Erwin Lichtenstein Collection
Scope and Content Note
The collection documents the work and the responses to Erwin Lichtenstein's book Die Juden der Freien Stadt Danzig unter der Herrschaft des Nationalsozialismus 1933-1945. A significant part of the collection is related to this book which was published in 1973 for the Leo Baeck Institute.
The correspondence in Series I contains professional correspondence from the years 1954 until 1976, correspondence with the Leo Baeck Institute, letters from Günter Grass and Hebrew correspondence. Folder 1 of this series comprises the correspondence between Günter Grass and Erwin Lichtenstein from 1967-1989. The correspondence discusses family problems, several books by Günter Grass and the work of Erwin Lichtenstein. Correspondence in Hebrew can be found in Folder 2. Folders 3-7 of Series I are letters from Erwin Lichtenstein to the Leo Baeck Institute. These folders contain not only the correspondence between the Institute and the donor himself, they additionally includes letters in reminiscence of Max Fürst and correspondence from and with Erwin Lichtenstein's father, Max Lichtenstein. Each package of letters starts with a letter from Erwin Lichtenstein to the Leo Baeck Institute, pointing out the content of the delivery. Folder 8 holds professional correspondence. These letters pertain to the publication of the book about the Jews of Danzig and the correspondents' views on anti-Semitism and Danzig.
Erwin Lichtenstein's publication about the Jews of Danzig was of great interest to many readers, historians and the press. His achievements and criticism of his work are documented in the book reviews in Folder 9 in Series II. In addition, newspaper articles about Günter Grass from 1976-1984 are also present in Series II in Folder 10.
Series III contains corrections and changes to Erwin Lichtenstein's book in Folder 11. The original manuscript of this publication is located in Folder 12 in Series III.
Series IV contains addenda that were added to the collection at a later date than the previous series; their original order has been left unchanged. Some topics addressed in the addenda are the friendship between the families of John L. Vogelstein and Erwin Lichtenstein, the relationship between Julie Braun-Vogelstein and Adam von Trott zu Solz and the political reality of the State of Israel.
- Majority of material found within 1954-1984
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, Hebrew, and English.
Open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
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
Erwin Lichtenstein was born February 16,1901 in Königsberg (today Kaliningrad, Russia). He was the son of the lawyer (Justizrat) Dr. Max Lichtenstein. Erwin Lichtenstein studied law at the universities of Königsberg, Berlin and Leipzig. In 1922 he completed his doctoral studies. Afterwards he was a lawyer for the National Association of the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger mit jüdischem Glauben in East Prussia. From 1923-1926 he was the editor of the weekly Danziger Rundschau. He practiced law in Europe from 1930-1933. After his exclusion from the bar, due to being Jewish, he returned to Danzig. He was the head of the relief organization of the Jewish Centralwohlfahrtstelle. From 1933 until his emigration in 1939 to Tel Aviv, Lichtenstein was the head of the Danzig Jewish Community and he was also editor of the Jüdische Gemeindeblatt. In 1953, he started to practice law in Israel. In 1973 Erwin Lichtenstein published Die Juden der Freien Stadt Danzig unter der Herrschaft des Nationalsozialismus 1933-1945 for the Leo Baeck Institute.
The collection does not contain materials about the time after this publication or concerning his death.
0.75 Linear Feet
The Erwin Lichtenstein Collection documents the work of Erwin Lichtenstein as an author. The bulk of the archival collection is in reference to his book Die Juden der Freien Stadt Danzig unter der Herrschaft des Nationalsozialismus 1933-1945. The correspondence with Sam Echt, Werner Feilchenfeld, Ernst Loops and others reflect the response to Erwin Lichtenstein's publication. Noteworthy with regard to the book is the correspondence between Günter Grass and Erwin Lichtenstein. Although the bulk of the documents consists of correspondence, the collection also includes newspaper articles and book reviews, corrections and changes and the original manuscript of the aforementioned book.
The collection is arranged in four series.
A previous finding aid existed for this collection. The previous order has been slightly changed during reprocessing in July 2010. The correspondence in Series I has been divided into more specific subjects.
Series II includes not only book reviews, but also the newspaper articles about Günter Grass which are kept in a separate folder, but added to Series II. Series III includes corrections and changes and the original bound manuscript. They were previously named Folder 3 and 4 and now they are both in Series III. The order in Folders 7 and 8 and in Series IV is unchanged.
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Danzig (Germany) -- Free City of Danzig -- Freie Stadt Danzig -- Wolne Miasto Gdańsk
- Danziger Rundschau
- Echt, Samuel, 1888-1974
- Friedlander, Walter A.
- Fürst, Max, 1905-
- Gdańsk (Poland)
- Gdańsk (Poland) -- History
- Grass, Günter, 1927-2015
- Israel -- Emigration and immigration
- Jewish lawyers
- Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt
- Lichtenstein, Erwin, 1901-
- Lichtenstein, Heinz
- Lichtenstein, Max, 1860-1942
- Manuscripts (documents)
- Reviews (documents)
- Tel Aviv (Israel)
- Vogelstein, Hans
- Guide to the Papers of Erwin Lichtenstein (1901- ) 1926-1989 AR 7193
- Processed by Nicole Kneisz
- © 2010
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from ErwinLichtenstein.xml
- December 05, 2013 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States