Anna von Hinten was born at the onset of WWI, had her first child when WWII had just begun, and for the rest of her life was spared any more immediate war experiences. I guess that was quite enough for one lifetime.
When Anna von Hinten was born on 29 October 1914 in Dorsten, North Rhine-Westphalia. Her father (Karl Heinrich August) Franz was a dentist and well able to maintain his family of 10, with an even amount of sons and daughters. Anna, or Anny as she was always called, was his oldest daughter and his 4th child. Her older brother Hans, four years her senior, was always her favorite, but he fell on the battlefield during WWII.
When she was 24, Anny married Paul Heinrich Bücker on 23 January 1939, in her hometown of Dorsten. He was from Balve in the Sauerland which they both visited together often, especially Brilon, although Anny was more drawn towards Oberstdorf and the Alps later in life.
Their first daughter was born late in 1939. Before the war, the family had already moved to Gütersloh where Paul worked at a rehab clinic, but when the war came, he was moved to Danzig with the medical corps where he worked at a military hospital, probably much like a MASH. It was hard for Anna to keep herself and her daughter fed in a city where she had neither family nor acquaintances, and so Paul managed to get her a job with a forester who was one of his patients. Therefore, at some point between 1942 and 1943, Anna and her daughter went out to Danzig-Oliwa and lived there until the Russian army invaded from the East and they fled west again.
Back in Gütersloh, the family made their home on the premises of the rehab clinic Paul worked for, and for a short time in the late 1940, Paul’s mother joined them there. Anny and Paul’s second daughter was born there in 1948.
At one point, Anny made a pilgrimage to Częstochowa in Poland to see the Black Madonna there. Mary had always been her first and foremost friend and helper, but after her visit to Poland, this became ever more pronounced in her life.
Paul died a number of years before Anny, in the summer 1983. Unfortunately, Anny’s last decade or so was marked by sickness and she eventually moved to her older daughter to Bremen. There, she died a little more than a week after her 83rd birthday on 7 November 1997, and she was laid to rest next to her husband in Gütersloh.
Rest in Peace, Anny. We buried your medals that you brought from Poland with you.