Welcome to Gathering the Voices podcasts, this is a limited series of episodes, featuring interviews exploring the stories people have told to escape Nazi persecution and reach Scotland
Jewish Museum Berlin
The Anson family is pleased to report that memorabilia from Steven’s late father Martin Ansbacher (Anson) is now being featured in the just opened and remodeled Core Exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB).
Here are photographs of the exhibits featured, and an explanation of what is represented.
The first photograph of the group below shows the family business in Leutershausen with anti-Jewish graffiti on it dated approx 1932 – the family moved to Landshut as a result shortly afterwards.
This photo has a unique story of how it ended up in the JMB. It was viewed at a car boot sale in Germany, and then featured/auctioned on e-bay and bought by a Leutershausen collector/historian a few years ago, shown to our family when we visited the town’s Burgermeister (Mayor), then shown to JMB, and then donated to the JMB to form part of Martin’s story.
Below it are other photographs of their time before the war.
Left – Martin and his cousin Wilhelm ran the “M & W TextileHaus” Drapery retail business – this is an advertising calendar holder from the business
Right – Martin and Beate (or Pat his future wife from Krieigshaber, Augsburg, married in Glasgow (1946) taken we think near the Jewish Sports Club in Augsburg about 1938.
They were just good friends, and both engaged to other people. The war and emigration ended those relationships or else I would not be writing this!
In the picture Martin is wearing the traditional German Lederhosen and Tracht Jacket. He brought this to him to Scotland, and wore it our shul for the fancy costume services at Purim.
Lower Right – Outside the “M & W TextileHaus” Drapery business in Landshut about 1937. The 2 fathers are on the outside, Wilhelm is center and Martin in the background.
Martin’s audio interview featuring his life story can be listened to and read at our website Gathering the Voices, starting with is childhood at
We are indebted to Aubrey Pomerance, a curator at the JMB, for featuring Martin’s remarkable life there.
Steven and Hilary Anson
East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire’s 2020 Holocaust Memorial Day Event
Howard Singerman, one of the founder members of Gathering the Voices, was the keynote speaker at East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire’s 2020 Holocaust Memorial Day event, which this year was commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
It was a powerful ceremony with local school pupils playing a major role and setting the scene musically.
The other speaker, Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura, spoke movingly of her experiences and losses as a young child growing up in Bosnia at the time of the civil war in Yugoslavia.
Howard then, with great dignity, told his mother’s story from the time she and her family were deported from Hungary in June 1944 to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He spoke of the nearly four hundred and thirty thousand Hungarian Jews who were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau in a period of just two months, and of the need to remember and learn from the horror of the Holocaust. He read two of the poems he has written in honour of his mother and her murdered family. His speech was very powerful and touched the hearts of all who were present.
After the ceremony the guests were invited to Carmichael Hall for tea, and also had the opportunity to view the Anne Frank Exhibition and learn more about the Gathering the Voices project.
Stories From Our Memorable Trip To Germany by Steven and Hilary
Calderwood Lodge Presentation (Jewish Telegraph)
Hilary and I were in Augsburg, Germany at the end of June attending the centenary celebrations of the Augsburg synagogue, one of the few synagogues to have survived the Nazis and WW2, and has since been restored to its former glory – see link below for more info
About 100 descendants from the former Jewish community attended the ceremonies, roots and routes tours and study sessions, from all over the world – including 23 from the Einstein family (our clan/tribe as my mother Pat’s maiden name was Einstein). See link below:
The first video just features the dignitaries – the second video features “us” (the descendants)
In Europe, “Stolpersteine” ( literally meaning stumbling stones) have been placed outside the last house of free choice where Jews and Christians were deported by the Nazis – usually to their deaths in concentration camps.
The Rabbi in the Cities of Munich and Augsburg did not like the idea of people walking and standing on the brass plaques “Stolpersteine” in the ground. He felt it was showing disrespect to Jewish names and memories.
So the city came up with the idea of “Remembrance Bands” – informative metal bands fixed to posts outside these houses, and featuring the names of the former Jewish citizens.
“Stolpersteine” will continue to be used outside houses for of non-Jews – unless there is a change of plan.
And so it came to pass that we took part in a public ceremony for the dedication of Remembrance bands outside the house in 185 Ulmerstrasse, Kriegshaber where my Mother and Lee Fischer’s (nee Einstein) families used to live. See Kriegshaber Blatt newspaper and translation attached.
While we were in Germany, the UK and Canadian Ansons used the opportunity to visit the town of Leutershausen where my Dad (Martin) was born, and where his family, the Ansbachers lived. Please see attached local press coverage of our trip there.
The Ansbacher and other Jewish families moved out of Leutershausen in 1931/2 because of strong anti-Semitism – some moved to Landshut.
We found Martin’s 1987 letter to the Leutershausen town council, after a previous visit, explaining why they left the town and his feeling over past events – see attached.
Hilary and I gave a presentation (in English) at the Siegenthaler High School in Landshut to 150 final year students about and my father’s life in Landshut, and our Gathering the Voices Holocaust Testimony.
A local newspaper article about this event is attached – you may find the description of Hilary and I highly amusing.
As Franz Gervasoni, a retired history teacher said ” We tell the students they are not responsible for the Holocaust, but they are responsible for making sure it does not happen again,”
Where we have included the original German newspaper feature to provide context, we have separately added our “free” translation and interpretation of the text, with added information for clarity.
Sharing this experience has had a profound effect on our family, gives our Jewish roots and routes extra meaning at this special time of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
We were privileged to share the experience with our children Jonny and Nikki, also my brother Howard and his wife Debbie with their children Gillian, Michael, and Jamie with her husband Yannick, and other Einstein descendants who, with very mixed emotions, all came together in Augsburg.
The Germans we met were open, kind, and talked freely about the fate that befell their former Jewish citizens. They find it hard to believe what happened, and still can’t believe what their grandparents did, and the shame their actions brought to their country.
They really appreciated our visit and openness, and that we were able to talk to them without hatred.
Steven and Hilary
Attachments which go along with this story
Kriegshaber Newspaper (English Version)
Eutershausen Newspaper Feature – (English Translation)
Oct-1987 letter by Martin Anson to Town Council
Landshut Newspaper Feature – (English Version)