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Hirschberg-Goldmann Family Addenda

Identifier: AR 25700

Scope and Content Note

The Hirschberg-Goldmann Family Addenda holds documentation on the history of the Hirschberg-Goldmann family of Breslau. The collection centers around three main topics: Harry and Leonor Harter's lives in Breslau and emigration to the United States; their son Donald Harter's research into his family's history and ancestry, including research into his family members' lives in Breslau in addition to genealogy; and the fates of his grandparents, Siegfried and Käthe Goldmann, who died in the Holocaust. Many of the collection's family documents consist of photocopies; there is also extensive correspondence with Donald Harter as he conducted his research and sought to memorialize his family members. The collection also contains photographs, a photo album, copies of articles related to his research, and some family trees.

Documentation of Harry and Leonor Harter and their family's lives in Breslau and their subsequent emigration are found in every series of this collection. Series I includes their official, educational and emigration papers, as well as some documentation of Harry Harter's professional work, military service, and death. Papers documenting aspects of their son Donald's life are also present in Series I. Series II contains Donald Harter's research into his family's lives and includes further photocopies related to his parents' emigration and a few official documents of his parents. Material related to the ships he and his parents took during their immigration are also part of Series II. This series also includes Leonor Harter's answers to questions about her experiences as well as Donald Harter's reflections on his family, parents, and early life in Breslau. Series III contains a number of family photographs featuring the Harter family and a photo album created by Leonor Harter before leaving Breslau that shows many locations significant to the family. Donald Harter's notebook and associated photographs from his return to the city in 1989 likewise mention and depict locations of importance to the family. Series IV contains restitution correspondence regarding property owned by his family in Breslau.

Another prominent topic of this collection is Donald Harter's interest in his family's history and his research into his ancestry, including his genealogy, is . Copies of historical documents related to his family's history will primarily be found in Series II, although some Hirschberg family documents are also in Series I. In addition to historical documents, Series II also holds family trees, copies of cemetery inscriptions, and general research about the history of Breslau and its Jewish community. His related interest in the reconstruction of his family's deteriorated gravestones and the rebuilding of the Storch synagogue is documented in Series II through plentiful correspondence with Polish and other organizations as well as with other individuals similarly interested. A smaller amount of correspondence on the reconstruction of the gravestones is also in Series I.

A third topic of the papers of this collection is Donald Harter's research to discover more precise information about the fate of his grandparents, Siegfried and Käthe Goldmann, who were deported from Breslau in 1942. Many folders of correspondence in Series II pertain to this research. Some correspondence in Series I relates to his desire to memorialize them.


  • 1814-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1935-1996


Language of Materials

The collection is in English, German, and Polish.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Use Restrictions

There are 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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Photograph of Harry and Leonor Harter" href="" show="embed" title="Photograph of Harry and Leonor Harter"/>

Harry Hirschberg was born in Breslau (today Wrocław, Poland) on July 6, 1899, the son of Moritz and Rosalie (née Dienstfertig) Hirschberg and came from a family that had lived for two hundred years in the Breslau region. His father died when he was only six years old. He studied medicine at the University of Breslau, with a pause in his studies while he served in World War I as a military doctor. During the war he was injured with a gunshot to his ankle. In 1924 he completed his medical studies at the university and then began residency training in neurology and psychiatry.

In 1928 Harry Hirschberg married Leonore Goldmann, born July 27, 1906 to Siegfried and Käthe (née Böhm) Goldmann in the town of Hindenburg (today Zabrze, Poland), south of Breslau. Siegfried Goldmann had a wholesale coal business and the Goldmanns had moved to Breslau after World War I. In 1933 Harry and Leonore had a son, Dieter Jochen Hubertus, followed later by a daughter, Daisy.

By the time his son was born Harry Hirschberg had established a private practice in neuropsychiatry in Breslau. From April 1930 until August 1938 he was a consultant at both the Jewish hospital in Breslau for neurology and psychiatry as well as a consultant at the Groß-Breesen Jewish training school for emigration. The family attended the orthodox "Zum weißen Storch" synagogue in Breslau. Both Harry and Leonore were avid horse riders, and Harry Hirschberg was active both in a local riding club and his university fraternity.

In September 1938 Harry Hirschberg and Siegfried Goldmann went to England and the United States, where Harry had distant relatives, to explore possibilities for the family to emigrate. While Harry was in New York City stricter regulations for Jewish doctors in Germany went into effect, and Leonore Hirschberg forbade her husband to return to Germany. Since his visitor's visa was expiring he went to Havana, Cuba to wait for the rest of the family while Siegfried Goldmann returned to Breslau to assist his daughter and grandchildren in emigrating. After a month's travel via Hamburg and Lisbon, on March 16, 1939 Leonore arrived in Havana with Dieter, her infant daughter Daisy, and the family's dog, a collie.

In August 1940 the Hirschberg family arrived in the United States; by the following November Harry Hirschberg found a position as psychiatrist at Marcy State Hospital in the town of Marcy, New York, near Utica. After their immigration, the family surname was changed to Harter, with Dieter becoming Donald, Daisy becoming Dorothy, and Leonore becoming Leonor.

Siegfried and Käthe Goldmann were never able to leave Breslau and in 1942 were deported to the Lublin region, possibly to Izbica, where they were killed.

In July 1947 Harry Harter took a position in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked for the Veterans' Administration as assistant, and later chief, of neurology. Following this position he worked for hospitals in Queens and Long Island, New York in neuropsychiatry and neurology. He also authored a number of articles on topics related to his work, including several articles on juvenile disposition and diseases, including encephalitis, as well as later works relating to the mental health of military servicemen or articles on specific treatments, among various topics. Harry Harter died in 1957.

Harry and Leonor Harter's son, Donald, also became a neurologist. In 1989 he returned to Wrocław to learn more about his birthplace and his family's history there. In later years he researched his family's genealogy and tried to discover more about the fate of his grandparents, Siegfried and Käthe Goldmann.


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The Hirschberg-Goldmann Family Addenda holds documentation on the lives and emigration of Harry and Leonor Harter, originally of Breslau. It additionally contains research, conducted by their son, into the history and genealogy of the Hirschberg and Goldmann families and their relations, as well as into the fate of his maternal grandparents, Siegfried and Käthe Goldmann. The collection includes material about the Breslau Jewish community, especially about its Storch synagogue and the Cosel cemetery (Legnica Street cemetery). The collection contains many copies of historical documents, extensive correspondence, photographs and a photo album, copies of articles related to the research of the collection, and some family trees.

Related Material

The LBI Archives also include the Hirschberg-Goldmann Family Collection (AR 25047), of which the Hirschberg-Goldmann Family Addenda is an extension. AR 25047 contains similar materials about the same family from an earlier donation.

Separated Material

Duplicate photocopies of documents were removed from the collection, as were duplicate photographs. Two books owned by Harry Harter were removed to the LBI Library (A Langenscheidt's dictionary and Max und Moritz, eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen von Wilhelm Busch), as was a Polish book about Wrocław's Jewish cemetery: Stary cmentarz żydowski we Wrocławiu. Copies of the books' title pages retained in the archival collection. A few publications were also removed to the LBI Library, including copies of the LBI newsletter and a newsletter for former Jewish Breslau residents, with copies of publication information copied and retained in the archival collection.

Processing Information

During the processing of the archival collection it was divided into four subjects by content or format. Duplicate photocopies and photographs were removed from the collection and books and entire publications removed to the library. Large, overfilled folders were further divided into multiple folders. Due to preservation concerns, photographs have been removed from a photo album.

Guide to the Papers of the Hirschberg-Goldmann Family 1814-2011 AR 25700
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Hirschberg-Goldmann_Family_Addenda.xml

Revision Statements

  • November 17, 2017: 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