Papa was the youngest son of a family of thirteen. He never knew his father since the man died of typhoid fever when Albert was three years old. His mother, a young widow, worked hard to keep her children and stepchildren fed and clothed. She took over the family store which was located on the first floor of the three story house in the resort town of Bad Mergentheim where young Albert grew up. His bedroom was in the attic where he slept on a sack of straw. He was not a complainer and accepted whatever was given him.

Albert always watched over his sisters and was a good and helpful son to his widowed mother. There was never much money but there was always enough food to eat.

Once a year there was a fair in Edelfingen, a nearby town. Merchants would bring their wares to sell; there was the carousel with its painted ponies which would go up and down and round and round; stately horses and well fed cows were on display and there was much fun to be had at the fair grounds. In preparation of this festivity the Abner children would pick hops (dried ripe flowers used in the manufacture of beer) for a farmer to earn spending money. The children would give their earnings to their older brother Siegfried for safe keeping since he was the oldest son.

Albert, his three older sisters and Siegfried walked the four miles to the fair. When they got there they went their separate ways looking at the many displays of farm products, animals and good things to eat. There was a stand that had mountains of chocolate bars piled up. Albert looked around for his brother so that he could buy one for his hard earned money but Siegfried was nowhere to be seen. By this time Albert was very hungry and tired. He helped himself to one of those chocolate bars. The merchant saw him and wanted to be paid. The man threatened to beat him. Having no money, little Albert ran away as fast as his legs would carry him. He was so frightened that he never forgot the experience of that large man running after him shouting “Jew boy, I’m going to get you.” That was the first and last time that he ever stole anything. He grew up being the most honest upright person imaginable, trusted by everyone who knew him.

As a young man Albert was drafted into the German army where he served as a soldier for four years during the first World War. There he distinguished himself by being very brave. He saved the lives of several of his fellow soldiers by his courage and strength. He was never permitted to be an officer since this was a promotion that Jewish soldiers were not given. He did receive a medal, the iron cross, for his bravery.

To Droozy Papa was always a hero. He was so tall and strong. His handsome face with its chiseled features and large brown eyes were a mesmerizing sight. Droozy loved holding on to his hand as they walked. She was very jealous when Ruth Landauer, her friend, held his other hand: “This is my Papa,” she would say as she felt that big comforting hand in her small one.

           It was on the Sabbath that the family usually walked through the beautiful garden surrounding their rented house. At other times Albert would sit on a bench under a large chestnut tree and play a game of cards with his friend Mr. Landauer.

Papa was the first of the family to leave for America since there was only one who had the proper papers (affidavit) to leave. He would go first and send for the family as soon as he could. When he arrived by boat in the United States he was not permitted to land. By small boats they took all the passengers to Ellis Island, a small island off the coast of New York City. They examined everyone for any possibly contagious disease, and checked their papers to ascertain that all had a right to be in the new land. They then let all those off the boats who had a family member or friend waiting at the dock. No one came for Papa for a long time. He knew that he would be returned to Nazi Germany and to perish there if no one would come to claim him. He spent some time very frightened on Ellis Island until his stepbrother arrived to welcome him.

While Papa was away Droozy wrote him many letters begging him to hurry and get affidavits so that they could all leave Germany. She knew that if they had to remain much longer their fate was sealed and they would be killed. Droozy had faith in her Papa. She always knew that he would do everything possible to rescue her!

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author