Skip to main content

Fred Emil Katz Collection

Identifier: AR 25869

Scope and Contents

The Fred Emil Katz Collection consists of three series. Series I comprises Fred Emil Katz’s genealogical records, school brochures, and speeches. Series II contains his correspondence with German librarian Cordula Kappner, town and exhibition brochures, and newspaper clippings. Series III holds photographs of the Katz family and of the Jewish cemeteries of Oberlauringen, Vollmerz, and Mellrichstadt.


  • Creation: 1932-2017
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 2012-2016


Language of Materials

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

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact: Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 email:

Biographical / Historical

Fred (Manfred) Emil Katz was born on November 10, 1927, in Oberlauringen, Germany to the butcher Max Katz (August 16, 1883, Mellrichstadt—1942, Sobibor) and his second wife Jenny Grünebaum (October 2, 1892, Vollmerz--1942, Sobibor). He and his sister Trude Viener (April 4, 1924, Oberlauringen, Germany—June 10, 2000, Quantico, United States) were the only survivors. Their parents and stepbrother Ludwig Katz (December 20, 1920, Oberlauringen—1943, Sobibor) perished in the extermination camp Sobibor.

In 1937 Fred’s sister Trude emigrated to the United States and Fred left for England on a Kindertransport on June 5, 1939. There he attended the Bunce Court School which was based on Quaker and progressive Judaism principles and was run by the German-Jewish refugee Anna Essinger. In 1943 he left the school at the age of 15 and was helped by Hertha Karger until his emigration to Cleveland, Ohio in the United States in 1947. Fred Emil Katz held various factory jobs and in 1949 began his studies at Guilford College, North Carolina, graduating in 1952 with a degree in sociology/anthropology. He went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his PhD in sociology. Following his studies came a distinguished teaching career at the University of Missouri, Columbia, the State University of New York, Buffalo, and Tel Aviv University, where his work focused on the Holocaust. Fred Emil Katz is the author of a dozen books, most notably: “Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A report on the Beguiling of Evil,” “Confronting Evil: Two Journeys,” “Immediacy: Our Ways of Coping in Everyday Life,” and “We Live in Social Space: A Window to a New Science.” He also contributed materials to the exhibitions held by the German librarian Cordula Kappner about Jewish families from his hometown Oberlauringen.

Fred was married to Pearl Gottlieb with whom he has a daughter Liat. Since 2014 he lives in Towson, Maryland.


0.5 Linear Feet

1 Folders (1 shared oversized folder in a shared oversized box.)


The Fred Emil Katz Collection holds material on the Katz family of Oberlauringen, Germany. Most notable in this collection are the articles and exhibitions that document what happened to the Jewish families of Oberlauringen during the Holocaust. In addition, the collection includes personal correspondence, photograph albums, and a book.


Arranged into three series by topic and document types.

  • Series I: Fred Emil Katz, 1935-2017
  • Series II: Cordula Kappner, 2012-2016
  • Series III: Photographs, 1932, 1979, 2012-2016

Separated Materials

A book was removed to the LBI Library:

Mayer, Lothar. Jüdische Friedhöfe in Unterfranken. Petersberg: Imhof, [2010].

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused into acid-free boxes, folders, and envelopes.

Guide to the Papers of Fred Emil Katz
Processed by Simona Sivkoff-Livneh
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