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Ernst Marcus Collection

Identifier: AR 4322 / MF 1019

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains Ernst Marcus's correspondence, notes and articles by him and about him.

Series I preserves his correspondence with Salomo Friedlaender and Rebecca Hanf. This correspondence discusses philosophical ideas in general and the interpretation of Kant's theories as well as Einstein's theory of relativity. This series also includes two of Marcus' manuscripts typed by Salomo Friedlaender. It also contains single letters to philosophy professors Hans Vaihinger, Hugo Dingler and Walter Riese.

Series II contains Ernst Marcus's notes and (concepts, his diary, as well as articles and notes about him. Topics include interpretations of theories by Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and other philosophers, and other topics like morality, religion, etc. This series also contains original clippings of newspaper articles by Ernst Marcus and some pictures of him.


  • 1899-1976
  • Majority of material found within 1900-1928


Language of Materials

The collection is in German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Collection is digitized.

Collection is microfilmed; use MF 1019.

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.

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

Ernst Marcus was born September 3, 1856, in Kamen in Westphalia. He studied law in Bonn and Berlin. In 1889 he started becoming engaged in philosophical questions. At this time he worked professionally as an assessor. In 1890 he became a judge in Essen. He married Berta Auerbach in 1893, and they had three children. In 1899 he started meeting with the philosopher Salomo Friedlaender. Very early, Friedlaender became aware of Ernst Marcus's potential and the relevance of his ideas. He supported him and admired his theses. When Friedlaender published under the pseudonym Mynona he even used Marcus as a figure called "Sucram". In 1904 Ernst Marcus met Rebecca Hanf, who was interested in philosophy as well. They became friends and corresponded until Marcus’s death. Due to the discussions they had, Rebecca Hanf regarded their relationship later as a friendship between a willing teacher and an open-minded student. Ernst Marcus wrote many books that are also preserved in the LBI library.

Philosophically, Ernst Marcus dealt with Immanuel Kant's and Albert Einstein's theories. Ernst Marcus regarded himself as the "one who resurrected Kant from death and who understood Kant utterly." He emphasized that all his knowledge about philosophy and its analysis he taught himself and in a university. Ernst Marcus died in Essen on October 29, 1928.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection contains manuscripts by Ernst Marcus, as well as notes and diaries in which he recorded his philosophical ideas. There is also correspondence of a philosophical nature with Rebecca Hanf and Salomo Friedlaender, and original clippings of newspaper articles written by Ernst Marcus.


The collection is arranged in two series as the following manner:

Other Finding Aid

An older paper item-level inventory is available for part of the collection.


Collection is available on 1 reel of microfilm (MF 1019).

Related Material

The LBI library provides the following books by Ernst Marcus:

  1. Aus den Tiefen der Erkenntnis (B 2779)
  2. Ausgewählte Schriften (B3305 M263 A9 v.1)
  3. Die Beweisführung der reinen Vernunft (B2779 M28)
  4. Ein Weg zur widerspruchsfreien Auslegung der Kritik der reinen Vernunft (B2779 M29)
  5. Das Erkenntnisproblem (BD 163 M322 1919)
  6. Das Gesetz der Vernunft (B 3305 M263 G4)
  7. Hermann Cohens „Theorie der Erfahrung“ (B 2779 M35)
  8. Kants Revolutionsprinzip (B 2798 M364)
  9. Kants Weltgebäude (B 2798 M366 1920)
  10. Kritik des Aufbaus (Syllogismus) der speziellen Relativitätstheorie, und Kritik der herrschenden Hypothese der Lichtausbreitung (QC 6 M37)
  11. Logik (B 3305 M263 L6 1911)
  12. Palästina – ein werdender Staat (DS 126 M36)
  13. Das Rätsel der Sittlichkeit und seine Lösung. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Sexualproblems (BJ 320 M28)
  14. Theorie einer natürlichen Magie, gegründet auf Kants Weltlehre (B 2799 M 25 M3)
  15. Die Zeit und Raumlehre Kants in Anwendung auf Mathematik und Naturwissenschaft (B2700 A4 M37)

Books about Ernst Marcus by Salomo Friedlaender, Robert Marcus and others are also available in the LBI Library.

Processing Information

The collection was organized in folders, and lists of contents were made. Apparently, some material was added later and it made sense to separate the folders into series. The original folder of material donated, however (Folder 1), was kept in its original order.

Guide to the Papers of Ernst Marcus (1856-1928) 1898-1976 AR 4322 / MF 1019
Processed by Katharina Hoffmann
© 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ErnstMarcus.xml

Revision Statements

  • September 2010:: Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • 2010-09-20 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States