Guide to the Papers of the Wolf-Oppenheimer Family

AR 25665

Processed by Dianne Ritchey

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2017 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey on March 7, 2017. Description is in English.
August 10, 2017  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Plotnik, Marlies (née Wolf), 1927-
Title: Wolf-Oppenheimer Family Collection
Abstract: The Wolf-Oppenheimer Collection provides details on the lives, both personal and professional of more than three generations of members of the related Wolf and Oppenheimer families. Most prominently represented among the collection's papers are Hermann and Irene (née Oppenheimer) Wolf and their daughter Marlies (née Wolf) and Eugene Plotnik, but the papers relate to many other family members as well. The collection includes personal papers, official and educational documents, family correspondence, photographs, family trees, articles as well as personal family writing, and newspaper clippings.
Languages: The collection is in German and English, with a small amount of Hebrew.
Quantity: 2 linear feet + 1 oversized folder
Identification: AR 25665
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
Return to the Top of Page

Biographical Note
Photo of Irene (née Oppenheimer) Wolf and Hermann David Wolf

Photo of Irene (née Oppenheimer) Wolf and Hermann David Wolf

Hermann David Wolf was born on April 28, 1880 in Alzey, Germany, the younger son of the leather merchant Theodor Wolf of Alzey and his wife Caecilie Levintas. Theodor Wolf owned a leather business, Wolf und Söhne, in Alzey. In addition to the family business Theodor Wolf was a prominent member of the community. For twelve years he was deputy mayor (erster Beigeordneter) of Alzey, as well as a long-time member of the Chamber of Commerce and the county council of Alzey-Bingen, a member of the leadership of the Jewish Community for forty years, and he was head of the Jewish Charitable Society and the Jewish War Welfare Society. Theodor Wolf's eldest son was Paul Jakob Wolf, who became a lawyer but died in April 1922 of leukemia. Hermann and Paul had a sister, Ella, who became a physician who was killed in the euthanasia center at Hadamar in 1941. Hermann Wolf studied law at the universities of Giessen, Heidelberg, Munich and Berlin, and in 1908 was admitted to practice law in Germany. He served as an officer in World War I. On March 9, 1920 he married Irene Oppenheimer in Berlin. The couple moved to Darmstadt, where Hermann Wolf had established a legal practice with his partner Dr. Mainzer.

Irene Oppenheimer was the daughter of Max and Mina (née Adler) Oppenheimer. Max Oppenheimer began working for the leather firm Adler & Oppenheimer A.G. in 1883 in their Strasbourg (then Straßburg, Germany) branch as a travelling representative for Württemberg until in October 1892 he was made head of the firm's new branch in Berlin. Adler & Oppenheimer became a success partly because it supplied leather to the German army during World War I. Irene had a younger sister, Hilde (after marriage Hilde Menke), who lived in Jerusalem in the 1930s but later joined her sister in the United States.

Irene and Hermann Wolf had three children in Darmstadt: Paul Theodor (born in 1922 and named for his recently deceased uncle), Ellen (Elfriede) Mathilde (born in 1924), and Marlies (Marie-Luise) Johanna (born in 1927). The family had servants as well as a nanny (Haustochter), Lisbeth Hake, the daughter of Hermann Wolf's orderly in World War I, who remained with the family for sixteen years until Nazi laws made it impossible for her to stay in the household. The Wolf family was well-regarded in Darmstadt, with Hermann Wolf working pro bono for needy clients and helping those in need financially. In December 1936 Hermann and Irene Wolf traveled to New York, where Hermann's cousin, Milton Opton, lived, to determine if the family should move there. Upon their return to Germany they began the process of acquiring American immigration visas.

The Wolf family was finally able to emigrate from Germany to the United States in 1939, traveling via London, where Paul Wolf had been attending boarding school. They crossed the Atlantic on the R.M.S. Queen Mary, and arrived in New York City on February 27, 1939. The family eventually settled into an apartment on Riverside Drive in Manhattan. Mina Oppenheimer eventually joined them there in 1941.

In fall 1945 Marlies Wolf began her studies at Barnard College in Manhattan, where she majored in philosophy. In her sophomore year she met Eugene (called Gene) Plotnik; several months later the couple began dating. They married in March 1950. Eugene Plotnik wrote about television for The Billboard, while Marlies worked as a copywriter. The Plotniks shared a spacious apartment on Central Park West with Marlies's sister, Ellen Wolfson, and her husband, son, and daughter. The Plotniks had two sons, whose surnames were eventually changed to Potter. After nine years the Plotniks and the Wolfsons moved to separate apartments near each other. Marlies Plotnik established a freelance copywriting group and also later wrote a nationally syndicated column with Joy Singer, called Women @ Work. Eugene Plotnik advanced in his career, eventually becoming the creative director of the television department of King Features, which produced cartoons such as Popeye and the animated Beatles. The family later moved to Scarsdale, New York, where the two families once again shared a large home.

Hermann Wolf died in New York City in 1951, his wife Irene in 1972. Their son Paul passed away in 1992, daughter Ellen in 1998, and son-in-law Eugene Plotnik in 2008.

Return to the Top of Page

Scope and Content Note

The Wolf-Oppenheimer Collection contains the papers of more than three generations of members of the related Wolf and Oppenheimer families. Much of the focus of the collection is on Hermann and Irene (née Oppenheimer) Wolf and Marlies (née Wolf) and Eugene Plotnik, with the siblings and parents of Hermann and Irene Wolf also prominent in the collection, as are the Wolf family ancestors. The collection includes personal papers, official and educational documents, family correspondence, photographs, family trees, articles as well as personal family writing, and newspaper clippings.

The first series of this collection contains the papers of Hermann and Irene Wolf. The series includes family correspondence, educational records for Hermann Wolf, and many papers that relate to the family's lives in Germany as well as their immigration to the United States. Most of the papers pertain to the family in general or to Hermann Wolf in particular, including material that pertains to his profession as a lawyer in Germany. Among the emigration papers are lists of the family's possessions, which provide evidence of the family's financial and societal standing. Related are photographs of members of Hermann and Irene Wolf and their children, located in Series V, which holds the majority of the collection's photographs.

Series II holds the papers of Marlies (née Wolf) and Eugene (called Gene) Plotnik. About half the series consists of personal correspondence between the couple. Notable as well is a book of short stories about Marlies, written by her childhood nanny, that provides additional hints about the family's life in Germany. This series also holds a small amount of papers that pertain to Marlies's studies at Barnard College and later professional work. Most photographs of Marlies and Eugene Plotnik will also be found in Series V, especially of Marlies as a young girl but also of the couple together. Series IV contains research material and family trees gathered by Marlies Plotnik, with much of these papers pertaining to the family history, information about towns in which the family lived, family graves, or memoirs written by family members.

Papers of the extended members of the Wolf, Oppenheimer, and related families are located in Series III, with the bulk of the material concerning the Wolf side of the family. Series III is divided into two subseries, for the two branches of the family. The family papers in this series are varied, including official documents such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, as well as educational records from schools and universities, professional writings by family members, articles written about family members or which mention them, family correspondence, and papers relating to the finances or estate of family members. Prominent among the many individuals whose papers comprise this series are the lawyer Paul Wolf, Hermann Wolf's brother, and their sister Ella Wolf, a physician. Some material is also available about Johanna Geissmar, Hermann Wolf's second cousin once removed, who was also a physician: she was held in the Gurs concentration camp and died in Auschwitz. Other papers relate to Hermann Wolf's parents, among several others. Documents in Subseries 2 largely consist of papers of Irene Wolf's parents and sister Hilde, accompanying family correspondence, and some family papers. Series V holds photographs of most individuals whose papers are included in Series III.

Return to the Top of Page


The collection is arranged in five series:

Return to the Top of Page

Access and Use

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

Return to the Top of Page

Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Separated Material

A number of memoirs and books were removed to the LBI Memoir Collection or the LBI Library. Photocopies of the title pages and any handwritten dedications on these items were retained in the archival collection.

Three memoirs of family members have been removed to the LBI Memoir Collection:

A memoir by an unrelated family with information on the Adler & Oppenheimer firm was also removed to the LBI Memoir Collection: True Hearts: the Memoirs of Werner and Irmgard Treuherz.

A book about family member Johanna Geissmar was removed to the LBI Library: Meine Schwester starb in Auschwitz by Richard Zahlten.

A published memoir by family member Berta Geissmar, with a handwritten dedication by her, was removed to the LBI Library prior to the processing of the archival collection: Musik im Schatten der Politik; Erinnerungen(ML 429 G4 A34 1951).

The published dissertation by Paul Jakob Wolf from 1902 was removed to the LBI Library: Über das schlichte Mobiliarmiteigentum unter dem Rechte des Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuchs für das Deutsche Reich.

Other books were also removed to the LBI Library from this archival collection, including The Sonnets of Shakespeare, given by Eugene Plotnik to Marlies Plotnik in 1981; Denkwürdiges Darmstadt, given by the Wolf's former nanny Lisbeth Lang and her husband; and Großherzog Ernst Ludwig und das Schicksal seines Hauses by Max Wauer.

Several publications were removed from the archival collection to the LBI Library. Three issues of Leipziger Zeitschrift für Deutsches Recht with articles by or about Paul Jakob Wolf were removed, with copies of his articles kept in the archival collection. Two issues of the Barnard College undergraduate magazine, The Bear, were also removed, with photocopies of the covers designed by Marlies Wolf retained in the archival collection. One issue of Barnard, the Barnard College alumnae magazine, was also removed, with a copy retained in the collection of the articles in it written by Marlies and Eugene Plotnik. Other publications removed from the collection include Juden-Deportation aus Darmstadt 1942/43 and WNYC Wavelength, with a copy retained of its article on Kristallnacht.

Several items with audiovisual media were removed to the LBI Audiovisual Collection. Included is an audiocassette from a visit of Lisbeth Lang to Marlies Plotnik in 1969, with discussions of Lisbeth's memories of Marlies's childhood. An accompanying letter from Marlies's childhood boyfriend was removed to folder 1/33. A second item is a DVD of a local television interview, conducted by the town of Greenburgh, New York, of Marlies Wolf Plotnik about her life before and after Hitler. The interview series was titled Lessons Learned from the Holocaust: Then, Now, and Never Again. Finally, there is an interview of Werner Treuherz about the history of the Adler & Oppenheimer Leather Company; the original audiocassette has been transferred onto a CD.

Return to the Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Wolf-Oppenheimer Family Collection; AR 25665; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

Return to the Top of Page

Processing Information

During the processing of the archival collection, it was arranged in five series, based on the major topics observed in the collection, as well as format. Basic preservation actions were also undertaken at this time.

Some items were removed from the collection to appropriate areas of the Leo Baeck Institute's collections. For further details, see Separated Material.

Although the collection did not have evidence of original order, numerous notes by Marlies Wolf Plotnik were located throughout the collection, including on the collection's papers. These notes provide details on family members, topics, or individuals, thereby indicating the significance and context of individual items and their connection to the family.

Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.


Series I: Hermann Wolf and Family, 1886-2014

This series is in German and English.
0.35 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Series I holds the papers of Hermann and Irene Wolf and their family. Many of the documents pertain to the family's life in Germany, while others relate to their emigration and later life in the United States.

Personal papers from the family's time in Germany include personal correspondence, family documents, and educational, financial, and official documents. Folder 1/4 includes family correspondence from several family members, mostly conveying brief news or details of their lives. Folder 1/5 includes letters to Marlies from Lisbeth Lang, her former nanny (Haustochter); the letters relate some memories of Marlies as a young girl. The following folder holds letters of the related Opton family, relatives who had emigrated to America at an earlier date and who sponsored Hermann Wolf's family's immigration in 1938. Included are letters to Hermann Wolf from his cousin Milton Opton as well as a letter from Ned Opton in 2007 to Marlies Wolf with information on his father's papers, including a few excerpts of Milton Opton's diaries. Other family papers include poetry in folder 1/8, some of these poems are by Paul, Hermann, and Ella Wolf for their grandmother Johanna Geissmar as well as a poem for Irene Wolf on her sixtieth birthday.

Several folders hold papers of Hermann Wolf. Among these is one on Karl Wilhelm Miller, who had a been a client Hermann Wolf assisted pro bono. Karl Wilhelm Miller committed suicide and killed his wife and child in 1928, due to being heavily in debt. Prior to his death he wrote a letter to Hermann Wolf, thanking him for his legal help; the letter was forwarded to Hermann Wolf by the police inspector and the folder includes a photo of the Miller family. Folder 1/14 holds Hermann Wolf's educational documents, including from his Gymnasium in Mainz and Alzey, as well as from the universities of Giessen, Heidelberg, Munich, and Berlin. This folder also includes the 1908 document from the Ministry of Justice that admitted him to practice law. Hermann Wolf had learned to drive in Germany prior to emigrating to the United States, and folder 1/15 contains his driver's license. This folder also holds an invitation to his wedding with Irene, among other documents. Folder 1/16 includes a statement of respectability written for Hermann Wolf by the mayor of Alzey, which Hermann Wolf carried with him during World War I for identification. Related are several documents in folder 1/20, including his military pass, a letter of recommendation for Irene Oppenheimer from her time working in the finances department of the Adler & Oppenheimer factory in Straßburg from August 1914-January 1915, and a copy of the table songs (Tischlieder) that were performed at Irene and Hermann Wolf's wedding. Folder 1/19 contains a few family photographs and postcards.

Folders 1/1-1/3 focus on the Wolf family's emigration. Among these documents is correspondence with the Cunard White Star line regarding the family's passage across the Atlantic Ocean on the R.M.S. Queen Mary. There are also related documents in folder 1/3 such as the ship's passenger list and travel schedule. Folder ½ includes correspondence with the American Consulate as well as lists of the family's possessions. Folder 1/1 additionally holds a list of the family's jewelry. Documents on financial matters pertaining to emigration are located in folder 1/9 and 1/10. Folder 1/9 includes documents about Jewish taxes and regulations relating to Jews and foreign exchange, the family's loss of investments when leaving Germany, correspondence with banks regarding the transfer of funds, and a 1938 list of the family's expenses and income. Some letters in this folder also relate to Paul Wolf's emigration, as he was then attending school in England. Folder 1/10 includes lists of monthly expenses, receipts, forms and documents regarding the registration of foreign securities.

11Emigration Papers1938-1939, 1951
12Emigration Papers – Correspondence and Lists of Possessions1917, 1938
13Emigration – Travel on the R.M.S. Queen Mary1939
14Family Correspondence1908-1921, 1936-1950
15Family Correspondence and Research – Lisbeth Hake Lang1950
16Family Correspondence and Research – Opton Family1922-2007
17Family Correspondence and Research – Research on Stradivarius Violinundated, 2014
18Family Poetryundated, 1889-1894, 1956
19Financial Matters and Emigration1937-1940
110Financial Matters and Emigration1937-1940
111Hermann Wolf – Book Review1912
112Hermann Wolf – Death of Karl Wilhelm Miller and Family1928
113Hermann Wolf – Death, Will, and Estate1920-1965
114Hermann Wolf – Educational Records1886-1903, 1936
OSL 51Hermann Wolf – Educational Records – Doctoral Degree in Law1902
115Hermann Wolf Family Papersundated, 1920-1938, 1963
116Hermann Wolf – Statement of Respectability1914
117Irene Wolf – Last Will and Illness1956-1972
118Restitution – Documentation1951-1965
119Various Family Papers – Family Photographs and Postcards ("Important Papers")undated, 1915?-1933, after 1951
OSL 51Various Family Papers – Newspaper Clippings – Hermann Wolf and the Josef Meon Trial1926
120Various Family Papers – Official Documents, Correspondence and Family Trees ("Important Papers")1914-1951
Return to the Top of Page

Series II: Marlies (née Wolf) and Eugene (Gene) Plotnik, 1927-2010

This series is in German and English.
0.35 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Series II contains the papers of Marlies (née Wolf), her husband Eugene (called Gene) Plotnik, and their children. Nearly all of the documents in this series are related to personal family life, and primarily consist of correspondence between family members. Some professional and educational papers of Marlies Plotnik are also included.

The bulk of papers in this series consist of the correspondence between Eugene and Marlies Plotnik, located in folders 1/23-1/30. The majority of these are love letters from Eugene to Marlies on birthdays and their wedding anniversaries. In addition, folders 1/23-1/25 include his letters to her prior to their marriage. Most are short, including some birthday telegrams, and some are humorous. Notable in folder 1/23 is a letter in which Eugene Plotnik re-introduced himself to Marlies very early in their relationship and folder 1/25 includes their wedding invitation. Folder 1/30 holds correspondence from a trip Eugene Plotnik took to Denver, Colorado in 1953 in order to investigate it as a potential relocation destination. His letters primarily review his employment options, especially in the fields of broadcasting and publishing. They also discuss the cost of living in Denver, the differences in job seeking in Denver as compared to New York, and nearby attractions. His letters lament the difficulty of breaking into television without having anyone interested in taking a chance on him. Folder 1/31 holds a few letters to Marlies from her sons.

Other papers of this series focus on the personal papers of Marlies Plotnik. Included is a book of stories made for Marlies by her former nanny (Haustochter) Lisbeth Hake Lang sometime in the 1960s. The book tells touching and memorable stories of the early years of Marlies and is decorated with cutouts of photographs of her. The stories describe her siblings' reception of her and one story from her infancy, as well as of the family's Christmas celebration and humorous incidents from her childhood. Accompanying the book is a 1927 birth announcement for Marlies. Folder 1/33 holds other material relating to her childhood, such as a poem for her second birthday performed by her brother Paul, a program from a dance recital when she was three that made the newspapers, a poem she wrote for her parents' twenty-seventh anniversary, and a card with the actor Errol Flynn's signature, among other materials such as family correspondence with family news. Folder 1/22 contains a plan of the Central Park West apartment that the Plotniks shared with the Wolfsons, including handwritten notes on it.

A few folders pertain to Marlies Plotnik's education and profession. Folder 1/32 holds papers from Barnard College, including photographs and a program of the college's 1946 Greek Games, a program for Marlies's graduation ceremony, a booklet about senior week including the class roll, a letter regarding a placement interview and her 1949 résumé. This folder also contains a document, written at the time of her sixtieth reunion, that reflects upon her years at Barnard, especially on her friendships and activities. Folder 1/34 and the collection's oversized folder contains her professional papers, such as a letter of recommendation and material relating to her copywriting work after graduation.

121Book of Stories about Marlies Wolf's Childhood by Lisbeth Hake Lang (with photographs)1927, 1960
122Central Park West Apartment Layoutundated
123Correspondence – Eugene Plotnik and Marlies Wolf1947
124Correspondence – Eugene Plotnik and Marlies Wolf1948
125Correspondence – Eugene Plotnik and Marlies Wolf1949-1950
126Correspondence – Eugene and Marlies Plotnik – Anniversaries and Birthdaysundated, 1952-1974
127Correspondence – Eugene and Marlies Plotnik – Anniversaries and Birthdays1975-1985
128Correspondence – Eugene and Marlies Plotnik – Anniversaries and Birthdays1986-1995
129Correspondence – Eugene and Marlies Plotnik – Anniversaries and Birthdays1996-2008
130Correspondence – Eugene and Marlies Plotnik – Denver Trip1953
131Correspondence – Will and Ned (Edward) Potter1958-1978, 1999
132Marlies Wolf – Barnard College1946-1949, 1980, 2009
133Marlies Wolf – Family Correspondence and Personal Papersundated, 1929-1949, 1965-1969
134Marlies Wolf – Professional Papersundated, 1948-1950
OSL 51Marlies Wolf – Professional Papers – Oversized1954
135Other Correspondence and Papers1956-2010
Return to the Top of Page

Series III: Extended Family, 1843-1966, 2000-2015

This series is in German and English.
0.65 linear feet.

Divided into two subseries by branch of the family.

Scope and Content:

Series III contains the papers of the extended family members of the Wolf and Oppenheimer families, including members of the Levintas, Geissmar, Opton, and Menke families. The series is divided by branch of the family into two subseries; both subseries contain family correspondence and papers, although Subseries 1, which holds the papers of the Wolf side of the family, is far larger. It additionally includes family members' official documents, writings, articles about family members, and other materials.

Most prominent among the papers of this subseries are the parents and siblings of both Hermann Wolf and Irene Wolf (née Oppenheimer). Hermann Wolf's close family documented in Subseries 1 include his parents, Theodor and Caecilie (née Levintas) Wolf, and his siblings, the physician Ella Wolf and the lawyer Paul Wolf. Some papers of Irene Wolf's parents, Max and Mina Oppenheimer, and sister, Hilde Menke, are included in the second subseries. Both subseries also contain some papers of early generations of the family.

Subseries 1: Wolf and Related Families, 1843-1966, 2000-2015

This subseries is primarily in German and English, with a very small amount in Hebrew.
0.6 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

This subseries consists of papers of the Wolf and related Geissmar, Levintas, and Marx family members. Included are their educational papers, professional papers, articles and writings, correspondence, and other papers.

The physician Ella Wolf, sister of Hermann Wolf, is one individual well-represented among the papers of this subseries. Folder 1/39 includes her certificate for completion of Gymnasium studies (Zeugnis der Reife), her admission to study medicine from the University of Heidelberg, her 1909 medical license, and several letters of recommendation from positions she held after her university studies. Folder 2/3 includes a few of her medical writings, while folder 1/36 contains an article about her.

Paul Wolf, brother of Hermann Wolf, is another individual whose papers are prominent in this subseries. Folder 2/4 holds his birth certificate, a copy of his certificate for completion of Gymnasium studies (Zeugnis der Reife), and certificates from the Ministry of Justice, including one relating to receiving his license to practice law. This folder also contains some postcards from Paul Wolf during World War I. The remainder of Paul Wolf's educational documents are in folders 2/5 and 2/6, documenting in more detail his studies and including documentation on his legal studies at universities in Berlin, Darmstadt, and Heidelberg. In folder 2/7 is a statement of respectability for him signed by the mayor of Alzey, along with various notes on religion and Jewish holidays from the late nineteenth century.

Several folders hold papers of Theodor and Caecilie (née Levintas) Wolf, Hermann Wolf's parents. These include some of their educational and official documents. Two folders contain their correspondence, including correspondence from Caecilie to Theodor while they were engaged (folder 2/9). Folder 2/10 holds their marriage certificate, engagement announcement, and a birth certificate for Theodor Wolf. Included with these documents were two official documents of Rabbi David Geissmar, Caecilie Wolf's maternal grandfather.

A second physician mentioned among these papers is Johanna Geissmar, Hermann Wolf's second cousin once removed. Folder 1/45 holds material about her, primarily information on books written about her, research correspondence, and an article about her life in Saig, the Black Forest town in which she resided. The preceding folder holds email correspondence between Marlies Plotnik and the school that was renamed in Johanna Geissmar's honor, including information on some of the school's activities.

Other folders hold a few papers of various other family members, such as David and Emma Marx, Jakob Wolf, the Opton and Levintas families, and papers of unidentified family members.

136Article – Die Kusinen Marie Kaufmann-Wolf und Ella Wolf: Zwei Alzeyer Mädchen auf dem langen Weg zu Studium und Arztberuf2015
OSL 51Article about Berta Geissmar – Oversized ("Life for Jews in Germany")2007

Not digitized due to copyright.

137Articles about Berta and Clara Geissmar ("Life for Jews in Germany")1991, 2006
138Caecilia Wolf (née Levintas) – Educational Papersundated
139David and Emma (née Levintas) Marx – Family Correspondenceundated, 1878-1916
140Ella Wolf – Educational and Professional Papers1903-1909, 1916-1920
141Emma Marx – Pension of David Marx1878-1921
142Emma Marx – Real Estate and Father's Life Insuranceundated, 1869-1889
OSL 51Emma Marx – Real Estate and Father's Life Insurance – Oversized Documents1883-1904
143Jakob Wolf – Obituary1891
144Johanna-Geissmar-Gymnasium – Correspondence2014
145Johanna Geissmar Material1912-1966, 2000-2001
146Levintas Family Correspondenceundated, 1866-1867
21Opton Family1891-1953
22Other Family Members' Correspondence and Papersundated, 1844-1917
23Paul and Ella Wolf – Writings1902-1920
24Paul and Theodor Wolf – Documents and Newspaper Clippingsundated, 1897-1920
OSL 51Paul and Theodor Wolf – Documents and Newspaper Clippings – Oversized Newspaper Clippings1917-1922
25Paul Wolf – Education – Realschule and Gymnasium1887-1897
26Paul Wolf – Education – University1898-1904
27Paul Wolf – Other Papers1897-1918
OSL 51Plans for Addition to House1895
28Theodor and Caecilie (née Levintas) Wolf – Correspondenceundated, 1876-1885, 1915
29Theodor Wolf – Correspondence from Caecilie Levintas1875-1876
210Theodor Wolf – Death and Condolences1917-1919
211Theodor Wolf Papers1843-1876
212Unidentified Family Members' Papersundated
213Unidentified Family Members' Papers – Sermon and Religion Notesundated, 1895-1899
214Wolf Family Correspondenceundated, 1875-1896

Subseries 2: Oppenheimer and Related Families, 1894-1953

This subseries is in German and English.
0.05 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Subseries 2 holds some papers of the Oppenheimer family, primarily the close relatives of Irene Wolf (née Oppenheimer). The subseries consists of family correspondence and papers.

Folder 2/15 holds correspondence to Hermann and Irene Wolf from Irene's sister, Hilde, and brother-in-law Helmut Menke in Jerusalem in 1939. Their letters include many details of their lives in Jerusalem in 1939. The couple worked in healthcare, at the Hadassah medical center, with Helmut Menke having found a position as a physical therapist. In one letter of August 17, Helmut mentioned how he had seen the situation of the Jews in Germany as hopeless even in 1933. Some of Hilde's letters discuss the difficulties of getting her mother to Palestine, and others the difficulties of their own potential emigration to the United States. Helmut's letters also briefly discuss his work and professional relationship with his colleagues.

Two folders hold papers of Max and Mina Oppenheimer, Irene Wolf and Hilde Menke's parents. Folder 2/17 includes newspaper clippings about professional anniversaries and notable birthdays of Max Oppenheimer, along with obituaries after his death. Folder 2/18 holds various papers related to the family, such as a hotel receipt when Mina Oppenheimer took Irene to boarding school in England, and a program from Irene Oppenheimer's first piano recital.

215Hilde (née Oppenheimer) and Helmut Menke – Correspondence1939
216Julius Oppenheimer Testament1929
217Max and Mina Oppenheimer – Obituaries, Career Anniversaries, and Birthdaysundated, 1933-1953
218Max, Mina and Irene Oppenheimer Papers1894-1953
Return to the Top of Page

Series IV: Family History, Genealogy, and Family Graves, 1843-2014

This series is in German and English.
0.2 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Series IV encompasses material related to the family history and memoirs of family members, including information for family trees and on towns in which family members resided.

Many of the folders in this series pertain to the history of the Wolf family, whose ancestors were buried in Alzey. Folders 2/19, 2/24, and 2/30 include information on the family graves and their later restoration in 2014; material includes email correspondence about the restoration along with sketches and photographs of the graves. Folder 2/24 additionally includes official documents signed by Grand duke Ernst Ludwig naming Theodor Wolf deputy mayor in 1890 and 1896, family trees, and lists of family members with basic biographical data. Folder 2/30 also includes the text of a speech given at Theodor Wolf's funeral service with biographical information on him, including mention of his business as well as his municipal and community positions. The folder also holds a copy of a certificate awarding Ella Wolf a Wartime Cross of Service (Kriegsverdienstkreuz).

In addition to folder 2/24 several other folders in this series pertain to the family genealogy. These include folder 2/23, which encompasses the genealogical research of Fritz Wolf, who had run the leather company E. Wolfsöhne. The family trees in this folder were accompanied by a copy of history on the Levintas family, a copy of Hermann Wolf's birth certificate, and copies of documents regarding the rescinding of Hermann Wolf's legal license in Germany in 1938. Folders 2/25 and 2/26 relate to the Geissmar (spelled alternately Geismar) family, with correspondence and research on this branch of the family. Folder 2/25 additionally includes copies of photographs and documents of Geissmar family members. Folder 2/26 contains the research of Werner Frank, who had traced the family back to 1560; this folder also includes an article on an unrelated Wolf and Regensburger families in addition to a tree of the descendants of Jakob Geismar.

Three folders pertain to memoirs that were in the archival collection, but have been removed to the LBI Memoir Collection. Copies were kept in the archival collection of pages of memoirs with handwritten notes. Folder 2/22 held a self-published memoir of Clara Geissmar and now contains the documents that accompanied the memoir. These include a few personal letters of Clara Geissmar, copies of pages from the book Jewish Life in Germany in which she was mentioned, a newspaper clipping about a Geissmar family descendant, and a brief family tree. Folder 2/28 pertains to the memoir by Marlies Wolf, and consists of some additional pages related to this memoir along with photocopies of photographs. Folder 2/29 held the memoir of Alice Hochschild, cousin of Irene Wolf (née Oppenheimer) and includes a family tree along with a newspaper clipping of an article by Alice Hochschild's daughter, Hella Cheitlin, about the search for Raymond Herman Geist, the American consular official who assisted in Alice Hochschild's emigration. Folder 2/20 contains books and publications that were removed from the archival collection to the LBI Library, with copies of their bibliographic information retained in this folder. Notable among these works is Berta Geismar's book Musik im Schatten der Politik, a book about Darmstadt gifted to Marlies Plotnik from her former nanny Lisbeth Lang, and an article about Johanna Geissmar in Werner Frank's family newsletters.

219Alzey Gravesundated, 1879, 1916, 1939, 1990s
220Books removed from the archival collection1938-1949, 2000-2002
221Darmstadt Material1949-1996, 2009
222Erinnerungen: Clara Geissmar (née Regensburger) Memoir – Accompanying Documents1843-1944, 1996
223Family Tree according to Fritz Wolfundated, 1920-1941
224Family Trees – Data from Alzeyundated, 1890-1896, 2012
225Geissmar/ Geismar Family History – Research, Manuscript Drafts and Correspondenceundated, 1993, 2000
226Geissmar/ Geismar Family History – Werner Frank Researchundated, 1967, 1993-1996
OSL 51Kristallnacht and the Holocaust – Oversized Newspaper Clippings1988, 2015

Not digitized due to copyright

227Kristallnacht – Newspaper Clippings and Articles1988-2000

Not digitized due to copyright

228Memoir (We Came to America) Additionsundated, 1916-1917, 2014
229My Youth: Memories of Substance and Trivia 1897-1921 – Memoir by Alice Hochschild – Accompanying Documentsundated, 1985, 2000
OSL 51Oversized Family Tree2000s
230Wolf Family Graves1917, 1946, 2005-2014
Return to the Top of Page

Series V: Family Photographs, 1914-1980s

This series is in German and English.
0.3 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

This series includes a large amount of family photographs, which provide visual representation of both branches of the family over multiple generations, their notable and celebratory events, family trips, and daily lives. During the processing of the archival collection, the photographs were organized by family and further subdivided by photograph type or subject.

Photographs of the Hermann Wolf family include depictions of Hermann and Irene Wolf, along with their children, friends, or family residences. Two folders contain the many photographs of Marlies Wolf as a child. Photographs include family occasions that feature Hermann and Irene Wolf, including at their wedding and at their daughter Marlies's wedding in folder 2/31 and at their engagement party in folder 2/32. Folder 2/36 shows the Wolf family home in Alzey, the courthouse where Hermann Wolf worked, and the family's home on Riverside Drive in Manhattan after their immigration. Several photographs of Hermann Wolf as an officer in World War I will be found in folder 2/37, most of which show him with other soldiers. Folder 2/38 focuses on Marlies and Eugene Plotnik, including photos from their wedding day, portraits both alone and together, and publicity photographs of Marlies (taken by Eugene) for her Women @ Work newspaper feature during the 1980s. Folder 2/34, which holds group photographs of the Hermann and Irene Wolf family, includes a number of group photographs of the family at Norderney beach (Lower Saxony, Germany) in the 1920s.

Several other folders hold photographs of Irene Wolf's family, the Oppenheimers. Most of these consist of her parents, Max and Mina (née Adler) Oppenheimer, along with Irene herself and her sister Hilde. Many of Max Oppenheimer's photographs (folder 2/44) show him on vacation. Photographs of Mina Oppenheimer include those in folder 2/41, which show her as a young girl along with photographs of her nine siblings and parents, including several of her mother, Rosa Adler. One group photograph shows all ten Adler children together. Folder 2/45 contains photographs of the married Mina Oppenheimer, including one of her as a volunteer during World War I and several others from her later years in Berlin and New York. Photographs of the entire Max and Mina Oppenheimer family are in folder 2/42 and feature many photos of family members together, including at the beach in Norderney and on skiing trips. This folder also includes a portrait photo of Max and Mina Oppenheimer on their silver wedding anniversary.

The final folder of this series contains photographs of Theodor Wolf and Caecilie Wolf, along with their children, Hermann, Paul, and Ella Wolf. Included are photographs of Hermann Wolf as a student, childhood photos, and a photocopy of a photograph of Caecilie Wolf from circa 1908-1910. Several photos relate to a painting made from a photograph of Caecilie Wolf by the artist "Bialla" (possibly Erich Colm-Bialla).

231Hermann and Irene Wolf1920-1972
232Hermann and Irene Wolf Family (including children: Paul, Ellen, Marlies)1923, after 1945
233Hermann and Irene Wolf Family – Friends and Extended Family1933-1955
234Hermann and Irene Wolf Family – Group Photographs1924-1963
235Hermann and Irene Wolf Family – Other Family Members and Friendsundated, 1920-1921
236Hermann and Irene Wolf Family – Residences and Buildingsundated, 1920, 1939
237Hermann Wolf in World War I1914-1917
238Marlies (née Wolf) and Eugene Plotnik1949-1960, 1980s
239Marlies Wolf – Childhood and Younger Years1928-1955
240Marlies Wolf – Childhood and Younger Years – with Siblings (Ellen and Paul Wolf) and Parents (Hermann and Irene Wolf)1928-1949
241Oppenheimer Family – Adler Family Membersundated, 1888-1915
242Oppenheimer Family – Group Photographs – Max, Mina, Hilde and Irene Oppenheimer1894-1930
243Oppenheimer Family – Hilde and Irene Oppenheimerundated, 1904-1937, 1940s?
244Oppenheimer Family – Max Oppenheimer1927-1932
245Oppenheimer Family – Mina Oppenheimerundated, 1916?, 1935-1950
246Oppenheimer Family – Other Oppenheimer Family Membersundated, 1909-1945
247Theodor and Caecilie Wolf and Family (including children: Hermann, Ella, Paul)undated, 1906-1920
Return to the Top of Page