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Forst and Levy Family Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25548

Scope and Content Note

The Forst and Levy Family Collection holds the papers of members of the Forst and Levy families, ancestors of Susan Schomer. A large portion of the collection is made up of the World War I correspondence of the Forst family. In addition the collection includes later correspondence of Joseph Levy, paper money, genealogical notes, affidavits of support, restitution correspondence and other materials.

Much of the collection features documents of the Forst family, including the above mentioned World War I correspondence, found in the correspondence of Series I. Many of these letters and postcards were sent to or from Simon Forst while he was on the West Front; they primarily consist of brief greetings between Simon and his wife and children at home. Later correspondence of this kind includes notice of and condolences for his death. Series II includes a folder of correspondence regarding Friederike Forst’s widow's pension and restitution for their losses under Nazi Germany.

Levy Family materials are also located in both series of the collection. They include a folder of correspondence to Joseph Levy in the United States from his family members during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Financial affidavits for Isaak Levy and a partial family tree that depicts the connection between the Levys and the Forsts are also part of Series II.

Dates

  • 1824-1964
  • Majority of material found within 1914-1917

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, 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

The painter and decorator Simon Forst was born in Lütz, Germany, in 1879. In 1909 he married Friederike (called Frieda) Mecklenburger, born in 1881 in Gauersheim, the daughter of the Simon and Bertha Mecklenburger. Simon and Frieda lived in Castellaun (now spelled Kastellaun), where Simon had a painting and decorating business. They had three daughters: Edith, Berta and Henny. On March 13, 1915 Simon Forst was called to the army as a reservist, eventually stationed on the West Front; he was killed in France west of the town of Puisieux during an English assault on November 13, 1916. Following his death Frieda Forst continued his business, which sold paint, lacquer, brushes, linoleum, and other such materials. The business suffered due to the Nazi boycott of 1933 and the family felt threatened. In December 1935 the Forsts left Germany for the United States with the aid of relatives, leaving behind their business, residence, furniture and other possessions. Frieda Forst lived in Chicago until her death in 1957.

Joseph (Joe) Levy was born in 1916 in Kirf, near Trier. In 1944 he married Edith Forst in Chicago. They had one daughter, Susan.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Abstract

The Forst and Levy Family Collection holds the papers of members of the Forst and Levy families, ancestors of Susan Schomer. A large portion of the collection is made up of the World War I correspondence of the Forst family. In addition the collection includes later correspondence of Joseph Levy, paper money, genealogical notes, affidavits of support, restitution correspondence and other materials.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series:

Separated Material

Five prayerbooks were removed from the archival collection to the LBI Library, with copies made of their titles and any notations made by family members.

Processing Information

During processing of the collection in February 2014, series were established and folders of correspondence were further subdivided. Family prayerbooks were removed from the archival collection to the library.
Title
Guide to the Papers of the Forst and Levy Families 1825-1964 AR 25548
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
Date
© 2014
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Forst_and_LevyFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 27, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

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