationen meines Lebens.


5 Linear Feet


This collection contains the files of the restitution cases handled by the lawyer Hans-Heinz Altmann. It consists primarily of legal correspondence; medical opinions, attestations, insurance records or income statements are frequently enclosed. Although the focus is clearly on the legal bearings of the individual cases, the material also gives insight into the difficulties displacement and emigration inflicted upon the refugees. This becomes especially obvious in regard to the clients’ trouble procuring documentation and affidavits or finding attesters substantiating their restitution.


Alphabetical by client's surname.


The collection is on fifteen reels of microfilm (MF 800):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/25
  2. Reel 2: 1/26 - 1/48
  3. Reel 3: 1/49 - 1/68
  4. Reel 4: 2/1 - 2/21
  5. Reel 5: 2/22 - 2/43
  6. Reel 6: 2/44 - 2/73
  7. Reel 7: 3/1 - 3/20
  8. Reel 8: 3/21 - 3/39
  9. Reel 9: 3/40 - 3/70
  10. Reel 10: 4/1 - 4/21
  11. Reel 11: 4/22 - 4/27
  12. Reel 12: 4/28 - 4/50
  13. Reel 13: 5/1 - 5/21
  14. Reel 14: 5/22 - 5/37
  15. Reel 15: 5/38 - 5/64

Related Material

Hans Heinz Altmann's autobiography Grenzsitutationen meines Lebens, which was published in 1991, is available in the LBI library.

Guide to the Papers of Hans Heinz Altmann (1908-1993) 1904-1974 AR 6294 / MF 800
Processed by Anne-Kathrin Distler
© 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HHAltmann.xml

Revision Statements

  • April 2008.: Microfilm information added.
  • November 15, 2013 : 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