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Eugen Kullmann Estate Collection

Identifier: AR 25693

Scope and Content Note

Much of this collection documents the personal and professional life of Eugen Kullmann, including his scholarly interests. The collection primarily consists of his official, personal, and professional documents; correspondence sent to him while he lived in Basel, Brooklyn, and Gambier; his extensive notes used in teaching and research; a few translations and manuscripts; and papers of the philosopher Karl Joël.

Papers that pertain to Eugen Kullmann's professional and academic work are prevalent throughout the collection. Series I includes documents from his time studying at the University of Basel, in addition to those that relate to his teaching at the New School for Social Research, Bard College, and Kenyon College. Such documentation includes correspondence regarding his position, administrative notes such as staff meeting notes and other documentation of these institutions. Further material on Eugen Kullmann's professional work will primarily be found in Series III, which holds manuscripts from his translations and writings as well as numerous notes, including lecture notes. Many of his notes focus on research topics of interest to him, such as ancient Greek philosophy, especially Plato and Aristotle; modern philosophy including the works of Friedrich Nietzsche; the relation between philosophy and religion; and Judaism and Jewish history, among very many other topics. In addition to his knowledge of philosophy Eugen Kullmann was also familiar with many languages and frequently wrote notes in several languages, or shifted between languages within the same page or sentence. His notes are most frequently written in German, Greek, Hebrew, or English, but notes in other languages will also be found here.

Series I also holds various official documents used for identification, ration stamps, family poetry, material relating to his work for Congregation Machane Chodesh in Brooklyn, and other documents that pertain to his life in New York City.

Series II, which is the largest series of the collection, contains correspondence sent to Eugen Kullmann, although a very small amount of his own letters to others is also present. The bulk of the correspondence in Series II is from others, including close friends, with many details of their lives and experiences; correspondence from Kullmann family members is also included here. Correspondence from friends and family in postwar Germany or in Israel are encountered fairly often in Series II. Many correspondents were friends with Eugen Kullmann since the time of his studies in Basel and they update him with their activities and news. This series also contains correspondence to the Kullmann family, especially to Eugen Kullmann's parents and sister. Most of these letters are from friends, including from former neighbors in Erlenbach as well as New York. Among this correspondence are many letters from Walter and Helen Kullmann and their family, who went to Palestine in the 1930s.

Series IV holds the papers of the philosopher Karl Joël. Although his exact connection with Eugen Kullmann is unclear, Karl Joël taught philosophy at the University of Basel and the two men may have known each other. Series IV includes his notebooks and many loose pages of notes. It also contains some articles, including some about him, and two folders of his correspondence.


  • 1874-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1934-1994


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in German, English, Hebrew, and Greek; smaller amounts of Latin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Aramaic, Sanskrit and Ugaritic are also present.

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 2031. Please contact LBI for a list of authorized users.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Reserve" button.

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

Eugen Kullmann was born in Erlenbach, Germany on March 20, 1915, the son of Moritz and Fanny (née Siegel) Kullmann. Beginning in 1934 he studied at a rabbinical institution as well as at the Freies Jüdisches Lehrhaus in Frankfurt am Main. Later that year he went to the University of Basel in Switzerland, where he studied philosophy, philology and Biblical and ancient languages, among other subjects. In 1941 he received his doctorate, with the dissertation Beiträge zum Aristotelischen Begriff der "Prohairesis" (Contributions to the Aristotelian Concept of "Prohairesis").

In 1946 Eugen Kullmann joined his parents and sister Anneliese in Brooklyn, New York. From 1947-1968 he taught courses in philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City and was also a visiting professor at the Academy of Higher Jewish Learning (later the Academy for Jewish Religion), Bard College, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Smith College. In 1968 he became professor of religion at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, although he also taught courses outside of religion and philosophy in such areas as literature and history.

In 1984 Eugen Kullmann retired from teaching. He died on June 24, 2002.


7 Linear Feet


The Eugen Kullmann Estate Collection contains documentation of the professional life and personal connections of the philosophy and religion professor and scholar Eugen Kullman. Much of the collection is made up of his correspondence from others, but there are also many notes related to his teaching and research along with professional and official documents. Notes and papers of the philosopher Karl Joël also form a significant portion of this collection. The collection includes notes such as research and lecture notes as well as notebooks; extensive correspondence from others, including family, friends, and colleagues to Eugen Kullmann; and official, professional, and personal documents.

Related Material

The LBI Archives also include the related Eugen Kullmann Collection (AR 25439), which contains further material on professor Karl Joël.

Separated Material

Several books and publications were removed from the collection to the LBI Library during its processing. Photocopies of removed items' title pages and copyright information, as well as copies of pertinent pages were retained in the collection.

The following books were removed to the LBI Library:

  1. Ghetto Factory 76 by Rachmil Bryks
  2. Zoetic Skepticism by Stewart Umphrey
  3. Memorandum für den israelitischen Religionsunterricht by Berthold Einstein
  4. Felix Bloch, 25 août 1919-2 mars 1989

The following publications were removed to the LBI Library:

  1. Bard College Bulletin 1963-1964
  2. Die Basler Universität
  3. Das jüdische Heim (8. Jahrgang, Nummer 17)
  4. Der Wormsgau Zeitschrift der Kulturinstitute der Stadt Worms und des Altertumsvereins Worms

Processing Information

During processing of the archival collection the correspondence of Series II was arranged following the original order observed in the collection, specifically divided by geographical location, as well as letters of individuals and alphabetically. Some of the alphabetical folders were further subdivided alphabetically, and some individuals with large amounts of correspondence were given their own folder within the alphabetical arrangement. The papers of Karl Joël were also placed in their own series in order to distinguish his notes from those of Eugen Kullmann's.

Guide to the Papers of the Eugen Kullmann Estate 1874-2002 AR 25693
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EugenKullmannEstate.xml

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States