Emil and Jenny Baerwald

Emil & Jenny Baerwald's exlibris

In 2018 a book from the library of Emil and Jenny Baerwald was returned.

Emil Michael Baerwald was born on February 5th, 1869 in Frankfurt / Main as the son of Herrmann Baerwald and Selma Frenkel. He was a merchant and art collector who lived at least from the late 19th century temporarily in the United States. In 1906 he married Jenny Dreyfus in New York, who was born on March 28th, 1880 in Basel and was living in the United States from 1881 to 1920. Her mother was American, her father, a native of Hamburg, had been naturalized in 1858. Jenny Baerwald became an American citizen in 1934.

After living in the United States for almost 30 years, Emil and Jenny Baerwald made Berlin their home between 1920 and 1938. They lived at Prinz-Albrecht-Str. 8 in the late 1920s and later at Lützowplatz No. 25.

Persecuted as Jewish in Germany, Emil and Jenny Baerwald permanently emigrated to the US in 1939. Emil Baerwald became an American citizen in 1944. He died on January 20th, 1948 in New York. Jenny Baerwald died in 1965. The couple had no children.

In the according entry in the acquisition journal of gifts received in 1948, only the Berlin City Library's own book depot is noted as the vendor, but various marks in the book itself prove an acquisition via the Bergungsstelle No. 18, "Bibliothek des Deutschen Frauenwerks / Reichsfrauenführung" (Library of the German Women’s Association / Reich's Women's Leader, RFF). This acquisition had already attracted attention in the past for containing Nazi-loot, i.a. books from the International Archives of the Women's Movement in Amsterdam.

Another note in the book suggests that the RFF acquired the book in 1943 from an antiquarian bookstore, Gsellius in Berlin. How this vendor came into the possession of the book could not be determined.

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