Guide to the Papers of Marianne Steiner (1919- )

AR 10443

Processed by Miriam Schulz

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2011 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey in October 2011. Description is in English.
May 2012 Links to digital objects added in Container List. March 2013 Links to digital objects added in Container List. August 20, 2018: Correct folder numbers for contents of folders 2/5 and 2/6 provided.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Steiner, Marianne, 1919-
Title: Marianne Steiner Collection
Dates:bulk 1917-1974
Abstract: This collection comprises documents of Marianne Steiner and her husband Paul Steiner. Material of the Esberg family, however, makes up the bulk of the collection, especially a large accumulation of family photographs. Furthermore, one can find material related to the Holocaust, i.e. a copy of the ‘Chronicle of the Esberg/ Meyerstein/ Pohly Families under the Holocaust’ and a series of original photographs taken in a concentration camp shortly after liberation.
Languages: The collection is in German, English, French and Flemish.
Quantity: 1.0 linear foot
Identification: AR 10443
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Marianne Steiner (née Esberg) was born on October 15, 1919, in Braunschweig, Germany. She is the daughter of Ernst and Hilda Esberg (née Eisenstein). The Esbergs used to be successful cattle and horse dealers in Wolfenbuettel, near Braunschweig.

Marianne Steiner (née Esberg) left Germany via Belgium and England to finally arrive in New York City on October 15, 1938 together with her parents. In 1941, the writer Paul Steiner rented a room in the Esberg's apartment in New York City. Marianne and Paul married in 1942. Their only son, Thomas Steiner, was born in 1943.

Her husband became the head of the American subsidiary of Adprint, a British publisher, called Chanticleer Press. In 1952, when the British company wanted to sell the subsidiary, Paul Steiner bought Chanticleer Press.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection includes a few documents, i.e. identification and registration cards issued in Belgium and later England in the 1930s, and notes of Marianne Steiner herself. Such documents will be found in Series I.

The bulk of the collection, however, comprises the Esberg family collection including the family's personal correspondences, including postcards and letters, a guestbook of Ivan and Suse Esberg - Marianne Steiner's uncle and his first wife (she died already in 1935) - and especially the family's large photo collection. Ivan Esberg emigrated from Germany to Belgium. He was interned in the French detention camp St. Cyprien and managed to flee. Afterwards, he went into hiding, survived and returned to Belgium after the war where he married Gertrud Gram – née Meyerstein, widow of Alfred Gram. Furthermore one can find a family tree of the Steiner family and one copy of the Chronicle of the Esberg/Meyerstein/Pohly Families under the Holocaust. These items are located in Series II.

The contents of Series III deserve special mention. They consist of original photographs taken in a concentration camp shortly after liberation (photographer unknown, undated).

Additionally, the collection holds many documents of Marianne's husband Paul Steiner, found in Series IV. These include primary and secondary school certificates and University documents, letters of recommendations and other documents connected to his struggle for a visa and emigration preparations.

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The collection has been subdivided into four series in the following manner:

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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 Paul Steiner Collection may be found in the LBI’s archives (AR 25208) as well as his autobiography in the LBI's Memoir Collection available on microfilm (ME 938).

‘Chronicle of the Esberg/Meyerstein/Pohly Families under the Holocaust’ is also available in the LBI Manuscript Collection (MS 594).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Marianne Steiner Collection; AR 10443; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

In September 2011, the collection was processed following a pre-existent box inventory. The collection's material was arranged into four series and the folders were renamed and renumbered. Additionally, an appropriate finding aid was created.

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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: Marianne Steiner Documents, 1934-1938

This series is in French, Flemish, English and German.
0.1 linear foot.
Scope and Content:

This small series contains one identification pass issued in Belgium (undated) and one Certificate of Registration issued in England on December 15, 1934 for Marianne Esberg (later Steiner). In the latter document, British authorities recorded Marianne's place of residence in the U.K. as well as her travels in England via notes and stamps in the years 1935-1938.

There are also three Student Identity Cards of Marianne Steiner certifying her as a student at the Koninklijk Atheneum te Gent-Athenee Royal de Gand in Gent, Belgium, in the years from 1933 to 1935 and her enrollment to the Reimann School in London from 1937 to 1938.

This series also holds a few miscellaneous handwritten notes of Marianne Steiner, receipts and tickets.

11Marianne Steiner Identity and Registration Cards1934-1938
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Series II: Esberg Family Collection, 1896-1985

This series is in German and English.
0.75 linear feet.


Scope and Content:

The second series contains Esberg Family material which is organized by subject or format into correspondence and postcards, photographs, a guestbook and a copy of the Chronicle of the Esberg/Meyerstein/Pohly Families under the Holocaust.

Besides personal letters addressed to Hilda and Andreas Esberg, the Esberg Family's correspondence holds two letters concerning Holocaust restitution from the year 1945 which deserve special mention. Ernst Esberg, Marianne's father, and his brother Ivan Esberg lost their property in Lange Herzogstrasse 46, Wolfenbuettel in 1941, after being evacuated with other Jewish families by the NSDAP-local authorities. Curt Mast bought their property from the Reich in the same year. Curt Mast was a wine and vinegar distributor and is mostly known for his brand of spirit called Jaegermeister. He was a member of the NSDAP, and he profited highly through the distribution of Jaegermeister called Goering-Schnaps among German soldiers during the war. After World War II, Ivan Esberg conducted a lawsuit against Mast which was then settled in a mutual agreement. The two letters included in the collection document the first stage of efforts being undertaken to receive restitutions for the loss of their property. Documents about the Mast-Jaegermeister SE are not part of the collection and were only mentioned here for informative purposes.

The postcards included in the above-mentioned folder were received from 1913 to 1970 and addressed to different members of the Esberg Family, mostly, however, to Suse Esberg. Separate from the postcards, one can also find a collection of invitations, birthday and memory cards of the pre- and post-war period.

Furthermore, there is a guestbook of Suse and Ivan Esberg with entries starting in 1918 and ending in 1965 with a large gap between 1929 and 1965.

The Esberg Family photo collection comprises the bulk of this series and is subdivided topically. The pictures of the family itself are ordered chronologically starting in the year 1914 and ending in the year 1971. Interestingly enough, there are almost no pictures of the part of the family living in the United States, i.e. Ernst and Hilda Esberg and Marianne Steiner herself, the creator of the collection, except for a collection of photographs of Marianne's son Thomas Steiner and her brother Andy Esberg (Box 1/Folder 7). The vast majority of the pictures rather show Ivan Esberg and his wife, children and friends before and after the war (Box 1/Folder 4). There is whole collection of portraits of Ivan Esberg and his first wife Suse Esberg. Separate from the family photos, there are pictures from vacations of Ivan Esberg's Family (Box 2/Folder 8). One can find pictures documenting family vacations in Norderney (1919-1930), Marienbad (1921-1932), Pyrmont (1931), La Panne (1933/1969), Bad Wiessee (1965/1968) and Ostende (1964/1970). Many photographs portray unknown family friends and relatives (1896-1971) as well as known friends and relatives like the Downing, Pohly, Hans and Frank families.

In the last folder of the series one can find a copy of the Chronicle of the Esberg/Meyerstein/Pohly Families under the Holocaust written by Claire P. Doblin in December 1993. In it, Claire Doblin lists those members of her immediate relatives in the Esberg /Meyerstein /Pohly families, plus the Cohn, Doblin, Eisenstein, Kaufman and Steiner families who perished in the Holocaust. As written in the introduction, this essay is Doblin's contribution to educate the next generation in order to secure the remembrance of those of their ancestors who had been killed in the Holocaust. In the spirit of zachor, she felt it her duty to pass on her memory of her experiences before and during the war and of those who died.

12Esberg Family - Correspondence and Postcards1928-1985
13Esberg Family Guestbook1918-1965
14Esberg Family – Pictures1914-1971
15Esberg, Ivan – Portraitsundated, 1934
16Esberg, Suse – Portraits1917-1934
17Esberg, Andy and Steiner, Thomas – Pictures1963-1974
21Esberg Family – Vacation Pictures1919-1970
22Esberg Family – Pictures of Relatives and Friends1896-1971
23Hans, Frank, Downing and Pohly Family – Pictures1964-1973
24Old Portraits, untitledundated
26Chronicle of the Esberg/Meyerstein/Pohly Families under the Holocaust1933 December
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Series III: Concentration Camp Liberation – Pictures, undated

This series is in French.
0.1 linear feet.
Scope and Content:

Series III comprises a collection of original photographs taken in a concentration camp shortly after liberation. The photographer as well as the date and the identity of the camp is unknown.

25Concentration Camp Liberation Picturesundated
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Series IV: Paul Steiner Documents, 1918-1939

This series is in German and English.
0.25 linear feet.
Scope and Content:

Series IV is composed of Paul Steiner's documents. One can find primary and secondary school certificates of the years from 1918-1930 and university certificates from 1936 to 1938 attesting course attendance and exam results. A library pass from 1934 and a matriculation certificate from the University of Vienna attest to Paul Steiner's presence as a student in the departments of philosophy (1932) and law (1936).

Additionally, official application letters for financial support or rather release from university fees from the years 1937-1938 can be found.

There is also accumulated material connected to his efforts and struggle to get a visa to leave Austria. One can find certificates and recommendation letters of former employers of Paul Steiner and business correspondence between Paul Steiner and possible employers in Australia. Furthermore there are several police and tax clearance certificates for Paul Steiner as well as his mother Ilona Steiner. There are also 2 incomplete applications for permits to enter Australia and New Zealand, a confirmation of a visa for the entry to England from the German Jewish Aid Committee and finally his ticket and itinerary from Paris via New York to Akron, Ohio.

27Paul Steiner Documents1918-1939
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