Guide to the Papers of the Neumann and Jacks Family

AR 25580

Processed by Lotte Baatz and 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



© 2015 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey on December 14, 2015. Description is in English.
February 2016: dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Neumann and Jacks Family Collection
Dates:bulk 1937-1949
Abstract: The Neumann and Jacks Family Collection contains papers of members of these families, with documentation of their lives in Germany and their immigration to the United States. Official documents of members of the Berger (Hirschfeld) and Oschinsky families are also present. The collection largely consists of official documents or certificates but also holds celebratory memorabilia, photographs, poems, copies of newspaper clippings and official correspondence.
Languages: The collection is in German, English, and Hebrew.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet.
Identification: AR 25580
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Max Neumann was born on March 28, 1890 in Stolp, Pommerania (today Sŀupsk, Poland), the son of David and Taubine Neumann. In 1906 he graduated from Oberrealschule and in July of that year began his apprenticeship at the firm Walter und Fleck in Danzig (today Gdánsk, Poland). After two years of learning he was kept as a salesman until December 23, 1908. He then worked from the beginning of 1909 until the end of August 1909 as a salesman at the firm Gerson und Co. in Hamburg. This was followed by consecutive positions as a salesman at Hirsch und Co. in Hamburg (September 1909-September 1911) and Seidenhaus Goldstein in Königsberg (today Kaliningrad, Russia) from October 1911 until December 1912, and as a salesman and representive at Gebrueder Hochland in Königsberg (December 1912-July 1913). He then returned to Seidenhaus Goldstein until he was called to military service in August 1914, where he served as part of the Grenadier "Kronprinz" Regiment of Königsberg.

In January 1919 Max returned to Stolp from the war and entered his father's textile business. After two years he become co-partner of the business. The business sold, among others, a large selection of fabric for clothes and suits, linen and cotton products, undergarments and stockings, notions, knitwear, curtains, rugs and workers' clothing.

In the early 1920s Max Neumann met Henni Jacks of Aschersleben at a dinner party in Berlin. Henni was the daughter of Jacob and Hedwig Jacks and had a talent for music. She had studied voice in Hamburg, but a severe case of laryngitis had put an end to her dream of a singing career. On April 6, 1924 she and Max Neumann married in Aschersleben.

The following April their son Heinz was born in Stolp. For the next ten years the Neumanns remained in Stolp, with Henni Jacks assisting in the family business as well as working with various Jewish organizations. By 1934 the Nazis were boycotting Jewish businesses and Henni insisted the family leave. In 1935 the Neumanns moved to Berlin. From November 11 until December 1, 1938 Max Neumann was interned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

On February 27, 1939 he left Berlin with Henni and their son Heinz and traveled via Paris and Cannes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At this time men with tourist visas were not allowed to work in Brazil so Henni supported the family by baking cakes and French pastries which they sold to restaurants, cafes, and private parties. The Neumanns lived in Brazil for one year and nine months until they were allowed to immigrate to the United States. In October 1940 they came to Peoria, Illinois, where they founded a manufacturing business for clothes. The family later moved to New York.

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Scope and Content Note

The Neumann and Jacks Family Collection focuses on the emigration from Germany to the United States of several members of these related families as well as of their lives in Germany. In addition, some information on members of the Siegfried Berger (previously Hirschfeld) Family is also present. The collection includes a number of official documents and certificates, family photographs, poems, copies of newspaper clippings and official correspondence.

Series I contains documentation of the Neumann and Jacks family members. In addition to official documents for several family members, the papers provide evidence of Max Neumann's early professional life in Germany, the family's last years in Germany and their immigration experiences, and the deaths of Jacob and Hedwig Jacks, along with papers relating to family celebrations.

The second series holds some official documents of the unrelated family of Siegfried and Ruth Berger who – like the Neumanns – originated from Stolp and later lived in New York City.

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Arranged in two series:

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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

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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

The LBI Archives also includes the related collection: PRI – WA – KI reunion : 60th anniversary of the founding of the private juedische Waldschule Kaliski 1932-1992 1992-1993 (AR 11920). Heinz Neumann attended this school.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Neumann and Jacks Family Collection; AR 25580; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

The collection had no indication of original order and was therefore divided during processing of the archival collection into two series. The initial arrangement and biographical notes were made by Lotte Baatz; Dianne Ritchey created the second series and final arrangement of the collection and wrote the collection's description.

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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: Neumann and Jacks Family Members, 1843-2000

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


Scope and Content:

Series I holds the papers of members of both the Neumann and Jacks families. Two folders (1/3-1/4) hold papers of Jacks family members, which primarily focus on Hedwig and Jacob Jacks and their death and memorial Jahrzeit dates. Some unidentified photographs may show their portraits and one shows their store. Two letters in the folder of immigration papers (1/7) of Max and Henni Neumann relate to assistance in procuring a visa for Hedwig Jacks.

Most of the remainder of this series pertains to the lives of Max, Henni and Heinz Neumann. The two folders of celebrations largely relate to them, including the Bar Mitzvah of Heinz, the sixtieth birthday of Max, and the seventy-fifth and eightieth birthdays of Henni. Official papers, such as birth, marriage and identification papers for Max and Henni, will be found in the folder of documents from their lives in Germany (folder 6). This folder also holds certificates for Max documenting his service during World War I, as well as his release from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Documents from 1939 pertain to the sale of his property in Stolp and there are also copies of more current newspaper clippings on the Jewish community of Stolp. Another document in this folder is Nachmann Neumann's 1843 citizenship document from Stolp. Max and Henni's photographs are unidentified, but frequently show a couple that is likely them. Max Neumann's professional work in Germany is documented by a number of letters of reference in folder 8 that show his early professional development.

Some brief information on the Neumann family's experiences in Brazil will be found among one of Henni's birthdays poems in folder 1 as well as a copy of a newspaper clipping in folder 5 that mentions how she supported the family with her baking. Folder 5 also contains a biographical sketch (Lebenslauf) by Max Neumann, written at some point in or after 1940, that tells of the events leading up to the family's departure from Germany. Other documents used in the immigration process will be found in folder 5 as well, including correspondence and forms from the American Consulate in Berlin, their passports, and good conduct certificates.

11Celebration Memorabilia – Bar Mitzvah of Heinz Neumann1938
12Celebration Memorabilia – Birthdays1950-1978
13Jacks Family1924-1938, 1968
14Jacks Family Photographsundated
15Neumann, Max and Henni (née Jacks) – Life in Germany1843-2000
16Neumann, Max and Henni (née Jacks) – Life in Germany – Photographsundated, 1918-1930
17Neumann, Max and Henni (née Jacks) – Immigration and Life in the United States1938-1949, 1982
18Neumann, Max – Professional Papers1908-1913
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Series II: Berger (Hirschfeld) and Oschinsky Family Members, 1893-1976

This series is in German
0.05 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

Series II holds two folders of papers of the related Berger (previously Hirschfeld) and Oschinsky families. Most of the papers consist of official documents such as birth, death and marriage certificates and identification papers. The first folder also holds their family register (Familienstammbuch) and a letter regarding Siegfried Berger's surname change once in the United States.

19Berger (previously Hirschfeld), Siegfried and Ruth (née Oschinsky)1893-1976
110Oschinsky Family1904-1956
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