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Eva Heilberg Schäffer Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25411

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists mainly of private documents of Eva Heilberg Schäffer's family. It holds private correspondence, personal documents, some writings and photographs.

Series I: Correspondence, holds the letters and postcards of many family members. The main correspondents are Adolf, Rosa, Eva and Hans. In addition, the series holds correspondence from and to Marianne and Renate and other family members and friends. The correspondence is almost completely private and does not include official conversations about topics like emigration or professional matters. Some of the letters are written in shorthand.

A large amount of the family members' personal documents can be found in Series II: Documents. There are many documents from the 1800s to the 1990s, such as financial records, marriage and birth certificates, obituaries and funeral speeches and the school and university diplomas of four generations of Frankensteins, Heilbergs, Schäfers and Schäffers.

Series III: Writings, contains typescripts and manuscripts. Some of them are diaries and notes by Eva and Hans, one is a family memoir and one is a war memoir from World War I. The series also contains some political articles and texts written by Hans and others and one folder with poems and songs that family members wrote for other family members' birthdays and celebrations.

Some photographs are located in Series IV, including portraits, group photos and pictures of the family members at work and in their homes.


  • 1849-1995
  • Majority of material found within 1890-1945


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, with some Swedish and French.

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

Eva Heilberg was born on May 14, 1891 as the daughter of the renowned lawyer Adolf Heilberg (born 1858) and his wife Rosa, née Frankenstein (born 1866), in Breslau (today Wrocław). Eva had one younger sister, Frieda (born 1894). Eva studied history and sociology in Breslau, Freiburg im Breisgau and Berlin. She got married to Hans Schäffer on December 21, 1913.

Hans Schäffer was born on April 11, 1886 in Breslau. His parents were the factory owner Julius Schäffer and his wife Charlotte Schäfer. Hans had three brothers, Ernst, Moritz Friedrich and Rudolf. Hans studied law and obtained his doctorate in 1908. He and all his brothers were drafted to fight in World War I. Moritz fell in 1917.

Hans and Eva had four daughters: Marianne (born 1914), Renate (born 1917), Ruth (born 1920) and Eleonore Elisabet (born 1928).

Hans became an influential statesman in the 1920s, gaining a lot of respect for his work on reparation payments after World War I. He became state secretary in the Reich's finance ministry. He decided to quit his work for the Weimar government in 1932 in order to become the managing director of the Ullstein publishing house. Hans was forced out of his job at Ullstein when the Nazis came to power. He and his family fled to Jönköping, Sweden where Hans took a job at the Swedish Match Company (STAB). Eva, who had studied economics, history and ethnology, was active in academic circles and in the "International Women’s League for Freedom and Peace."

Hans' brother Ernst (later Ernest Shaffer) moved to Bombay and later became head of the South East Asian Department of the international German broadcasting system, Deutsche Welle. He was married to Vivian (Welda) whose sister Grete perished in the Holocaust. He had one son and one daughter.

Marianne, the eldest daughter of Hans and Eva Schäffer, got married to Henry Breslauer, and the couple moved to New York in the 1930s. She studied sociology and became a social worker. They had three children: Helen, Kenneth and George. Renate, the Schäffer's middle daughter, studied meteorology in Stockholm and is regarded as the first female meteorologist of Sweden. She was very active in international research.

The family members had unusual nicknames for each other. Charlotte was Omelotte, Charlotte's stepmother Hedwig was Hedel, Frieda was Fietz, Eva was called Mums, Hans was called Vu or Fu. Moritz Friedrich was Rizzi, Marianne was Gax or Gaga, Renate was Pitsche. Eleonore and Ruth, whose documents are not included in this collection, were called Lore and Ruthli.


1.75 Linear Feet


The collection consists of private correspondence, personal documents and writings of Eva Heilberg Schäffer, her parents, her husband Hans Schäffer, her daughters and other relatives and friends.

Related Material

This collection is related to the Hans Schäffer Collection (AR 7177 / MF 512), the Marianne Breslauer Family Collection (AR 10174 / MF 1007) and the Adolf and Frieda Heilberg Collection (AR 1054).

Separated Material

Three travel guides were removed to the LBI Library.

A framed relief in clay (slightly cracked) of the profile of Adolf Heilberg has been removed to the LBI Art and Objects Collection. According to the donor it is one of two - the other being with the Swedish branch of the Heilberg family.

Guide to the Papers of the Eva Heilberg Schäffer Family 1849-1995 AR 25411
Processed by Ulrike Schäfer
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EvaHeilbergSchaefferFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • November 25, 2013 : 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