Guide to the Gertrud Mainzer Family Collection
undated, 1859-2008

AR 25417

Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar with additional processing by Kevin Schlottmann

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

©2011 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Yakov Illich Sklar in July 2011. Description is in English.
September 2016 Folder numbers for box 1 folders 15 and 16 fixed by Leanora Lange. July 2017 Added dao links by Sarah Glover.

Descriptive Summary

Creator:Mainzer, Gertrud, 1914-
Title: Gertrud Mainzer Family Collection
Dates:undated, 1859-2008
Abstract: The Gertrud Mainzer Family Collection documents the personal and professional life of Holocaust survivor, attorney, and New York Family Court judge Gertrud Mainzer. It also includes materials about her family and her ancestors, including her husband, attorney Richard Mainzer, and her father, noted legal scholar Hugo Sinzheimer.
Languages: The collection is in German and English with some Dutch and French.
Quantity: 3 linear feet (three boxes) plus one oversize folder (OS 139).
Identification: AR 25417
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Gertrud (Traute) Mainzer née Sinzheimer (1914-2010) was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany to noted legal scholar Hugo Daniel Sinzheimer and Paula née Seelig. Her family moved to Holland after Hitler came to power in 1933. In Holland, she married Richard Mainzer (1907-1966), an attorney and a student of her father. After the Nazi invasion her husband managed to flee to Cuba, but Gertrud and her two small children went into hiding. In 1944 she and her children were found and interned in the Westerbork camp and later the Bergen-Belsen camp (where she met Ann Frank and her sister Margot). After the war she joined her husband in Cuba, and in 1948 the family moved to New York, where they had a third child.

Mainzer worked as a librarian for Finch College in the 1950s, but once her children were grown she returned to school to study law (NYU, 1966) and then entered private practice. From 1979 to 1984, she was a Family Court Judge in New York City. She was also an adjunct professor at the Cardozo School of Law, where the program in Family Law, Policy and Bioethics is now named in her honor.

She and Richard Mainzer had three children: Gabriele, Frank, and Susan.

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Scope and Content Note

This series includes personal and professional materials pertaining to Gertrud Mainzer.

Mainzer's personal materials include her personal correspondence in the immediate post-war period with her husband, friends, and family, as well as other later correspondence. They also include documents, day books, autograph books and diaries, a baby book, juvenilia such as drawings and letters to and from her family, and raw typescripts of an oral history interview. Mainzer's professional materials include correspondence, pleadings from her private practice as a family law attorney, manuscripts, law review articles, a resume, diplomas and awards, a proposal for a family law clinic at Cardozo Law School, her dissertation, and alumni information for Finch College and New York University.

Documents relating to Mainzer's family include personal documents and correspondence of her husband Richard Mainzer and his ancestors Jacob and Wilhelm Mainzer, as well some materials about her father Hugo Sinzheimer and her children Frank and Susan Mainzer. It also includes some other materials related to the family.

This collection also includes hundreds of family photographs in a variety of formats, spanning a hundred years of the Mainzer and Sinzheimer families.

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Arrangement

The collection consists of three 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 "Request" button.

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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 holds a memoir by Getrude Mainzer, "The Life of Gertrude 'Traute' Mainzer" (ME 1641, 1999).

The LBI Archives holds collections relating to Mainzer's father (the Hugo Sinzheimer Collection) and husband (the Richard Mainzer Collection).

The Hermann Simon collection, AR 6372, Box 3, Folder 25, contains a memoir by Gertrud Mainzer, describing her life in hiding in Holland and subsequent time in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. Also included in the collection (Box 3; Folder 26) are legal documents and correspondence by Gertrud Mainzer.

An oral history with Mainzer from the USC Shoah Collection is available on YouTube.

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Separated Material

The Hugo Sinzheimer Collection, AR 25413, was part of the estate of Gertrud Mainzer.

An audio tape entitled "Louise + Gertrude Remember" was removed to the LBI AV collection.

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Digitization Note

This collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety with the following exceptions: (1) Of the two full NYU alumni magazines in box 1 folder 14, only the cover and annotated pages were digitized. (2) Documents in box 1 folder 19 are available onsite only.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Gertrud Mainzer Family Collection; AR 25417; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

Published slides were discarded. Some clippings were photocopied, and originals discarded. Slides were placed in Slideguard sleeves. Photographs were grouped and foldered by format and by size. Snapshots were divided into two periods, pre-war and post-war.

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Container List

 

Series I: Gertrud Mainzer, undated, 1914-2007

This series is in German and English with some Dutch and French.
1 linear foot plus one oversize item
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by folder title.

Scope and Content:

This series includes personal and professional materials pertaining to Gertrud Mainzer.

Personal materials include correspondence with her father, Hugo Sinzheimer, and with lawyers concerning the publication of Sinzheimer's and Mainzer's work. Also found here is her correspondence in the immediate post-war period with her husband, friends, and family. The letters are in a mix of Dutch, German, and English, with some French. The series also includes documents, day books, autograph books and diaries, a baby book, and juvenilia such as drawings and letters to and from her family. It also includes a few of Mainzer's baby teeth.

The series also contains raw typescripts of The Life of Gertrude "Traute" Mainzer, a set of interviews with Tom Litwack, when Gertrud Mainzer talked about her childhood, life in Holland, imprisonment at Bergen-Belsen (where she met Anne Frank and her sister Margot), and her struggles after the war. The edited typescript was removed to the LBI Memoir collection (ME 1641).

Professional materials include some correspondence, pleadings from her private practice as a family law attorney, manuscripts, law review articles, a resume, diplomas and awards, and a proposal for a family law clinic at Cardozo Law School. That clinic was later named after Mainzer. Her dissertation, Die philosophische und politische Betrachtung des Eigentums in der Romantik, is also found here. Other materials include alumni information for Finch College and New York University, and some loose papers and clippings.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Awards and certificates 1959-2000
  View the folder 
1 2 Baby book 1914-1922
  View the folder 
1 3 Baby book - loose items 1915-1927
  View the folder 
1 4 Cardozo School of Law - Family Law Clinic 1986-1993
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 139 Certificate of appointment to New York Family Court 1979
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
1 5 Correspondence - family and friends 1940-1946
  View the folder 
1 6 Correspondence - Hugo Sinzheimer 1945
  View the folder 
1 7 Correspondence - publication 1967-1977
  View the folder 
1 8 Correspondence - various 1974-1995
  View the folder 
1 9 Diaries and autograph books 1924-1933
  View the folder 
1 10 Finch College undated, 1990s
  View the folder 
1 11 The Life of Gertrud Mainzer - transcript 1984-1999
  View the folder 
1 12 The Life of Gertrud Mainzer - transcript 1984-1999
  View the folder 
1 13 The Life of Gertrud Mainzer - fragment 1984-1999
  View the folder 
1 14 NYU 1985-1995
  View the folder 
1 15 Passports and daybooks 1965-1995
  View the folder 
1 16 Die philosophische und politische Betrachtung des Eigentums in der Romantik 1932
  View the folder 
1 17 Plaque 1985
  View the folder 
1 18 Pleadings 1968-1972
  View the folder 
1 19 Pleadings 1977-1978
  View the folder 
1 20 Reports and law review articles 1969-1981
  View the folder 
1 21 Resume 1979
  View the folder 
1 22 Various 1951-2007
  View the folder 
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Series II: Mainzer and Sinzheimer Families, undated, 1859-1966

This series is in German and English.
0.5 linear feet plus one oversize item
Arrangement:

Alphabetical

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials about Gertrud Mainzer's family, including her husband Richard Mainzer and his ancestors Jacob and Wilhelm Mainzer, as well as about her father Hugo Sinzheimer and her children Frank and Susan Mainzer. It also includes some other materials related to the family.

Materials related to Frank Mainzer include a baby book that includes photos, and documents such as a poetry book, selective service card, and juvenilia. The series also includes the correspondence of Jacob Mainzer (1874- ) and Wilhelm Mainzer (1861-1911); documents of theirs including pay books, manuscripts, a short biography of Wilhelm Mainzer, and fragments of an architectural sketch of a synagogue in Heppenheim; and documents relating to Jacob Mainzer's 1906 wedding to Bertha Morgenthau. Richard Mainzer materials include his dissertation, Betrieb und Betriebszughörigkeit als arbeitsrechtliche Grundbegriffe, as well as a few other documents.

Other materials include Susan Mainzer's baby book and juvenilia; an undated handwritten cookbook, in German; a Mainzer family tree; an 1860 autograph book belonging to Fanny Mayer; and a small amount of Hugo Sinzheimer's research material.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Cookbook undated
  View the folder 
2 2 Genealogical table undated
  View the folder 
2 3 Mayer, Fanny - autograph book 1859-1960
  View the folder 
2 4 Mainzer, Frank - baby book 1939-1940
  View the folder 
2 5 Mainzer, Frank - documents 1940-1966
  View the folder 
2 6 Mainzer, Jacob and Bertha 1906
  View the folder 
2 7 Mainzer, Jacob and Wilhelm - correspondence 1913-1927
  View the folder 
2 8 Mainzer, Jacob and Wilhelm - documents undated, 1911-1918
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 139 Mainzer, Richard - diploma 1952
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 9 Mainzer, Richard - dissertation 1932
  View the folder 
2 10 Mainzer, Richard - documents 1933-1966
  View the folder 
2 11 Mainzer, Susan 1947-1950
  View the folder 
2 12 Sinzheimer, Hugo 1925-1937
  View the folder 
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Series III: Photographs and Slides, 1890s-2008

This series is in German and English.
1 linear foot plus oversize materials
Arrangement:

Photographs were grouped and foldered by format and by size.

Scope and Content:

This series contains photographs of the Mainzer and Sinzheimer families. Included are Mainzer and Sinzheimer family photo albums, which contain portraits, baby pictures, and vacation photos. Hundreds of family photographs, spanning over a hundred years, include cartes de visite, cabinet cards, and other mounted photos, as well as blank-and-white and color snapshots. Also found in this series are 572 color slides, mostly labeled. They depict the Mainzer's vacations in Holland, Hawaii, Norway, Bermuda, California, Italy, Greece, Mexico, New Hampshire, and Florida. There are also some general family shots. The oversize photographs range from family and professional portraits to a photo of Mainzer being sworn in as a Family Court Judge by Mayor Ed Koch.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 13 Photo album 1900s-1920s
  View the folder 
2 14 Photo album 1910s
  View the folder 
2 15 Photo album 1910s
  View the folder 
2 16 Photo album 1926-1933
  View the folder 
2 17 Photo album 1929-1932
  View the folder 
2 18 Photo album 1935-1937
  View the folder 
2 19 Photo album 1989
  View the folder 
2 20 Color photographs 1951-2008
  View the folder 
2 21 Snapshots 1910s-1930s
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Snapshots 1948-1960s
  View the folder 
3 2 Snapshots 1948-1960s
  View the folder 
3 3 Mounted photographs 1890s-1910s
  View the folder 
3 4 Mounted photographs 1890s-1910s
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 139 Photographs (oversize) 1920s-1979
  View the folder 
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 5 Negatives 1950s-1960s
  View the folder 
3 6 Slides 1956-1967
  View the folder 
3 7 Slides 1956-1967
  View the folder 
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