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Charlotte and Leo Landau Collection

Identifier: AR 7287

Scope and Content Note

The heart of the collection is found in the Family Correspondence folders. These contain letters and postcards between Leo Landau and his wife Charlotte during their respective frequent travels, Leo for work and for recuperation at spas, and Charlotte for the Jüdischer Frauenbund. Their children often wrote a few words as well, and are also sometimes addressed by the writer. The correspondence tends to concentrate on the periods when Leo and Charlotte were apart; for example, there are dozens of letters from July 1922, but little from the remainder of 1922. Of particular interest are the letters discussing Charlotte's involvement with the Jüdischer Frauenbund in the mid 1920s. While Charlotte's brother Erich Mühsam is mentioned in some letters, particularly in 1924, this collection does not contain any of his correspondence.

The Other correspondence folder contains a handful of letters and postcards to and from others. Correspondents found in the folder include Albert Einstein (photocopy), Emmi Galenbeck, Dr. Julius Joel, Flora Landau (Leo's mother), and Hermann Struck, as well as three figures from the Jüdischer Frauenbund, Bettina Brenner, Bertha Pappenheim, and Hannah Karminski.

The Personal materials folder includes items such as calling cards, invitations and thank you cards, a typed copy of a marriage certificate for Gustav Landau and Hannah Stein, a Mühsam-Landau family tree, an account from 1892 by Leo Landau's father about treatment of Russian-Jewish immigrants during the trip to the United States (photocopy), a copy of a 1988 inquiry about Charlotte Mühsam and Leo Landau at the Central Zionist Archives, and copies and a photograph of Charlotte Landau's sketches of Hermann Struck and Siegfried Mühsam, among others.

The Legal materials folder contains a few miscellaneous documents and items from Leo Landau's legal career in Germany. It also includes his dissertation, "Liegt im §389 des bürgerlichen Gesetzbuches eine Abweichung vom gemeinen Rechte?" (1904).

The collection also includes materials concerning Leo Landau's lifelong involvement with Jewish organizations, in particular the B'nai B'rith lodges in Lübeck and Haifa and the Israelitische Gemeinde Lübeck. Correspondents in the latter include Gustav Landau, Leo's father, and Rabbis Salomo Carlebach, Joseph Carlebach, and David Winter. Materials from other Jewish organizations such as Keren Hayesod, Kadimah, Blau-Weiss, and the Kartell jüdischer Verbindungen are also found in the collection.

The collection also contains a few photographs, including an 8x10 reproduction of a 1907 photograph of Leo Landau with 11 other men. Some are identified, and include Leo Jacobsohn, Martin Meyer, Oskar Meyer, and Willi Mecklenburg.

Finally, this collection also contains a bound collection of the proceedings of the Lübeck city council, of which Charlotte Landau was a member from 1919-1921. This volume was prepared by her son Hans for her 50th birthday in the 1931.


  • 1892-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1907-1931


Language of Materials

This collection is in German, with a small amount of English and Hebrew.

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.

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.

Biographical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Leo and Charlotte Landau" href="" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Portrait of Leo and Charlotte Landau"/>

Leo Landau (1880-1960) was a lawyer in Lübeck and Haifa. He was an active participant in many Jewish organizations, including B'nai B'rith and the Israelitische Gemeinde Lübeck. In 1908 he married Charlotte Mühsam (1881-1971) of the Lübeck branch of the Mühsam family. She was the brother of noted anarchist writer Erich Mühsam. In addition to being an artist, Charlotte was politically active, serving in the Lübeck city council from 1919-1921. In the mid-1920s, she also became an active member of the Jüdische Frauenbund. Charlotte helped found the Heim des Jüdischen Frauenbundes in Wyk-auf-Föhr. Both Leo and Charlotte were active Zionists from an early age, and in 1933 they emigrated to Haifa. They had three children, Gustav, Hans, and Eva.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection primarily contains correspondence between Leo Landau and his wife Charlotte Landau (née Mühsam). During their respective frequent travels, Leo for his legal work and for recuperation at spas, and Charlotte for the Jüdischer Frauenbund, they often wrote almost every day. The collection also contains some other correspondence, personal materials, and documents concerning Leo Landau's lifelong involvement with Jewish organizations such as the B'nai B'rith lodges in Lübeck and Haifa and the Israelitische Gemeinde Lübeck, and Charlotte's membership in the Lübeck city council from 1919-1921.


Each folder is arranged chronologically.

Other Finding Aid

Materials describing the collection and the correspondence in particular are found in folder 1.

Related Material

LBI holds archival collections relating to Charlotte's father Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam (AR 7112), her brother Erich Mühsam (AR 1806), and her son and daughter-in-law Gustav and Hannah Landau (AR 25357). The Mühsam Family collection (AR 25021) documents the Graz branch of the Mühsam family, and contains some material about Charlotte.

LBI also holds memoirs by Charlotte (ME 381) and Leo (ME 1219).

Separated Material

Some photographs were removed to the LBI Photograph collection and digitized.

Sketches and portraits by Charlotte Landau were removed to the LBI Arts and Objects collection.

Processing Information

In June 2011, envelopes were removed and materials were refoldered. Additional related materials from the same donor were found in the Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam collection (AR 7112) and integrated into the collection.

Guide to the Leo (1880-1960) and Charlotte (1881-1971) Landau Collection Undated, 1892-2002 , bulk 1907-1931 AR 7287
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • January 17, 2012 : 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