Museum Week: Day One

Werner Bellmann Collection
April 8, 2016–

Today for ‪#‎MuseumWeek, we take a closer look at some of the connections between artifacts in our collection.

In 2007 we received a donation of envelopes and postcards from the family of Werner Bellmann, who had fled to the United States from Germany in 1937. These letters and postcards track the journey of Werner’s mother, Anna, during her escape from Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s and early 40’s. Anna traveled through France, Portugal, and Cuba before finally making it to Richmond.

Then, in 2015 we received a donation of a suitcase. A family had discovered the suitcase in a thrift store. Out of curiosity, they decided to research the name on the suitcase, and found out that it had belonged to Anna Bellmann, a Holocaust Survivor. They then decided to donate the suitcase to the VHM so that it could be preserved in our Collection. After some researching we discovered that it did indeed belong to the same Anna Bellmann whose letters and postcards we had received 8 years earlier.

Sometimes we are amazed at the connections between artifacts we receive. These pieces traveled on long journeys across the world before finding their way to our Collection, where they can be safely preserved so that future generations can hear their stories. ‪#‎zoomMW