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The Immigration Story of the Leuteritz & Huber families (German Immigrants)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Category: 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2019.82.1

Story Text: 

Leuteritz/Huber Immigration Story to Canada 1951/1952

By Thomas E.J. Leuteritz

The bombing of Dresden on Feb 13/14 1945 burned down the Leuteritz family home. My parents Hermann and Annemarie along with my brother Rainer (an infant at the time) moved south to Ammerland Bavaria to avoid Russian occupation. We had relatives on the Huber side (mother’s father) in Bavaria.

After the war, my father worked for the US Justice Department as a translator in Munich and attended the University of Munich (1946-50) to get his degree in languages. Unfortunately, he could not get a teaching position in Bavaria at that time because he was a Lutheran and Bavaria, whose primary religion was Catholic, only granted the limited teaching position available to Catholics. This, along with the fact that my mother’s sister had married an American GI and moved to Detroit several years earlier, weighed into the decision to emigrate. At the time, to immigrate into the United States one needed sponsorship from a U.S. citizen and my uncle did not have the financial means to qualify to sponsor my parents and siblings. They decided to do the next best thing and go to Canada.

So in November 1951, My father, mother, brother (7), and sister Gunilla (6 mon born in Ammerland) immigrated to Canada from Germany aboard the MS Anna Salén (Bremerhaven 5 Nov to Halifax Harbor 16 Nov 1951). My father always talked about how sick everyone was aboard the ship because of the rough seas and only my sister was unaffected, always smiling or sleeping in her bassinet.

You were not permitted to take money out of Germany at this time but my father through an American Collogue was able to have $100 dollars wired from Germany to a Bank in Halifax NS so that he would have money upon his arrival. He unfortunately never located that money. Luckily while aboard he made $5 working on the ship doing daily counts/attendances of passengers.

Basically upon arrival the family had pre purchased (from Germany) train tickets from Halifax, NS to Windsor, ON. In Windsor, with very little money, they were able to sleep on mattresses on the rectory floor at the First Lutheran Church for about 10 days. While searching for housing my father did odd jobs such us fixing doorbells to make a little money. Within two weeks he was employed by Standard Machine and Tool Company as a technical clerk (1951-1955). There after my father spent 30 years working as an export manager for Champion Spark Plug Company (1955-1985). He was also well know to many in the German community in southern Ontario and the greater Detroit area because he hosted a German Radio Show (music and news) on CHYR Radio (710 AM) in Leamington, ON from 1965-1995.

My maternal grandparents Joseph Huber (1895-1993) and Elsa Huber (1889-1971) followed the rest of the family to Canada one year later. They were aboard the Arosa Kulm which left Bremerhaven Nov 14, 1952 and arrived in Quebec PQ, Canada on Nov 26, 1952. They came to Canada since both their daughters were now living in North America, my mother immigrated to Windsor the year before (as mentioned above) and their younger daughter Ursula married an American GI and immigrated to the Detroit Michigan area in 1950. They lost their home in Stettin, which after 1945 became part of Poland. My grandfather was a musician and artist (painter) who worked at Grinell’s Music in Detroit as a Janitor and also made money tuning pianos. My grandfather ended up as a first violinist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra for 30 years.

Items to Accompany this Story:
1) Berth Card from the MS Anna Salén (Hermann Leuteritz 1920-2008)
2) Two photos of Elsa & Joseph aboard the Arosa Kulm.