Annelies and Marianne Bernstein were among the 1,700 German Jews in Berlin who survived the Holocaust by posing as non-Jews. Known as “U-boats” in the slang of their time, the sisters hid in plain sight with the help of ingenuity, grit, and luck. Join us to find out how “the Steins” used their new names to secure ration cards and permits for travel and work and how they evaded the Nazi state surveillance apparatus, constantly on the move, frequently unhoused, and doubly vulnerable as women. Our storyteller is Dr. Richard Lutjens, who will discuss the sisters’ story and the wider experience of Jews in hiding in Berlin.

Dr. Richard Lutjens is an associate professor of Modern European History at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He specializes in modern German history with a focus on the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust, and his research examines the experiences of historically and socially marginalized groups during these periods. His first book, Submerged on the Surface: The Not-so-Hidden Jews of Nazi Berlin, 1941-1945, examines the daily experiences of life in hiding for the 1,700 Berlin Jews who survived the Holocaust by fleeing deportation and living in the shadows of the capital of Nazi Germany. Through an examination of survivor testimony, his research argues for a reexamination of hiding as a category of Holocaust analysis. demonstrating that contrary to popular opinion Jews in Berlin did not hide in the traditional sense of the word but were constantly on the move and actively engaged in securing their own survival.
Collection of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. 1084.89. Photo, Annalies and Marianne in Berlin after liberation, 1945. Gift of Annalies and Helmut Herz.