Fokschaner family: personal papers

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the personal papers of the Fokschaner family, Rumanian Jews from Czernowitz (Chernivtsi, now Ukraine). Included are the papers and authenticated copies of papers of Max and Sarina Fokschaner (1728/1-2), Otto and Erika Fokschaner (1728/3-5), Erich Lupul and Else Fokschaner (1728/7), Wolfgang Fokschaner (1728/6), Karoline Fokschaner, Johanna Fokschaner (1728/8) and Klara Lüwner (1728/5). Documents include certificate of Palestinian naturalisation; affidavit in lieu of passport; nationality, school, birth, nationality and wedding certificates; professional certificates; Max Fokschaner's election certificates for entry to Parliament of the province of Bukovina; inheritance papers; border passes, passports and identity cards; emigration papers for Palestine including lists of belongings, and photograph of Max Fokschaner's grave. Also included is a linen armband with printed letters A.R.P. (Air Raid Precaution) and Hebrew printed letters for Tel Aviv Civil Guard.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Fokschaner family can be traced back to the 19th century in Czernowitz in the Austrian-Hungarian empire (Chernivtsi, now Ukraine). Leon Fokschaner was an agricultural engineer in the middle of the 19th century. He had several children, amongst them Max Fokschaner (born in 1862) who was a lawyer and Parliamentarian. He represented the interests of the Jewish population in Bucovina. Max Fokschaner's wife Sarina (born in 1877) was active in charitable circles and established the children's wing at the Jewish hospital in Czernowitz. Max established a law practice together with his two sons Wolfgang (born in 1899) and Otto (born in 1903) and his son-in-law Erich Lupul who married his daughter Else (born in 1905). Wolfgang Fokschaner served as a captain in the Austrian army in the First World War.

The law practice survived the transition of Czernowitz from Austrian-Hungarian to Romanian jurisdiction in 1918. When Max Fokschaner passed away in 1926 Wolfgang took over the running of the law practice. However, Wolfgang emigrated to Bucharest in 1939 and later to Geneva and Israel. Wolfgang's daughter was born in Bucharest and his son Michael in Geneva.

In the mid 1930s Otto Fokschaner took over the running of the law firm. He was married to Erica (born in 1905, née Barber). They had a son George, born in 1933. Erica's mother Klara Lüwner was born in Bielitz (Bielsko, now Poland) in 1880. Her husband was a lawyer. She remarried after his death.

Otto Fokschaner served as a sub-lieutenant in the Romanian military reserves and was attached to an artillery regiment. In 1939 he was dismissed from the army in line with the decree that all Jewish officers were removed from their posts. In 1940 Czernowitz was annexed by the USSR and the family was forced to flee overnight and seek refuge in Bucharest where they lived until 1941 when they emigrated to Israel. The family obtained Palestinian citizenship in 1946. At some point the family moved to the UK as Otto Fokschaner was living in London in 1999.

Klara Loewner remained in Czernowitz after the Soviet occupation and the Romanian re-occupation in 1941. In 1944 Klara obtained an exceptional permission to leave the country to go to Israel.


Chronological and by name

Conditions Governing Access

See Wiener Library access conditions at:

Acquisition Information

Donated by George Fokschaner



Alternative Form Available

Digital copies of documents available.

Related Material

See Photo Archive 2007/2 for photographs.