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Spiegler-Weinrauch Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25328

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of the Spiegler and Weinrauch families, as well as some papers related to Meier Weinrauch’s acquaintance, Herman Felber.

In 2003, John Spiegler completed a questionnaire for the Austrian Heritage Collection, designed for Austrian Jewish immigrants to the US. In the questionnaire, John Spiegler shortly describes his family’s life in Vienna prior to the Anschluss in 1938, the Spiegler family’s departure to the US, and his life in the US. In addition, he lists the names of his daughters born after the war in the US and grandparents who died before and during the Holocaust. The transcription of the questionnaire is included in the first folder along with John Spiegler’s school records from Vienna and his Austrian documents.

The following three folders contain the Weinrauch family’s papers. They are typed and handwritten in English, French, and German and largely pertain to their stay in France between 1939 and 1941 and their later life in the United States. The papers in folder 2 include records of furniture and other lists from Leipzig, probably by Meier Weinrauch. In addition, folder 2 contains Meier Weinrauch’s and Herman Felber’s correspondence with French authorities and the US consul, Rosa Weinrauch’s personal letters, and documents related to their travel to the United States. Folder 3 contains correspondence pertaining to requests for restitution from France by Herman Felber between 1945 and 1954. Folder 4 contains Mr. Weinrauch’s correspondence with different contacts in postwar Germany between 1947 and 1956, including requests for restitution from Germany, attempts to recover his assets lost during the war, and his efforts to build business relations in postwar Germany.

The last folder, folder 5, contains formulas for beauty products and other chemical treatments in German, possibly intended for future business ventures of Meier Weinrauch in the USA.


  • 1938-1956, 2003


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, French, and English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

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

John Spiegler (formerly Hans Spiegler) was born in Vienna, Austria on March 19, 1923 and died in Corning, New York on August 10, 2010. He immigrated to the United States at the age of sixteen together with his father Richard Spiegler (Vienna, September 11, 1896 – New York, November 1977) and mother Ella or Gisella Spiegler, née Offner (Vienna, August 25, 1886 – New York, January 22, 1954). They boarded the ship Vulcania in Trieste and reached the U.S. on November 4, 1939, settling first in Atlantic City, where Richard held different jobs. Toward the end of his life, Richard worked as the food and beverage controller for the Hotel New Yorker in New York City. His son John learned to use a lathe in a trade school in Atlantic City and then worked as a machinist in New York. In 1943, John was drafted into the US Navy and served in Akku, Alaska. He was naturalized on July 3, 1944. After the war, he finished college and moved with his wife Meta Weinrauch to Corning, New York, where he worked as a mechanical engineer. John was a member of the conservative synagogue and active in the local Jewish community. John and Meta Spiegler had two daughters, Judith and Brenda.

John’s wife, Meta Weinrauch was born in Leipzig, Germany on June 2, 1925 and died in Corning, New York on January 12, 2007.Meta sailed with her parents Meier (born 1890 in Rosulna, now Ukraine) and Rosa Weinrauch (born 1897 in Brody, now Ukraine) from Casablanca, Morocco on the ship Nyassa, arriving in New York on August 9, 1941. Meta’s brother, Joseph Weinrauch (Leipzig, May 5, 1921 – New York, April 6, 2006) had been living in the United States since July 1938.

Before immigrating to the United States, probably in 1939, Meier, Rosa, and Meta Weinrauch moved to France. They lived in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, where Meier requested to be drafted to the French army. In France, Meier Weinrauch was associated through business with Herman(n) Felber (born in Berlin in 1906). Like the Weinrauchs, Felber immigrated to the US, became an American citizen, and lived in New York. His letters requesting restitution from the French government in this collection suggest that the relationship between Weinrauch and Felber continued after the end of the war, when both resided in the US and apparently were associated with fur trade.

After the war, Meier Weinrauch tried to recover his lost property in France and Leipzig as well as build business relationships in (West) Germany.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection contains personal papers and a 2003 questionnaire of John (formerly Hans) Spiegler as well as correspondence of his wife Meta Weinrauch’s family prior to and following their immigration to the United States in 1941. Also included are letters from Herman(n) Felber.


The collection is arranged by family members and topics.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused into archival folders.

Guide to the Spiegler-Weinrauch Family Collection 1938-1956, 2003 AR 25328
Processed by Katalin Franciska Rac
© 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • June 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States