Jack Ruppel Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains personal papers from the Simson and Ruppel families of Gotha, Germany as well as materials from the restitution claims made by the family members. The collection documents the personal history of Jack Ruppel from his youth in Germany through his immigration to the United States. Materials on Jack Ruppel’s life after his immigration are very limited. A few materials on Margarete Ruppel’s emigration and naturalization are included as well. The personal family papers in Series I include family trees, personal correspondence, vital records, identification papers, emigration and naturalization records, educational transcripts and grades, military records, newspaper clippings, maps, and oral history transcripts. The restitution materials in Series II consist mainly of correspondence with lawyers and other family members as well as legal papers such as powers of attorney, legal statements, and court decisions. The bulk of these restitution papers focus on the efforts of Margarete Ruppel, her siblings, and Jack Ruppel to claim restitution for property in Gotha and Berlin that had once belonged to the Simson family.
Language of Materials
The collection is in German and English.
This collection is open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
The Ruppel family of Gotha, Germany can be traced back to the birth of Ruben Ruppel in 1795, and the earliest known ancestor of the Simson family was born around 1720 in present-day Bavaria.
Jack Ruppel was born Joachim Ruppel on February 4, 1912 in Gotha, Germany to the ophthalmologist Richard Ruppel and his wife Margarete née Simson. Margarete’s family ran a porcelain factory in Gotha named Gebrüder Simson, founded in 1883.
Jack Ruppel studied dentistry at universities in Freiburg and Bonn. In the mid-1930s, he worked for an international import business Sud-Oeste Comercial under Teodoro Parparof, a position that sent him to Turkey among other countries.
As the Nazis took power in Germany, conditions for the Simson and Ruppel families worsened. The Nazis made the Gebrüder Simson porcelain factory close in 1934, and the Simson family was forced to sell their home in Gotha and other property in Berlin. Jack Ruppel immigrated to the United States in 1938, and his mother Margarete Ruppel followed him in 1939.
Shortly after the end of the war, Margarete Ruppel and her siblings Curt Simson and Gertrud Hess née Simson claimed restitution for the property in Gotha that they had inherited from their father Julius Simson. After his mother's death, Jack Ruppel took over further claims on her behalf and also successfully claimed damages to his own education and career advancement.
0.5 Linear Feet
This collection contains personal papers from the Simson and Ruppel families of Gotha, Germany as well as materials from the restitution claims made by the family members. The bulk of the materials relate to Jack Ruppel and his mother Margarete née Simson. Materials include family trees, personal correspondence, vital records, identification papers, emigration and naturalization records, educational transcripts and grades, military records, newspaper clippings, maps, oral history transcripts, and legal papers related to restitution claims.
The collection is arranged thematically into two series.
A series of oral history interviews of Jack Ruppel were donated on a CD with mp3 sound files and written transcriptions. While this CD was separated to the LBI A/V Collection, the written transcriptions of the interviews were printed out and included in the collection.
Duplicates were removed. Items were flattened where necessary. Tourist brochures and pamphlets from a trip to Gotha in 2000 were removed.
- Guide to the Jack Ruppel Collection 1913-circa 2005 AR 25336
- Processed by Leanora Lange
- © 2013
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History."
- March 26, 2015 : dao links added by Emily Andresini.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States