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Doing fine under the circumstances

A letter from prison

“Under the circumstances I am doing fine, and when I think that it will be already two weeks tomorrow, I can hardly believe it. One must not think and brood too much, that’s the only way to keep one’s spirit up. And that’s what I want!”


Preparing for emigration to the United States, Alfred Rahn sold the family business, the M.S. Farrnbacher Ironmongery, in November 1937 without the consent of the Nazi authorities. Instead of leaving for the US at the end of December as planned, he therefore had to serve a 14 month prison term. From his prison cell in Fürth, Alfred Rahn expresses gratitude to his wife for gifts already received and asks for further necessities. His wife Lilly was a literary scholar and the last Jewish doctoral student to have graduated from the University of Erlangen (in 1934).



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Rahn Family Collection, AR 25538


Box 1, folder 10


on the days before