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Lissberger Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25897

Scope and Contents

The Lissberger Family Collection contains papers of the Moritz and Bettina Lissberger family, as well as of members of the related Grunfeld (previously Grünfeld) family. The collection includes both official and more personal documents, family correspondence, restitution and other legal correspondence and documentation, and material related to German towns in which family members lived.

Series I holds the personal papers and official documents of family members, especially focusing on Moritz and Bettina Lissberger, but also including members of the extended Lissberger and Grunfeld families. Included are official documents of Moritz and Bettina Lissberger as well as of their son, Joseph, and their parents. This series also includes articles about other Lissberger and Grunfeld family members. Two folders hold family correspondence; another includes some family cookbooks.

Legal correspondence and documentation for family members comprise Series II. These documents largely relate to restitution for family members due to the events of the Holocaust, inheritance from deceased family members, and documentation related to family members’ German pensions.

The final series of this collection contains material about German towns in which family members lived, especially Creglingen. The material includes many newspaper articles about the Jewish history of the towns as well as information about former residents and memorials for them. In addition, Series III includes correspondence from town officials regarding invitations for former Jewish residents to visit and other topics.


  • 1916-2013
  • Majority of material found within 1938-1965
  • Majority of material found within 1988-2003


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in German and English, with some Hebrew.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

The Lissberger (sometimes spelled Lißberger) family was a well-regarded Jewish family from the small town of Creglingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Emil Lissberger was a merchant and was a member of the town council, in addition to having been a member of multiple social organizations there. He married Clara Sämann; together they had one son, Moritz (sometimes spelled Moriz), born in 1901.

Moritz Lissberger owned a shop that sold textiles and notions on the main street of Creglingen. In 1928 he married Bettina (called Bella) Grünfeld of Tauberrettersheim, Bavaria. Bettina, born in 1904, was the daughter of Josef and Karolina Grünfeld, and had four siblings, among them her brother Isidor, who became a rabbinical judge (Dayan) known for his translations of the writings of Samson Raphael Hirsch. Moritz and Bettina had one son, Joseph, born in 1930.

The Lissbergers were able to emigrate to England with the assistance of Barnett Morris, who invited them to stay with him in London at the end of November 1938. In March 1939 Moritz, Bettina and Joseph left for England. After two weeks in London, the Lissbergers departed to New York via Southampton. The family settled in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, where Moritz found work in the textile business. The family joined the German-Jewish Congregation Shaare Hatikvah, where Bettina became an active member of the congregation’s Sisterhood.

Meanwhile, Emil and Clara Lissberger had remained behind in Germany. They moved to Stuttgart and were later deported to Theresienstadt, where Emil passed away in September 1942. Clara Lissberger survived Theresienstadt and joined her family in New York after the end of the Second World War. Bettina’s father had died in 1925, but her mother Karolina (Caroline Grunfeld after emigration) had joined her children in England in 1938 and came to New York in 1947. Bettina’s sister Betty (Babette), a nurse, perished in Auschwitz.

After high school and his military service, Joseph Lissberger also entered the textile industry, working in that field until his retirement in 1997. He married his wife Sesil Markowitz in 1965.

Moritz Lissberger passed away in 1989, Bettina in 1990.


0.75 Linear Feet

4 Folders (4 oversized folders in a shared oversize box)


The Lissberger Family Collection documents the lives and losses of members of the Lissberger family of Creglingen and related Grünfeld family. The collection centers around the experiences of Moritz, Bettina (née Grünfeld), and Joseph Lissberger, but also contains information on Grünfeld family members. Included in this collection are official documents and family papers, family correspondence, restitution and legal correspondence, many newspaper articles, and material related to the history of Jews in Creglingen and Baden-Württemberg.


The collection is arranged in three series.

  • Series I: Family Papers, 1916-2013
  • Series II: Restitution, Estate and Pension Documentation, 1943-1998
  • Series III: German Towns, 1983-2013

Related Materials

The LBI Library includes two related books. One is the book Lebenswege Creglinger Juden : das Pogrom von 1933: der schwierige Umgang mit der Vergangenheit by Gerhard Nasser (st 6043). It also holds a book by Isidor Grunfeld: Three generations; the influence of Samson Raphael Hirsch on Jewish life and thought (BM 755 H48 G7).

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum also has a collection about this family, the Lissberger family papers.

Separated Materials

One book by Isidor Grunfeld was removed to the LBI Library: The Sabbath: a Guide to its Understanding and Observance. A copy of the bibliographic information and handwritten dedication on the book’s endpaper were retained in the archival collection in folder 1/11.

Processing Information

As there was little evidence of original order found among the papers of the collection, they were rearranged during the processing of the collection, bringing together material following the topics most prevalent in the collection. One book by Isidor Grunfeld has been removed from the archival collection.

Guide to the Papers of the Lissberger Family
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
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