Part 4 - Andreas Weinmann Arrives in Detroit (1926) and Then is Joined by his Fiancée Bertha Boettcher (1927)
In 1925, Max Weinmann’s 25 year-old brother Andreas decided to join him in the United States. Andreas traveled from Wolfen to Leipzig, Germany on December 19, 1925 to receive his visa for the trip. He sailed from Bremen on January 26, 1926 on the S.S. Berlin of the North German Lloyd shipping line and arrived in New York on February 11, 1926. The ship’s manifest listed his occupation as clerk (on a German record he is listed as a 'Handlungsgehilfe," which translates as a sales clerk or commercial clerk) and described him as 5’4” tall, of fair complexion, with brown hair and green eyes. His final destination was Detroit, Michigan, where he planned to join his brother Max who lived at 186 Drexel Avenue. His filed his intention to become a U.S. citizen on July 8, 1926.
Andreas on board the Berlin with unknown fellow passengers
Andreas had already become engaged to Bertha Boettcher before he left for the United States. After establishing himself in Detroit, finding employment as an electrician and accumulating some money, he asked Bertha to join him.
Engagement portrait of Bertha that Andreas brought with him to the United States
and drawing of the Eisleben marketplace made by Andreas for Bertha
At this time, Bertha was 29 years old and working as a typist. She had been born in Eisleben, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany and was residing in Bitterfeld near Wolfen. She traveled to Berlin on December 16, 1926 to receive her visa. Unlike the Vogels and Weinmanns, Bertha did not sail directly from Germany to the United States. Instead she sailed first to England and then boarded the RMS Aquitania in Southampton. The Aquitania was a Cunard Line ocean liner and sister ship to the Lusitania, which had been sunk by torpedos from a German U-boat during World War I. The Aquitania was a larger and slower, but more luxurious liner than her sister ships. She carried 2200 passengers and a crew of 972 and was the last of the four smoke stack liners of that era. Many referred to the Aquitania by her the nickname “Ship Beautiful” for her graceful lines, but she was even better known for her luxurious interior and the decoration of her public spaces. Her first class cabins were favorites of movie stars, royalty, aristocracy, and politicians. Although Bertha undoubtedly traveled in tourist class, it was probably a much more comfortable trip than those of her fiancé’s family.
Bertha sailed from Southampton, England on April 5, 1927 and arrived in New York on April 16, 1927. Her final destination was Detroit, Michigan, where she planned to join her fiancé Andreas Weinmann (whose address was listed as 1261 Glover Avenue). It is difficult to make out her height on the manifest, but her complexion was medium, her hair medium brown and her eyes blue. As was the case with many immigrants of that time, Bertha married Andreas on April 16, 1927, at St. Peter Lutheran Church immediately upon arrival in New York in order to be admitted to the United States. Bertha filed her intention to become a U.S. citizen on November 12, 1927.
Andreas Weinmann listing, S.S. Bremen passenger listing, February 11, 1926 (Page 1)(Page 2) and Bertha Boettcher listing, S.S. Aquitania passenger listing, April 16, 1927 (Page 1)(Page 2), Ship Passenger Lists for the Port of New York, Record Group 85 – Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC; available as NARA Microfilm Publication T715. Other documents show Andreas' eye color as hazel and family members remember his eyes as being blue.
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