Tuesday 8 June 2021


Anna Andorn, nee Löwenstein, was born in Bocholt in 1885. During WWI she volunteered as a nurse. In 1930 she married the widower Meier Andorn, a prominent Jewish cantor and teacher. In 1942, the couple was deported to Teresienstadt, where Meier Andorn died. Anna was moved to Auschwitz in October 1944. She died before the camp inmates were liberated by the Allies in 1945.
Anna’s journal was made available by her nephew, Fritz Rohr, who lives in Paraguay. It constitutes an important historical source documenting the oppression, terror, and suffering of Jews under the Hitler regime.

Anna's diary, Part I 1897-1901
1897 -          “My name is Anna Löwenstein. I am 12 years old, born on July 14th 1885 in Bocholt, and have decided to write this journal. But not as my friends do, who write down every little bit of rubbish.  At least once a year, I will make an entry in order to record what is most important about that particular period of time.

          Until 2 years ago I attended the Jewish School of Bocholt [where] I was taught by Mr. Spier, whose favourite expression was “Logical consequence”.  Now in the School of the Nuns they try to portray everything as a consequence of “God’s will”.  Studying is not as difficult for me as it is for most of my classmates.  It appears I have a somewhat better memory.
          The singing lessons give me particular joy.  The nun claims that I am the only who always strikes the right note. Also, I seem to have a nice voice. Then Mother Superior asked me to participate in the church-choir.  I immediately explained to her that I am Jewish.  Her answer: “But that doesn’t matter”.
          Initially I did not dare to talk about it at home, but one day my father told me that he had had a glass of beer with the pastor that day.  The pastor had smiled and waved at me the other day as I was coming down the stairs from the choir loft.
          So I feared that the minister might tell him about my participation in the choir and I preferred to talk about it myself.  However, father just laughed about it: “That’s alright, in my youth we used to decorate the synagogue with flowers from the pastor’s garden.  So, you go ahead and help to beautify the service.”
1901  -  I left the school at Easter. In fact, I am sad about that.  The nuns made a great effort on our behalf and I very much appreciate them.  And I believe they liked me well in turn.
  Now I help with the housekeeping, I enjoy that more than [helping in] the store.  We are 8 people, Paul, my youngest brother born on February 24th, 1896 makes the most work for us.
WATCH FOR PART II: 1906-1915
Translated from the German by Susi Lessing. The original text is at https://digipres.cjh.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE10164662

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