Babette B. Buch Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection provides material on the life and writing of Babette B. Buch. It is comprised primarily of correspondence and manuscripts, much of it typed. The collection additionally includes very few photographs and clippings.
Among the papers of the collection is a small amount of correspondence of Babette Buch and her daughter Suzanne Neumann, found in Series I. Although much of it relates to family events, some information on the details of Babette Buch's life may be derived from it. In her correspondence to her daughter, Babette Buch often expresses her opinions and philosophies. Series I also contains a letter by Fredric Buch to the Leo Baeck Institute, which provides biographical information on his mother's life. A very small amount of correspondence originally found and currently located among the unpublished writing of Series II documents the publications of Babette Buch's poetry and intention of publishing other work.
The bulk of the collection consists of Series II, which holds Babette Buch's prolific creative writing, especially her novel Der verwunschene Prinz but also including poetry, essays, short stories, a few scripts, and her novel Der Fall Medardus Messner. Although her writing encompasses countless subjects, most prominent are her philosophical ruminations regarding the evolution of humanity and the meaning of life. Related theories include her writings on generally religious and specifically Jewish themes. Some of her writing is biographical; this includes some short articles relating to her life in New York City and her justifications for returning to Germany. Other subjects of the shorter pieces discuss politics and the Holocaust. Most of her writing remains unpublished.
- Majority of material found within 1942-1966
- Buch, Babette B. (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German and English.
Open to researchers.
Collection has been digitized. Please follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
Collection has been microfilmed (MF 1031).
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
Babette (Bertel) Buch was born in 1890, a descendant of the Schwarzschild family of Frankfurt. In 1910 she received a teaching diploma and taught English; she also worked as her father's office manager in his leather business. Shortly after World War I she married Sally Buch and they had two children: Friedrich (later Fredric) and Susanne (later Suzanne). In 1927 she and her husband divorced.
After 1933, she wrote letters on behalf of friends and family to Jews in America, Australia and South Africa to ask for affidavits. Her son Friedrich was briefly arrested in November 1938, and Babette Buch suffered her first stroke. Shortly afterwards, Friedrich Buch was able to immigrate to England with assistance from the British Refugee Committee and brought his mother and sister to London. The family lived in England for a year before leaving for the United States. They arrived in New York City in 1940, when she suffered a second stroke shortly after their arrival. The family settled in the Hamilton Heights area of Manhattan, eventually moving north to Washington Heights.
It was not until after her immigration to the United States that Babette Buch began to concentrate on her writing. Eventually some of her poetry was published by the German-language periodical Aufbau.
In spite of her experiences, Babette Buch longed to return to Germany, which she did in 1961. She resided in Bad Homburg, a suburb of Frankfurt, where she stayed until she became ill and moved to an old-age home in Friedberg. She continued to develop her writing while living in Germany, and in 1963 her book November Geschichten; November Tales was published. She died at the age of 95.
4.5 Linear Feet
The Babette B. Buch Collection documents the life, philosophies, and literary career of the writer Babette B. Buch. Included in this collection are numerous unpublished manuscripts, some personal correspondence, and a small amount of clippings and photographs.
The collection is arranged in two series as follows:
Collection is available on 11 reels of microfilm (MF 1031).
- Reel 1: 1/1-1/22
- Reel 2: 1/23-1/40
- Reel 3: 1/41-2/7
- Reel 4: 2/8-2/20
- Reel 5: 2/21-3/4
- Reel 6: 3/5-3/11
- Reel 7: 3/12-4/1
- Reel 8: 4/2-4/7
- Reel 9: 4/8-4/12
- Reel 10: 4/13-5/1
- Reel 11: 5/2-5/7
A Copy of Babette Buch's memoir Schau eines Judenschicksals im Jahrhundert has been removed to the Memoir Collection (ME 1591).
During processing, the correspondence and writing were grouped together to form series, and the writing was further subdivided. Some poetry and shorter writing were arranged alphabetically in order to discover superfluous copies of the same unannotated material. Some of the early chapters of Der verwunschene Prinz were scattered in various locations; these were assembled together and arranged numerically.
- Guide to the Papers of Babette B. Buch (1890-1985) 1939-1982 AR 25217 / MF 1031
- Processed by Dianne Ritchey Oummia
- © 2009
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from BabetteBuch.xml
- September 2010: Links to digital objects added in Container List.
- 2010-09-29 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl