External links are disabled on the kiosk. Please visit archive links from desktop or mobile devices.

Doing fine here in prison

Letters from Alfred Rahn

“I am doing well under the circumstances, and if you do not worry, I shall be able to bear it doubly well.”


Not wishing to leave behind the family business and hoping that the Jews’ situation would improve over time, Alfred Rahn had initially been reluctant to consider emigration. However, in 1937 the family obtained US visas and sold the business to a non-Jew. Since they had not officially approved the sale, the Nazis accused Rahn of trying to hide funds. As a result, he had to serve a 14-month prison term. From prison, Rahn writes to his wife Lilli in a matter-of-fact way about his hope to be transferred to a different section of the prison, the work imposed on him, and the books he reads. He manages to create the impression that nothing much is amiss.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Rahn Family Collection, AR 25538


Box 1, folder 10


on the days before