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Herbert Strauss Addenda

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25728 / MF 1821

Scope and Content Note

The Herbert Strauss Addenda contains subject files and writings from Strauss’ position as the executive director of the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe. These include correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters and pamphlets, and writings, including manuscripts and dissertations in the field of German-Jewish history and related topics.

Materials pertaining to the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe include correspondence, proposals, and notes for a history of the Federation, as well as the Federation’s newsletters. Herbert Strauss was also the founding director of the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration. The subject files include contracts, correspondence, resources, and notes for two of the Foundation’s publications, Jewish Immigrants of the Nazi period in the USA and the International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigres, 1933-1945.

Dates

  • 1933-2000

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German, with some Spanish.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Biographical Note

Herbert Arthur Strauss, historian, academician, and teacher, was born on June 1, 1918, in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany. He was the son of a Jewish machine-tool salesman, Benno Strauss, and Magdalena (Hinterneder) Strauss, who was Roman Catholic. The family, including an older brother, Walther, and a younger sister, Edith, followed Jewish practices.

After leaving the Neues Gymnasium in Würzburg in 1935, Strauss moved to Berlin in 1936, where he was responsible for the administration of a Socialist Zionist youth group and enrolled in a program of Jewish graduate study. He studied German history and theology at Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums starting in 1938. Between 1940 and 1942, he served as an auxiliary rabbi for the Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin.

When the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums was closed down by German authorities in 1942, Strauss and his future wife, Lotte (Schloss), went into hiding, where they remained until June 1943 when they escaped to neighboring Switzerland. Upon reaching Switzerland, Herbert and Lotte were briefly interned in refugee camps. In late 1943, Herbert Strauss began his studies at the University of Bern, where he concentrated on European History.

Herbert and Lotte were married in 1944. After Herbert received his doctoral degree in 1946, the Strausses immigrated to the United States, where Herbert Strauss initially served as an instructor at the City College of New York, eventually becoming a full professor.

In New York, Herbert became quite active in German-Jewish communal affairs. He was a member of several charitable and communal Jewish organizations, most notably the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe, of which he was the Executive Director. The AFJCE was an organization that helped German-Jewish immigrants acclimate to life in the United States and advocated on their behalf. He was also the founding director of the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration, in 1971. In 1980, Herbert Strauss helped to found, and became the Director of the Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung at the Technische Universität, Berlin. The Center was dedicated to the study of anti-Semitism and to research on the migration of German-Jewish intellectuals during the Nazi period. His seminal work, published under the auspices of the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich, Germany, was the two-volume International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigres, 1933-1945 (1983).

Dr. Strauss was a prolific writer on a variety of topics such as acculturation and assimilation, ethnicity, German-Jewish relations and history, and immigration. Additionally, he was a regular contributor to a number of professional journals and magazines, where he published his articles and reviews. He was also an editor, translator, and a member of numerous academic panels.

Dr. Herbert Strauss died in New York City on March 11, 2005 at the age of 86, leaving behind his wife, Lotte, and their daughter, Jane.

Extent

2.75 Linear Feet

Abstract

The Herbert Strauss Addenda contains subject files and writings from Strauss’ position as the executive director of the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe. These include correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters and pamphlets, and writings, including manuscripts and dissertations in the field of German-Jewish history and related topics.

Related Material

A History of the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe (MS 593) is held in the LBI Memoirs and Manuscripts Collection.

The LBI Archives holds the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe Collection (AR 4420) as well as a microfilm copy of the archives of the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe (DM 223), including meeting transcripts, correspondence, by-laws, and clippings.

The LBI Archives also holds name files of the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration (MF 540) and The oral history collection of the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration, New York 1971-1981 (AR 25385).

The Herbert Strauss Collection is also held by the LBI Archives.

Separated Material

Books and periodicals have been removed to the LBI Library. Audiocassettes and videocassettes have been removed to the LBI Audiovisual Collection.

Processing Information

All books were removed from the collection to the LBI Library. Periodicals held by the Leo Baeck Institute or another partner of the Center for Jewish History were discarded; periodicals not held by LBI or a partner were removed to the LBI Library. Periodicals that filled in the gaps in other partners’ holdings were offered to those partners. Audiocassettes and videocassettes were removed to the LBI Audiovisual Collection. All microfilm duplicates and drafts for the International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigres, 1933-1945 were discarded. Materials were rehoused in archival boxes and folders. When present, folder titles were maintained.
Title
Guide to the Herbert Strauss Addenda undated, 1933-2000 AR 25728
Author
Processed by Rachel S. Harrison
Date
© 2017
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • December 2018:: 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