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Meier Spanier Collection

Identifier: LBIJER 268

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises the personal documents, correspondence and manuscripts of Meier Spanier. Series I contains certificates pertaining to his studies, his work and his marriage to Charlotte (née Meyer). It furthermore contains a large number of photographs of his family and friends. Among those friends were the German poets and philologists Gustav Falke, Jakob Loewenberg and Detlev von Liliencron. Series II includes Spanier’s correspondence with friends and with his family, and on work-related matters. The correspondence in folder II.2 pertains to the couple’s intended emigration to the US in the 1940s, which was denied. Series III contains manuscripts of his work. Series IV contains clippings of Meier Spanier’s publications, and a file with material concerning his friend Gustav Falke and his work.


  • 1884-1942


Language of Materials

The collection is in German.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection has been digitized.

Biographical / Historical

Charlotte Spanier (née Meyer): Charlotte Spanier was born on September 5, 1875 in Trier in Southwestern Germany. After graduating from the Jewish School for Girls she attended the royal teachers seminar in Trier. She then spent a year in France to improve her command of the language and then enrolled at the Ellesmere Ladies College in Shrosphire (England) before marrying Meier Spanier in 1903. Up until 1911 the couple lived in Münster in Southwestern Germany before moving to Berlin for Meier’s professional reasons. Charlotte and Meier Spanier committed suicide in September 1942 in Berlin to escape deportation by the Nazis. Meier Spanier: Meier Spanier was the son of a plumber born in the Lower Saxony countryside at Wunstdorf. He attended the local Jewish school and then moved to Hannover to study at the Royal School for Teachers. He subsequently enroleed at the University of Heidelberg to study German philology and began to teach at a private school in Hamburg. At this time he befriended Detlev v. Liliencron, Gustav Falke, Jakob Loewenberg and Alfred Lichtwark. From 1900 to 1911 he serves as director of the teachers seminar of the Marks-Haindorf-Stiftung in Münster. This strongly patriotic German institution supported the idea of the continuation of Jewish tradition. After 1911 Spanier became the director of the Jewish Girls School of the Jewish community in Berlin. During this period he wrote various books and articles on German philology and art education. Before he was due to be deported by the Nazis he committed suicide together with his wife in 1942 in Berlin. Arthur Spanier was born on Novermber 17, 1889 in Magdeburg, the son of Moritz Spanier, the brother of Meier Spanier. He specialized in Jewish studies at the Hochschule für Wissenschaft des Judentums but also studied classical philology at the University of Berlin and taught at the Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin. In the 1930s he tried to emigrate to the USA having received a job offer at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, but his application for a visa was rejected. In 1942 he was captured by the Nazis and deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp, where he was murdered in 1944. Gustav Falke (1853-1916) was a Christian German poet. He was born in Hamburg and lived and worked as a bookseller in Essen and Stuttgart. Upon returning to Hamburg he began to write poems and short stories (such as Der Spanier in 1910) and children’s books. At the Hamburg literary society he befriended Otto Ernst, Jakob Loewenberg, Emil von Schoenaich-Carolath and Detlev Liliencron. During World War I he wrote war propaganda. His friend Meier Spanier wrote the introduction to the book Gustav Falke als Lyriker. Eine Auswahl aus seinen Dichtungen (1900). Baron Detlev von Liliencron: born Friedrich Adolf Axel Detlev Liliencron (03.06.1844 Kiel – 22.06.1909 Hamburg), he was a German lyric poet and novelist. Ernst Grumach (07.11. 1902 Tilsit – 05.10.1967 London) was a German philologist and scholar for German literature. He taught at the Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums Rudolf Herzog (06.12.1869 Barmen – 03.02.1943 Rheinbreitbach) was a German author, journalist and poet.


10 Folders


The collection comprises the personal documents, correspondence and manuscripts of Meier Spanier.


This collection is arranged in 4 series.

  1. Series I: Certificates and photographs; undated, 1884-1941
  2. Series II: Private and Professional Correspondence; 1905-1942
  3. Series III: Manuscripts; undated, 1937-1938
  4. Series IV: Clippings and various materials; undated, 1904-1937
Processed by Meirav Reuveny
© 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States