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Fritz Nathan Collection

Identifier: AR 1443 / MF 533

Scope and Content Note

The Fritz Nathan Collection consists of 25 linear feet of architectural drawings, drafts, and designs, along with photos and correspondence concerning his business projects as well as private papers and files concerning his restitution case against Germany after World War II. Several of his major projects are documented from early charcoal designs through blue prints to photos of the building in various stages of construction and finally pictures of the finished structure. He kept published articles and accounts of his work from professional journals to clippings in dailies.

The majority of documents in this collection are related to the architectural work of Fritz Nathan. These papers include numerous plans and blueprints, sketches and drawings, photographs, and correspondence concerning his architectural projects. Plans are located in Series III: Architectural Material. Correspondence concerning much of Nathan's work in the United States is located in Series I: Fritz Nathan.

Papers focusing on other members of the Nathan family can be found in Series I, II, and IV. Series I has documents concerning Doris Nathan's study of Fritz Nathan from 1999-2000 and the communism charges brought against Fritz Nathan's brother Otto Nathan in the 1950s. Series II: Lucie Nathan contains the papers of Fritz Nathan's wife, including correspondence, bills, and a notebook of interiors. Series IV: Restitution Material holds papers of all four Nathan family members, although the majority belong to Fritz Nathan, and focuses on their claim against the German government.


  • 1914-2000

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German.

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 533).

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

Donor holds literary property rights, permission for reproduction required. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Fritz Nathan was born in Bingen [am Rhein], in the Rhineland, in 1891. He was a graduate of the Institute of Technology of Munich and Darmstadt, and became one of the leading Jewish architects in Germany during the pre-Hitler era. He began working as an architect in 1914, and served in World War I. Nathan emigrated to Holland in 1938, and came to the United States in 1940, where he continued his architectural career.

Among his earlier achievements in Germany, where he became an independent architect in 1922, were the monument in honor of Jewish soldiers at the Weissensee cemetery, the new Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt, the first skyscraper in Mannheim, and a department store in Frankfurt. During his career, he built institutional and business buildings as well as private homes. His architectural work displayed the impact of the modern style popular at that time. In the United States, Nathan was perhaps best known for the Jewish temples he designed, such as the Jewish Community Center in White Plains and the temple of the Congregation Mishkan Israel in New Haven. In addition, he designed many industrial and private buildings, both in Germany and the United States. He died in New York City on November 3, 1960. He was survived by his brother, economist Otto Nathan, wife Lucie Nathan, and daughter Doris Nathan, an architect who began working with her father shortly before his death.


21 Linear Feet (5 OSL (oversized large) boxes; 15 tube boxes)


This collection is comprised of papers belonging to the German architect Fritz Nathan, who emigrated to the United States via Holland in 1940. Nathan designed synagogues, department stores, and houses, among other types of buildings. The collection consists mainly of blueprints and architectural plans, but also includes documents, photographs, negatives, sketches, and drawings. The documents are primarily correspondence, and focus on Fritz Nathan's work, but also contain a large amount of information on restitution for the Nathan family. In addition, the collection contains some papers on Fritz Nathan's family members: Lucie, Otto, and Doris Nathan.


Collection is available on 49 reels of microfilm (MF 533).

  1. Reel 1: Box 1/1-1/14
  2. Reel 2: Box 1/15-1/20
  3. Reel 3: Box 1/21-1/24
  4. Reel 4: Box 1/25-2/3
  5. Reel 5: Box 2/4-2/8
  6. Reel 6: Box 2/9-2/13
  7. Reel 7: Box 2/14-2/18
  8. Reel 8: Box 3/1-3/7
  9. Reel 9: Box 3/8-3/14
  10. Reel 10: Box 3/15-3/18
  11. Reel 11: Box 3/19-3/23
  12. Reel 12: Box 4/1-4/6
  13. Reel 13: Box 4/7-4/13
  14. Reel 14: Box 4/14-5/1
  15. Reel 15: Box 5/2-5/8
  16. Reel 16: Box 5/9-5/19
  17. Reel 17: Box 5/20-6/3
  18. Reel 18: Box 6/4-6/17
  19. Reel 19: Box 6/18-7/1
  20. Reel 20: Box 7/2-5
  21. Reel 21: Box 7/6-8/3
  22. Reel 22: Box 8/4-9/2
  23. Reel 23: Box 9/3-10/3
  24. Reel 24: Box 10/4-11/4
  25. Reel 25: Box 11/5-12/1
  26. Reel 26: Box 12/2-12/4
  27. Reel 27: Box 12/5-13/2
  28. Reel 28: Box 13/2
  29. Reel 29: Box 13/3-13/8
  30. Reel 30: Box 14/1-14/8
  31. Reel 31: Box 14/9-15/1
  32. Reel 32: Box 15/2-4
  33. Reel 33: Box 15/4-16/1
  34. Reel 34: Box 16/1-2
  35. Reel 35: Box 16/3-4
  36. Reel 36: Box 16/5-20/1
  37. Reel 37: Box 20/2-23/13
  38. Reel 38: Box 23/14-26/2
  39. Reel 39: Box 26/3-5
  40. Reel 40: Box 26/5-8
  41. Reel 41: Box 26/9-12
  42. Reel 42: Box 26/13-15
  43. Reel 43: Box 26/16-17
  44. Reel 44: Box 26B/1-3
  45. Reel 45: Box 26B/4-11
  46. Reel 46: Box 26B/12-18
  47. Reel 47: Box 27-30
  48. Reel 48: Box 30-33
  49. Reel 49: Box 34-40/5

Processing Information

This collection was first processed by Frank Mecklenburg in the 1980s, and was reprocessed in 1992/1993 by Ron Axelrod and in 1999 by Dana Ledger.

Guide to the Fritz Nathan (1891-1960) Collection, 1914-2000 AR 1443 / MF 533
Processed by Frank Mecklenburg, reprocessed by Ron Axelrod and Dana Ledger
© February 2004.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from FritzNathan02.xml

Revision Statements

  • February 2004:: Finding aid was converted to EAD 2002.
  • April 2005:: Access points were added.
  • January 2006:: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.
  • October 2006:: Finding aid was edited and donor restrictions were added by Lea Osborne.
  • April 2011:: Made the following changes to the Container List: added 1/4; corrected Box 1 numbering; added 11/8; added 12/5-12/6; edited Boxes 19-20; and added Boxes 21-22 and 34-40.
  • November 14, 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