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Heilberg Breslauer Addenda

Identifier: AR 25727

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials on various members of the related Breslauer, Schäffer, and Heilberg families found in the records of Marianne Breslauer, her daughter Helen J. Breslauer, and her maternal aunt Frieda Heilberg.

Family correspondence is an integral component of each of the first three series. Correspondents include Marianne Breslauer, Helen J. Breslauer, Charlotte Schäffer, Hans Schäffer, Eva Schäffer, Ernest Shaffer, Rudolf Schaeffer, Renate Schäffer, Ruth Fröland, Leonore (Lore) Forsgren, Frieda Heilberg, and Margot Pelc (Breslauer). Correspondence includes birthday and anniversary greetings, birth and wedding announcements and congratulations, planning and arrangements for family visits, travel and trip reports, career and health updates, news about various family members, and death notices, obituaries, and condolence notes. Family poems and cards contains poems and prose for occasions including weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays.

Many of the family members prominent in the correspondence are also featured in photographs found in the collection. Marianne Breslauer’s life is particularly well-documented, including landmark events and her extensive travels throughout Europe and the United States. Additional Breslauer family photos show her husband Henry Breslauer, their children, and his parents Georg and Margot Breslauer. Also included are photographs of the Wolfes family, Margot’s sister Annie Wolfes and her children Hella Hahn née Wolfes, Konrad, and Ullrich (Ulli), as well as Ulli’s wife Suse.

Schäffer family photographs include images of Marianne’s grandmother Charlotte Schäffer, parents Hans and Eva Schäffer, and Marianne’s sisters, their husbands, and children: Lore Forsgren, her husband Ulf Forsgren, and children Joachim, Pia, and Michael; Ruth Fröland, her husband Dagfin Fröland, and daughter Dagmar; and Renate Schäffer and her husband Sven Persson. Marianne’s uncles Ernest Shaffer and Rudolf Schaeffer, Rudolf’s children Peter, Susanne Manovill, and Irene Stockton, and their families are included as well.

Heilberg family photographs focus on Frieda Heilberg, with one folder of photographs of her father Adolf Heilberg. Photographs of Frieda Heilberg span her entire lifetime and include pictures of her with various members of the Schäffer and Heilberg families, as well as her travels throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa.

Vital documents and professional and educational records trace Frieda Heilberg and Marianne Breslauer from their births in Breslau through their later lives in the United States. For both women, school records are present from their education in Germany as well as their master’s degree programs at the New York School of Social Work. Materials elucidating their careers in social work can also be found in this collection. Other materials pertaining to Marianne Breslauer include her collection of recipes, stenographical notes, trip diary, and a guestbook begun for Marianne by her parents with writings about the time before she was born. More extensive trip diaries can be found for Frieda Heilberg, including one documenting her journey to the United States, as well as her later travels throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa.

Documents representing other family members range in scope from one item (an article written by Marianne’s grandson Danny Breslauer) to the multiple folders holding a diary and correspondence of Marianne’s paternal grandmother Charlotte Schäffer. Family members with materials present in Marianne Breslauer’s records include Marianne’s parents Hans and Eva Schäffer and her sister Ruth Fröland. Marianne’s husband Henry Breslauer and his parents Georg and Margot Breslauer are also documented.

One folder in Frieda Heilberg’s records pertains to her father, prominent Breslau lawyer Adolf Heilberg. Of particular interest is his account of Nazi actions against Jewish lawyers in the first months of 1933. Also included is a notice announcing his retirement in April of that year, poem by Georg Tarnowski on the occasion of Heilberg’s 70th birthday, and invitation to a celebration of his 75th birthday.

Relationships between these various family members can be seen in family trees of the related Schäffer, Heilberg, Frankenstein, Troplowitz, and Breslauer families included in the collection.


  • undated, 1906-2018


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and Swedish, with a small amount of French and Danish. Materials written in shorthand are present throughout the collection.

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 "Request" button.

Biographical / Historical

Marianne Breslauer née Schäffer was born in Breslau on December 20, 1914, to Hans Schäffer (1886-1967) and Eva Schäffer née Heilberg (1891-1977). Hans’ parents were Julius Schäffer (1852-1904) and Charlotte Schäffer née Schäfer (1865-1946). Eva’s parents were Adolf Heilberg (1858-1936) and Rosa Heilberg née Frankenstein (1866-1919).

Marianne and her sister Renate (1917-2002) moved from Breslau to Berlin with their parents in 1919. Their sisters Ruth (1920-2018) and Leonore (Lore) (1928- ) were born in Berlin. From 1933 until 1936, Marianne traveled with her father on behalf of the Swedish company STAB, which took them between Stockholm and New York. STAB then offered Hans Schäffer a directorship with the company in Jönköping, Sweden. Hans accepted the offer and brought the family from Berlin to Jönköping, where they settled at Brunnsgatan 42.

Marianne came to United States to attend the New York School of Social Work. She sailed from Bremen to New York in December 1936, arriving on December 30. Marianne graduated with a master’s degree in social work in 1938. Thereafter, she worked for Jewish Family Services and later the Community Service Society in New York.

Marianne married Henry Edward (Heinz Eduard) Breslauer on September 3, 1939. He was born in Breslau on January 28, 1910, to Georg Breslauer (1881-1937) and Margot Breslauer née Kreutzberger (1888-1980). Georg’s parents were Max Wilhelm Breslauer (1854-1916) and Rosa Breslauer née Fliess. Margot’s parents were Hugo Kreutzberger (1857-1926) and Laura Kreutzberger née Schweitzer (1865-1946). Henry immigrated to the United States in April 1937. He died in New York on June 15, 1992.

The wedding of Marianne Schäffer and Henry Breslauer was held in the apartment of Marianne’s maternal aunt Frieda Heilberg in Manhattan. The couple moved into a house on Linden Street in New Haven, Connecticut, in November 1939. Henry’s mother Margot and grandmother Laura came to the United States in 1939, after which they lived with Henry and Marianne in the Linden Street house. The Breslauers moved from Connecticut to an apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens, before their first child Helen Joyce was born on November 4, 1942. Their second child George William was born on March 4, 1946. Marianne, Helen, and George sailed in February 1947 for Sweden, arriving February 26. They stayed with Marianne’s family in Jönköping for seven months. The Breslauers’ third child Kenneth John was born on May 8, 1947. The family sailed back from Sweden around September. While they were in Sweden, Henry bought a house at 34-38 70th Street in Jackson Heights. They moved in on November 4, 1947. In October 1997, Marianne moved out of the house into a condo in Highland Park, New Jersey, to be close to her son Kenneth and his family. Marianne Breslauer died February 21, 2015, in Highland Park.

Frieda Heilberg was born in Breslau on February 19, 1894, to Adolf Heilberg and Rosa Heilberg née Frankenstein. She was the sister of Marianne Breslauer’s mother Eva Schäffer née Heilberg. Frieda received her doctorate in economics and social sciences from the University of Breslau in November 1923. Thereafter, she worked as a research assistant at the Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Breslau and Chemnitz (1924-1925), the Federal Bureau of Statistics in Berlin (1925-1929), and the District Labor Office of Silesia (1929-1933). From 1933 until 1934, she undertook volunteer work with the Jewish Welfare Bureau of the Province of Brandenburg. She then served as Senior Placement Worker for the Employment Service of the Jewish Community in Berlin (1934-1936) and Executive Secretary of the Division of Child Placement in Foreign Countries of the National Jewish Welfare Organization in Berlin (1936-1938).

Frieda Heilberg came to New York in 1938, arriving in April of that year. From 1938 until 1939, she was a trainee at the Federation Employment Service, then a Family Caseworker at the National Refugee Service (1939-1943). Heilberg then returned to school, receiving her master’s degree from the New York School of Social Work. After completing her degree, she was employed as an Area Worker for the National Council of Jewish Women (1945-1946), Casework Supervisor in the Migration Department of the Brooklyn Section of the National Council of Jewish Women (1946-1949), and Supervisor in the Location Department of the Brooklyn Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. Frieda moved to Milwaukee where, beginning in 1950, she was a Case Supervisor at the International Institute of Milwaukee. Frieda Heilberg died on February 7, 1986, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


3.5 Linear Feet

4 Folders (4 OS folders)


This collection contains materials on various members of the related Breslauer, Schäffer, and Heilberg families found in the records of Marianne Breslauer, her daughter Helen J. Breslauer, and her maternal aunt Frieda Heilberg. The lives of these family members and their relationships with each other are documented through correspondence, photographs, vital documents, professional and educational records, diaries, and family trees.


The first three series in this collection are defined by their originators: Helen J. Breslauer, Marianne Breslauer, and Frieda Heilberg. Photographs and family history materials, which cover many members of the Breslauer, Heilberg, and Schäffer families, are distinguished by document type. The collection is arranged in five series:

Series I: Helen J. Breslauer, undated, 1942-2002
Series II: Marianne Breslauer, undated, 1912-2014
Series III: Frieda Heilberg, undated, 1906-1984
Series IV: Photographs, undated, 1911-2008
Series V: Family History, undated, circa 1950s-1986

Other Finding Aids

Inventories compiled by Helen J. Breslauer can be found in Box 1, Folder 1.

Related Materials

Additional materials about the family may be found in the Marianne Breslauer Family Collection (AR 10174), Hans Schäffer Family Collection (AR 25556), Eva Heilberg Schäffer Family Collection (AR 25411), Hans Schaeffer Papers (AR 7177), and Adolf and Frieda Heilberg Collection (AR 1054).

The Leo Baeck Institute also holds a manuscript by Hans Schäffer entitled ”Marcus Wallenberg und die deutsche Bankenkrise 1931 : Marcus Wallenberg zum 5ten März 1939” (MS 1041). This essay about the German banking crisis in 1931 and the involvement of Swedish banker Marcus Wallenberg is dedicated to Schäffer’s son-in-law Henry (Heinz) Breslauer. Marianne Breslauer’s master’s thesis “An experiment in the use of a questionnaire to determine client opinion” (MS 1040) is also available.

Separated Materials

An exhibit catalog Żydzi gliwiccy = The Jews of Gliwice = Juden in Gleiwitz and the Bertha von Suttner Gedenk-Nummer of the journal Friedens-Warte (Jahrgang 16, Heft 7, 1914) have been removed to the LBI Library.

A small ornate box in the shape of a book has been removed to the LBI Art & Objects Collection.

Processing Information

During processing, materials found in binders were removed from the binders and the binders discarded. Photograph albums were also disassembled when appropriate. Envelopes were discarded, unless they included additional information not found elsewhere. Documents found to be copies or duplicates of materials in related family collections were also discarded. Appliance manuals and recipes from magazines, newspapers, and food packaging were removed from the collection and discarded. All items in the collection were rehoused in archival folders and boxes.

Guide to the Heilberg Breslauer Addenda
Sarah Glover
© 2021
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