Guide to the Papers of the Wassermann Family
1842-1942

AR 269

Processed by Meike Bingemann

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305

Email: http://www.lbi.org/ask

URL: http://www.lbi.org

© 2012 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey in April 2012. Description is in English.
June 13, 2013  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wassermann Family
Title: The Wassermann Family Collection
Dates:1842-1942
Abstract: The Wassermann Family Collection contains information on the entire Wassermann family. Prominent topics include the family history and life and death of individual family members. The collection consist of birth certificates, death certificates, and books of condolence, identification papers, academic documentations, emigration papers, photographs, family history documents, memoirs, and a family tree.
Languages: The collection is in German and English.
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Identification: AR 269
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
Return to the Top of Page

Biographical Note
Portrait of Max Markreich (1881-1962)

Portrait of Wassermann Family

The Wassermanns were a very successful banking family. Many male family members were active in the financial industry.

Oscar Wassermann was probably the best known of them. He was born on April 4th 1869 in Bamberg, Germany and died on September 8th 1934 in Garmisch, Germany. Oscar Wassermann was part of the executive board of the Deutsche Bank and the Disconto – Gesellschaft Berlin, and he was a member of the general council of the Reichsbank. After the passing of the enabling act of 1933, Oscar was suspended from his positions.

His father, Emil Wassermann, who was born on May 12th 1842 in Wallerstein, Germany and died on November 12th 1911 in Berlin, Germany, was the initiator of the banking tradition in the Wassermann Family. He owned and directed A.E. Wassermann, a private banking house, for almost 50 years. Other bankers in the family were i.e. Sigmund Wassermann, son of Emil, and Max von Wassermann, cousin of Oscar and Sigmund. Most members of the Wassermann family immigrated to the United States at the beginning of World War II.

Return to the Top of Page

Scope and Content Note

The Wassermann Family Collection holds various information of the entire Wassermann family, starting with it’s "genesis" in 1423. The collection comprises birth certificates, death certificates, books of condolence, identification papers, academic documentations, emigration papers, photographs, family history documentations, memoirs, and a family tree. Particularly prominent are themes like the family history and life and death of individual family members, which include Emil, Oscar and Sigmund Wassermann.

The major documents in Series I are death certificates, obituaries, and condolences. The books of condolence are devoted to Emil, Oscar, and Max von Wassermann. The condolences and articles in the book include biographical notes, especially emphasizing their success in the banking industry. Other than that, there are report cards and an enrollment verification of Oscar Wassermann as well as identification papers, including a pay book, award certificates, and emigration papers of Sigmund Wassermann. The collection also contains a photo album of the Wassermann’s house, showing the interior and exterior.

Series II relates to family history. Here one will find articles and memoirs from family members themselves, one anonymous article, and a family tree starting in 1720. "Die Gechichte der Wassermann'schen Familie" (History of the Wassermann family) was written by David Wassermann and starts recording the family's heritage from 1423 on. The anonymous article holds information about the genesis of the Wassermann family in Regensburg, Harburg, Wallerstein, Bamberg, and Berlin. Gutta Rosenbacher's (née Wassermann) memoirs discuss the family history based on her memories, which include her own experiences and stories from her father or other relatives, from 1719 until 1940. Lastly, one will find a family tree and sketches that show the process of genealogy research.

Return to the Top of Page

Arrangement

The collection is divided into two 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
email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

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

Related Material

The digital collection of the LBI Archives holds a relatively large amount of photographs of individual family members and their residences.

Return to the Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Wassermann Family Collection; AR 269; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

Return to the Top of Page

Processing Information

The collection has been restructured.

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: Life and Death, 1842-1942

This series is in German and a small amount is in English.
0.4 linear ft.
Arrangement:

Chronological.

Scope and Content:

The bulk of Series I contains information about individual family members. Material includes a photo album, birth certificates, identification papers, educational documents, emigration papers, death certificates, and books of condolence that cover four generations of Wassermanns.

The series begins with a folder holding a birth and death certificate of Emil Wassermann, a death certificate of his father Samuel Wassermann, and an inheritance verification which certifies that Samuel, the son of Anschel Elkan Wassermann, inherited his father's textile company when he died. Next, there are documents belonging to Oscar, Sigmund Wassermann, sons of Emil Wassermann. Oscar Wassermann was the "most conspicuous and most universal Jewish Banker" (Evening Standard, London, 09/11/1934) at this time, also known as "Germany's leading banker". Sigmund Wassermann was a former soldier and also a banker who immigrated to New York in 1942. Their cousin Max Wassermann was a banker as well and died in the same year as Oscar, 1934.

The books of condolence include obituaries and condolences from various people, companies and biographical articles that praise the Wassermanns' work as bankers.

Last, one will find a photo album of the interior and exterior of the house the Wassermanns lived in.

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Anschel, Samuel, and Emil Wassermann1842-1939
12Oscar Wassermann1862-1937
13Sigmund Wassermann1918-1942
14Book of Condolence: Emil Wassermann1911
15Book of Condolence: Oscar and Max Wassermann1934
16Photo album: Wassermann's houseundated
17Other Materialundated
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series II: History, 1906-1941

This series is in German and English.
0.1 linear ft.
Arrangement:

Chronological.

Scope and Content:

This series consists mostly of writings recording the Wassermanns’ history starting in the 15th century. Other than that, one will find family memoirs written by Gutta Rosenbacher née Wassermann, which are based on her own experiences and stories from her father and other relatives and cover the years 1719-1941, a family tree starting at 1720, and sketches which show the process of creating the family tree.

BoxFolderTitleDate
18History of the Wassermann Family, written by David Wassermann, German1906-1910
19History of the Wassermann Family, written by David Wassermann, translated into English and Post Script1977
110Wassermann Family Line: Regensburg – Harburg – Wallerstein – Bamberg – Berlin1937?
111Family Memoir, written by Gutten Rosenbacher1940-1941
112Family Tree1938?
Return to the Top of Page