Julius Bab Collection, 1895-1977 (bulk 1895-1955)
AR 196 / MF 475

Processed by Turnheim, LBI Staff, and Timothy Ryan Mendenhall

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

© 2010  Leo Baeck Institute
Finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Timothy Ryan Mendenhall on November 20, 2010. Description is in English.
November 21, 2011 Links to Box 3, Folder 52 digital objects added in Container List. November 13, 2012  Remaining links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Bab, Julius, 1880-1955
Title: Julius Bab Collection
Dates: (bulk 1895-1955)
Abstract: This collection contains a large volume of correspondence, as well as manuscripts, diaries, scrapbooks, and clippings all documenting the cultural production of the theater critic and dramatist Julius Bab. The correspondence notably contains large amounts of original letters from Gustav Landauer, Gerhart Hauptmann, Richard Dehmel, and Fritz Mauthner, and several other leading cultural and political figures from the first half of the 20th century.
Languages: The collection is in German, English, and French.
Quantity: 3 linear feet and 10 oversized boxes.
Identification: AR 196 / MF 475
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Julius Bab was born in Berlin in 1880 into a merchant family and studied literature, philosophy, and history both in Berlin and in Zürich. From 1905-1939 he lived and worked in Berlin as a dramatist and freelance writer, and became a noteworthy theater and literary critic with copious contributions to several newspapers, such as the Welt am Montag, the Pester Lloyd (in Budapest), and the Vossische Zeitung. He also wrote and published some poetry. During the time period from 1915 through the end of his life, he also wrote extensively on the portrayal of Jews in literature and on the stage, as well as on contemporary Jewish life. While in Berlin he was closely tied to the people's theater movement (Volksbühnenbewegung) centered around Max Reinhardt and the Berlin Volksbühne, where he was a lecturer, editor, and adviser. His work in the cultural sphere brought him into contact with several important cultural figures, and his theatrical reviews from this time period are considered a key source in the history of German drama.

When National Socialists seized control of the government in 1933, Bab was instrumental the formation of the Jüdischer Kulturbund, whose mission was to maintain German-Jewish cultural life and to provide services and a safety net for Jewish artists who were no longer allowed to work. In 1939 Bab emigrated to New York, where he found employment as the theater critic of the German-language New York Staats-Zeitung. He died in 1955 in Roslyn Heights, New York.

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains few personal, official or vital documents, but is exceptionally rich in correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, appointment books, and scrapbooks documenting Julius Bab's cultural work and endeavors. The bulk of the collection consists of the scrapbooks, which contain extensive clippings of articles by and about Bab. Of the other series, the correspondence is of particular note both for its extent and for the impressive array of original letters by notable cultural figures. There are the over 100 letters from the literary critic and martyred revolutionary Gustav Landauer, and nearly as many from the playwright Richard Dehmel; the files also contain a considerable amount of correspondence with Nobel Prize winning playwright Gerhart Hauptmann, with the philosopher Fritz Mauthner, and with the influential editor and writer Moritz Heimann. The correspondence files contain letters from over 90 additional cultural figures, chiefly writers and persons involved with the theater. Among the more prominent of these figures are Walther Rathenau, Thomas Mann, Richard Beer-Hoffmann, George Bernard Shaw, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Max Liebermann, and Stefan Zweig.

Approximately 80 original drafts and manuscripts of Bab's articles and writings, chiefly typewritten with corrections and marginalia, although some are handwritten, are also present. The majority of these writings are fewer than 10 pages long, with the exception of one longer draft entitled Leben und Tod des deutschen Judentums. Also filed in this series are a folder of notes and several poems.

Rounding out the collection are series containing diaries, theater and lecture programs, and clippings. The diaries series contains two diaries from before 1900, and thereafter several notebooks and appointment books which Bab used as calendars. Although these volumes are primarily functional, occasional longer entries or passages throughout the various volumes have a more diaristic character. The theater and lecture programs series contains programs, clippings, and promotional materials, such as handbills and small posters, for theatrical events and lectures that Bab participated in. A few items of the promotional materials are interesting examples of Jugenstil and Weimar era graphic design. The final small series of newspaper clippings of articles by and about Bab mirrors the overall structure and content of the Scrapbooks series, although it consists entirely of loose, rather than bound clippings.

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This collection is arranged in 6 series.

The physical arrangement of the materials in the boxes differs slightly from the intellectual arrangement presented in this finding aid.

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Access and Use

Technical Access Note

The diaries were digitized separately from the rest of the collection. The links open up files in PDF format, which may not work in all web browsers. The use of the Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome browser, or of Internet Explorer 7 and more recent versions of Internet Explorer, is recommended for optimum performance. Some of the PDFs are large files and may take up to a minute or longer to load, depending on connection speed.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Collection is microfilmed (MF 475).

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 "Request" button.

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

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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 has a microfilm copy of some correspondence written by Julius Bab to Dr. Carl Friederich Wilhelm Behl, available on MF 72, reels 2 and 4.

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Separated Material

Some photographs have been removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.

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The correspondence with Curt Wilk is available on MF 116.

The diaries were microfilmed separately; see DM 30.

Collection is available on 9 reels of microfilm (MF 475).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Julius Bab Collection; AR 196; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing History

An original inventory of the contents of the first box, not including most of the correspondence, was completed in 1966 by Turnheim. Turnheim inventoried the rest of the correspondence the following year. Scrapbooks, some additional correspondence, and some miscellaneous clippings, programs, and manuscripts were added later as separate folders. In 2010 Timothy Ryan Mendenhall created an EAD finding aid; the physical order of the collection was unchanged, but the finding aid reflects a slightly different intellectual arrangement than Turnheim's initial physical arrangement, in order to incorporate better some of the later addenda.

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Other Finding Aid

Turnheim's inventory of 1966 is available in the first folder of the collection; a separate inventory of the correspondence, as well as an inventory of addenda to the correspondence, are also available.

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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: Manuscripts, drafts, and notes,  circa 1900-1939

Scope and Content:

This series contains over 100 manuscripts, drafts, notes, and poems written by Bab. In addition, an initial inventory of the collection is available in the first folder. Most of the groupings are self-explanatory, with the exception of the Sunday manuscripts, which contains items that were all hand-labeled "Sonntag." It is not totally clear why these writings were so labeled, but all relate to literature and the theater.

12 Inventory list 1966
12Theater and general topics undated, 1902
12Sunday manuscripts undated
12Poems undated, circa 1900-1923
12Miscellaneous notes and drafts undated
13Jewish topics undated
13Manuscript: Leben und Tod des Deutschen Judentums (Life and Death of German Jewry) circa 1939
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Series II: Personal papers and correspondence,  1897-1977


The first subseries incorporates materials from the original donation (folder 7), as well as a folder of later addenda. Because the second subseries, correspondence, had its own separate inventory, it has been kept as a discreet subseries.

Subseries 1: Various unarranged personal papers and correspondence,  1906-1977

Scope and Content:

Folder 7 contains mostly correspondence, including a telegram from Gerhart Hauptmann, notes, a couple of poems, as well as several cartes de visite, some invitations, and receipts. Further materials include Bab's passport from 1926, a funeral announcement for his father, and an address book. The folder of addenda contains two photographs of Bab taken after emigrating and a program from his post-war lecture tour of Germany, as well as a memoir of Bab's last days written by his wife, a program from his memorial service, and some clippings of memorial articles on Bab.

17Various personal papers and some correspondence, including several cartes de visite and a telegram from Gerhart Hauptmann undated, 1906-1933
352Addenda: Manuscripts, correspondence, programs, and clippings undated, 1947-1977

Subseries 2: Correspondence,  1897-1956


Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. In a few cases, such as the Landauer and Rathenau files, where a limited amount of the correspondence was written by a family member, such as a spouse or sibling of the correspondent, these items have been filed under the name of the primary correspondent (e.g. letters from Hedwig Landauer are filed under "Gustav Landauer").

Scope and Content:

This series contains over 600 items of mostly original correspondence written to Bab. A small percentage of the collection consists of photocopies of such correspondence, rather than the original documents. With the exception of the Wilk correspondence and some of the Rathenau correspondence, this series does not contain any letters written by Bab.

114Hermann Bahr 1927
114Anna Bahr-Mildenburg 1936
114Albert Bassermann 1951-1952
114Bernard Baumeister 1909
114Gertrud Bäumer 1915
114Richard Beer-Hoffmann undated, 1918-1952
114Eduard Bernstein 1910
114Gertrud von Bismarck 1928
114Wilhelm Bölsche 1905
114Lily Braun undated
114Constantin Brunner undated
114Pearl S. Buck 1944
114Sybille Busse undated
115Dr. de Campagnole 1916
115Edward Gordon Craig 1930
116Richard Dehmel 1897-1919
117Gerrit Engelke 1917-1919
117Paul Ernst 1905-1929
117Gertrud Eysoldt 1928
118Lilly Freud-Marlé 1925
119Gustaf af Geijerstam 1906-1908
119Curt Goetz 1933-1952
119Friedrich Gundolf 1911
120Maximilian Harden 1921
120Walter Harlan 1917
120D. von Harnack 1926
120Julius Hart undated
120Carl Hauptmann 1919
120AGerhart Hauptmann undated, 1916-1935
120Christine Hebbel 1900
120Gunnar Heiberg 1906
120Moritz Heimann 1908-1919
120Hermann Heller 1936
120Georg Hermann 1916
120Hermann Hesse 1948
120Dora Hitz 1905-1916
120Hugo von Hofmannsthal 1913-1927
120Arno Holz 1915
121Josef Kainz 1906-1909
121Oscar Karlweis 1954
121Luise Kautsky 1928
121Max Klinger 1917
121Käthe Kollwitz 1902
223Selma Lagerlöf 1936
223Gustav Landauer 1902-1918
223Helene Lange 1918
223Andreas Latzko 1935
223Else Lehmann 1926-1936
223Emmi Leisner 1918-1932
2 23 Heinrich Lersch undated
223Max Liebermann 1921-1927
223Detlev von Liliencron 1903
224Thomas Mann 1918-1927
224Ernst Marcus 1926
224Fritzi Massary 1952
224Adalbert Matkowsky 1905-1906
224Fritz Mauthner 1904-1923
224Gustav Meyrink 1917
224Alexander Moissi 1906
224Albert Mombert 1925
224Friedrich Muckermann 1932
225Franz Oppenheimer 1914, 1934
226Max Pallenberg 1926
226Jacob Picard 1956
226Max Pohl 1904-1935
226Alfred Polgar 1927
226Rosa Poppe 1920
226Felix Poppenberg undated
227Walther Rathenau 1914-1927
227Hermann Reich 1931
228S. Saenger 1917
228Oscar Sauer 1902-1916
228Paul Scheerbart 1905
228Wilhelm Schmidtbonn 1919-1952
228Carl Schmitt 1914
228Ludwig Schwerin 1934
228George Bernard Shaw 1910-1941
228Georg Simmel 1913
228Agnes Sorma 1909
228Albert Steinrück undated
228Adolf Stern 1901
228Carl Sternheim 1913
228Fritz Strich undated
229Siegfried Trebitsch 1910, 1951
229Ernst Troeltsch 1920
229Otto Tügel undated
230Em. Unda undated
230Fritz von Unruhe 1944?
231Hans Vaihinger undated, 1916
231Emile Verhaeren 1910-1912
232Paul Wegener 1909
232Franz Werfel 1934-1944
232Robert Wilbrandt 1904
Autographs 1 Curt Wilk 1947-1954
232Josef Winckler 1919
232Alfred Wolfenstein 1941
232Heinrich Wolff 1917
232Ludwig Wüllner 1932
233Carl Zuckmayer 1946
233Stefan Zweig undated, 1918
122Correspondence addendum: Bassermann, Busse, Craig, Eysoldt, Kainz, Karlweis, Lehmann, Leisner, Massary, Matkowsky, Moissi, Pallenberg, Pohl, Polgar, Sauer, Sorma, Wegener, Wüllner 1906-1951
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Series III: Diaries, calendars, and notebooks ,  1895-1943

1 8 Diary 1895
1 8 Diary 1899
1 8 Loose pages found at the back of the 1899 diary 1899
1 8 5 small notebooks labeled "sketches" 1902
1 9 Calendar 1903
1 9 Calendar 1904
1 10 Calendar and notebook 1907-1908
1 11 Calendar 1935
1 11 Calendar 1938
1 12 Calendars 1939-1940
1 13 Calendar 1943
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Series IV: Theater and lecture programs,  1901-1938

15General theater and lecture programs 1901-1917
15Lecture programs on Jewish topics 1913-1934
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Series V: Scrapbooks,  1901-1959


Every scrapbook between the years 1919-1932 opens with a topical index, probably compiled by Bab himself, listing all items with references to the pages they can be found on. Although there is a moderate amount of variation in content from scrapbook to scrapbook, most of the scrapbooks from this period are divided topically into the following general categories:

  • Theater-Kritiken (Theater Criticism)
  • Buchbesprechungen (Book reviews)
  • Biographisches (Biographical)
  • Theatralisches (Theatrical)
  • Kulturelles (Cultural)
  • Goethe
  • Kritiken über meine Vorträge (Criticism on my lectures)
  • Kritiken über meine Bücher (Criticism on my books)

Scope and Content:

Most of the clippings appear to be of articles by or about Bab. Some of the scrapbooks from the later years, in particular 1954, also contain some original correspondence and manuscripts.

234Scrapbook 1901-1905
235Scrapbook 1905-1911
236Scrapbook 1911-1912
237Scrapbook 1912-1914
238Scrapbook 1914-1916
239Scrapbook 1919-1920
240Scrapbook 1921-1922
241Scrapbook 1922-1923
242Scrapbook 1923-1924
243Scrapbook 1924-1925
244Scrapbook 1925-1926
345Scrapbook 1926-1927
346Scrapbook 1927-1928
347Scrapbook 1928-1929
348Scrapbook 1929-1930
349Scrapbook 1930-1931
350Scrapbook 1931-1932
OS 961Scrapbook 1945 June-December
OS 971Scrapbook 1946 January-June
OS 971Scrapbook 1946 July-December
OS 981Scrapbook 1947 January-June
OS 981Scrapbook 1947 July-December
OS 951Scrapbook 1948 January-June
OS 951Scrapbook 1948 July-December
OS 931Scrapbook 1949 January-July
OS 931Scrapbook 1949 August-1950 January
OS 941Scrapbook 1950 February-August
OS 991Scrapbook 1950 August-1951 January
OS 991Scrapbook 1951 February-November
OS 1001Scrapbook 1951 November-1952 June
OS 1001Scrapbook 1952 July-1953 February
OS 1011Scrapbook 1953 March-December
OS 1021Scrapbook 1954
OS 1012Scrapbook1955 January-1959 August
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Series VI: Newspaper clippings about Bab and of articles by Bab,  1906-1932

Scope and Content:

This series is similar in content to the preceding series of scrapbooks, but contains loose, rather than bound items. Two folders, general topics and Jewish topics, contain clippings of writings by Bab on culture and the role of Jews in culture. This group of materials includes a full issue of the periodical Das Leben, 1906. Another folder contains manuscripts and clippings of criticism of Bab's dramatic works, especially of his play Der Andere, as well as some notes and invitations to the Hebbel Theater. Finally, a later addenda of an offprint by Jakob Picard has been incorporated into this series.

14General topics circa 1906-1932
16Manuscript, clippings, offprints and programs about Bab and his works undated, 1903-1916
14Jewish topics undated, 1918
3 51 Offprint: Julius Bab in Amerika by Jacob Picard from Neue Deutsche Hefte 1955 May
352Addenda: Manuscripts, correspondence, programs, and clippingsundated, circa 1951-1967

A motley, posthumous assembly of materials pertaining to Julius Bab. Included are reports on Bab’s last year and his funeral; bibliographies; published materials about Bab; his correspondence with Emmerich Reeck, 1951; clippings by Bab about Thomas Mann, Heinrich Heine and Goethe (poem); as well as photo snapshots of Julius Bab.

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