Skip to main content

Frederick Neumann papers

 Collection — Carton: 1-18
Identifier: SCM 294


Frederick (Friedrich) Neumann was a Jewish philosophy scholar from Austria who converted to Christianity in the 1920s, emigrated to the United States, and became a Congregational minister and visiting professor at Hartford Seminary. Edith Spitzer Neumann was a bacteriologist and microbiologist. This collection consists of his academic and professional papers and records from her successful work to translate and publish his sermons.


  • 1929 - 1999


Language of Materials

English, German, French, Hebrew.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no special restrictions to the access of this collection. It may be examined by library patrons under the normal rules and conditions of Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

Frederick (Friedrich) Neumann was born in Vienna, January 10, 1899. He studied philosophy at the universities of Vienna and Freiburg/Breisgau. His teachers included Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Theodor Gomperz, with whom he corresponded extensively. Neumann wrote his doctoral dissertation on Hermann Lotze.

Neumann's family background was Jewish, but he became a Christian as an adult, deeply influenced by Søren Kierkegaard's work. Upon his conversion, Neumann gave up an academic career for Christian service. In 1927 he married Edith (Editha) Spitzer, also an adult convert to Christianity, whom he met two years earlier at a meeting of the Swedish Society for the Conversion of Jews to Christianity. After a brief missionary stint in Yugoslavia, they returned to Vienna where he worked for the British Society for Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews.

Fearing his arrest after the German occupation of Austria in 1938, the Neumanns fled Vienna via the Danube, travelling through Zagreb, northern Italy, and Paris, arriving in London, where he was ordained a Congregational minister. From 1939 to 1947 they lived in Haifa, Palestine, where he served as a missionary.

In 1948, the couple went to the United States, where he became associate director of the Newcomers Christian Fellowship, a service organization for refugees in New York. Frederick Neumann later became minister of the Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church in Brooklyn and visiting professor at the Hartford Seminary, his only academic position. He died May 13, 1967.

Edith Spitzer Neumann was born in Vienna in 1902, youngest child of lawyer and art collector Alfred Spitzer. She studied chemistry and physics at the University of Vienna, receiving a doctorate in chemistry in 1927. She worked as a bacteriologist at the Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn, then as microbiologist at Maimonides Hospital for 20 years. After her husband’s death, she moved to Manhattan and became medical director of the Jetti Katz Clinical Laboratory, retiring in 1982 at age 80.

Upon retirement, she oversaw the publication and translation into German of her husband’s sermons and in 1983 established the Frederick Neumann Memorial Lecture at Princeton Theological Seminary. In honor of her work and philanthropy, she received the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art First Class in 1998. She died in New York June 29, 2002, at the age of 100.

Leo Baeck Institute Archives


18.5 Linear Feet (13 record cartons, 5 archives boxes)


The collection is arranged in four series: Academic notebooks and journals, Alphabetical subject files, Mixed materials, and Posthumous works. Original order and folder terms have been retained as much as possible. Some weeding has been done of multiple copies of published articles.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Frederick Neumann papers were given to PTS Special Collections by the Neumann estate January 2003.


  • Neumann, Frederick. 1983. The binding truth: A selective homiletical commentary on the New Testament. Allison Park, Pa: Pickwick Publications.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1978. Where do we stand?: A selective homiletical commentary on the Old Testament. Brooklyn, N.Y: Theo. Gaus.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1971. God's fifth columnist and other writings. Appleford: Marcham Manor Press.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1968. "The Lord's ways and Ours". The Hartford Quarterly 8 (2): 69.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1968. "Hate in the Bible". The Hartford Quarterly 8 (2): 64.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1965. "The devil's prayer - A lyrical play in one act". The Hartford Quarterly 5 (4): 5.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1962. "A sermon for trinity". The Hartford Quarterly 3 (1): 37.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1962. "The weapon and comfort of humor: A vindication of the book of Esther". The Hartford Quarterly 2 (4): 57.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1961. "Ecclesiastes - philosopher without propositions". The Hartford Quarterly 1 (3): 35.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1955. "Christian love and the Jews". Vol. 44. Geneva: Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches.
  • Neumann, Frederick. 1955. "Christian love and the Jews". International Review of Mission 44 (175): 264-73.
Frederick Neumann papers
Archive staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections Repository

Princeton Theological Seminary
Wright Library
25 Library Place
Princeton NJ 08540 USA