Ruth Weinmann Returns to the United States, July 1947

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Although her mother continued to try to change her mind about leaving Germany right up to the morning of her departure, Ruth was determined to move to the United States.  She and Bertha took the train to Berlin.  All Ruth could take with her was the 30 pounds of luggage that Lufthansa permitted.

Ruth departed from Berlin's Tempelhof Airport on Friday, July 11, wearing the same new dress that she wore when visiting her relatives in Sandersdorf on July 8.  She traveled on a 48-passenger, two-propeller aircraft and did not change planes until she reached New York City.  The flight made frequent stops, flying from Berlin to Frankfurt to Paris to Shannon, Ireland (there was a two hours delay here for repairs) to Newfoundland to Boston to New York.  In New York, she transferred from Idlewild Airport to LaGuardia Airport to connect to a domestic flight that went to Buffalo and then Detroit.  By the time she arrived in Detroit, it was 11 p.m. on Sunday, July 13.

Ruth arrived at Willow Run airport near Detroit not knowing a word of English. She had a note that someone had written for her in English asking whoever read it to call her uncle, Max Weinmann, to say that she had arrived.  Uncle Max was running a bakery at the time and had to get up very early in the morning to start baking, so he was sound asleep when the call came in.  After hanging up he realized that he didn't know which airport Ruth was at, so he started calling the airports and having them page Ruth.  Ruth heard her name announced, but did not know why they were saying her name.  Finally an airport official approached her and led her to a phone to talk with Uncle Max (she had previously met him when he visited Germany in 1937).  Max arranged for a taxi to take Ruth to a point half way to his house and drove there to pick her up.

On Monday, July 14, after Ruth had caught up on her sleep, she and Aunt Emily went out shopping for some new clothes to supplement the few outfits she had been able to bring along in her suitcase.  In the meantime, Uncle Max had sent a telegram to Andy announcing that Ruth had arrived.  The following day Andy drove in from his farm in Lenawee County and took her home.

On March 29, 1945, Andreas Weinmann had married Frieda Mae Kellams in Detroit.  In the same year he retired from Great Lakes Steel at the recommendation of his doctor.  The doctor thought that Andy's health would be helped by leaving the big city, so he and Frieda moved from Detroit out to a farm in rural Lenawee County, near Hudson, Michigan.  

Ruth and Andreas Weinmann  Ruth and Andreas Weinmann
Ruth and Andreas at Max Weinmann's house in Detroit, July 15, 1947


Ruth Weinmann Munsell oral history interview
concerning her life in Germany, 1930-1947