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Baum Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25824

Scope and Contents

This collection contains official documents, such as visa and travel documents, and correspondence pertaining primarily to Eugen Julius and Matje Baum. Also included is a photograph and a memoir by Alain Lang.

Folder 1/1 contains official documents and correspondence. Included is a copy of Eugen’s birth certificate from 1901, reissued by the Third Reich in 1937 as well as Matje Cohen’s Dutch birth certificate from 1917. Also included is Karl and Luise (née Frank) Baum’s wedding certificate from 1871, reissued by the Third Reich in 1937. In addition, it contains declarations of citizenship and religion with translations, Eugen Baum’s declaration of good conduct from 1935, his declaration of moving from Kehl to Rotterdam in 1937, and Eugen and Matje’s Dutch wedding certificate, signed in 1937 in Rotterdam.

Further documents regard their emigration to Haiti, including papers supporting their naturalization in Haiti, Eugen’s Certificate of Naturalization from 1940 and Eugen and Matje’s Haitian passports. These passports include stamps for their immigration admission to the United States. The folder also holds proof of financial independence for Eugen regarding his immigration to the United States and a Certificate of Literacy from the University of the State of New York for Eugene Baum in 1952. Other documents pertain to Eugen and Matje’s daughters Mina and Reina. These include a French declaration of Mina’s birth regarding the claiming of French citizenship for her in 1938, and a document certifying the registration of Mina as a French citizen, issued at the French consulate in the Netherlands in 1939. In addition, it holds alien registration cards for Mina and Reina Baum for the United States from 1945 and correspondence regarding their citizenship from 1951.

Folder 1/2 contains a copy of a photograph of Sallie Cohen with his sons Barend, Max, Harry, and Louis from 1942, all wearing a yellow star. Folder 1/3 holds a self-published photo book/memoir titled ‘Mon Histoire de 1939 a 1968’ by Alan Lang from 2010. It contains a handwritten note, indicating that it was gifted to Mina Bernhard by Alan’s son Philippe.


  • Creation: 1901-2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930s-1940s


Language of Materials

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

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions

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 Note

Eugen Julius Baum was born in Nonnenweier, Germany, on May 13, 1901. Because of antisemitic attacks against his family, they later moved to Kehl in Baden-Württemberg. Eugen built his own business as a producer of burlap covers and founded a burlap sack factory in Basel, Switzerland, in 1930. His family later lived in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where his father and other Germans were arrested in 1934.

Through a business partner, Benni Cohen in Rotterdam, Eugen met Matje Cohen, who was born in Hoogeveen, Netherlands on February 24, 1917. They married in Rotterdam in 1937 and then lived in St. Louis, France, until 1938. That year, their first daughter Mina was born. In 1939, they acquired Haitian citizenships to be able to enter the United States more easily. In 1940, the family moved to Haiti, where they lived for five years, and where their second daughter Reina was born in 1942. In 1945, they got their visas for the United States and consequently moved to New York.


0.25 Linear Feet


The collection contains vital records, visa and travel documents, and other official documents pertaining to Eugen Julius Baum and his immediate family in Germany, the Netherlands, Haiti and the United States.


The collection is arranged in one series.

Series I: Official Documents and Photograph, 1901-2010

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive notes were copied and retained in the collection.

Related Materials

Mina Bernhard’s family memoir “A family history revisited” (2013) is part of the LBI Library (f 518). It also includes Eugen Julius Baum’s memoir that he wrote for his daughters in 1967, as well as history and memory fragments of Mina Bernhard’s uncle Max Cohen.

Separated Materials

A DVD of the film "Secret Courage: The Walter Suskind Story" was removed to the LBI Audiovisual Collection.

Processing Information

The materials were originally in a binder but were taken out and moved to an archival folder for preservation purposes. Most of the materials contained descriptive notes, some contained notes indicating whether the materials can be found in Mina Bernhard’s 'A family history revisited'. These notes were copied and attached to the documents.

Guide to the Baum Family Collection
Processed by Hannah Kemper
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