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Friedrich (Fritz) and Emma Ginsberg Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25505

Scope and Content Note

The Friedrich (Fritz) and Emma Ginsberg Family Collection primarily focuses on the personal lives of Fritz and Emma Ginsberg and their children in King William's Town, South Africa. The lives of other relatives in Germany are documented to a smaller extent. The collection includes correspondence – almost entirely personal – as well as various documents of individuals, including official certificates, family writings, material on family celebrations and a number of family photographs.

The bulk of the collection centers on Fritz and Emma Ginsberg's family life in South Africa. The details of their lives are shown most clearly in the correspondence of Series I, which holds several folders of letters between them and Emma's mother that convey news of the Ginsberg family's activities. Although a few letters may touch upon their experiences of South Africa, such as Ruth Ginsberg's letters of a trip through southern Africa in 1946, for the most part the letters pertain to the family's own concerns and health. Series II holds the documentation of the family members and holds a number of official documents such as various certificates or identification papers. More prominent in this series is the evidence of family celebrations, including the wedding of Fritz and Emma and also of their daughter Hilde, in addition to documentation on their interests, such as Fritz Ginsberg's Masonic membership, Hilde's service at hospitals and her husband's research into local Jewish history. Photographs of Fritz, Emma, and their children are included in Series III.

Material on more distant family members will also be found in each of the series. Letters of various members of the Mannheimer, Rosenstein, Ginsberg, Cohn and Calm families are included in Series I. These include a number of letters by Henriette Rosenstein to her daughter's family that provide news of family members in Germany. Documentation of more distant relations will also be found in Series II, including a 1783 Schutzbrief for a member of the Mannheimer family. This series also includes folders of poetry written by several family members; many of these were written on the occasion of birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. Some handwritten family trees and genealogical notes are also in Series II. Series III includes photographs of members of earlier generations of the branches of the family as well as photographs of more recent additions.


  • 1783-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1906-1938


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in German and English, with a small amount of Afrikaans, Hebrew and Russian.

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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of the Ginsberg Family (Emma, Hilde, Ruth, Gertrud and Fritz Ginsberg)" href="" show="embed" title="Portrait of the Ginsberg Family (Emma, Hilde, Ruth, Gertrud and Fritz Ginsberg)" linktype="simple"/>

Friedrich (Fritz) Ginsberg was born in Strassburg on September 13, 1873; he was the son of Leo and Louise (née Hoextel) Ginsberg. Emma Rosenstein was born July 28, 1878 in Kassel, the daughter of Simon and Henriette (née Mannheimer) Rosenstein. The couple was married on March 6, 1904 in Berlin and moved to South Africa shortly thereafter, where they resided in King William's Town. Fritz Ginsberg, who had resided in South Africa prior to their marriage, had his own business: F. Ginsberg & Co., Candle, Soap, and Polish Manufacturers. Emma Ginsberg's brother Georg also lived in South Africa for several years. Fritz died in 1941 in King William's Town, Emma in 1964.

Fritz and Emma had three daughters: Gertrud (born 1902), Ruth (born 1905) and Hilde (born 1911). The daughters attended boarding schools in South Africa. Gertrud married Harry Herzfeld. Hilde studied medicine at Wits University, specializing in anesthetics. She worked for a number of years at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where she was the head of the anesthetics department. In July 1938 she married Samuel Wayburne, a pediatrician. After immigrating to the United States in 1989, she went to the United Kingdom in 2002, where she died in 2010.


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The Friedrich (Fritz) and Emma Ginsberg Family Collection largely documents the lives of Fritz, Emma, Gertrud, Ruth and Hilde Ginsberg in King William's Town, South Africa. Some material on relatives, especially Henriette Rosenstein and Samuel Wayburne but also others, will additionally be found here. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, official documents, poetry, wedding documentation, notes, family trees, and other material.

Other Finding Aid

An almost item-level inventory by an unidentified family member was found in the collection and retained in it because it provides some further details on items and family members.

Processing Information

During processing the collection was organized into series by format, since most items were already grouped in this manner. With scant original order in the collection aside from this, separation into specific folders was done artificially, to gather together materials by the same individual or family.

Guide to the Papers of the Friedrich (Fritz) and Emma Ginsberg Family 1783-2000 AR 25505
Processed by Eva Englander and Dianne Ritchey
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Fritz_and_Emma_GinsbergFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 31, 2015 : dao links added by Emily Andresini.
  • March:: Created OS 154 Family Trees Oversized.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States