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Hugo Rosenthal Collection

Identifier: AR 25943

Scope and Contents

The collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, business records and some photographs related to the search for Hugo Rosenthal, a Jewish German soldier fighting on the Eastern Front.

Series I, the majority of the collection, includes the correspondence between Hugo’s family and various institutions in order to receive information about his whereabouts. In October 1914, Hugo Rosenthal failed to return to the trenches after a military skirmish. The collection furthermore includes newspaper clippings related to the search for Hugo Rosenthal.

Series II relates to business records about the business Hugo Rosenthal had prior to fighting in World War I. Furthermore, the series includes correspondence from 1939 and 1947 in English and German which relates to the family life of the Rosenthal’s after the war.


  • 1903-1947
  • 1914-1915


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.

Biographical Note

Hugo Rosenthal was born on March 8th, 1880, in Bad Nauheim. He married Lina Hess and began working at a bank. Together with his family, Hugo relocated to Hamburg where he worked for Rosenbaum and Wolf, another bank.

On October 17th, 1914, Hugo Rosenthal, who was fighting on Germany’s Eastern Front, failed to return to the trenches after a military skirmish near Warsaw and was presumed to have been taken prisoner by the Russians. Hugo's family and friends mounted a massive effort to find his whereabouts and bring him home through a prisoner exchange program. Hugo Rosenthal was wounded in the battle. He had an amputation and died shortly after.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




This collection contains materials pertaining to the search for Hugo Rosenthal, a German soldier who fought in World War I. During the battle in Hrodna (Grodno), Hugo Rosenthal was wounded and disappeared. The collection includes the correspondence related to the search for Rosenthal conducted by his wife, Lina Rosenthal. The collection additionally includes newspaper clippings, business records, and some photographs.


The collection is arranged in two series.

  1. Correspondence about Hugo Rosenthal, 1914-1915
  2. Business Records and the Rosenthal Family, 1903-1947

Separated Materials

One book has been removed from the archival collection. The book “Searching for Hugo” was written by Naomi M. Rosenthal, Hugo Rosenthal’s granddaughter, and relates to the search of the Rosenthal family, most notably Lina, for Lina’s husband Hugo Rosenthal. The book includes the letters in German that are included in this collection as well as English transcripts. The separated material can be found in the library of the Leo Baeck Institute.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused into acid-free boxes and folders during the processing of the archival collection. The collection was divided into two series.

Guide to the Hugo Rosenthal Collection
Processed by Marlene Wulf
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