Skip to main content

Katzenstein Family Collection

Identifier: AR 6458

Scope and Content Note

This collection holds the papers of the Katzenstein family from 1875-2009. It includes the personal correspondence of Martin and Anna Katzenstein, official papers, and genealogical materials.

Series I holds the personal correspondence of Martin and Anna Katzenstein, including letters and postcards Anna received from the Danish novelist Peter Nansen between 1914 and 1918. It also contains letters Martin sent from Chile to his wife and daughter in England between 1939 and 1946.

Series II contains personal and official documents pertaining to the education and professional lives of Martin and Anna. Furthermore it contains documents reflecting Anna's and Irene's immigration to England and to Chile, as well as a small amount of other personal papers.

Series III holds genealogical and official documents, such as birth and death certificates, as well as family trees of the Katzensteins.


  • 1875-2009
  • Majority of material found in 1914-1918, 1939-1947


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and Spanish.

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

Martin Katzenstein was born in Eschwege, Germany, on March 8, 1885. He was the oldest son of Ida Katzenstein (née Plaut), born on November 10, 1860, and Saroni Katzenstein, born on December 23, 1853. Saroni died on July 19, 1927 and Ida died on January 10, 1940. Martin Katzenstein had one sister, Else, born July 23, 1889, and one brother, Ludwig (1890-1919). Martin became a lawyer in 1908 and got married on April 27, 1926. His wife Anna Charlotte Katzenstein (née Boehm) was born in Berlin August 29, 1893, daughter of Eugen Boehm, born November 30, 1856 and Selma Boehm (née Alport), born in Posen (today Poznań, Poland) in 1870 or 1871, died in Berlin on August 28, 1936. Anna obtained certification to teach English in 1912 and enjoyed a brief friendship with Peter Nansen, the Danish novelist, from 1914 to 1918. She worked as a prisoner aide during the First World War and as an editorial assistant in the 1920s. After their marriage, Martin and Anna lived in Berlin, where their daughter Irene was born on November 7, 1928.

Irene escaped to England via "Kindertransport" in January 1939. Her mother Anna followed one month later. Both were sponsored by Valerie Alport, Anna’s aunt in England. Because Valerie only guaranteed Martin a temporary visa, he emigrated to Chile that same year. The Katzenstein family was separated for the next several years, eventually reuniting in Santiago de Chile in June 1946, where Martin had started working as a salesman. Despite the reunion, the family members had become somewhat estranged after a lengthy separation. Martin died in Chile in August 1948.

Even though Anna held German and British citizenship, she remained in Chile at least until the 1960s. She died in London, England, on August 25, 1982. In New York, in 1969, her daughter Irene had married Ernst Schmied, born in Czechoslovakia on January 25, 1917. Irene, who had performed some family research in the 1990s and 2000s, died in New York on December 17, 2010.


0.5 Linear Feet


The Katzenstein Family Collection holds the papers and correspondence of Martin Katzenstein and Anna Charlotte Katzenstein. The collection contains genealogical materials, personal letters, and official papers relating to Anna's time spent living in England and Chile.

Processing Information

The collection has been reordered and split into three series. If possible, the items within the folders were arranged in a chronological order. The folders were reordered to reflect the new arrangement. Folders were also renumbered to accurately reflect their location.

Guide to the Papers of the Katzenstein Family 1875-2009 AR 6458
Processed by Fabian Wendler
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from KatzensteinFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • October 24, 2014 : 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