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Abraham Liebmann Family Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25571

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the history of the family of Abraham Liebmann in five generations. It contains a wide range of document types such as genealogy information, birth and death certificates, last wills, obituaries, letters of condolence, marriage contracts, letters of congratulations, work permits and law cases, furthermore poetry, satire and correspondence.

The collection is subdivided into six series. Series I-IV were organized by generation. Series I includes detailed genealogy information of the Liebmann Family.

Series II consists of a large amount of correspondence pertaining to Wilhelm Liebmann and partly to his wife Regine. The letters cover the time of the German Revolution of 1848 and give personal insights of the author’s daily lives in times of political change.

Series III mainly pertains to Siegfried Liebmann’s professional career. It also includes correspondence related to his and Mathilde’s wedding day in 1863.

Series IV contains widely different materials: It covers a time period between 1869 and 1960, including official documents and correspondence reflecting on the launching of Albert Liebmann's career as a company manager, satire and fraternity booklets, and a restitution case documenting the 'Aryanization' of his company.

Series V contains documents, correspondence and poetry of other family members. Of interest is the poetry by Susanne Loeb née Liebmann, written between 1855 and 1861. It represents the only distinct material pertaining to a female member of the family.

Series VI includes other, and in parts unidentified, papers and poetry.

Dates

  • 1809-1981
  • Majority of material found in 1830-1918, 1947-1960

Creator

Language of Materials

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

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

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: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

Biographical Note

Abraham Liebmann was born in 1776 as the son of Feist Theise Liebmann and Catharina Theise Liebmann née Gellchen, in Bacharach (Rhineland), Germany. In 1809 he married Magdalene Kahn (1781-1826), daughter of Samuel Kahn from Trier. They had five children: Wilhelm, Leopold, Hermann, Susanne and Rebecka. Like his father, Abraham was a butcher. He died in 1849.

Wilhelm Liebmann (1812-November 16, 1878) was the first son of Abraham and Magdalene. In 1835 he got permission to open a dry goods store in Bacharach. Besides being a merchant, he was an electoral delegate between 1848 and 1862 and a member of the Royal Commission for the district of Bacharach from 1862 to 1864. In February 1870 he was elected as a juror in court by the Chair of the Royal Government (Königliches Regierungs-Präsidium). He married Regine in 1836. Siegfried and Mathilde Liebmann are their children.

Susanne Liebmann was born in 1829 as the first daughter of Abraham and Magdalene. She married Benjamin Loeb on February 4, 1840. Their daughter Mathilde married Siegfried Liebmann, the son of Susanne's brother Wilhelm. In the years before her death in 1861, she wrote several poems pertaining to Jewish holidays and praising the city of Bacharach as a popular wine region.

Siegfried Liebmann was born on June 20, 1838 as the son of Wilhelm and Regine Liebmann. Starting at the age of fourteen, he received private tutoring for several years from Leopold Beer in Frankfurt am Main. Thanks to his education and well-to-do background, Siegfried was entitled to do his obligatory military service for only one year in the infantry. He was promoted as a petty officer in 1859. In 1878 he volunteered as a member of the jury in court. Siegfried married Mathilde Loeb on March 13, 1863. He died in Cologne on December 15, 1915.

Albert Liebmann was the son of Siegfried and Mathilde. He was born in Cologne on May 5, 1869. After his graduation from school (Gymnasium) in Cologne in 1888, he entered the University of Bonn to study chemistry. He became an active member of the fraternity Medizinisch-Naturwissenschaftlicher Verein (M.N.V.) in Bonn. After receiving his Ph.D. in chemistry with magna cum laude in 1893, Albert moved to Kingersheim in Alsace-Lorraine, where he worked for the well-known British Bradford Dyer Association of Manchester, England, first as a chemist and later as manager of a factory.

On October 23, 1905 Albert married Hedwig Olga Kuoch, who was living in Bradford (England). As the daughter of Thomas and Olga Kuoch née Studer, Hedwig had been born into a well-educated, non-Jewish family in Switzerland, where she studied voice ballads at a school in Basel. After World War I the couple moved back to the Rhineland where Albert bought his own dye works factory under the existing company H. Eb. Achenbach in Wuppertal-Barmen, and became company member and manager. Albert and Hedwig had three daughters, Elinor (Nellie), Gerda and Regina, who died at a young age. Albert's brother Karl (July 21, 1871–1939) also owned a textile factory. After Karl had been diagnosed with 'mental illness', Albert took care of him. During the Nazi era Karl was committed to the euphemistically called sanatorium and mental hospital Waldbreitbach and afterwards to another one in Cochem-Ebernach, where he died on September 26, 1939. In the course of the pogrom on November 9, 1938, Albert was arrested several times and his company was taken over without compensation by the two brothers and Nazi profiteers Guido and Ferdinand Ziersch. He was also forced to sell the family house, a 3-story brick building, to a manufacturer of washing machines, named Hachenbach. Albert was able to flee the Nazi persecution and emigrated with his wife to Solothurn, Switzerland, on April 28, 1939, after the death of Karl. There he died on May 29, 1942.

In Albert's restitution case starting in 1947, his daughter Nellie Olga (Elinor) van Geel (1909-?) was most actively involved. She had married Pol van Geel in 1935, became a Dutch and afterwards an American citizen. Hedwig Liebmann died on December 18, 1953.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Overview

The collection mainly pertains to Abraham Liebmann and his son Wilhelm, as well as on Abraham's grandson Siegfried and his great-grandson Albert, including their wives. It contains various documents, poetry and a large amount of correspondence from the 19th century. Prominent topics are related to the education, professional and military careers, politics, and marital lives of the family members. Also included are two restitution cases.

Processing Information

All related content was organized alphabetically. The first four series were organized by generation during the processing of the archival collection. Photographs were placed in acid-free envelopes.
Title
Guide to the Papers of the Abraham Liebmann Family Collection 1809-1981 AR 25571
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Kim Dresel
Date
© 2015
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Abraham_Liebmann_Family.xml

Revision Statements

  • January 2016:: dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States