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Loewenstein Family Papers

Identifier: P-1043

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains personal correspondence, mainly in German, between the Loewenstein family members. Most of the letters span from late 1937 to late 1938, Eric Loewenstein’s first year in the United States. They revolve around Eric’s efforts at settling in the United States, especially his struggles at finding a job and his attempts to utilize family contacts (mainly his uncles) for this goal. The letters also contain detailed descriptions of events in the immigrant’s daily life, such as going to the dentist or dating, and his reflections on cultural differences between the United States and Germany. Another central theme of the correspondence is Eric and Gerhard Loewenstein’s endeavor to arrange their mother’s escape from Nazi Germany. The last folders of the collection contain numerous love letters by Jeanne Stabin to her future husband.


  • undated, 1937-1949

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact

Biographical Note

Eric Loewenstein was born as Erich Loewenstein on October 19, 1917 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in 1937 and became a naturalized citizen in 1944. At first, Loewenstein lived in New York City where he tried to find a job as a broker. In 1938 he moved to Fall River, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and served abroad during World War II. In 1944, Eric married Jeanne Stabin (born in 1920 in New York City to Benjamin and Sara Rubin Stabin), a Fall River schoolteacher. Around this time, Eric changed his last name to Lawson. Eric and Jeanne lived in Fall River until their deaths in December 1, 2006 and September 6, 2016, respectively. They had two children, Mark and Denise.

Gerhard Loewenstein, Eric's brother, was born in 1916 in Frankfurt am Main. He immigrated to London, where he worked in the stock exchange. Later in his life, he changed his name to Gerald A. Lawson.

Marie Loewenstein was Eric and Gerhard's mother. She was born as Marie Loewensberg in 1889 in Frankfurt am Main. She immigrated to the United States in 1939 and was naturalized in 1944. Upon her arrival to the United States, she lived with her son, Eric, in Fall River. She stayed in Fall River until her death in 1984.


  1. Materials from the collection.
  2. "Obituary of Jeanne Lawson" Herald News (Fall River, MA), September 10, 2016.


Marie Loewenstein is born.
Gerhard Loewenstein is born.
October 19, 1917
Eric Loewenstein is born.
Eric Loewenstein immigrates to the United States.
Eric Loewenstein moves to Fall River.
Marie Loewenstein immigrates to the United States.
Eric Loewenstein enlists in the U.S. Army.
Eric Loewenstein and Jeanne Stabin marry.
Eric and Marie Loewenstein become naturalized citizens of the United States.
Marie Loewenstein dies.
December 1, 2006
Eric Lawson dies.
September 6, 2016
Jeanne Lawson dies.


0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)


This collection consists of correspondence between members of the Loewenstein family, mainly Eric Loewenstein in New York City, his brother Gerhard Loewenstein in London, and their mother Marie Loewenstein in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The collection includes letters about Eric Loewenstein’s struggles at starting a new life in the United States after fleeing Nazi Germany and the brothers’ attempt to find an immigration solution for their mother.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Dan Johnson in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Amir Zelinger, 2018
Guide to Loewenstein Family Papers, P-1043
Processed by Amir Zelinger
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States