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Landau Family Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25806

Scope and Content Note

The Landau Family Collection holds documents pertaining to the restitution claims for the estate of Marianne Landau, including their property located at Pariser Platz 6a in Berlin. The correspondence in the collection details the efforts, sought out by the heirs of the Landau family, to receive compensation for a number of assets lost during the Nazi's reign and World War II. Also included are photographs, as well as legal, financial, and genealogical documents relating to specific members of the family.

The collection is arranged in two series and three subseries that closely reflect the original order of the materials designated by the donor. The first series demonstrates the Landau's attempts to receive restitution and to document family history. It contains correspondence from multiple members of the Landau family, along with individuals who were close to the family and likewise related to family matters. The folders of correspondence are complimented by the documents found in Subseries 2. There are financial records, estates, wills, and genealogical notes for a select number of individuals within the family. The photographs in Subseries 3 illustrate the pre- and postwar lives of the Landau family. They include photographs of the earliest members of the Landau family and the three succeeding generations of Johanna and Leopold Landau.

The second series holds documentation on the properties at Pariser Platz 6a and Philipstrasse 21, both owned by the Landau family in Berlin. The correspondence within this series records the decade-long struggle of Heinrich Wefelschied, Elizabeth Brody, and her sister, Beatrice Rago, to reclaim the ownership rights and appropriate restitution for the Pariser Platz building. The information shared between Elizabeth Brody and the assisting legal firms include restitution claims filed with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, petitions to prove succession rights, property appraisals, offers and negotiations from building developers, and the final sale of the property in 1995.

Many nicknames are used amongst the Landau family members that are found throughout the collection. In the letters to her daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren, Marianne Landau signs as "Mutti." Charlotte Schoenberg (née Landau) goes by the nickname "Dolli." Isaac Schoenberg signs letters to his family as "Iso," and will sometimes refer to himself as "Dai" when writing to his daughter Elizabeth Brody. Dolli Schoenberg is not to be confused with Isaac's second wife, Charlotte van Der Hoop, who is called "Dolly." The childhood nickname "Toffee," given to Elizabeth Brody by her grandmother, Johanna Landau, also appears in the collection occasionally.

Dates

  • undated, 1877-2018
  • Majority of material found within 1969-2001

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German with a small amount of Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

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 "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

email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

Biographical Note

Johanna Landau (née Jacoby) belonged to a prominent German-Jewish family in Berlin. The family's high social status and wealth led Johanna to inherit the large building complex, located at the property known as Pariser Platz 6a. Pariser Platz 6a was situated in Berlin's most distinguished public square, adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate. Johanna resided at Pariser Platz 6a until her death in November 1939, when the Gestapo seized all assets of the Landau family, including Pariser Platz 6a. The property was completely destroyed by Allied bombardments during the war and then sanctioned by the East German government after 1944.

Due to the manner of confiscation of the Landau family assets, the family members who inherited the property were eligible for compensation and restitution by both German and American claim commissions. After the war and living in the United States, Johanna's daughter-in-law, Marianne Landau (née Ehrlich), pursued reparation claims for financial restitution and the lost property that she inherited from Johanna Landau. Marianne's children and grandchildren continued her fight for restitution. Elizabeth Brody (née Schoenberg), daughter of Charlotte Schoenberg (née Landau) helped attain money from the estates of Johanna Landau and Marianne Landau, and to disseminate the funds amongst members of the Landau family. Elizabeth was also active in genealogical research to determine the familial relatives of Paul Ehrlich, which included the Landau and Jacoby families.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet

1 Boxes (1 oversized box)

Abstract

The Landau Family Collection holds documents pertaining to the restitution claims for the estate of Marianne Landau, including their property located at Pariser Platz 6a in Berlin. The correspondence in the collection details the efforts, sought out by the heirs of the Landau family, to receive compensation for a number of assets lost during the Nazi's reign and World War II. Also included are photographs, as well as legal, financial, and genealogical documents relating to specific members of the family.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series and three subseries:
  1. Series I: Landau Family, undated, 1887-2018
  2. Subseries 1: Correspondence, undated, 1937-2018
  3. Subseries 2: Family Documents, undated, 1929-2006
  4. >Subseries 3: Photographs, undated, 1887-2001
  5. Series II: Real Estate Restitution, undated, 1930s, 1966-2000

Related Material

Restitution claims for the Landau estates are also to be found in the "Marianne Landau collection, AR 11066."

Elizabeth Brody's genealogical research to determine the familial relatives of Paul Ehrlich is documented in the "Pinkus Fränkel Ehrlich genealogy research collection, AR 25807."

Separated Material

A personalized book plate that belonged to Marianne Ehrlich has been placed in the LBI Art and Objects Collection, call number 2019.47. An article titled "Outward Bound," by Kurt Hahn and reprinted from The Year Book of Education, 1957 has been removed to the LBI Library.

Processing Information

During processing the collection was topically organized into series and separated by family or individual, following the original order. Materials were unfolded and housed in acid-free archival folders. Duplicates were removed. Documents with adhesive notes that contained valuable information were copied onto acid-free paper. The adhesive notes were carefully removed from the original documents and the copies were placed behind the originals. Envelopes that did not contain any more information than that found on the related correspondence were discarded. Photographs were removed from frames, placed in acid-free envelopes, and a photo album was interleaved with sheets of acid-free paper.
Title
Guide to the Papers of the Landau Family undated, 1877-2018 AR 25806
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Victoria Fernandez
Date
© 2019
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from LandauFamily.xml

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States