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Erica Furnberg Collection

Identifier: AR 10807

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence and personal documents of Erica Furnberg's family, namely of her mother Margarete Loewe, her husband Fred Furnberg, and her daughter Susan. Included in the collection are also documents of other family members. The correspondence consists of about 120 letters and 10 postcards. The correspondents are Felix Peter Loewe, Ottilie Hahn (Margaret's mother), Magda and Stella, officials from consulates, Erica's friends and others, like Erica's employers.

Margarete Hahn's correspondence is private. Her personal documents include her diaries, notebooks and a "Poesiealbum." Her correspondence as well as personal documents can be found in Series I.

Erica's correspondence and personal documents are located in Series II. Her correspondence in the years 1940-1945 mainly relates to her attempts to help her sister Magda out of the Gurs internment camp in 1940-1942. Erica's postwar correspondence is mainly private. Her personal documents include several official documents, one "Poesiealbum", a collection of newspaper clippings and a school workbook.

Fred's documents (Series III) consist of job applications and one personal letter, as well as documents from his school in Austria and a University in New York.

Susan’s documents (Series IV) mostly relate to her schools.

Series V contains belongings of two other family members, Ruth Love and Peter Loewe. Series VI consists of a large collection of photographs, mainly family and vacation pictures, most of which were taken between 1946 and the 1970s.


  • 1881-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1887-1969


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and French and Dutch.

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

Erica Furnberg (née Loewe) is the creator of this collection. She emigrated from Berlin to New York to escape the Nazis.

Erica was the youngest daughter of Felix Peter Loewe (born May 13,1866) and Margarete Loewe (née Hahn, born May 7, ca. 1870). Margarete and Peter were engaged in May 1894 and got married shortly afterwards. Peter worked in finance in Berlin. Peter died on July 7, 1918. Margarete died in ca. 1935. They are buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Weissensee in Berlin.

Peter and Margarete had three daughters: Magda (born July 16, 1897), Stella (born 1902 or 1903), and Erica (born March 23, 1910). The family lived in Berlin. In the late thirties, Stella emigrated to Charlottenlund in Denmark and Magda moved to Paris and lived there under the name Magdalena / Magdaleina Louve; Erica went to New York in November 1938. There she worked as a private secretary and was also active as a radio performer and later as an amateur producer for plays and musicals. Magda was brought to the French internment camp Gurs on May 23, 1940 and was held there for two years, before she was deported to Auschwitz on August 26, 1942, where she perished. When Gurs was still run by the French, Erica tried to have Magda released so Magda could come to live in the U.S. with her, but all attempts failed or came too late. Stella survived and eventually also moved to New York.

Erica met Fred Furnberg in August 1945 on a vacation. They were married on April 14, 1946.

Fred (in some notes also Fritz) Furnberg (formerly Fürnberg) was born in Austria in 1907. He graduated from the Commercial Academy in Vienna and worked in Paris dealing with fashion goods before he joined his father Samuel Fürnberg's firm where they produced and traded with knitted goods. Fred fled to Birmingham, Alabama in 1938-1939 and studied accounting there. He joined the American Army in January 1943 and moved to New York after he was discharged at the end of 1943. He continued to work as an accountant, export buyer and export manager in the textile sector. Fred died on December 2, 1960.

Erica and Fred had one daughter, Susan Margaret, who was born on April 3, 1951. She graduated from the Hunter College High School in 1969. She went to Albany State University for College and to Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania. Susan died of cancer in February 1982, 30 years old.

The family belonged to the Reform Community of Beth Am in Northern Manhattan, led by Rabbi Israel Raphael Margolies, where Susan also received her "confirmation" in May 1966.

Ruth Inge Loewenstein Love (born 1936) wrote the family memoir that is also included in the collection. She is Fred's niece: her mother was Fred’s sister Trude Furnberg (1908-1991).


2.75 Linear Feet


The collection consists of the correspondence, personal documents and family photos of Erica Furnberg, her mother, and daughter. A large part of the correspondence deals with Erica's attempts to help her sister Magda to emigrate from France to the USA.

Related Material

Related to this collection is a memoir by Ruth Inge Love, The 20th century story of Paula and Samuel Furnberg’s family: from Vienna to three continents [MS 643]. This memoir is digitized and available online.

Separated Material

The songbook by Carl Loewe (Series V) was removed to the library.

Processing Information

Similar material was grouped together by format into series, description was added to the finding aid, photographs were sorted chronologically.

Guide to the Papers of Erica Furnberg (1910-1985) 1881-1998 AR 10807
Processed by Ulrike Schaefer
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EricaFurnberg.xml

Revision Statements

  • July 19, 2013 : 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