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Levi, Kronthal, and Eis families papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2012.444.1

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    Levi, Kronthal, and Eis families papers

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    The Levi, Kronthal, and Eis family papers document the family of Sali Levi, last rabbi of the old Jewish community of Mainz, as well as the families of his wife Margarete Levi, nee Weissmann, his sister-in-law Rosa Kronthal, his son Hans Levi, and his son-in-law Max Eis. The collection contains biographical materials, correspondence, subject files, photographs, sermons, writings, speeches, and books documenting the lives of the Kronthal, Levi, and Eis families as they were forced to flee Germany and immigrate to the United States during the Holocaust.
    Biographical materials date from 1867-circa 2010 and include birth, marriage, and death certificates; identification and membership cards; school records; awards; military papers; engagement and marriage announcements; immigration and naturalization records; employment records; wills; death notices and obituaries; mourning books; personal and family histories; vaccination records; and clippings.
    Correspondence files date from 1918-1997 and include letters among family members, friends, and professional and social contacts. Subjects include Kristallnacht, immigration efforts, and life in Germany, Theresienstadt, Deggendorf, and America. The files include Hans Levi’s objections to the American Consul in Switzerland’s lack of attention to Rosa Kronthal’s immigration efforts, photocopies of Sali Levi’s 1933 objections to the way his son’s high school was treating Jewish students as “guests,” correspondence between Albert Eis and the wife of the man who assaulted him during Kristallnacht, and letters of thanks and praise for Rosa Kronthal from Eleanor Roosevelt, Leo Baeck, and Joachim Prinz.
    Subject files date from 1934-2010 and include information about the families’ immigration efforts, the Jüdische Bezirksschule Mainz, the Jüdische Selbstverwaltung Theresienstadt, Walldorf, and restitution claims pursued by various family members for confiscated goods, taxes and fees, bank accounts, pensions, insurance policies, and lost income.
    Photographs date from 1911-2000 and include family members; the synagogue, Jewish museum, and Jüdische Bezirksschule in Mainz; Rosa Kronthal's and Sali Levi's gravestones; Wilhelm and Johanna Levi's house; and photographs related to one of Max Eis' employers.
    Sali Levi’s writings and speeches date from circa 1906-1941 and cover religious topics and personal experiences. They include eulogies and descriptions of old Jewish gravestones in Mainz, Jews in Russian Poland, and prayer books used by soldiers in the field during World War I.
    Sali Levi’s sermons date from 1908-1941 and are accompanied by computer disks and printed draft English transcriptions of some of the sermons.
    Books in the collection date from 1880-1994 and include religious and prayer books owned by Sali Levi, works on the Holocaust and Jewish communities in Germany, a prayer book belonging to Jakob Eis, and a book of sermons by Seligmann Meyer.
    inclusive:  1867-2010
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Regina Lackner
    Collection Creator
    Levi, Kronthal, and Eis families
    Rabbi Dr. Sali Levi (1883-1941) was born to Wilhelm Levi and Johanna Sternweiler Levi in Walldorf, although some sources give his birthplace as neighboring Wiesloch. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau where he was appointed second rabbi at the New Synagogue. He married Margarete Weissmann in 1912. During World War I he served as an army chaplain stationed at Vilna, and he became the rabbi of Mainz in 1918. After the Nazi rise to power, he was appointed chaplain for the Osthofen concentration camp, and he served as the first principal of the Jüdische Bezirksschule Mainz, established in 1934 for the Jewish children who were increasingly unwelcome in German public schools. He died of a heart attack in Berlin in 1941 while awaiting final papers for his immigration to the United States. Sali Levi's relatives include his maternal grandfather Lippmann Sternweiler, brother and sister-in-law Josef and Berta Levi, and sister and brother-in-law Berta and Markus Slodki.
    Margarete Levi (1886-1960) was born Margarete Weissmann to Simon Weissmann and Lina Wischnitz Weissmann in Kieferstädtel. She had been trained as a concert pianist. She and Rabbi Dr. Sali Levi had three children: Hilde, Hans, and Ruth. She immigrated to the United States following her husband’s death in 1941 and became an American citizen in 1947. Her relatives include her sisters Rosa and Frieda Weissmann, cousin Adolf Kober, and aunt Fanny Kober.
    Hans Levi (1915-1997) was born in Breslau to Margarete and Sali Levi. He completed his high school education in Germany, pursued aviation studies in the Netherlands, and immigrated to the United States in 1936. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II, taking part in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Normandy, and the Netherlands, and earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. After the war he pursued a career as a manufacturer and entrepreneur designing machinery, living and working in the New York/New Jersey area for over thirty years before moving to southern California in the early 1980s.
    Rosa Kronthal (1878-1964) was an older sister of Margarete Weissmann Levi. She was trained as a school teacher and married Berthold Kronthal in 1918. Berthold Kronthal (1860-1942) was born in Posen and became the head of the public library system in Breslau. During World War II, both were deported to Theresienstadt, where Berthold died. Rosa spent two years in a displaced persons camp in Switzerland following the war before immigrating to the United States in 1946. She died in New York City. The Kronthals’ relatives include their nieces Annemarie Schwabacher and Liselotte Croner, nephew Willy Kronthal, and great-nephews Claes and Stefan Croner.
    Max Eis (1917-1991) was born in Mainz to Jakob Eis and Regina Meyer Eis. He immigrated to the United States via England in 1938. His brother Albert, who had been assaulted during Kristallnacht, followed shortly after. His parents were deported to Theresienstadt around 1942 where his mother died in 1943. His father spent a year at the Deggendorf displaced persons camp before immigrating to the United States where he died in New York in 1952. Max Eis married Sali Levi’s daughter, Ruth Levi, in 1942, and the couple had two children, Steven Eis and Regina Eis Lackner. Max Eis’ relatives include his mother's uncle Seligmann Meyer, sister-in-law Irma Eis and her parents Sali and Amalie Edinger, and second cousin Irwin Meyer.

    Physical Details

    3 negatives.
    4 diskette.
    6 boxes
    1 oversize box
    1 oversize folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Levi, Kronthal, and Eis families papers are arranged as five series: I. Sali Levi Family, 1880-2010, II. Margarete Levi Family, 1867-1960, III. Hans Levi Family, 1952-1997, IV. Berthold and Rosa Kronthal Family, 1883-1964, V. Max Eis Family, 1911-2000

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The Levi, Kronthal, and Eis families papers were donated in 2012 by Regina Lackner.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:41:04
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