Anna Albersheim Ulhman
IHMEC Collection; Courtesy of the Uhlmann and Albersheim FamiliesAnna Albersheim lived in Vreden, Germany, a fifteen minute trip from the Dutch border. By 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany, she had begun to deposit money in Holland and bravely did the same for others. She met her husband, Kurt, in May 1938 when he came to Vreden to give her money for deposit. Every Sunday, Kurt made the three to four hour trip from Bad Driburg by car to bring her his family’s money in preparation for their departure from Germany. The third Sunday he drove to Vreden, he asked Anna to marry him.
In July, when the engagement was official, there was a small celebration in Anna’s home. This shawl was worn at the engagement party.
On Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, all of their dreams seemed to end. The Albersheim family home, which they had lived in for over 200 years, was destroyed. Anna and the other women of the town were arrested and held in the pig stables of the town hospital. Kurt, in Bad Driburg with his family, was taken to Buchenwald with the other men of his town. Fortunately, Anna and the other women of Vreden were released only days later, on Sunday, November 13th, her intended wedding day.
The Governor of the state helped get the Jews held prisoner in his district released. Kurt was freed in January, weighing only 90 pounds. The wedding took place in Anna’s family home soon after Kurt’s release. Their visas for the US were granted within the year. Because of their daring underground money deposits, Anna and Kurt were able to pay in cash for their travel arrangements and took the last trip on The Rotterdam in November 1939. They arrived in New York and settled shortly after in Chicago.