Dr Adolf Leschnitzer

Adolf Leschnitzer, born on 3 February 1899 in Posen, Germany (now Poznań, Poland).



When Leschnitzer left school he served in the German Army until the end of the war in 1918. He then studied at Berlin and Heidelberg and in 1923 received his degree from the University of Heidelberg. In 1926 he passed his state examination for teaching, and subsequently taught in Berlin. 

Leo Baeck, the head of the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland (National Federation Of Jews in Germany), asked Leschnitzer to head the Department of Education.

Until he left for England in 1939, with his wife Maria, Leschnitzer supervised Jewish schools throughout Germany. He also assisted in teacher seminars and adult education. 

The Leschnitzers were only in Britain for a short time before transmigrating onwards to the USA.

Source: Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, Adolf Leschnitzer Collection, AR 25320 / MF 897 (https://archives.cjh.org/repositories/5/resources/8019)


According to Leschnitzer’s ‘Exemption from Internment’ card (Home Office records, national Archives, Kew), he was living on Harvey Goodwin Avenue, Cambridge, at the time of the autumn Tribunals for ‘Enemy Aliens’. His profession is listed as ‘School teacher’. On the back of this card is the following note:

He is known Head of Education sector of German Jewry. Prof Loewe of Queens (sic) knows him well as careful man of great judgement.

In the 1939 Register, Leschnitzer is listed as being a Secondary School teacher (Refugee). His wife Maria, born 1909, is listed as carrying out ‘Unpaid Domestic Duties’.

The couple left for the USA on Cunard White Star’s Britannic on 3 May 1940, bound for New York from Liverpool. Prior to leaving they had been living at Gracechurch Street, London.


Adolf Leschnitzer’s correspondence with Werner Weissenberg can be viewed online via the Leo Baeck Institute, Leo Baeck Institute / AR 25320 / MF 897, Adolf Leschnitzer Collection / Series I: Leschnitzer, Adolf / Subseries 2: Professional / Subsubseries B: Correspondence Weissenberg, Werner, 1938-1939, File – Box 8, Folder 12.

We have copies of the correspondence at home – see below.


Correspondence, Adolf Leschnitzer, Werner Weissenberg, 10 March 1939
Correspondence, Adolf Leschnitzer, Werner Weissenberg, 10 March 1939, page 2

Werner Weissenberg for Adolf Leschnitzer, Curriculum Vitae, 7 March 1939

The Journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees has an article on Leschnitzer at the following link, https://ajr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/1969_february.pdf: