Anne Forchheimer, born in Coburg in 1927

Anne Coburg 1936 or 37
Anne Forchheimer in Coburg, 1936 (Foto: Privatbesitz)

On the morning after Kristallnacht (9 November 1938), at dawn, the Jews of Coburg were rounded up and led through the city to the town Gymnasium. Anne Forchheimer, 11 years old, brought sandwiches to the men being held there.

“It was dark. The flickering torches in the crowd outside the gymnasium intensified my nightmarish feelings. We kept hearing, ‘Burn the damn Jews!'”

After that Anne’s father and her brother Frank went to England. Her brother Peter had already been sent to America in early 1937. Her grandfather died that night in Gotha. Her grandmother committed suicide when the remaining Jews in Gotha were called for transport.

In May 1939, Anne’s mother was able to arrange for Anne to escape to England on a Kindertransport (Children’s Transport). Two weeks before the beginning of the war, the mother also managed to leave. In the spring of 1940, the family continued their escape to America.

“My parents were not able to take very much with them on our flight from the Nazis. I can remember only a suitcase containing lovely linen table cloths – the beautiful ones from the Alkan store – and some religious objects: my father’s tallit (prayer shawl), my mother’s siddur (prayer book), and a silver wine cup.”

Along with other refugee children, Anne was soon among the top students at school. She began training at The Ohio State Universityin Columbus, Ohio and graduated as a nurse in 1950.

“My father was very proud that he could afford for me to attend university after only 5 ½ years in America.”

Anna Forchheimer

Text: Prof. Dr. Gaby Franger

anne picking apples at the ohio state experimental farm 1944
Anne Forchheimer on a farm in Ohio, 1944 (Photo: private property)
anne confirmation columbus ohio 1942
Ohio 1942