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Paul Ornstein Collection

Identifier: AR 25236

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists nearly exclusively of official documents belonging to Paul Ornstein, including identification documents, certificates, and references. The bulk of the collection dates from Ornstein’s life in Austria. It contains birth certificates, certificates of residence (Heimatscheine), and an identification card from 1935. The majority of the materials are school and university certificates, record of study (Meldungsbuch), and job references reflecting Ornstein’s education in Austrian high school and university as well as his career as a physician. The record of study includes a photograph (about 1914) of the young Paul Ornstein. The English translations of these documents from 1939 in two copies (second and third execution) are bound together and were probably made for the purpose of emigration to the USA. The translation contains one testimonial missing in the German language original. Material related to World War I include the certificate given to Ornstein along with a medal (Goldenes Verdienstkreuz am Bande der Tapferkeitsmedaille), a certificate of discharge from the army (1918) and a confirmation on missed semesters due to the war. This collection also contains some materials from Ornstein’s life in the USA, including certificates of baptism, an invitation to an English language examination for foreigners, a letter of appreciation by the Barker Central School, and a photograph of Paul Ornstein from the 1940s.


  • 1910-1946


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

Paul Ornstein (later Orsten) was born in Velden am Wörther See, Austria in 1896 to the physician Dr. Sigmund Ornstein and Sidonie née Ulmer (originally from Budapest). Paul had a sister, Marie, born in 1898. In 1906, he entered the Gymnasium in Laibach (Lubljana, today Slovenia), from 1907 to 1914 he attended the Gymnasium in Vienna, and it seems that he lived in 1914 in Skupsch/Skupeč (Bohemia). In fall 1914, Ornstein began to study medicine at Vienna University. Interrupting his studies, he served as a medic in the Austrian army in the First World War (between 1915 and 1918). For his service, he received a medal (Goldenes Verdienstkreuz) from the emperor of Austria in 1916. After returning to the university and completing his studies in 1921, Ornstein worked as a physician in the Franz Josef Spital in Vienna and in hospitals in Grimmenstein and Klosterneuburg from 1921 to 1925. Later (1925-1938) he worked at a hospital in Vienna, Krankenhaus der Wiener Kaufmannschaft. After his immigration to the United States (probably in 1939), he was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church in 1940. In the 1940s, Ornstein, who changed his name to Orsten, worked as a school physician at the Barker Central School in Barker, New York.


0.25 Linear Feet


The majority of the materials in this collection document Paul Ornstein’s medical education during World War I and his professional experience in the 1920s and 1930s through university certificates and job references. There are also a few identification papers and birth certificates, as well as military documents, certificates of baptism from New York, and a photograph.


The collection is arranged by document type.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Separated Material

The medal (Goldenes Verdienstkreuz am Bande der Tapferkeitsmedaille) awarded to Ornstein for his service during World War I and the small box holding the medal were removed to the LBI Arts and Objects collection.

Processing Information

Some materials were rehoused in acid-free envelopes and mylar sleeves.

Guide to the Paul Ornstein Collection 1910-1946 AR 25236
Processed by Martha Stellmacher
© 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