Skip to main content

Japha-Veit-Simon Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25908

Scope and Contents

The Veit-Simon Collection consists of two series. Series I holds genealogical tables, correspondence, photographs, and official documents related to the Veit-Simon family during the 19th and 20th centuries. The correspondence includes material about Heinrich Veit-Simon and his wife Irmgard Gabriel as well as three of their children: Etta, Ruth, and Rolf. It also contains material from other family members like photocopies of the correspondence between Moritz and Johanna Veit and their last will written in the 1800s.

Series II holds material pertaining to the restitution claims of the family after the end of the German Democratic Republic. The process of getting back their property in Berlin (Kronenstrasse 41) and the Katharinenhof estate in Gransee took several years and is well documented in the correspondence and legal documents.

The collection includes several letters from Leo Baeck as well as a text written about his life and impact on the family.


  • 1803-2001
  • 1902-1940
  • 1996


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and some Dutch.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

The Veit-Simon family resided in Berlin from the late 1730s until 1942. Juda Veit Singer established his family in Berlin in 1740. Three of his sons founded the banking firm Gebrueder Veit in 1780. The original family line was called Veit, the name Simon was added through the marriage between Herman Simon and Henriette Veit in 1816.

Heinrich (Heinz) Veit-Simon (1883-1942) was a prominent lawyer in Berlin. He married Irmgard Gabriel (1889-1971), daughter of the German Consul General to the Dutch East Indies. The couple had six children: Harro (1911-2011), Ruth (1914-1943), Ulla (1915-2004), Rolf (1916-1943), Etta (1918-2009), and Judith (born 1925). Harro and Ulla were able to leave Germany for Chile and Great Britain in the 1930s. In 1942, Heinrich was murdered by the Nazis and Etta and Ruth were deported to Theresienstadt. Ruth died the following year; Rolf was deported from the Netherlands and murdered. Irmgard survived the war in Berlin and emigrated together with Etta to London in the 1940s. Etta later moved to New York and took the last name of her husband Erwin Japha. Her siblings Ulla and Judith also lived in the U.S., Harro in Chile. The four surviving siblings later fought together for the restitution of the family property Katharinenhof in Gransee close to Berlin which originally belonged to their aunt Katharina Simon. Katharina Simon bought the estate in 1912 and established a flourishing fruit farm over the next years. She had to sell the estate in 1938 due to the new laws regarding Jewish property. Etta was also involved in the restitution claim pertaining to the property at Kronenstrasse 41 in Berlin. 
Leo Baeck was a friend of the family. He spoke at the funeral of Hermann Veit-Simon in 1914 and visited Etta in prison before her deportation in 1942.


1 Linear Feet

1 Folders : 1 oversized folder in a shared oversize box


This collection holds official documents, correspondence, genealogical research material, and photographs from and about the Veit-Simon family. It gives an insight into the life of a Jewish family in Berlin during the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection also contains material pertaining to two restitution claims in the 1990s.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  • Series I: Genealogical Research, 1803-2001
  • Series II: Restitution and legal documents, 1995-2005

Separated Materials

See also the Veit-Simon Family Collection, AR 4015, holding primarily materials about business and genealogy from 1763 to circa 1936.

The books “Zur Geschichte der Familie Kosswig (Koswig) Finsterwalde N.L.” written by Dr. Kosswig in 1907 (folder 1/1) and “Zehn Vortraege ueber Kunst“ written by Philipp Veit in 1891 (folder 1/6) have been removed to the LBI library.

Processing Information

The collection has been divided into two series. The original folders were numbered, which is documented in the current folders. Most of the original titles and parts of the arrangement were kept.

Guide to the Papers of the Japha-Veit-Simon Family
Processed by Mareike Hennies
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