"Hearing one person tell their story gave a completely different perspective to what happened, as it wasn't about statistics or about a nation as a whole, but one person who lost his family and home." ~O. Avery (student)

Anneliese Winterberg Nossbaum

You can easily download and print Anneliese's biography here (pdf)


Anneliese Winterberg Nossbaum was born in Guben, Germany. Her family moved to Bonn when she was 2 years old. By 1935 she became aware of her Jewishness when her family’s citizenship was revoked and she wasn’t allowed in the public swimming pool. She was also banned from attending pubic school. On November 9th-10th, 1938, Kristallnacht, the Nazis burned her synagogue.

In July 1941, when Anneliese was 12 years old, the Nazis ordered her family to move to a cloister with a total of 474 people. In July 1942 they were deported to Terezin in Czechoslovakia. In October 1944 she was deported with her mother to Auschwitz, Poland. Upon arrival she was selected to work in the slave labor camp. All her hair was shaved and she was given insufficient food and water.

Five days later, she and her mother were deported to a factory in Freiberg, Germany where she was forced to make airplane parts. Here she bartered a piece of bread for a soap dish and another piece of bread for a comb. She celebrated her 16th birthday here.

In April 1945 her and her mother were deported in open cattle cars to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. The trip took two and a half weeks. On May 5th, the American army liberated them. Her mother, afflicted with tuberculosis since Auschwitz, was sent to a hospital where she died in December 1945.

Anneliese is on the road of perpetual remembrance. She is a lecturer and has brought her experiences to high school and college students, to private and governmental organizations in her immediate area as well as Germany and Austria. Her complete lecture has been incorporated in a German book (Frauenleben im NS-Alltag) and English excerpts have been published in various U.S.A. publications.