Karl Rosenthal Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection holds papers concerning Rabbi Karl Rosenthal, and is comprised of two series, Personal and Writings.
Much of the material in Series I pertains to the life of the rabbi. Biographical information on him will be found among the biographies and in the taped interviews with Trudie Rosenthal. These tapes largely concern the Rosenthals' lives in Germany, although there is also some mention of Karl Rosenthal's service as rabbi of the Temple of Israel in Wilmington, North Carolina. Other biographical material in this collection includes a few articles that mention Karl Rosenthal in Series II.
Series II holds writings, mainly of Karl Rosenthal. Among these documents are published articles, such as newspaper clippings and a history of the Temple of Israel, and unpublished writings, which include many of his sermons from the early 1930s and histories of the Berlin Reform Community.
- Majority of material found within 1925-1951
- Rosenthal, Karl, 1889-1952 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German and English.
Open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
Collection is microfilmed (MF 719).
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
Karl Rosenthal was born in 1889, one of nine children. He studied at the Universities of Berlin and Münster before receiving his doctorate from the University of Cologne. He served as a rabbi in Dortmund, where he met his future wife, Trudie Schuster. They were married shortly before the outbreak of World War I and were on their honeymoon in Norway when Karl was called back to serve in the army. Their first son, Klaus, was born nine months later. Their second son, George, was born in 1920.
In 1924 Karl Rosenthal began working as a rabbi for the Reform congregation in Berlin. Many of his writings criticized the Nazi ideology, and he was arrested several times. On Kristallnacht Rosenthal was arrested and sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He was released three months later with orders to leave Germany at once and went to England, where he studied in Oxford. The Rosenthals' son Klaus had already immigrated to the United States. Trudie and George left Berlin early in 1939 and settled in Amsterdam. George was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941 and sent to the concentration camp in Mauthausen, Austria, where he perished. Later that year Trudie was arrested as well and was held at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for three years. She was able to obtain a South American passport and upon her release went to Switzerland and then on to an UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) camp in Algiers. She remained there until 1945 when she was able to board a ship bound for America. She was finally reunited with Karl and Klaus in Philadelphia on December 31, 1945.
In 1946, Karl received an appointment to the Reform congregation in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He later worked in Springfield, Illinois, and Wilmington, North Carolina, where he died in 1952. Trudie stayed in Wilmington and died there in 1976.
0.25 Linear Feet
This collection holds material relating to Karl Rosenthal, rabbi of the Berlin Reform Congregation and Temple of Israel in Wilmington, North Carolina. Items in this collection center on his life, especially his time as rabbi in Berlin, as well as on the life of his wife. In addition to biographical material, the collection also holds Karl Rosenthal's writings, such as sermons and published articles. There are also two tapes of a lengthy interview with Trudie Rosenthal that describe the Rosenthals' life in Germany.
Other Finding Aid
Five index cards list the items in this collection.
Photographs have been removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.
In preparation for the creation of the EAD finding aid in July 2006, similar materials were grouped together to form series.
- Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp)
- Berlin (Germany)
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
- Jewish sermons
- Jews, German
- Jüdische Reformgemeinde zu Berlin
- Manuscripts (documents)
- Publications (documents)
- Reform Judaism
- Rosenthal, Karl, 1889-1952
- Sachsenhausen (Concentration camp)
- Wilmington (N.C.)
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Participation, Jewish
- Guide to the Papers of Karl Rosenthal (1889-1952) 1915-1981 AR 909 / MF 719
- Processed by LBI Staff
- © 2006
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from KarlRosenthal.xml
- March 23, 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.