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Paul and Cora Natzler Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25909

Scope and Contents

The Paul and Cora Natzler Family Collection is divided into four series.

Series I contains personal documents and items of Paul and Cora Natzler as well as some relatives. It includes material such as passports, documents related to the move from Austria to New York, sketches and stories Cora seemingly made and wrote during a hospital stay as well as some letters and greeting cards.

Series II holds material pertaining to the professional work of Paul as a technical engineer and Cora as a custom dressmaker. This includes many drawings of dress designs and machines with descriptions. There are also job applications from both after their arrival in New York.

The correspondence is in Series III. Many letters were exchanged between Paul and Cora, the earliest ones at the beginning of their relationship in the 1920s, which Cora apparently tried to hide from her parents. Later, the two wrote letters during their separate vacations. Also included are letters from Cora’s mother and her brother Robert as well as his son Michael.

Series IV holds the photographs of the collection including a photo album. The pictures show family and friends; many have names, dates, and descriptions written on them.

Most of the collection’s material was stored in envelopes that had short descriptions on them. These were used as titles for the folders, some of which do not reflect their content perfectly.


  • 1901-1989


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and Hungarian.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

Paul Natzler (July 15th, 1901-1984) graduated as an electrical engineer from the Technical University of Vienna in 1924. After working in Vienna for several years, he left Europe with his wife Cora after the Anschluss and emigrated to New York in 1938 where he obtained citizenship soon after. He started working as a patent draftsman in the U.S. and was employed from 1939 on as a mechanical and electrical designer. Paul was the brother of the renowned Austrian-American ceramist, Otto Natzler (1908-2007).

Cora (“Tschitsi”) Natzler, née Hoff was born on December 26th, 1902 in Vienna to Moritz (born April 8th, 1873) and Gisela Hoff. She was involved in her mother’s dressmaking business from early on. Cora started as an apprentice and became a master of the Viennese dressmaking guild while also studying drawing and sculpting. After arriving in New York in the winter of 1938, she started working in the pattern and cutting department of a couture house on 56th street. She and Paul owned a house in Bayside, Queens, New York. Her mother moved in with them after the death of her husband. Cora died in January 1993.

Cora’s brother, Robert Hoff, lived in Tel Aviv where he worked as an architect. He was involved in projects all over Israel, among others the development of a beer factory near Netanya, a food factory in Galilee, and a big sports swimming pool in Upper Galilee. His wife Lilly worked in a hospital. In the late 1940s, she and their son Michael lived in Switzerland for over a year due to Israel’s war of independence.

Michael (Micky) Hoff started studying medicine in Austria in 1958 but quit in the 1960s, when he could not support his wife Hannelore and their child Tampi, who briefly moved in with his parents.


1 Linear Feet

2 Folders (2 oversized folders in a shared box.)


The collection gives an insight into the relationship between Paul and Cora Natzler, starting in Austria in the 1920s and through their emigration to New York in late 1938. Job applications and professional designs show their respective work as an engineer and a dressmaker in the U.S. The correspondence and photographs paint a picture of their life including their friends and family in Europe and Israel. In addition, letters of Cora’s brother Robert Hoff provide a glimpse into his work as an architect in Tel Aviv.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  • Series I: Paul and Cora Natzler’s Personal Lives, 1901-1984
  • Series II: Paul and Cora Natzler’s Professional Lives, 1938-1958
  • Series III: Correspondence, 1920-1985
  • Series IV: Photographs, 1912-1989

Separated Materials

A portrait of Moritz Hoff was moved to the Arts and Objects Collection.

Two books, “Webster’s new vest-pocket dictionary of the English language” and “The French Vest Pocket Dictionary French/English” as well as two wallets were removed from the collection.

Guide to the Papers of the Paul and Cora Natzler Family
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