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Esther Elbin Family Collection

Identifier: AR 4651

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a wide variety of family, personal, vital, and legal documents pertaining primarily to the Herz, Steinthal, Buchholz, Isenstein, and Cohn families.

The oldest materials stem from the Herz and Steinthal families and include passports, birth, marriage, and death certificates, letters of protection, passports, concessions for commercial activity, Jewish oaths (Judeneide), and various other papers which document the lives of these two families of protected Jews (Schutzjuden) in 18th and 19th century Saxony and Anhalt. The Steinthal family materials include some family papers written in West Yiddish and Hebrew.

The materials for the other families continue in a similar fashion and include a wide variety of family papers and official documents, largely dating to the 19th and 20th centuries. Notable among these are documents pertaining to Jacob Buchholz's military service during the War of the Sixth Coalition (Befreiungskrieg), official correspondence and a short memoir pertaining to Julius Buchholz's diplomatic mission to secure meat for German citizens during the First World War, a large number of photographs, and several certificates documenting Edith Cohn-Elbin's work in the American Women's Motor Defense Corps during the Second World War.

There are also smaller groups of papers pertaining to the Silberstein and Weiss families, notably typewritten excerpts of the Weiss's accounts of their lives in Hungary and deportation during the Holocaust, as well as of their lives in post-war Germany as displaced persons in the region around Frankfurt am Main.


  • 1787-1978


Language of Materials

This collection is in German, English, Yiddish 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


Biographical Note

Esther Elbin, born Cohn, assembled genealogical material on the family of her mother, the Buchholz family, as well as the related Steinthal and Herz families.


4 Folders


This collection contains a wide variety of family, personal, vital, and legal documents pertaining primarily to the Herz, Steinthal, Buchholz, Isenstein, and Cohn families.

Other Finding Aid

A 6-page German inventory is available in folder 1.

Original Location

Most items are photocopies; the original inventory from 1978 notes that the originals are held by Walter Buchholz of Staten Island, New York. A few items are copied from the holdings of the Niedersächsischer Staatsarchiv Hannover.

Related Material

See also: Alfred Cohn Collection AR 4085

Separated Material

Most of the photographs have been removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.

To see photographs click here.

Post-war newspaper clippings have been removed to the Esther Elbin Family Clippings Collection AR 4651 C .

A drawing by Harald Isenstein has been removed to the LBI Art and Objects Collection.


Almost the entire collection consists of photocopies, some of which are of poor quality. They are in some cases difficult to read or have cut-off text.

Guide to the Esther Elbin Family Collection, 1787-1978  AR 4651
Processed by Ilse Turnheim and Timothy Ryan Mendenhall
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • March 21, 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States