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Ernst Oppenheim Collection

Identifier: AR 25030 / MF 1071

Scope and Content Note

The Ernst Oppenheim Collection details the genealogy and family history of the Oppenheim and related families, including the Pasch, Breit, Altschul, Sirkis and Jaffe families. The material in this collection was used in the creation of Ernst Oppenheim's book To Remember Me By: First Crusade Through Holocaust. The bulk of the collection consists of research correspondence and related documentation and family trees. In addition the collection holds interview transcripts, notes, clippings and a few publications.

The first three series of this collection pertain to the various branches of the Oppenheim family. Series I contains research that relates to the Oppenheim family itself and research on its individual family members. Among the documentation is research pertaining to family members who moved from the Hamburg area, where many of the Oppenheims derived, to Denmark and Sweden. Included among the genealogical research are several transcripts of interviews between Ernst Oppenheim and his family members on their immigration experiences and lives prior to immigration. Series II holds similar material to Series I, but relates to the genealogy of the Pasch family, related to the Oppenheims through Ernst Oppenheim's marriage to Ruth Pasch. Much of Series II consists of research correspondence and Ernst Oppenheim's findings. Other documentation includes interviews with members of the Pasch and related Vanderberg and Reay family members. These interviews detail the immigration experiences of family members from their homes in Austria or Holland to the United States. Series III contains genealogical research into the other branches of the family, including the Breit, Altschul, Sirkis, Jaffe and Dressler families. Researchers should note a small amount of material on the Altschul family will be found in Series II, since both the Altschuls and the Pasches had origins in the same region.

The final series of this collection contains some notes, clippings and publications of background material on Jews of Bohemia and Austria.


  • 1861-1999
  • Majority of material found within 1986-1992


Language of Materials

The collection is in English, German, Danish, Swedish and Hebrew as well as smaller amounts of Czech and Polish.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Collection is microfilmed (MF 1071).

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 Reserve 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 Oppenheim was born on December 5, 1922 in Stockholm, Sweden, to Wolfgang and Valerie (née Breit) Oppenheim, originally from Hamburg and Munich respectively.

Ernst Oppenheim was educated in Sweden acquiring a bachelor's degree in business administration and economics. During the war he did his military service in the Swedish Navy. On a visit to the United States in 1947 he was hired by the United Nations, where he served for thirty-four years as an administrator in the Bureau of Technical Assistance Operations. He married Ruth Pasch in 1949. They had three daughters and six grandchildren.

After retiring from the United Nations in 1982, Ernst Oppenheim engaged in extensive genealogy research. This research culminated in a book, published privately, titled To Remember Me By: First Crusade Through Holocaust. It combined the genealogies of the Oppenheim, Pasch and Breit families, as well as related families, along with Jewish-oriented history of the regions where these families lived, mainly Bohemia and Hamburg.


1 Linear Feet


This collection contains the genealogical research of Ernst Oppenheim, and includes his investigations into the Oppenheim, Pasch, Breit, Altschul, Sirkis and Jaffe families. Included are his extensive correspondence, family trees and copies of original documentation, as well as interview transcripts and notes.


Collection is available on 3 reels of microfilm (MF 1071).

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/18
  2. Reel 2: 1/19 - 1/39
  3. Reel 3: 1/40 - 1/48

Related Material

Ernst Oppenheim's published book, To Remember Me By: First Crusade Through Holocaust, the result of the research papers of this collection, is in the LBI Library [st 109].

Processing Information

During pre-processing, a detailed inventory was made of the contents of the collection and a biographical note was written. Since no discernible original order was present, during processing folders holding material on the same branch of the family were gathered together to form Series I and II.

Guide to the Papers of Ernst Oppenheim 1861-1999 AR 25030 / MF 1071
Processed by Vera Weinberg and Dianne Ritchey
© 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ErnstOppenheim.xml

Revision Statements

  • September 2011:: 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