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Berthold Rosenthal Collection

Identifier: AR 637

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the historical and genealogical work of the teacher and genealogist Berthold Rosenthal. It contains extensive information on the history of Jews in Baden, as well as genealogical information on several families.

Berthold Rosenthal wrote many articles on German Jews in Baden, and this collection contains both unpublished manuscripts and published clippings of his written articles. Subseries 1 of Series I holds some unpublished, handwritten manuscripts on topics such as the education of Jewish children as well as on Jewish communities in Baden. Subseries 2 of the same series holds numerous published articles by Berthold Rosenthal, concerning Jews in Baden and in Mannheim, among other topics. Series II holds many handwritten notes on Jewish communities in Baden, much of it taken from original documents he encountered in city and regional archives. Rosenthal's published writings will also be found in the community newspapers of Series VI: Subseries 1. In addition, Series VIII: Addenda contains Rosenthal's detailed work on Jews in Baden, Heimatgeschichte der badischen Juden. A review of this work will be found in Series VII: Subseries 3.

The collection is also strong in the area of genealogical information. Berthold Rosenthal worked on collecting genealogical information for many families. Some of this material may be found among the community histories in Series II. These histories contain many notes on names used by Jewish families in different areas and at different times in Baden. Series IV, however, is where the largest portion of genealogical information is located. It includes family trees, genealogical tables, and narrative family histories of many Jewish families from the area of Baden, as well as correspondence with family members, which also often contains information on families and their history. A small amount of genealogical information on the Rosenthal family will be found in Series VII: Personal Records and Papers.

One area in which the collection is not very comprehensive is in biographical or personal material on Berthold Rosenthal himself. There are only a few letters, mainly in Series V: Correspondence, in the collection which contain biographical information. Another area where there is a small amount of correspondence is located in Series VII.


  • 1706-1959
  • Majority of material found within 1927-1952

Language of Materials

The collection is in German, Hebrew, and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Collection is microfilmed - MF 484.

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

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

Berthold Rosenthal was born on January 17, 1875 in Liedolsheim bei Karlsruhe, the son of Emanuel Rosenthal, a cattle dealer and Babette nee Weil. In 1914 he married Johanna née Benzian. In the following years they had three children: Ernst, Ruth, and Lotte.

From 1889-1891 Rosenthal attended preparatory school in Tauberbischofsheim. For the following three years he studied towards his teaching degree in Karlsruhe (Baden-Würtemberg). After receiving his degree, he first obtained a position teaching Jewish religion classes, which he did from 1894 until 1897 in Kirchen-Efringen, Adelsheim bei Buchen, and Friesenheim bei Lahr. In 1901 he began teaching at a grammar school (Gymnasium) in Mannheim. From 1914 to 1916 Rosenthal served in World War I and was released from service because of an eye injury. He resumed teaching in Mannheim, where he continued until he was forced to leave in 1933. In addition to teaching, he wrote for the Jewish magazine Die neue Volkschulworte. He was also involved in Jewish charity organizations and secretary of the Jewish August-Lamey-Loge. During the Weimar Republic he collected information on Jews in Baden, and in 1927 his work Heimatgeschichte der badischen Juden was published.

This work would become very important in the future, since it contained much information on Jews in Baden that was lost under the National Socialist regime. After he lost his position in 1933 as a grammar school teacher, he conducted research and contributed articles to the Germania Judaica, a work focusing on the history of Jews in Germany. The Germania Judaica was forbidden to be published by the German government, and was eventually published by the Leo Baeck Institute in 1968.

In September 1940 Berthold Rosenthal and his wife escaped to the United States via Portugal. They arrived in New York and were greeted by Berthold Rosenthal’s two daughters and younger siblings, who had left Germany earlier. His eldest son Ernst went to live in Palestine on a kibbutz. Berthold Rosenthal lived for eight years in New York, staying with his daughters, and worked for a time in an export business there owned by his nephew. Eventually Berthold Rosenthal moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he died on December 16, 1957 at 82 years old.


6 Linear Feet


This collection holds documents pertaining to the work of the teacher and genealogist Berthold Rosenthal. It contains his writings on German Jews in Baden, including a copy of his Heimatgeschichte der badischen Juden, and genealogical work on Jewish families from that same geographic region. In addition, the collection also is comprised of correspondence, notes on original documents, and genealogical information on the Rosenthal family.

Microfilm Index

Microfilm is located on MF 484, on the following reels:

  1. Reel 1: box 1, folders 1-59
  2. Reel 2: box 1, folders 60-108
  3. Reel 3: box 1, folder 109
  4. Reel 4: box 2, folders 1-8
  5. Reel 5: box 2, folders 9-13
  6. Reel 6: box 2, folder 14-box 3, folder 3
  7. Reel 7: box 3, folders 4-10
  8. Reel 8: box 3, folder 11-box 4, folder 1
  9. Reel 9: box 4, folders 2-42
  10. Reel 10: box 4, folders 43-45
  11. Reel 11: box 4, folder 46-box 5, folder 35
  12. Reel 12: box 5, folders 36-85
  13. Reel 13: box 5, folder 86-box 6, folder 28
  14. Reel 14: box 6, folders 29-33
Guide to the Papers of Berthold Rosenthal (1875-1957) 1706-1959 (bulk: 1927-1952) AR 637 / MF 484
Processed by LBI Staff
© 2004
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from BertholdRosenthal.xml

Revision Statements

  • January 2006:: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.
  • 2010-12-21: : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl .

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States