Dakota Datebook

War Bride

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Among North Dakota’s many immigrants have been women who married American servicemen stationed abroad.  One such war bride arrived in Bismarck on this date in 1948.

Anni Leier was to marry her WWII sweetheart, Edwin Ackerman, a school teacher in New Leipzig. But when she got off the plane, she found herself stranded, because she couldn’t speak English. After some difficulty, cab driver L. W. Zacker realized she needed a ride to New Leipzig and agreed to drive her there the next day.  He then took her home to stay with him and his wife for the night.

Mrs. Jacob Opp (pronounced Up), who spoke German, came over to the Zackers’ to translate.  When asked what she thought of the United States, Anni said she was surprised at the abundance she encountered.  In Germany, she said, one could get little food or clothing, and almost everything was sold on the black market.

By Merry Helm


The Bismarck Tribune.  1 Mar 1948:4.

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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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