Axel Landmann – The Story of a Case

Unfortunately we bring sad news as Axel Landmann, whose suitcase we have on display in the museum, has sadly passed away at the age of 88.

Axel donated his suitcase, which you can find out more about below, or visit our galleries, in 2008. Axel has since visited the museum on a number of occasions, once to the delight of a visiting group who were given an impromptu talk by Axel himself.

The Story of a Case

Axel Landmann was brought to Great Britain in January 1939 at the age of 8. He had lived a normal life in a small village near Berlin in Germany, with his parents. His father was Jewish and his mother was Christian which meant early restrictions placed on Jewish families did not apply to them at first. However, this all changed after Kristallnacht as his family shop was ransacked. Fearing the worst, his parents made the decision to send him to a place of safety, by applying to Quakers in England who were organising the transportation of children from Germany and other countries to a place of safety, known as the Kindertransport.

The suitcase was purchased in December 1938 to accompany him on his voyage to Britain. Axel made the journey to Harwich, and then to Northampton. Axel settled in to his life in England, and remained in Northamptonshire until he passed away in March 2018, at the age of 88.

The case remained with Axel for over 70 years; it went on his first holiday to Ireland and even accompanied him on his honeymoon, despite it needing some repairs over the years. Axel donated the suitcase to The Peace Museum in 2008. His story and this suitcase continues to engage children and young people with the past, in the hope to ensure a better future through the Everyone Comes From Somewhere workshop.

In his own words, the suitcase “will always be remembered as the story of my life”.

Tributes to Axel who was an accomplished leather scientist can be seen below;



We send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

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