Guide to the Joseph W. Eaton Collection
1597, 1704-1894, 1944-2008
(bulk 1966-2008)

AR 10028

Processed by LBI staff / Additional processing and finding aid compiled and encoded by Violet Lutz.

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2015  Leo Baeck Institute
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Violet Lutz in February 2015. Description is in English.
October 2015: Links to digital objects added in Container List. December 2015: Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Eaton, Joseph W., 1919-
Title: Joseph W. Eaton Collection
Dates:1597, 1704-1894, 1944-2008
Dates:bulk 1966-2008
Abstract: Joseph Eaton (born Josef Wechsler) was an American sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh and a German-Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States as a child in 1934. The collection primarily comprises correspondence, writings, clippings, ephemera, and photocopied archival materials related to Eaton's genealogical research in the Bavarian localities of Schwabach, Nuremberg, Fürth, and Theilheim (Waigolshausen), including materials pertaining to the history of the Jewish communities in those localities, as well as specifically to Eaton's own immediate family and his ancestors of the Wechsler, Rosenbaum, and Goldschmidt families. Included are materials related to Eaton's travels to those localities in the context of programs hosting former Jewish residents and commemorating the Holocaust and the German-Jewish communities that were destroyed. A small portion of the collection pertains to Eaton's scholarly interest in the experiences of Jewish communists in East German society, including transcripts and/or audio files of two interviews he conducted with Hermann Axen, a Jewish concentration camp survivor who from the 1970s until 1989 was a member of the Politburo of the ruling Socialist Unity Party.
Languages: The collection is predominantly in German, with some English.
Quantity: 1.25 linear feet (3 manuscript boxes + 1 oversize folder)
Identification: AR 10028
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Joseph W. Eaton was born in Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Germany, 28 September 1919, as Josef Wechsler, the son of Jacob Wechsler and Flora Wechsler (née Goldschmidt). His parents had married in Frankfurt am Main in 1912. In Nuremberg Eaton's father owned a shaving brush factory. When the business failed following the stock market crash, the family moved to Berlin, in 1930. Eaton had three siblings, all brothers: Siegfried (Shlomoh; born 1913), Martin (Moshe; born 1915), and Herbert (Yitzchak; born 1921).

After the ascent of the National Socialists (Nazis) to power in Germany in 1933, Eaton's family began to look for ways to emigrate, but they could not afford to do so as a family. Joseph's two older brothers left for Palestine, and Joseph and his younger brother, Herbert, emigrated to the United States with the help of the German-Jewish Children's Aid program. (Herbert eventually settled in Israel.) Eaton's parents later fled to the Netherlands; they were deported from there, and died in Sobibór in July 1943. Eaton's maternal grandmother, Cilli Goldschmidt (née Hamburger), of Frankfurt am Main, died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943.

Joseph Wechsler arrived in New York in November 1934. By 1941 he had changed his last name to Eaton. All of his brothers also took the new name of Eaton. (One brother, Herbert, later went back to using Wechsler.) According to Joseph Eaton, they changed their name in connection with their service in the armed forces on the side of the Allies during World War II (three of the four served either under the Americans or the British), out of concern for the safety of their parents, who were living at the time in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

Joseph Eaton graduated from Cornell University in 1940 with a major in sociology. Following the entrance of the United States into the Second World War, he attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army but, since he was German-born, he was classified as an enemy alien and rejected. However, in 1943, while pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University he was nevertheless drafted, and, thanks to his language skills, was selected to work as a journalist in the psychological warfare unit of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), in which position his duties included writing leaflets to be disseminated behind enemy lines.

As a soldier, Eaton was in a unit that occupied Aachen, the first German city to be taken by the Allies, in October 1944. In 1945-1946, while stationed in Straubing, near Regensburg, he was the editor of a weekly newspaper, the Regensburger Post, published by the Army for the German civilian population of Bavaria.

After the war Eaton returned to Columbia, and completed his Ph.D. in sociology in 1948. On 8 July 1947 he married Helen Fay Goodman (born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1925), at Shearith Israel synagogue, in New York City. Helen Eaton was a speech therapist by profession. The couple had four children: David, Seth, Jonathan and Deborah.

Eaton spent most of his professional career at the University of Pittsburgh. He was appointed professor of Social Work Research there in January 1959, and shortly later held a joint appointment at the Graduate School of Public Health. As of 1974 his appointment was moved to the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, where he remained until his retirement in December 1989.

Early in his career, Eaton was a co-author of an epidemiological study of the mental health of the Hutterite community. His subsequent scholarly interests were often related to social work, comparative social systems, and social economic planning and development. Sometimes working in collaboration with Israeli scholars, he published articles and books on Israeli society concerning topics such as prison reform; youth culture; and educational and social services for disadvantaged groups.

In summer 1980 Eaton spent six weeks as an exchange scholar in East Berlin, in a program sponsored jointly by the American Academy of Sciences and the Akademie der Wissenschaften, of East Germany, with Wulfram Speigner acting as the liaison at the German institute. He researched three topics, on which he wrote reports: Communist social science methodology; Jews in East Germany; and sociology in East Germany. During his stay he became acquainted with the author Stefan Heym.

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eaton returned to Germany and pursued conversations with Jews who had participated in the Communist system, visiting Gregor Gysi and Hermann Axen, among others.

Another of Eaton's scholarly interests related to national identity card systems and privacy issues, a topic on which he published a book in 1986, Card-Carrying Americans: privacy, security, and the national ID card debate (republished in 2003 as The Privacy Card: a low cost strategy to combat terrorism).

At the end of his life Eaton lived in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburg, where he died 15 October 2012, at the age of 93. He is buried at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Adelphi, Prince George's County, Maryland.


Rotstein, Gary (2012 October 19). "Obituary: Joseph Wechsler Eaton, University of Pittsburgh professor, author fled Nazi Germany." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tabachnick, Toby (2012 October 16). "Joseph Eaton was professor of social work, committed Zionist." The Jewish Chronicle.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Joseph Eaton" [biographical notes accompanying photographs donated by Eaton]. USHMM Photo Archives (

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Scope and Content Note

Joseph Eaton (born Josef Wechsler) was an American sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh and a German-Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States as a child in 1934. Approximately 40% of the collection comprises correspondence, writings, clippings, ephemera, and photocopied archival materials related to Eaton's genealogical research (Series III) in the Bavarian localities of Schwabach, Nuremberg, Fürth, and Theilheim (Waigolshausen), including materials pertaining to the history of the Jewish communities in those localities, as well as specifically to Eaton's own immediate family and his ancestors of the Wechsler, Rosenbaum, and Goldschmidt families.

Approximately 30% of the collection comprises correspondence (Series I), a significant portion of which is related to Eaton's travels to those localities in Bavaria in the 1990s to 2000s, in the context of commemorations of the Holocaust and of the German-Jewish communities that were destroyed, and programs hosting former Jewish residents. (See especially correspondence files for municipalities of Nuremberg and Schwabach, as well as the file for Gisela Blume, in Fürth.)

A small portion of the collection pertains to Eaton's scholarly interest in the experiences of Jewish communists in East German society, including transcripts and/or audio files of two interviews he conducted with Hermann Axen, a Jewish concentration camp survivor who, from the 1970s until 1989, was a member of the Politburo of the ruling Socialist Unity Party (Folder 30), and two letters of Eaton to Gregor Gysi (Folder 7).

Also noteworthy are scattered instances of texts by acquaintances of Eaton, including an essay by sociologist and author Irene Runge (Folder 39); speeches related to the dedication of the new synagogue in Aachen (Folder 29); and writings by archivist Wolfgang Dippert about the Schwabach Jewish community (Folders 52-53), and by local historian Ralf Rossmeissl, about Rabbi Abraham Grünbaum (Folder 58). Related to Eaton's family history are texts by two relatives, a speech given by Ruth Bruck (Folder 31), and a photocopy of a memoiristic account by Erich Goldschmidt (Folder 37) of his deportation from Brussels to Saint-Cyprien in May 1940.

With a few exceptions, items in the collection dated before the 1960s are photocopies. There are a few items related to Joseph Eaton's service in the U.S. Army in World War II, among them two original items: a Nazi brochure for Heroes' Memorial Day (Heldengedenktag), 1944 (Folder 72) and one 1945 issue of the U.S. Army newspaper that Eaton edited, the Regensburger Post (Oversize Large, Box 48). Finally, an unusual item in the collection is an original 16th-century parchment document, apparently a land deed, issued by Wilhelm von Inhausen und Knyphausen, in East Frisia (Ostfriesland) (Folder 74), which has no apparent relationship to Eaton's genealogical research.

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Arranged in the following series, according to types of materials.

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Access and Use

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.

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Access Points

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

Related Material

Related collections of Eaton's personal papers include the Joseph W. Eaton Papers (accession 2009.401) at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; and the Joseph W. Eaton Papers (UA.90.F58) at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Leo Baeck Institute holds several other collections of material donated by Joseph Eaton, with content related to that of the present collection: the Schwabach Community Collection (AR 10364), the Theilheim Community Collection (AR 10555) and the Wallerstein-Wechsler Families Collection (AR 5271); as well as two manuscripts by Eaton: Theresienstadt – POE for death (ME 1383) and "A message from Prussia's archives to George Orwell's 'Big Brother'" (library call number q DS 135 G3 J49 E28).

Other related materials held by LBI include original documents pertaining to the family of Eaton's maternal grandmother, in the Hamburger Family Collection, Hanau (AR 2532); a manuscript by Hile Wechsler, one of Eaton's ancestors, "Was ist nun zu thun in dem Hirsch-Bamberger Streit?" (AR 3416 / MF 589); and a Hebrew-language version of the autobiography of Abraham Grünbaum, Ha'Autobiografia shel Abraham Greenbaum (ME 201) (the present collection contains a transcription by Ralf Rossmeissl of what was apparently the original text, in German). The American Jewish Historical Society, at the Center for Jewish History, holds the Mendel Rosenbaum of Zell Collection (P-353).

LBI holdings also include two collections about the Fürth Jewish community collected by Gisela Blume, a correspondent in the current collection, the Gisela Blume Collection (AR 10621) and the Gisela Blume Clippings Collection (AR 10621 C), as well as other holdings related to the Jewish communities of Fürth, Nuremberg, and Schwabach, which can be located by searching in the online catalog of the Center for Jewish History.

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Separated Material

A book originally found in the collection, Die Augen des ewigen Bruders: eine Legende, by Stefan Zweig, was transferred at a previous point to the LBI Library (call number st 6189); during the present processing the publication Das Weltjudentum: Zitate aus Politik, Kultur und Wirtschaft (1944), first installment, published in index-card format, by Deutscher Verlag, Berlin, was also transferred to the library. Audio tapes containing an interview with Hermann and Sonja Axen were removed at an earlier point to the LBI audiovisual (A/V) collection, and digitized.

Clippings from a variety of publications, primarily from West Germany and the United States, dated from the 1940s to 2008, have been removed to a separate LBI clippings file for the Joseph W. Eaton Collection. (Clippings associated with correspondence, and those that came from East German publications, remain with the collection.)

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Joseph W. Eaton Collection; AR 10028; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

Since the materials were received by the Leo Baeck Institute in various small installments over the course of time, there was no significant original order; at some point before 2009, a folder listing was created for approximately half of the collection, without any particular arrangement scheme, and the collection was cataloged. During the present processing, the latter portion of the collection was brought together with an addendum of unprocessed materials relating mainly to Eaton's genealogical research and his travels to the German localities significant in his ancestry. The addendum comprised several files in general categories (e.g. Nuremberg; Schwabach; Eaton-Wechsler family; Rabbi Hile Wechsler) and some loose materials. The collection was re-foldered and re-boxed into new acid-free archival folders and manuscript boxes; and oversize materials were unfolded and placed in an oversize folder. An arrangement scheme was devised, based on broad divisions of types of materials. The arrangement of genealogical research in Series III is modeled on the filing scheme reflected in Eaton's original files in the unprocessed addendum, with headings for individual figures, families, and localities. The following materials were discarded: duplicate copies of letters and documents; photocopies of three sociological articles or chapters from the 1970s-1980s; and a Falk city map of Bonn (Gross-Bonn, 22. Auflage).

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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: Correspondence, 1945, 1966-2008

In German and English.
Box 1, Folders 1-28. .375 linear feet.

Arranged in two sections, then alphabetically by name of correspondent. The first section contains individual correspondence files; in the second section, correspondence of a more miscellaneous nature, or consisting of only one item, has been combined into collective folders.

Scope and Content:

This series includes Eaton's correspondence with approximately 50 correspondents, most of whom are represented with only a small amount of correspondence. A significant portion of the items (perhaps as much as a half) consists of copies that Eaton kept of letters he wrote, often articulating his views and ideas; in some cases only Eaton's letters are present. Most of the correspondence by volume relates to Eaton's travels to and acquaintances in the German localities where he conducted genealogical research on his family: Nuremberg, Fürth, and Schwabach. (There are separate files for Nuremberg and Schwabach municipal offices; and the geographic locations of individuals are indicated in parentheses.) Those files date from 1994 and later. The remaining correspondence mostly pertains to Eaton's scholarly interests and related travel in Germany, from the 1980s to the early 1990s, with correspondents including fellow scholars in West Germany (Peter Mertens, Horst Reimann), and various contacts in East Germany (Stefan Heym, Gregor Gysi, Wolfgang Horn, Peter Kirchner, Albert Norden, Wolfram Speigner). Only two items relate to family members of Joseph Eaton: a letter from one of his brothers, Shlomo Eaton (Folder 4); and a copy of a letter from him to his grandniece Chani Wechsler (Folder 28).

Individual correspondence files

1 1 Bavaria (Germany). Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst. Minister Thomas Goppel 2006

Concerns book launch in Munich, attended by Eaton, for volume by Peter Kuhn about the Jewish cemetery in Georgensgmünd.

1 2 Blume, Gisela (Fürth) 1996-2006

Includes material related to the dedication of a Holocaust memorial in Fürth in July 1997, attended by Eaton and one of his brothers; Eaton's visit to Fürth and Nuremberg in 2000; and the 2006 campaign to restore the building in the Jewish cemetery where the Holocaust memorial is housed. Also included is a 1996 program for a reunion of former Fürth-Nuremberg Jewish families.

1 3 Conference Group on German Politics (Durham, New Hampshire) 1975

Eaton's application to be a resident scholar at the University of Augsburg, for a project on the German welfare system.

1 4 Eaton, Shlomo (brother of Joseph Eaton) 1984

Refers to Shlomo's upcoming visit to Germany, with enclosed flier from a 1981 Nuremberg program for former Jewish residents.

1 5 Engelhardt, Heinrich (Schwabach) 1994-1997

Concerns, in part, a mezuzah held by the Engelhardt family, discovered upon renovation of their house around 1953, the same house (Friedrichstrasse 2) where Eaton's ancestor Hile Wechsler, or the latter's parents, Salomon Wechsler (1843-1894) and wife Elisa, once lived. One item is from Michael Engelhardt, on Heinrich's behalf. Includes one photograph, evidently depicting Joseph Eaton together with Heinrich and Michael Engelhardt.

1 6 Germany. Embassy (Washington, DC) 1966-1968

Related to inquiries by Eaton on current events in Germany of interest to him – in one case an incident of Lebanese stowaways on a German freighter, in the other a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" in Hamburg.

1 7 Gysi, Gregor (East Berlin) 1990

Two letters from Eaton, addressing Gysi as chair of the newly formed Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), related to Eaton's scholarly interests in Jewish communists in the GDR and the GDR's Middle East policy.

1 8 Hamburger, Arno S. (Nuremberg) 2000

Includes a letter by Eaton that provides biographical information about his first cousin Ernst Rosenbaum (Walter Reed). Hamburger was city councilor and chair of the Jewish community of Nuremberg.

1 9 Heym, Stefan (East Berlin) 1983-1984

One letter from and one to Heym, reflecting friendship.

1 10 Horn, Wolfgang (East Berlin/Berlin), journalist 1990, 1993

Two letters from Eaton, including references to his scholarly interests in Jewish communists in the GDR and the GDR's Middle East policy.

1 11 Kirchner, Peter (East Berlin) 1980-1981

Kirchner was chair of the Jewish community of East Berlin.

1 12 Mertens, Peter (Erlangen/Nuremberg), professor of business administration 1982, 1986, 1995

Includes an article by Mertens about German legislation on data security issues.

1 13 Norden, Albert (East Berlin) 1980-1981

Two letters from Eaton, who was interested in Norden's views as a Jew and a member of the Politburo of East Germany's Socialist Unity Party.

1 14 Nuremberg, Germany. Municipal offices 1984-1995

Correspondents are Margot Lölhöffel (press office); mayors Andreas Urschlechter and Peter Schönlein; Harold Plamper (Referat für allgemeine Verwaltung); Günther Beckstein (Bavarian legislator and Nuremberg mayoral candidate); and Helmut Beer (archivist, Stadtarchiv). Includes a transcript of an address by Schönlein at memorial event on 20 April 1995 (50th anniversary of the occupation of the city by the Allies); and form letters sent with the city's publication Nürnberg heute.

1 15 Nuremberg, Germany. Municipal offices 2000, 2004

Correspondents are Margot Lölhöffel and Rimma Schmitt, both of the office for international relations, which ran programs hosting former Jewish residents of the city.

1 16 Reimann, Horst (Augsburg) 1980

Concerns scholarly contacts in West Berlin during Eaton's term as an exchange scholar in East Berlin.

1 17 Richard-Wagner-Museum (Bayreuth, Germany), Manfred Eger, director 1984

Includes a transcript of Eger's address given 24 July 1984, upon the opening of the exhibition "Wagner und die Juden" (Wagner and the Jews).

1 18 Rieger, Susanne, and Gerhard Jochem (Nuremberg) 2002-2003

Concerns a project of the couple on the biographies and views of former Jews of Nuremberg who emigrated during the Nazi period. Jochem was an archivist at the municipal archives; see also correspondence from him in Folder 59.

1 19 Rossmeissl, Ralf (Roth, Bavaria, near Schwabach) 1995

Two letters from Eaton. Rossmeissl was a researcher on the Jewish history of Schwabach; see also material sent by him in genealogical research file on Hile Wechsler/Abraham Grünbaum, Folder 58.

1 20 Schöfthaler, Ele (Schwabach) 2000, 2008

Two letters from Eaton. Schöfthaler was a journalist and, from 2002 to 2008, was active in Schwabach as the community administrator (Quartiersmanagerin) and chair of the center for work and culture.

1 21 Schwabach, Germany. Municipal offices 1994-1999

Includes exchanges with mayor Hartwig Reimann, and with Wolfgang Dippert, as Referat für allgemeine Verwaltung. Dippert was also a city archivist; see also correspondence from him in Folder 61, and writings in Folder 52-53.

1 22 Speigner, Wolfram (East Berlin) 1990-1991

One letter from Speigner, along with a typescript of a radio interview (Deutschlandfunk), dated 26 November 1991, with the title: Die Schuld des Mitmachens und das Elend des Verlierers: ein Sozialwissenschaftler aus der Ex-DDR gibt zu Protokoll (The guilt of complicity and the misery of the loser: a social scientist from the ex-GDR goes on record).

1 23 United States Information Agency (USIA) 1986-1987

Exchanges with John F. Kordek and Pamela Smith, on behalf of director Charles Wick, with references to the USIA's reduction in funding of the German-American Institute in Nuremberg, and Eaton's meeting with Bavarian state politician Günther Beckstein.

1 24 University of Rostock, directorate of international relations 1990

Includes clippings about economic development from the Ostsee-Zeitung. Also included two issues of Neues Deutschland, 27-28 December 1989, which can be found in Oversize Large, Box 48.

1 25 Wiesbaden, Germany. Municipal offices 1988-1989

Concerns a possible donation by Eaton of a copy of a 1935 book about the Jews of Wiesbaden, written by Nazi official Wilhelm Schmidt (Anschriften- und Branchenverzeichnis der Angehoerigen des juedischen Volkes in Wiesbaden und seiner Vororte). The Wiesbaden archives provides biographical details about Schmidt. Also included is related correspondence with Yad Vashem. The copy was ultimately donated to the LBI library (see MS 911).


Other correspondence. (*) indicates correspondents represented solely by copies of Eaton's own letters

1 26 A-F 1945-2001

Amerika Haus (Munich), Director Bernard M. Hensgen. 1986

Baden-Württemberg, Germany. 1967. Concerns Nazi official Otto Hofmann

Bildarchiv (West Berlin), director Roland Klemig.* 1984

Braunau am Inn, Germany (Franz Plasser). 1945. Invitation to exhibition

Daumer, Michael (Bonn).* 1983

Deggendorf, Germany.* 1984. Letter of inquiry from Eaton about the DP camp

Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut (Nuremberg), director William Sheldon. 1995

Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Office for family history. 2001

1 27 G-H 1977-2000

Germany. Consulate General (New York).* 2000

Gut, Emmy (Stockholm).* 1995. Incomplete

Goldstein, Werner. 1991. Formerly of the GDR, declining interview request

Habe, Licci (Ascona). 1977. Thank you for sympathy upon death of Hans Habe

Hardin, Bert (Tübingen).* Undated

Häublein, Hans-Günther (East Berlin). 1968, 1982. Includes death notice

Hotel am Dom (Frankfurt am Main). 2000

Hotel Concorde (Frankfurt am Main). 2000

1 28 N-W 1945-2000

Neues Deutschland (East Berlin), editor Wolfgang Spickerman.* 1990

Rifkin, Simon, U.S. Army adviser on Jewish questions.* 1945

Schmidt, W. (Hanau).* 1973

Stärtzel, W. (Leipzig).* 1973

Tobias, Jim G. (Nuremberg), journalist. 2000

University of Mainz. 1976. Letter from Helen Eaton, with notes

Wechsler, Chani (Netivot, Israel), grandniece of Eaton.* 1992

Winkler, Gunnar (East Berlin), Akademie der Wissenschaften.* 1981

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Series II: Writings/Speeches, Interviews, and Notes, 1982-2008

In German, except for the writings and notes of Joseph Eaton, which are in English.
Box 1, Folders 29-40. .125 linear feet.

Arranged alphabetically by author name, or, in one case, corporate heading (Aachen, Germany).

Scope and Content:

This series contains a few unpublished essays of Joseph Eaton, one related to his experience as an exchange scholar in East Germany, in 1980, and the others to his family history, as well as notes by him, including summaries of genealogical data. A highlight of the series is a set of three interviews pertaining to the GDR politician Hermann Axen, two of them interviews that Eaton personally conducted with Axen. Those interviews were motivated by Eaton's scholarly interest in the experiences of Jewish communists. Also included are writings or texts of speeches by others, in cases in which there is no associated correspondence (writings by others that have associated correspondence are found in Series I, or, if pertinent to Eaton's genealogical research, in Series III). The authors include two relatives of Eaton: Ruth Bruck, a niece; and Erich Goldschmidt, who is evidently related to Eaton on his mother's side. In other instances, the writings or speeches relate to Eaton's interests in German-Jewish life or German attitudes toward Israel.

1 29 Aachen, Germany — Speeches on occasion of dedication of new synagogue 1995

Transcripts of three speeches, two by mayor Jürgen Linden, and one by Simon Schlachet, chair of the Aachen Jewish community.

1 30 Axen, Hermann and Sonja — Interviews 1990-1991

Transcripts of 3 interviews, and 1 letter. Two interviews are with Hermann Axen and his wife, Sonja Axen ("FA"), conducted by Joseph Eaton, with the first transcript undated, and the second dated June 1991. The third interview is with Egon Bahr about Hermann Axen, conducted by reporter Oleg Gruenert; a date of March (?) 1991 is handwritten on the transcript. Hermann Axen (1916-1992), of Jewish heritage, was a survivor of Nazi concentration camps and a member of the Politburo of the East German communist party (Socialist Unity Party, or SED). The letter is from Eaton to Axen, prior to the interviews. Audio tapes pertaining to the June 1991 interview have been removed to the A/V collection, and digitized.

1 31 Bruck (née Wechsler), Ruth. Address given at former Schwabach synagogue 2006

3 pages. Bruck, a niece of Joseph Eaton (the daughter of his brother Martin), recounts her family history.

1 32 Eaton, Joseph, essay "Cultural exchange issues in U.S.-German Democratic Republic (GDR) relations" circa 1982

4 pages. Concerns Eaton's experience as an exchange scholar in the GDR, and his interactions with W. Speigner about publicizing his findings.

1 33 Eaton, Joseph, essay "The Palestine connection of a German-Jewish family, 1800-1995" 1995

3 pages. Marked as a draft.

1 34 Eaton, Joseph, essay "The 'yecke' white lie" 2008

22 pages. In a letter to LBI dated 25 December 2008, Eaton indicated that the piece would probably be the introductory chapter in a larger work. Concerns the history of Jews in Germany and postwar developments, with inclusion of some details of Eaton's own biography and family history.

1 35 Eaton, Joseph — Genealogies and genealogical-related notes 1995, undated

Includes narrative summaries of genealogical data related to the Wechsler, Rosenbaum, Goldschmidt and Hamburger famiies.

1 36 Eaton, Joseph — Other notes 1986, 2000, undated

Includes addresses of contacts; and itineraries of trips to Germany in 1986 and 2000.

1 37 Goldschmidt, Erich. Account of deportation from Brussels to Saint-Cyprien in May 1940 undated

4 pages. Photocopy, accompanied by letter to LBI from Joseph Eaton, 11 March 2011, in which he identifies the writer.

1 38 Kuhn, Peter. "Hans Striedl (1907-2002), Bibliothekar und Orientalist" 2007-2008

Typescript or offprint of an article in German that appeared in the journal Abhandlungen der Kunde des Morgenlandes, Band 9 (2007), along with a cover letter by Eaton to LBI, in English (20 April 2008). Kuhn was an acquaintance or a friend of Eaton. Striedl, the subject of the article, was a Bavarian-born non-Jewish scholar of Hebrew and other Near Eastern languages, and a librarian, who headed the Bavarian state library in the 1960s-1970s.

1 39 Runge, Irene circa 1990-1992

An undated typescript "Integration ist eine der Möglichkeiten: Juden in der DDR" (Integration is one of the possibilities: Jews in the GDR), circa 1990, 12 pages; and two 1992 issues of the newsletter Jüdische Korrespondenz (published by the Jüdischer Kulturverein Berlin), edited by Runge and containing articles by her.

1 40 Weiss, Martin. Presentation on Middle East policy in the German parliament 1990

10 pages. Text of a presentation (Referat), entitled "Anmerkungen zur Konzeptionslosigkeit der Nahostpolitik im Deutschen Bundestag" (Remarks on the lack of ideas on Middle East policy in the German parliament), given at a scholarly colloquium on Europe and the Middle East held in Berlin, at the Akademie der Wissenschaften, 25-26 October.

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Series III: Genealogical research, 1704-1894, 1930s-2008

Predominantly in German, with a small amount of material in English.
Box 2, Folder 41 – Box 3, Folder 62. .5 linear feet.

Arranged alphabetically by topics, including individuals, families, and community or place names. Further sub-groupings are according to the source of the materials.

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials gathered by Joseph Eaton in researching his family history. The branches of inquiry included his immediate family (parents Jacob and Flora Wechsler, mainly of Nuremberg); his father's ancestors (Wechslers of Schwabach and Fürth; and Rosenbaums of Zell and Theilheim); and his mother's ancestors (Goldschmidts of Frankfurt am Main). The materials include correspondence with archivists, and writings by two of Eaton's correspondents, Wolfgang Dippert, city archivist of Nuremberg (Folders 52-53), and Ralf Rossmeissl (Folder 58), a local historian based in Roth, near Schwabach.

2 41 Bad Homburg — published memoirs 1981, 1987

Photocopies of selected pages from the book Meine Erinnerung an Bad Homburg und seine 600-jährige jüdische Gemeinde (1335-1942), by Yitzhak Sophoni Herz; and article by Gera Walsh, "Vor 40 Jahren starb Clara Adelheid Jacobi: Das Schicksal einer Homburger Jüdin."

2 42 Bavaria — Statutes pertaining to Jews 1784, 1880

Photocopies: the "Juden-Ordnung" found in the published statutes of the principality of Ansbach (Real-Index oder Extractus ... Landes Constitution und Ordnungen, by Johann Philipp Heuber, published in Schwabach); and excerpts from statutes of the kingdom of Bavaria (Neue Gesetz- und Verordnungen-Sammlung, by Karl Weber, vol. 1, Nördlingen).

2 43 Fürth Jewish community — Rabbi Salomon Kohn (1739-1819) circa 1809

Photocopy of a German book containing a sermon by Rabbi Kohn delivered on the occasion of the peace celebration of the Fürth Jewish community in 1809 (Predigt des Herrn Oberabbiners Rabbi Salomon Kohn, translated into German by D. Ottensosser and H. H. Schwabacher).

2 44 Goldberg-Yevreiski family tree (Goniondz, Bialystock province) undated
2 45 Goldschmidt family (Bad Homburg and Frankfurt am Main) 1963

Photocopy of the first page of an introduction to a family tree; begins with a reference to great-grandfather Benedikt Goldschmidt. The author is not identified but describes himself in the text as the son of Isaac Goldschmidt (died 1918), and as having left Germany in 1938.

2 46 Mainz family (Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg) circa 1946

Photocopy of a 21-page typewritten text in German, which narrates a family history of six generations beginning with Löb Mainz (circa 1580-1668), and continuing with descendants of Löb Herz Mainz (1765-1849). It includes an account of Liebmann, or Lazar Mainz (1837-1911), who founded the firm L. Goldschmidt-Mainz, with the husband of his sister-in-law, and had a nephew Isaak L. Goldschmidt. The latest year among some handwritten death dates in the last generation is 1946.

2 47 Rosenbaum, Mendel (1782-1868; Theilheim/Waigolshausen and Zell) 1962, 1994-1995, undated

Photocopies or typescripts from published material; two clippings, one about the naming of the street "Mendel-Rosenbaum-Weg" in Theilheim; and copy of a letter from Eaton to a Nuremberg resident who had made a genealogical inquiry about Mendel Rosenbaum. One article that mentions Rosenbaum is focused on Rabbi David Weisskopf.

2 48 Rosenbaum family — Nuremberg archives 1990-1991

Correspondence and photocopies of documents related to Semi and Tony Rosenbaum, and ownership of a brush factory in Nuremberg; also references to Max and Jona Rosenbaum.

2 49 Rosenbaum family in the U.S. — Congregation Shearith Israel, Baltimore 1979-1980

Articles about the congregation (founded 1879), which traces its history to a small congregation founded in 1851 or 1852 with the help of Rabbi Abraham Rice (immigrant from Bavaria, who had been active in Würzburg and Zell); one of the articles mentions a Ben Zion Rosenbaum (born 1852, in Zell), who served unofficially as a cantor.

2 50 Schwabach (general) 1967-1994

Ephemera, photocopies, including two articles about the archives by Wolfgang Dippert, in the historical newsletter Schwabacher Heimat.

2 51 Schwabach Jewish community history 2008

Printout of the history of the community on the website of Alemannia Judaica (working group for the research of the history of Jews in southern Germany).

2 52 Schwabach Jewish community history — Writings of Wolfgang Dippert (1 of 2) circa 1990s

Typescript of an article about the history of the community from the 17th to 19th century, including registries of Jews in the city, as found in the municipal archives; two manuscript versions and copy of the published article "Schwabach und seine Juden," concerning anti-Semitism in the Weimar and Nazi periods; and an article about Schwabach Fraktur during the Nazi period ("Antiqua oder Fraktur: die 'Schwabacher Judenlettern'").

2 53 Schwabach Jewish community history — Writings of Wolfgang Dippert (2 of 2) circa 1990s

Manuscript version of Dippert's article about anti-Semitism in the Weimar and Nazi periods ("Die Juden in Schwabach in der Weimarer Zeit und in der NS-Zeit), with a handwritten inscription to Joseph Eaton.

2 54 Schwabach Jewish community history — Phillip Drescher thesis 1995

Title: "Arisierungen jüdischer Betrieb in Schwabach zur Zeit des III. Reiches" (Aryanization of Jewish businesses in Schwabach during Third Reich). Drescher was a student of the Adam-Kraft-Gymnasium, Schwabach.

2 55 Schwanfeld Jewish cemetery 1935, undated

Photocopies of archival documents: list of burials from both the Schwanfeld and the Theilheim Jewish communities, 1935; and a transcript of a 1687 copy of a 1579 document by Konrad von Grumbach, concerning the granting of the land for the cemetery, and the establishment of a Jewish court in Schwanfeld.

2 56 Theilheim (Waigolshausen) and Höchberg 1988, circa 1990s

Brochure about the history of the Jewish community in Höchberg, and the school there, the Israelitische Präparandenschule, where Hile Wechsler once taught; and a clipping and various photocopies or typescripts from published material about the Jews in Theilheim (part of Waigolshausen as of 1978), in the district of Schweinfurt, Bavaria.

2 57 Wechsler, Hile (1843-1894; Schwabach, buried in Höchberg) 1881, 1894, 1962-1997

Photocopies of published sources, clippings, and a few notes by Eaton, concerning the mystic known as Hile, or Hyle Wechsler (Mosche Pinchas Elchanan Wechsler); one article is about his teacher Rabbi Seligmann Bär Bamberger.

2 58 Wechsler, Hile — student Abraham Grünbaum (1855-1921) 1994-1997

Manuscript (with photo of Grünbaum) and correspondence from Ralf Rossmeissl. Includes a transcript of the original German text of Grünbaum's autobiography (Selbstbiographie).

2 59 Wechsler family — Nuremberg archives circa 1930s, 1990-2000

Includes correspondence from archivist Gerhard Jochem, and photocopies of archival documents, mainly concerning Eaton's parents and brothers, including records pertaining to a brush factory (Pinselfabrik) partly owned by his father, Jacob Wechsler.

2 60 Wechsler family — Nuremberg archives — Documents on distant relatives circa 1933-1939

Photocopies of archival documents for a Wechsler family (Leo and Mathilde Wechsler, and children Julia, Heinrich, and Josef) and a Stern family (Julius Stern and wife Sara, née Wechsler, and son Julius). Characterization of "distant relatives" taken from Eaton's original file title.

2 61 Wechsler family — Schwabach archives (Wolfgang Dippert, archivist) 1990-1998, 2006

Correspondence and photocopies of archival documents, as well as family trees drafted by archivist Dippert.

3 62 Genealogical research — Miscellaneous 1704, circa 1940s, 1971-1995

Various photocopies from published sources, including an article about the history of the Jewish community in Schopfloch, Bavaria; the pamphlet Maria Renata Singer von Mossau, by Eduard Kohl (story of a nun of Zell who was the last witch to be burned in Franconia); and a photocopy of an archival document signed Bishop Johann Philipp, dated Schloss Marienburg ob Würzburg, 1704, a directive about a tariff/duty (Zoll) to be paid by Jews once and waived at other times.

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Series IV: Publications, Ephemera, and Miscellaneous, 1597, 1868, 1944-1947, 1980-2000

Predominantly in German with some English.
Box 3, Folders 63-74, and 1 oversize folder. .25 linear feet.

This series contains groupings of publications, clippings, and ephemera, and one miscellaneous item, in that order. Publications, are arranged alphabetically by group or publisher; clippings, alphabetically by the title of the source publication (with one folder of various at the end); and ephemera, chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series contains publications, clippings, and ephemera collected by Joseph Eaton that were not directly associated with correspondence (Series I includes some clippings and ephemera that were enclosed with correspondence). The items generally reflect Eaton's interests in Jewish participation in the East German communist system; Jewish life in Germany generally; and German relations with Israel. It includes a few items of ephemera from German localities that Eaton visited (Nuremberg, Theilheim; Folder 73); an original illustrated Nazi brochure of 1944 (Folder 72); and one of the last issues (a photocopy) of a Nazi propaganda publication (Folder 67). The clippings are mostly from newspapers published originally in East Berlin, from around the time of German unification (Folders 68-70, and Oversize Large, Box 48). Also included is a single issue of the Regensburger Post, a U.S. Army publication for the German civilian population that Eaton edited while stationed in Straubing, near Regensburg, in 1945-1946 (Oversize Large, Box 48).

The one miscellaneous item is significant for both its age and its lack of relationship to the rest of the collection: an original document (apparently a land deed) by an East Frisian nobleman, dated 1597 (Folder 74), which appears to relate particularly to the area around Manslagt, Krummhörn, district of Aurich, in Lower Saxony. Eaton found the document among the materials he collected in the course of his genealogical research in Germany and in retrospect did not know how he came to have it.

3 63 American Historical Society of Germans from Russia 1999-2000

Fliers, convention newsletter (no. 98, summer 2000), journal (vol. 23, no. 3, fall 2000), and bibliography.

3 64 Bundestag. Proceedings (Stenographsicher Bericht) 1994

20 pages. Pertains to the opening session of the 13th Bundestag (10 November), including an address by Stefan Heym, who, as the oldest member present led the session (the "Alterspräsident" by tradition fulfills the role of president until the body elects a president).

3 65 Humboldt University (East Berlin). Israel/Hebraistik department circa 1990

Departmental overview and schedule of courses for fall semester 1990/1991.

3 66 Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus (PDS). Pressedienst 1990

2 issues (special edition 26 February; 28 June) of the press bulletin of the Party of Democratic Socialism, successor to the East German communist party. Includes a speech by party chair Gregor Gysi, about where the party is headed; and an article about German relations with Israel.

3 67 Welt-Dienst: Die Judenfrage / Internationale Korrespondenz (Frankfurt am Main) 1945

Photocopy of the January issue (vol. 12, no. 1-2). The anti-Semitic propaganda and news service Welt-Dienst operated from 1933 to early 1945. The title is usually cited as "Welt-Dienst: internationale korrespondenz zur Aufklärung über die Judenfrage" (World Service: international correspondence for enlightenment of the Jewish question).

3 68 Clippings — Berliner Zeitung 1990-1991

See also Oversize Large, Box 48.

3 69 Clippings — Neues Deutschland 1989-1990

One set of photocopied articles on Israel includes a note on verso from Werner Goldstein. See also Oversize Large, Box 48.

3 70 Clippings — Wochenpost 1991, 1994
3 71 Clippings — Various 1868, 1981, 1990

Includes text of a speech by representative Franciszek Smolka in the Galician parliament, published in Der Israelit, 1868, Nr. 45, 2nd Beilage (p. 845-848); text of an interview with Helmut Aris, president of the Association of Jewish Communities in the GDR, published in Prisma, 1981, nr. 3; and Eaton's comments on the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the Pittsburgh Press, 16 November 1989.

3 72 Ephemera 1944-1947

Includes an original illustrated Nazi brochure for Heldengedenktag (Heroes memorial day), 1944; photocopy of a Nazi flier listing Germans who died in a Soviet attack on 7 October 1944, issued by Karl Hanke, who was in charge of Lower Silesia; photocopy of soldier S. G. Leach's poem "My dog tags," written 1944; photocopy of a propaganda leaflet ("Passierschein / Safe Conduct") from President Eisenhower addressed to German soldiers to encourage surrender; and reprinted Jewish population and Palestine agricultural products statistics, 1947.

3 73 Ephemera, photograph 1980-2000

Includes an unidentified photograph of a preschool class ("JCC summer camp 1994") with children and teachers wearing Shalom Yaladim t-shirts; several business cards, mainly of German contacts; Holocaust educational material from the U.S.; and brochures or fliers from the following organizations: Berlin Jewish community (West Berlin), 1980; Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut, Amerika Haus, Nuremberg, 1981; Gesellschaft für solidarische Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (East Berlin), circa 1990; Förderverein Synagoge Memmelsdorf (Bavaria), circa 1995; Nuremberg City Archives (exhibition), 1998; Gesang Verein "Sängerlust 1962," Theilheim (Maiandacht in Dächheim), 2000.

3 74 Inhausen und Knyphausen, Wilhelm von. East Frisian document (land deed?) 1597

On parchment, dated from Emden, December 10. Apparently concerning the sale of a parcel of land, with the place name Manslagt (Manslacht; today part of Krummhörn) mentioned several times. In identifying himself the author (with the name spelled "Inhusen und Kniphusen") specifies the places over which he holds dominion: Lutzborg (Lütetsburg), Bergum, Jennelt, Upleward – all in the district of Aurich in East Frisia (Ostfriesland) region northwest of Emden, in Lower Saxony. According to a letter of Joseph Eaton to LBI dated 11 March 2011, he found this document in a file related to his genealogical research on the Goldschmidt family branch, based in the Frankfurt/Bad Homburg area; he had no information about its origins.

OSL 48 Oversize publications/ephemera 1945, 1989-1990

4 newspaper issues and one poster. Includes: one issue of Die Regensburger Post (5 October 1945), a newspaper published by the U.S. Army for the German civilian population and edited by Eaton; two issues of Neues Deutschland (27-28 December 1989); one issue of Berliner Zeitung (30 May 1990); and an illustrated black-and-white poster (16-1/2 x 11-3/4 inches), concerning a demonstration on 31 May 1990 in Lustgarten, Berlin ("Entscheidungen am Volk vorbei darf es nicht geben!"), with artist's signature: ALF 90.

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