Kaufman (Edith Schoenberger) papers, 1870-2006

Edith Falk was born in 1904 in Berlin. In 1933, she married Eugen Schoenberger (1871-1970) and moved to Mainz. Schoenberger ran a successful sparkling wine business called Schoenberger Cabinet. The Nazis seized the company and changed its name to Sectkellerei Alt Mainz shortly before Edith and Eugen fled Germany for France in 1939. Edith was arrested in France and spent time in Camp de Gurs before her husband managed, with much difficulty, to secure her release and obtain the visas necessary to enter Spain and Portugal. The couple arrived in the United States in 1941 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where they remained for ten years and where Edith was quite active in the Jewish community and especially in the local chapter of Hadassah, for which she served as President from 1949 through 1951. The Schoenbergers moved to San Francisco in 1952. By then, all of Schoenberger's assets that had been seized by the Nazis had been returned to him. The mayor of Mainz reportedly wanted to return the sparkling wine company to Schoenberger, but the couple did not wish to return to live in Germany. The company was later purchased by Seagram and Company. Eugen Schoenberger died in San Francisco in 1970. Edith married Dr. Bernard Kaufman, a San Francisco physician, in 1974. She remained active in the Jewish community of San Francisco through her work chairing the local chapter of Hadassah from 1956 through 1958 and her work on behalf of the American Friends of the Hebrew University where she created an endowment for the study of enology and viticulture in memory of her first husband. Edith Kaufman was also an avid art collector and donated much of her collection to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Edith Kaufman died in 1995.

The collection consists of family papers, photographs, and photo albums/scrapbooks. Family papers range from personal documents and correspondence to materials relating to Holocaust restitution. There are also papers relating to Edith Schoenberger Kaufman's work with Hadassah. Files on Eugen Schoenberger's company, Schoenberger Cabinet, are particularly rich both with information about the Nazi seizure of a Jewish company and with ephemera and materials documenting the company's products. The collection includes a large number of photo albums and scrapbooks documenting Edith Schoenberger Kaufman's family, travels, and philanthropic work. Particularly noteworthy are the early travel photo albums from the 1930s, the family photo album (circa 1870-1951), which documents the World War II era emigration of Edith's extended Jewish family from Germany, and the scrapbooks and photo albums documenting Eugen Schoenberger's life and his company.

Collection Information
Author / Creator: 
Kaufman, Edith Schoenberger, 1904-1995
Size: 
1 carton, 3 boxes, 13 oversize boxes, and 1 oversize folder (8 linear feet)
Collection #: 
BANC MSS 2010/729
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