I am Rachel Rubin Green. The child you see in the picture before you is my mother, Anne. Anne Forchheimer was born in Coburg, Germany in 1927. Coburg, a small town in Bavaria, is most famous for being the birthplace of Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. It is notorious for having been the first town in Germany to elect a Nazi party member as mayor in 1928. The Jewish population of Coburg never exceeded 325 people.
This picture must have been taken in the winter of 1936-37 after the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Note the Olympic Rings and the Swastika in the background as well as the bare trees and thick coats. Anne had travelled to Berlin to visit her aunt Greta Forchheimer, born Greta Sichel in Cologne around 1900. It was Anne’s first train trip alone. Greta’s husband Benno was the brother of Anne’s father Emil. Greta had a lifelong love for dogs and you can see one in this picture. Anne was about nine years old in this picture.
The Forchheimer family was lucky in their flight from the Nazis. One of Anne’s uncles had settled in Texas around 1916. He sponsored the immigration applications of his brothers and their families. Greta and her husband Benno entered the United States in 1938. One of Anne’s brothers entered the US in 1937. Anne and her other brother left Germany on a Kindertransport. Her parents left Germany one at a time. All left Germany in the first half of 1939. Fortunately the family reunited in London and immigrated to the US in April of 1940.
My mother, Anne’s, family settled in Columbus, Ohio, and Greta and Benno joined them there a few years later. Anne graduated from the Ohio State University School of Nursing in 1950, the first Jewish student to successfully complete that program. She married Ted Rubin in 1952. They settled in California, where their children and grandchildren still live today. I am the eldest of their three children. I work as a teacher at Culver City High School, my sister Esther Sorkin works as an attorney in Ventura County, and my brother, Sam Rubin, is a newscaster here in Los Angeles.
My great-aunt Greta lived down the street from my Grandmother and I saw her frequently. Benno died in 1966 and Greta in the late 1990s. My father Ted passed away in 2004, and my mother Anne passed away in 2009.