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Lotte Rosenthal Collection

Identifier: AR 25587

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists mainly of the personal papers of Lotte Boritzer, née Rosenthal. These include her diary from 1938-39, correspondence with family and friends, and her autobiography. In addition, there are copies of official documents, two newspaper clippings, and materials added by her daughter Yael.

Folder 1 includes materials that aid the reconstruction of Lotte’s and her family’s history. The autobiography that Lotte wrote in 2001 is accompanied by a memo that lists the different periods of her life in which she lived in Germany, Israel, and the US. The autobiography covers her family history as well as her life from childhood through her life in Palestine (Israel). In articles from the Arizona Jewish Post Lotte and Yael tell their stories and Lotte describes the laying of “stumbling stones” (Stolpersteine) in memory of her parents in Bingen, Germany. A copy of Lotte’s birth certificate, a copy of a Red Cross form, an excerpt from the German Federal Archive, as well other photocopied forms from Lotte’s inquiries about the conditions of her parents’ death are also included. Photocopies of family members’ photos and an original photo of the madrich (counselor) and his wife are also in this folder. Yael included two letters to the reader from May 19 and 20, 2013 in which she outlines her mother’s and her grandparents’ history in Germany from the late nineteenth century until the Holocaust and references the history of Lotte’s maternal and paternal ancestors and gives a background to her arrangement of the letters and her translations. The information that Yael provides occasionally conflicts with Lotte’s autobiography.

Folder 2 holds Lotte’s diary kept from December 1, 1938 until May 19, 1939 in Tel Hai. Yael attached a note to the diary.

The bulk of the correspondence in folders 3-4 is made up of letters from Lotte’s friends and family in Germany, Palestine, and there is a letter from New York. A few letters from her sister Gretel from England and from the US consulate in Jerusalem are also included as well as one letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Central Bureau for German Jews. Among the friends who corresponded with Lotte are the madrich - her counselor during the six months of preparation (hachshara) for the life in the kibbutz in Palestine -, as well as the shaliach or representative of the Jewish Agency, with whom Lotte had a romantic relationship. He signed his letters “Pepi” and may have been Fritz Wolf. There are also letters exchanged between Lotte’s sister and their parents. The correspondence covers the period 1938-1941, stopping when Lotte’s sister Gretel, who by then worked in England, exchanged a few notes through the Red Cross with their parents. Yael translated many of the letters her mother received over the years, and her translations or summaries can be found alongside most of the letters in the collection.


  • 1922-2013
  • Majority of material found within 1938-1941


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

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.

Biographical Note

Lotte Boritzer née Rosenthal was born in Bingen am Rhein on January 11, 1922 and died in Tucson, Arizona on February 1, 2012. Both her mother Alice Rosenthal née Kohlmann (1893 Bingen am Rhein, Germany - 1942 Piaski ghetto or Sobibor, Lublin, Poland) and her father Emanuel “Fritz” Rosenthal (1887 Wenings, Germany - 1942 Piaski ghetto or Sobibor, Lublin, Poland) descended from Jewish families of long historical roots in Germany.1

As a young woman, Lotte joined the socialist Zionist group Habonim. In March 1938, after six months of training (hachshara) in Urfeld, Germany, she traveled to live and work in Kibbutz Tel Hai in Palestine. In 1940, Lotte left the Kibbutz and moved to Tel Aviv, where she worked at Asis, the fruit juice factory. In Tel Aviv, Lotte met her future husband, Georg Boritzer (June 18, 1912 Lützen, Germany – June 20, 1998 Tucson, Arizona) a tailor by training, who had lived in Leipzig, Germany before moving to Palestine. Lotte and Georg were married in July 1942.

Lotte’s parents, who could not acquire visas to the United States, were deported from Bingen on March 20, 1942, first to Darmstadt, then to the Piaski ghetto in the Lublin district of Poland, and from there most likely to Sobibor. Lotte’s sister Gretel left Germany for England in July 1939. After the war, she lived with Lotte, Georg, and their daughter Yael in Palestine (Israel), before getting married and leaving with her husband for the United States.

In 1955 Lotte and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in New York. After a year of working as a tailor, Georg started to work for his brother Max in his scrap metal business, and in 1973 he became a salesman of jewelry and clothing. Lotte studied at the New York Medical College and became an occupational therapist, before working as a manager at the Jewish Home and Hospital for Aged in the Bronx.

Lotte’s and Georg’s daughter Yael and her husband Shlomo Neuman settled in Tucson, Arizona where Shlomo received a professorship. Yael earned a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Arizona. After her retirement in 1985, Lotte and Georg moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she worked and volunteered as an occupational therapist and a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art.1


  1. 1Yael’s data does not entirely match up with the reports Lotte submitted to Yad Vashem. The dates in the finding aid are taken from the Yad Vashem records.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection contains Lotte Boritzer née Rosenthal’s 1938-1939 diary, 2001 autobiography, and family correspondence from 1938 until 1941, accompanied by her daughter Yael Neumann’s translations and notes. Also included are photocopies of family photos and two newspaper articles about the Rosenthal family.


The collection is arranged first according to type of documents and then in chronological order.

Digitization Note

This collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Related Material

Letters and some objects relating to the Rosenthal family were donated to the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California Berkeley. Some letters of the family members may also have been donated to the Tucson Jewish History Museum.

Separated Material

A DVD with family pictures was removed to the LBI Audio Visual Collection.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused into archival folders.

Guide to the Lotte Rosenthal Collection 1922-2013 (bulk 1938-1941) AR 25587
Processed by Katalin Franciska Rac
© 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • July 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States