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Kirby Kantor Fuchs Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25817

Scope and Content Note

The Kirby Kantor Fuchs Collection holds the papers of members of the related Kirby/ Kantor, Fuchs, Mahrer, and Schüssler families. Comprised largely of official documents and restitution correspondence, the collection contains details on differing aspects of the family members' lives, with documents from their early lives in Europe and their later lives in the United States. The collection includes many official documents, restitution correspondence, family photographs, educational and professional papers, some genealogical research, and other papers.

Much of the collection focuses on Fred and Lisa Kirby, whose papers will be found in Series I. Most of this series consists of their official documents from Austria, Czechoslovakia, and England, with only a small amount of papers from their later lives in America. Included is documentation related to their wartime positions in England in World War II. Some correspondence regarding their efforts to receive restitution for their losses due to Jewish persecution in the 1930s is also present.

Papers of Fred and Lisa Kirby's family members, including their parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins will be found in Series II. This series also primarily consists of official documents of family members, providing basic biographical data about them, although some correspondence is also present. Documentation of the family members' persecution and emigration is included, such as documents that show the emigration of Egon and Margarete Fuchs to Shanghai, where Margarete died, and an insurance claim regarding the death of their son Paul in the Holocaust. Evidence of Otto and Erna Kantor's emigration to New York and their later deaths there are also present. Series II also includes some genealogical research and family trees that show the different branches of the family.

Series III holds papers of Elly Mahrer, Fred Kirby's sister, and her husband Frederick Mahrer. Most of the documents in this small series are their official documents such as passports and birth, citizenship, and death certificates.

Family photographs will be found in the final series of the collection, Series IV. These include two folders of loose photographs and a family album. Featured are members of the Kirby/ Kantor, Fuchs, Mahrer, and Schüssler families.


  • 1888-2014
  • Majority of material found within 1922-2011


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in German and English, with a small amount of Czech.

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


Biographical Note

Friedrich Kantor was born on May 28, 1916 in Vienna, Austria. He was the son of the businessman Otto Kantor and his wife Erna (also called Zipora, née Schüssler) and had three younger sisters: Elly (also called Elli), Rosa (also called Rosel), and Maria (also called Mary). He attended the Franz Josef Realgymnasium in Vienna and from October 1935 to June 1938 studied law at the University of Vienna. From September 1935 to September 1937 he also worked as a bank clerk. In September 1938 he went to England, where from March 1939 until December 29, 1939 he was interned at the Kitchener Camp. On December 29, 1939 he volunteered for the British Army, where he served in the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps and the Royal Army. During World War II he worked in various military training centers in England and later spent a little over a year in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. In July 1943 he changed his name from Friedrich Kantor to Frederick George Kirby. After the war he worked for a plastics company. On May 17, 1947 he became a British citizen. He began working for Hollander Hyams Limited, the London branch of an international firm that traded in skins and furs, in 1949.

On March 2, 1923 Lisa Fuchs was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia to the newspaper publisher Egon Fuchs and his wife Margarete (née Thorsch). At some point she emigrated to England, where she attended the Wycombe Abbey School in England. In 1942 she obtained the Oxford and Cambridge Higher School Certificate in English, French, German, and Spanish and later participated in a secretarial course. From November 1942 until March 1947 she served in the Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Air Force (W.A.A.F.), where during the war years she worked as a translator for intelligence and later conducted research and translation work for the Air Historical Branch of the Air Ministry. On March 21, 1947 she became a British citizen. From August 1947 to September 1951 she was employed as a secretary.

On April 16, 1951, Frederick Kirby and Lisa Fuchs were married. They later had a son.

By November 1951 Lisa Kirby was working as the secretary to the president of an advertising agency in New York, and the family had moved to the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. From 1951-1955 Frederick Kirby worked for his firm's parent company, Hermann Hollander Inc. After 1955 he worked for Hollander Trading Corporation as the Company Secretary and Traffic Manager, a primarily administrative role that also included a range of duties in most phases of foreign trade. The company was mainly active in the import and dealing of skins, nuts, and essential oils.

At some point the Kirby family moved to Lakewood, New Jersey. In 1990 Frederick and Lisa Kirby became American citizens, and Frederick officially changed his first name to Fred. Lisa Kirby passed away on February 4, 2004, Fred on August 7, 2010.


1 Linear Feet

2 Folders (2 oversized folders in shared oversize large box)


The Kirby Kantor Fuchs Collection consists of the papers of Fred and Lisa Kirby and their family members in the Kantor, Fuchs, Mahrer, and Schüssler families. Most of the collection consists of the official documents of the family members, along with restitution correspondence, and details the family members' early lives in Europe and their later emigrations to England and the United States. The collection includes many official documents, restitution correspondence, family photographs, educational and professional papers, some genealogical research, and other papers.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I: Kirby family, 1922-2011
  2. Series II: Other Family Members, 1888-2008
  3. Series III: Mahrer Family, 1926-2014
  4. Series IV: Photographs, undated, 1880s-1991

Related Material

There are some collections in the LBI Archives that pertain to members of this family. There are Austrian Heritage Collection Questionnaires (call number AR 10378) for both Elly Mahrer and Fred Kirby. The memoir of Peter Mansbacher, "Refugee from Nazi Oppression" (call number ME 815) mentions Fred Kirby (as Fritz Kantor).

Separated Material

Duplicate photocopies of documents and some financial correspondence were removed from the archival collection during processing. The book Ferdinand Schmutzer: Das unbekannte fotografische Werk, about the work of the photographer Ferdinand Schmutzer, who also took photos of members of the Kantor family, was removed from the collection during processing, with a copy of the book's title page retained in folder 1/23, where the photographer's connection to the family is mentioned in the writing of Fred Kirby's cousin Eva Kantor.

Processing Information

During processing of the archival collection its papers were organized into series. Duplicate photocopies and a book were removed from the collection.

Guide to the Papers of the Kirby Kantor Fuchs Family 1888-2014 AR 25817
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Kirby_Kantor_Fuchs_Family.xml

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States