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Aschkenazy-Willdorff Collection

Identifier: AR 25066

Scope and Content Note

The collection is arranged in two series. Series I includes various documents pertaining to the Ashkenazy family, predominantly official documents. In addition to these, there are some photographs included in this series.

Series II contains material related to Erich Willdorff. Prominent in this series is his career as a clock and watch salesman.

Both series are rather fragmentary, with temporal gaps and provide only very scarce biographical and historical information.


  • 1895-1959
  • Majority of material found within 1920s-1950s


Language of Materials

The collection is in English, German, a little Chinese and Dutch.

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

Bernhard Aschkenazy was born in July, 1869, in Sniatyn, Galicia, to David and Freida Aschkenazy. He served in the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1891 to 1893. Later, he moved to Berlin where he worked as a bookkeeper at least since 1902. On July 26th, 1923, Bernhard married Betty Maler in Berlin. On June 18th, 1932, Bernhard passed away.

Betty Maler was born in Libau, Latvia, on March 12th, 1887, to Chaim and Johanna Maler. The latter died in 1937. Since 1908, Betty worked in Berlin: first as millinery and later as a fur saleswoman. On February 26th, 1939, Betty arrived in Shanghai as a refugee. She stayed in Shanghai until 1950 and then shortly returned to Germany in order to immigrate to the U.S.A. in 1951. In the United States, she initially lived with her brother Julius in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Elfriede (Effy) Aschkenazy was born on April 17th, 1924, as the only child of Bernhard and Betty Aschkenazy. She went to school in Berlin and immigrated to the U.S.A. sometime between the 1930s and 1950.

Erich Willdorff was born on July 15th, 1905, in Tilsit, then Prussia, to Leopold and Martha (née Fischel) Willdorff. From April to November 1933, Erich worked as an assembler in a factory for clocks, radios and other devices in Berlin. Since 1933, Willdorff ran his own business, selling electronic clocks in Berlin. In 1938, Erich Willdorff immigrated to the U.S.A. Here, he married Elfriede (Effy) Aschkenazy and lived in New York, NY.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers of the Aschkenazy Family as well as those of Erich Willdorff, who was married to Elfriede (Effy) Aschkenazy. Prominent topics are emigration and immigration as well as Erich Willdorff's watch and clock shop. The papers in this collection include a few photographs, some correspondence and personal papers. The bulk of the collection comprises official and commercial documents.


The collection is arranged in two series.

Related Material

A watch and a shoehorn can be found in the LBI’s Art and Objects Collection.

Processing Information

Some oversized documents from Series I were placed in an oversize folder, i.e. a Leumundszeugnis (Certificate of good Character) and a Belobigung des Polizeipraesidenten Berlins (Praise of Berlin's Chief of Police) made out to Bernhard Aschkenazy as well as a timetable for trips with the Nederland Gesellschaft (a Dutch Steamship Company). Documents from Series II removed to an oversize folder include promotional material for Erich Willdorff's business and a “Price List of Fancy Clocks and Barometers” from 1936.

Guide to the Papers of the Aschkenazy-Willdorff Family 1895-1956 AR 25066
Processed by Joern Esch
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Aschkenazy-WilldorffFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • June 5, 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