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Eric and Thea Nathan Midas Family Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25525

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the family of Eric and Thea Midas of Fürth, Germany and Niagara Falls, New York. The bulk of the material relates to Thea Midas, and includes the extensive correspondence with her future husband Eric between 1920 and 1925, the period of their engagement. Other correspondence to and from friends and family, as well as a large cookbook, diaries, and photographs, are also found in this collection. Documents by and about Eric Midas include a small amount of correspondence, educational records, emigration documents (including Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger's affidavit of support for the Midas's immigration to the United States), vital documents, and restitution materials.

Materials related to Margaret Meyers, née Midas include a small amount of correspondence; records, correspondence, clippings and a scrapbook from her time as a civilian librarian for the US Army in Germany; documents such as immunization certificates, a wedding certificate, and marriage announcements; and photographs. The collection also contains a large and detailed manuscript book containing a family tree of Margaret Midas, originally prepared by her father Eric. The genealogy goes back to 1498, and mostly refers to Franconian Jews, particularly from Fürth. Many of the pages include gravestone photographs.

Materials by and about other Midas and Nathan family members and relatives include materials concerning Eric Midas's parents, Joseph and Emmy Midas, including family photo albums and other documents. Items concerning Rosy Nathan, Thea Midas's mother, include correspondence, a cookbook, poems, ephemera, and a sketch of Max Nathan's tombstone. The Sulzberger family materials include correspondence with and clippings regarding Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger and correspondence and documents from researchers of the New York Times.

Materials relating to the Zinn family include a large annotated photo album featuring Clementine Zinn (1849-1930) and family, and a memorial book with obituaries, death announcements, and eulogies for Zinn relatives and friends. Documents relating to 18th and 19th century members of the Midas family include letters, marriage contracts, commercial documents, and a 1790 Schutzbrief for Baer Seligmann Schlenker. It is unclear whether Schlenker is related to the Midas/Nathan/Zinn family.

Material about the Jews of Fürth includes Midas and Meyers family correspondence with Fürth officials, primarily from the 1980s and 1990s; clippings, newsletters, and printed material; speeches from the dedication of monument to Nazi victims; various exhibition materials; photos from a 1987 visit of former Jewish residents; and a facsimile of a commercial directory for Fürth from 1857.

Dates

  • 1790-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1900-1988

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with some French. Some of the German is in the old script, and some is in shorthand.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Restitution folders are restricted and require visiting the Center for Jewish History to access.

Access Information

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

Biographical Note

Eric Julius Midas (1901, Fürth – 1987, New Jersey, born Erich) was married to Thea Irene née Nathan (1903, Fürth - 1990, Niagara Falls, NY). Their daughter was Margarete Meyers (1927, Fürth – 2011, Hackensack, NJ ). Eric worked for the family business, the J. L. Lehmann glass company, in Fürth, Germany. The Midases left Germany, with help from an affidavit from Iphigene Sulzburger, a distant cousin on the Nathan side and a member of the Times publisher family. They arrived in the United States in October 1938 and lived in New York City for several years before moving to Niagara Falls, New York. Margarete Meyers married Sigmund "Sig" Tarler Meyers (1923, Paterson, NJ – 2006, North Miami, FL) in 1952, and they lived in New York until moving to Bergen County, NJ in the early 1960s. Their children are Carole, Barbara and Peter. Margarete served as a civilian librarian for the US Army in Germany from 1951 to 1953.

Thea Midas was the daughter of Max Nathan (1863-1916), a banker and partner in the Nathn & Co. bank, and Rosy née Zinn (1869-1936). Lawyer and poet Alfred Nathan (1870-1922), Thea's uncle, formed the foundation "Nathanstift" to provide the residents of Fürth with a modern obstetrics facilty. The Nathanstift is today part of the obstetrical department of the Klinikum, Fürth.

The Zinns were Thea Nathan's maternal family. Her uncle Louis Zinn was born in San Francisco, to where his parents Henry Zinn and Clementine née Lowensohn Zinn (1849-1930) had emigrated from Bavaria. Their other children were Rosy (Thea's mother) and Irma. The family ran a wicker business together with another family from Bavaria, the Thurnauers. In the late 1800s, the whole family moved back to Fürth due to Henry Zinn's failing health.

Eric Midas was the son of Joseph Max Midas (1873-1949) and Emilie née Hesslein (1879-1952). Joseph and his brothers Lothar, Hugo, and Dr. Fritz Midas all served the German Army in World War One. Fritz Midas was also the head doctor at the Nathanstift. Joseph Midas's sisters were Paula Bing and Olga Kassel. Eric Midas's siblings were Hans Midas (1918, Fürth – 2003, Cham, Switzerland) and Lisa (Lizl) Loose (1910, Fürth – 2005, New York).

Extent

4 Linear Feet (4 boxes) + 1 OS box (OS 155)

Abstract

This collection documents the family of Eric and Thea Midas of Fürth, Germany and Niagara Falls, New York. It includes correspondence, vital documents, photographs and photo albums, as well as genealogical materials. Extensive information about the Jews of Fürth is found in this collection.

Arrangement

This collection was arranged into four series based on subject. Some materials originally found in metal boxes were found in sealed envelopes. The envelopes were opened, materials removed in order and unfolded, and the envelopes placed at the end of the folder. Other materials were otherwise maintained as wrapped or grouped. Generally, materials were left as grouped. Loose correspondence in series I, subseries 1 was sorted by significant correspondents, with the remainder placed in a general folder.

Separated Material

The following materials were removed to the LBI Library:
  1. Buber, Martin. Der grosse Maggid und seine Nachfolge (1922). Marked pages photocopied and placed where originally found, in box 1, folder 16.
  2. 75 Jahre Abituria und Humanistisches Gymnasium Fürth in Wort und Bild, 1975. Pages with Erich Midas photocopied and placed in box 3, folder 2.
  3. Lang, Karl Heinrich von. (1832). Alte Liebe rostet nicht: Betrachtungen aus den altbaierischen Geschichten.
  4. Minkus 1968 Germany Stamp Catalog.
  5. Nathan, Alfred. An Rednitz und Pegnitz. Ernstes und Heiteres in Versen. Fürth, 1918.
  6. Nathan, Alfred. Flatternde Nebel . Munich, 1907.
  7. Nathan, Alfred. Aus kranken Tagen. Munich, 1905.
  8. Nietlispach, F. (1930). Kuchen, Torten, Kleingebäck, und Süsspeisen.
  9. Nietlispach, F. (1929). Gemüse und Früchtespeisen.
  10. Weigel, Helmut. [1938]. Das Alte Nürnberg.
The following materials were removed to the LBI AV collection:
  1. Hisel, Herbert (1964) [Audio disc] EP4171: Der Filmstar / Der Wurstsalat
  2. Jüdisches Museum Franken in Schnaittach [VHS]. Erinnerungen an das jüdische Leben in Franken.
  3. Musik der Synagoge [Compact disc]. Ein Sabbath-Gottesdienst in der ehemaligen Hauptsynagoge der israelitischen Gemeinde zu Nürnberg. 1998.
  4. Nathanstift Bilderserie [DVD] (short slideshow of digitized photos of the Nathanstift building, circa 1910s?)
  5. Oral history interview with Margaret Meyers née Midas. (2007) [DVD] (German-language video of Meyers talking about her family and childhood in Fürth).
  6. Photographs of "Andere Umstände" exhibit at Nathanstift, Fürth (2007) [DVD].

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders. Sticky notes were photocopied to acid-free paper. Photographs were placed in folders.
Title
Guide to the Eric and Thea Nathan Midas Family Collection undated, 1790-2008, bulk 1900-1988 AR 25525
Author
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
Date
© 2013
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • May 2016:: dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States