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(Mss 4878)




Compiled by


Abigail L. Dixon



Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries





Contents of Inventory




Biographical/Historical Note                            

Scope and Content Note                                 

Series Descriptions                                          

Index Terms                                                    

Container List                                                  

Appendix—“Individuals Referenced in Letters                                                




Size.                            92 items.



locations.                    Baton Rouge, Louisiana; France. 


Inclusive dates.          1898-1945.


Bulk dates.                 1944-1945.


Languages.                 English.


Summary.                   World War II era letters and earlier family photographs belonging to members of the Rosenbaum and Elgutter families of Baton Rouge. 


Source.                        Gift, 2003.


Related collection.     Sylvia Elgutter Weiss Papers (Mss. #4830)


Access.                       No restrictions.


Copyright.                   Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries.  Copyright of the original materials is retained by the creators, or their descendants, of the materials in accordance with U.S. copyright law.


Citation.                      Max Rosenbaum Family Letters and Photographs, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 


Stack location.            S:136


Note.                           Because of the fragile nature of the original letters, only photocopies are available.  They may be reproduced within fair use.


Biographical/Historical Note


Max Rosenbaum was born in New York in 1887 and later moved with his family to Selma, Alabama. After serving in World War I, he traveled around visiting friends from the Army.  Upon reaching Bogalusa, he obtained a job with Elias and Meyer Berenson in their clothing business .  In 1923, Rosenbaum married Ruth Elgutter, the daughter of a prominent Jewish family that immigrated from Germany to Newellton, Louisiana, near Natchez, and then to Baton Rouge.  He then went to work at his father-in-law’s business located on Third Street, the Guarantee Shoe Store.  Two years, later, the couple’s only son, Bert Rosenbaum, was born.  Max Rosenbaum continued to work in the family business for many years, traveling to nearby states in order to purchase shoes to stock for the store.  He died in 1966. 



Scope and Content Note


Letters and photographs ranging from 1898 to 1945 relating to the Rosenbaum family.  Photocopies of typed letters written from Max Rosenbaum to his son Bert, who was serving in the Army, constitute almost a daily record of the Baton Rouge home front during World War II.  Photographs consist of mounted paper prints and black and white prints primarily of the Elgutter family.


Series Descriptions


I.  Letters, 1944-1945 (63 items)


Letters detail the activities of family and friends including members of the local Jewish population and other men from Baton Rouge serving in the military.  Insight as to the economic condition of Southern Louisiana during the war as well as the social history and culture of the area are also evident.  In addition, these letters document Max Rosenbaum’s own memories of being stationed in France during World War I, “soldierly” advice given by father to son, and the family and community’s support of local soldiers.  Several letters also document dissension within the local congregation, B’nai Israel, over the formation of the State of Israel. 


Letters 42 and 43 not accessioned with collection. 


II.  Photographs, 1898-1929, n.d. (29 items)


Photographs are primarily mounted paper prints of the Elgutter family.  In addition to the photographs of Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum as a child and young woman, there is also a family portrait as well as pictures of Ruth with her brother, Sammy.  Many of the studio portraits were taken at Henry C. Norman’s studio in Natchez before the family moved to Baton Rouge.  Among the black and white prints included are photographs of Bert Rosenbaum as a child.



Index Terms


Baton Rouge (La.)—Economic conditions.                                                                    I

Baton Rouge (La.)—History—20th century.                                                                  I

Baton Rouge (La.)—Social life and customs—20th century.                                           I

Congregation B'nai Israel (Baton Rouge, La.).                                                               I

Dampf, Ernest.                                                                                                             I

Dampf, Jake.                                                                                                                I

Elgutter, Adolph.                                                                                                          II

Elgutter, Recha Jereslau (referred to as "Bamma").                                                        I, II

Elgutter, Sammy.                                                                                                          II

Fishing—Louisiana.                                                                                                      I

Gambling—Louisiana—Baton Rouge.                                                                           I

Guarantee Shoe Store (Baton Rouge, La.).                                                                   I

Herzberg, Carol.                                                                                                           I

Immigrants—Louisiana.                                                                                                I, II

Jews, German—United States.                                                                                     II

Jews—Louisiana—Baton Rouge.                                                                                  I

Landman, Jonas.                                                                                                           I

Middleton, Troy H. (Troy Houston), 1889-1976.                                                          I

Norman, Henry C., 1850-1913.                                                                                   II

Photographers—Mississippi—Natchez.                                                                        II

Resnicon, Hilda Elgutter.                                                                                               I, II

Resnicon, Murray.                                                                                                        I

Rosenbaum, Bert.                                                                                                         I, II

Rosenbaum, Max, 1887-1966.                                                                                     I

Rosenbaum, Ruth Elgutter, b. 1899.                                                                              I, II

Sternberg, Eric.                                                                                                            I

V-mail.                                                                                                                         I

Weiss, Albert M.                                                                                                          I, II

Weiss, Robert Elgutter.                                                                                                 II

Weiss, Sylvia.                                                                                                               I

World War, 1914-1918—France.                                                                                I

World War, 1939-1945—Louisiana—Baton Rouge.                                                    I

Zionists—Louisiana—Baton Rouge.                                                                              I



Container List








Series I.  Letters





Letters, 1944-1945.



Series II.  Photographs

location of studio and name of photographer noted in parenthesis





Recha (Jereslau) and Adolph Elgutter (Ruth’s parents),

     1898 (Berlin, T. Baruch).

Recha (Jereslau) Elgutter’s Parents, ca. 1898 (Natchez,

     Henry C. Norman).

Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1899 (New Orleans, Moore).




Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1900 (New Orleans, Moore).

Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1901 (Natchez, Henry C. 


Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1902 (Natchez, Henry C.





Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1903 (Natchez, Henry C.


Sammy Elgutter, 1903 (Natchez, Henry C. Norman).

Sammy Elgutter, 1903 (Natchez, Henry C. Norman).




Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1904 (New Orleans, Rojas


Sammy Elgutter and Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum,

     ca. 1906 (Natchez, Henry C. Norman).

Sammy Elgutter and Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1906 (Natchez, Brown).




Elgutter Family, 1906.

     Top Row:  Adolph Elgutter, Hilda (Elgutter) Resnicon,      

     and Recha Elgutter.

     Bottom Row:  Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum,   

     Unidentified maid, and Sammy Elgutter.




Sammy Elgutter, ca. 1906.

Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1910 (Baton Rouge, A. D. Lytle and Son).













Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1915 (Baton Rouge, Meades).

Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1915  (Baton Rouge, 





Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum, 1920 (Baton Rouge,


Grandpa Elgutter (Ruth’s grandfather), n.d.




Grandma Elgutter (Ruth’s grandmother), n.d.

Bert Rosenbaum, 1927.

Bert Rosenbaum, 1928.

Bert Rosenbaum, ca. 1929.

Recha Elgutter, n.d.

Adolph Elgutter, n.d.

Adolph Elgutter, n.d.

Recha Elgutter, n.d.

Albert M. Weiss, n.d.

Robert Elgutter Weiss, n.d.








Individuals Referenced in Letters


The following information was provided by the donor of the letters:




1.         Hilda is Hilda Elgutter Resnicon, Bert’s aunt.

2.         Murray is Murray Resnicon, who later married Hilda.

3.         Al is Albert M. Weiss, husband of Bert’s aunt, Sylvia Elgutter Weiss.

4.         Mr. Dampf is Jake Dampf, father of Bert’s best friend, Ernest Dampf.

5.         ZBT was the Jewish fraternity.  Bert was a member.

6.         G.J. is G.J. Weill

7.         Lee Jr. is Lee Herzberg.  His sister, Carol Herzberg Perlman, is often mentioned. 

Her husband was Ralph Perlman.

8.         Joan is Joan Benjamin Goldberger.  Her father was Herbert S. Benjamin.  Her husband was Richard K. Goldberger (Dick).

9.         Rhea is Rhea Mayer Cohn (Mrs. Henry Louis Cohn).  She was later Mrs. Theodore Rosenberg.

10.       Tootsie Bombet’s son was Dr. Leon Bombet.

11.       Jonas Landman was the gambler.

12.       Eric Sternberg was the German refugee who bought Goudchaux’s and made it a huge success.

13.       Carrie Freeman was Victor Sachse’s sister. 

14.       Dr. Hirsch was Dr. Edward K. Hirsch.

15.       Maurice Mayer’s sons were Charles and Maurice. 

16.       Josh Kantrow was Sidney Blitzer, Jr.’s grandfather.

17.       Trip to Natchez—“wined and dined by Habers” (should be Habas)—Rabbi and Mrs. Saul Habas) and Lopoos (Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lopoo).  Mrs. Saul Habas was Jeanette Zerbowsky, who went to LSU with Hilda.  The Lopoo’s daughters, Evelyn, Beatrice (mother of Carol Ann Blitzer), and Ruth were all friends of the Elgutter girls from LSU.

18.       Rabbi Peiser is Walter Gilbert Peiser.