Guide to the Oppenheimer Stern Family Collection

AR 25121

Processed by Michael Himmel

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2013 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey on August 22, 2013. Description is in English.
June 2015 dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Gordon, Edith L. Oppenheimer
Title: Oppenheimer Stern Family Collection
Dates:bulk 1909-1926
Abstract: This collection contains journals, clippings and other papers related to the lives of some of the members of the Oppenheimer and Stern families, particularly of Philip Oppenheimer and his wife, the fencing champion Stephanie Stern.
Languages: The collection is in German and English, with some Italian.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet.
Identification: AR 25121
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Philip Oppenheimer was born as Phillip Oppenheimer in 1897 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany to Jewish parents. After serving in the German army during World War I, in 1926 he obtained a doctorate in engineering at the Munich Technical University. He married Stephanie Stern, a German fencing champion, in America in 1927. She competed in fencing tournaments in several countries, including Germany, Italy, and the United States.

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Scope and Content Note

Folder 1 contains a small journal in which Toni Stern wrote down some memories and life lessons in 1909 to be shared with her children and grandchildren. Her daughter, Clara Stern, wrote a brief note of introduction to her mother's writing in 1913. Both wrote in German.

Folder 2 contains Philip Oppenheimer's original journal, handwritten in German, and a typed English translation by his daughter Edith. He began writing the journal in 1915, on his eighteenth birthday. His goal was to write down "only thoughts that I have about any experiences" instead of just a record of his daily activities. His journal includes his views on religion, assimilation, anti-Semitism, his occupation, the First World War, his relationship with his family, and his romantic aspirations and expectations. The journal continues through 1926, although entries are sparse after 1923.

Folder 3 contains photocopies of a skit commemorating the silver wedding anniversary of Karl and Else Stern. It is written primarily in the Hessian dialect of German.

This collection's oversize folder contains a scrapbook chronicling Stephanie Stern's fencing career. The scrapbook has clippings from German, American, and Italian newspapers, programs from fencing events, and some photographs of fencers.

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This collection is arranged in one series.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Reserve" button.

Use Restrictions

The donor retains copyright for the English translation of Philip Oppenheimer's journal.

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

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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

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety with the exception of the 1983 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung obituary on fellow Offenbach fencing club member Helene Mayer, which is accessible onsite only.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Oppenheimer Stern Family Collection; AR 25121; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

The folders have been arranged alphabetically by title.

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Container List


Series I: Oppenheimer Stern Family Collection, 1909-2002

The collection is in German and English, with some Italian.


11Else and Karl Stern silver wedding anniversary skit1923
12Philip Oppenheimer diary1915-1926, 2002
OS 80Scrapbook with clippings on Stephanie Oppenheimer's fencing career1915-1929, 1983
13Toni Stern's notes to her children and grandchildren1909, 1913
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