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ANNA KAPPLEBAUM

Real Name:  Anna Kapplebaum

Identity/Class:  Human, naturalized American citizen, 1926 -modern era (see comments)

Occupation: Landlady

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Sammy Bernstein, Joshua Cooper, Dave Cox, Marie (Diebenwald inmate), Mike Farrel, Aaron Heller, Marie Heller, Jack Monroe, Steve Rogers, Bernadette "Bernie" Rosenthal, Irv Rosenthal, Arnold Roth, Mr. Sims (Brooklyn Heights butcher), Sam Wilson

Enemies: Doctor Klaus Mendelhaus, Colonel Steiger

Known Relatives: Abraham Kapplebaum (father, deceased), unidentified mother (deceased), two brothers and one sister (all presumably deceased)

Aliases: "3456011" (Diebenwald registration number), "little lady" (nickname used by Cap), "Mrs. K" (nickname used by Mike Farrel)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                     formerly 569 Leaman Place, Brooklyn Heights, New York;
                                     formerly concentration camp Diebenwald

First Appearance: Captain America I#237 (September 1979)

Powers/Abilities: Anna Kapplebaum possessed no known superhuman powers. A strong willed, generous spirit, she survived the horrors of the Nazi death camp Diebenwald as a young adult, which nevertheless left permanent emotional marks. Anna was above all a kind, caring woman who was accepting of everyone around her. She imagined herself to be something of a matchmaker. Kapplebaum was a trained and gifted violin player.

Height: 5'7" (by approximation)
Weight: 120 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Grey, (brown in youth)

History:

(Captain America I#237 (fb)) - Born in Germany in 1926, Anna Kapplebaum was raised Jewish in a prosperous home along with three other siblings.

(Captain America I#245 (fb) - BTS) - Anna turned out to have a natural gift for playing the violin.

Despite the seemingly ever present threat of Adolf Hitler and his followers, the Kapplebaums assumed they were safe in their native country until they became victims of the Kristallnacht, carried out on November 9th, 1938 by Hitler's enforcers, the S.A. Shortly after the "night of the broken glass," Anna and her family were herded together and sent away to work camps on freight trains, allegedly for their own protection. At the end of an exhausting, horrific three day journey the Kapplebaums arrived at Diebenwald which young Anna soon learned wasn't a work camp like Auschwitz or Treblinka but rather a death camp. At twelve years of age, she was forced to watch as Nazi soldiers beat both her parents to death before her eyes for not cooperating quickly enough. She was then separated from her other siblings, never seeing them again. Kapplebaum was processed, her registration number 3456011, forcibly tattooed on her right arm.

(Captain America I#245 (fb)) - Anna's musical talent caused her to be part of an informal, all Jewish Diebenwald orchestra that was forced to play and amuse the camp staff, including head physician Doctor Klaus Mendelhaus, who took a particular liking to Anna. However, when she resisted his not too subtle sexual innuendos by slapping him across the face with her fiddlestick, the German troops came to Mendelhaus' rescue. Acting on the Doctor's orders, they smashed her instrument before proceeding to break her. Anna never forgot the face and presence of Mendelhaus.

(Captain America I#237 (fb)) - In the spring of 1945, with the Nazis already on the losing side, allied forces were headed for Diebenwald. Camp commander Colonel Steiger ordered his men to destroy all evidence of the atrocities they'd committed, which included killing all the remaining prisoners including Anna. However, moments before Diebenwald's troops opened fire on them, Captain America (Steve Rogers) heroically stormed the camp in an attempt to free everyone. Colonel Steiger grabbed Anna, holding her hostage in an attempt to get the American patriot to back down. Cap, however, used his shield to slam the pistol Steiger was holding out of his hands before knocking the Nazi commander out completely. Cap comforted Anna as other allied troops arrived to help liberate the Diebenwald prisoners. Anna never forgot Cap's personal act of bravery.

(Captain America I#237 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually meeting her husband and moving moving to America, the Kapplebaums settled in Brooklyn Heights where they became landlords. After her husband's death, Anna continued the job though she inevitably adopted a far more motherly approach to her job. Anna came to view her tenants as members of her extended family, amongst them firefighter Mike Farrel, teacher Joshua Cooper and professional glass blower Bernie Rosenthal. Feeling a sense of kinship with her young tenants, Anna became a surrogate mother, often inviting them to have dinner with her.

(Captain America I#237 - BTS) - When a space became available in Kapplebaum's building, Captain America (in his civilian guise as Steve Rogers) managed to procure it in his ongoing attempt to build a personal life for himself.

(Captain America I#237) - Kapplebaum's most recent tenant, commercial artist Steve Rogers, was invited by Joshua Cooper to stop by and have dinner with them. Anna warmly welcomed Steve and was a bit startled he recognized the registration tattoo on her arm as being from Diebenwald. Over the course of the evening, she recounted her experiences as a young girl in Germany, the horrors of Diebenwald and her eventual rescue by Captain America. After dinner, while saying goodbye to Steve, she thanked the young man for listening to an old woman, telling him it helps to remember and talk sometimes. Rogers said good night to his landlady, telling her that some things should never be forgotten.

(Captain America I#241) - Shocked when she thought she spotted a Nazi out of her kitchen window, Anna instantly panicked and yelled out, alerting her tenants Steve Rogers, Joshua Cooper and Mike Farrel to check on her. Confiding in Steve after the others had left, Anna shared her story about recognizing a Nazi even though she didn't know why she so implicitly trusted Rogers (Kapplebaum instinctively sensed he could be trusted, seeing as she was rescued from Diebenwald by Cap.) She then revealed her fears about the memories of her time in the death camps finally catching up with her. Steve reassured Anna her she was as sane as anyone and that if she said she'd seen a Nazi, he believed her. 

(Captain America I#244) - Early one morning, Anna heard her tenants Steve Rogers and Joshua Cooper coming down the stairs. Overhearing their conversation about having breakfast at the local McDonald's restaurant, Anna offered to make the two of them a proper homecooked meal: bacon, eggs toast and coffee. Starved, the two accepted Kapplebaum's offer, calling Anna a lifesaver.

(Captain America I#245) - Josh Cooper accompanied his landlady Anna on a grocery run. When Cooper opted to go check out a nearby record store, Anna went into the butcher shop of fellow WWII survivor Sims alone. There, she suddenly recognized a fellow customer as Doctor Klaus Mendelhaus, who had caused her such tremendous grief and pain in the past. Overcome, Anna fainted even as the found out Mendelhaus beat a hasty retreat. Anna was contacted by the father and daughter Nazi-hunting team of Aaron and Aaron and Marie Heller, who used her testimony to conclude the butcher of Diebenwald was in fact nearby.

(Captain America I#245 - BTS) - Mendelhaus was sought out by a band of Neo-Nazis who forced him to help them revive the Nazi cause. They captured Anna, which led both Captain America and the Hellers to go look for her.

(Captain America I#245) - Face to face with her old tormentor, Anna was surprised to find that Mendelhaus had changed. He was now truly sorry for the crimes he'd committed in his service to Hitler. Mendelhaus tried to help Kapplebaum escape from the Neo-Nazis just as Captain America came to her rescue. However, Anna was still tempted to shoot him. Ultimately, Mendelhaus was slain by Marie Heller, with Anna realizing she wasn't able to kill another person, despite his crimes. Overcome with grief, Anna was consoled by Cap.

(Captain America I#254) - With Steve Rogers away in Great Britain (to help fight Baron Blood), Anna and Steve's fellow tenant Bernadette Rosenthal both looked after his place. When Anna openly suggested she felt Bernie and Steve would make a lovely couple, Rosenthal quickly rebuffed the notion, assuring Kapplebaum they were just good friends and besides, who could ever have a relationship with a man who suddenly drops everything to fly to England. As Bernie answered the phone, Kapplebaum couldn't help but wonder to herself if maybe a June wedding was too soon.

(Captain America I#258) - Anna and the other tenants of 569 Leaman Place gathered to help console their friend Mike Farrel after he lost one of his fellow firemen trying to fight an arson fire (caused by the supervillain Blockbuster, hired by an investor who wanted to buy up the land and build luxury condos and hotel casinos). Despite the fact Anna prepared a world class meal, Mike eventually broke down crying over the loss of his colleague, with Kapplebaum giving him a loving hug in support.

(Captain America I#269) - Anna hosted her tenants for a lavish Saturday brunch, feeding Steve, Mike and Joshua her famous waffles. When Steve wanted to help her washing the dishes, Anna declined the offer but did ask him to stay in the kitchen to discuss Steve's current, troubled relationship with their fellow tenant Bernie Rosenthal. However, Steve Rogers had very little to say about the situation, admitting he wasn't sure about the depth of his feelings for her and if those feelings were even mutual. Just then, Kapplebaum overheard Josh and Mike discussing an article in the newspaper about a Neo-Nazi rally on Long Island. Furious, she grabbed the paper and exclaimed that if it was up to her, all those young Nazis would be locked away before the nightmare could begin again. Startled, Steve calmly reminded her that, though understandable, given what Kapplebaum had lived through, doing that would make the United States every bit as bad as Nazi Germany.

(Captain America I#275) - Returning home from grocery shopping with Steve Rogers and Bernie Rosenthal, Anna was shocked to see a giant Nazi swastika spraypainted on the doors of the local community temple Beth-Ohr. Anna went up to see Rabbi Kessler to find out what had happened. Kessler told Anna and the others a group of vandals had broken in during the night, assaulting the caretaker, toppling pews, smashing windows and stealing the torah. Hearing this, Kapplebaum became furious, reminding everyone the announced Neo-Nazi rally on Long Island was to blame for all this. Some days later, Anna, Bernie, Josh, Mike and Steve joined other anti-Nazi protesters in a rally opposing the Long Island congregation. Right before the two opposing groups met, they encountered Bernie's ex-husband Sammy Bernstein much to everyone's shock.

(Captain America I#284) - Anna attended a party thrown by Bernie Rosenthal, which saw her meeting some of Steve Rogers' other friends and associates like Arnold Roth, Sam Wilson and Jack Monroe.

(Captain America I#317 - BTS) - When Bernie Rosenthal decided to go back to school to study and become a lawyer, she made plans to leave 569 Leaman Place to move to the university campus. Her boyfriend Steve Rogers, not sure if he was able to cope with Bernie leaving, decided to move out as well and wrote Kapplebaum a note to give her his one month notice. Startled, she told Josh, Mike and the other tenants.

(Captain America I#317) - Mrs. Kapplebaum said good-bye to Bernie and Steve as the moving company was clearing out her apartment. For a moment, Anna hoped their dual move meant they were going to live together at Bernie's university but she was saddened to hear this was not the case. She nevertheless wished them well, calling the two her "keinder" (German for children). Later that day, she attended Steve and Bernie's going away party thrown by Josh and Mike. She commented to Bernie's father that his daughter had been a model tenant.

(Captain America I#380) - When Bernie Rosenthal finished her studies and moved back to Brooklyn Heights, Anna Kapplebaum hosted a welcome home party for her which she also invited Steve Rogers in hopes of rekindling their romance. Steve attended and, after briefly reconnecting with Anna, Josh and Mike, was basically forced to spend some time alone with Bernie.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils) and Don Perlin (inks).

Strictly speaking, with Anna being born in 1926, she should be listed as being active during the World War I era as well, but seeing as she was only three years old when that specific era ended it's safe to assume she didn't do anything too noteworthy.

There seems to be a bit of confusion whether her last name is spelled "Kappelbaum" or "Kapplebaum" (which is German for "chapel tree", incidentally). I figured the initial spelling of the name was canon, which happened to be Kapplebaum.

Anna Kapplebaum was profiled as part of Cap's Brooklyn Heights Years in 1996's Captain America: The Legend.

While Anna was most certainly a German citizen at her birth, she was probably a naturalized American citizen given her years living in New York and her occupation as a landlady (presumably, she owned the Brooklyn Heights apartments via legal means). As such, it was not clear whether she retained her German citizenship alongside her American citizenship or if she only retained the American citizenship. --Proto-Man

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Anna Kapplebaum should not be confused with


The Kapplebaum family

Anna was born into a wealthy Jewish-German family that saw the sweet, loving and well read Abraham Kapplebaum as the gentle head of a family who supported four children. Following 1938's Kristallnacht, the entire Kapplebaum family was rounded up and, allegedly for their own safety, brought to the Diebenwald concentration camp which everyone quickly realized was actually a death camp. When Abraham dared to oppose camp physician Mendelhaus, both he and his wife were bludgeoned to death in front of Anna and their other children. Anna was then separated from her siblings and taken to another part of the camp. The final fate of the other Kapplebaum kids remains unrevealed.


-- Captain America I#237




images: (without ads)
Captain America I#254, p10, pan3 (main image)
Captain America I#237, p10, pans3&4 (closeup & tattoo)
Captain America I#237, p7, pans2&3 (rescued by Cap)
Captain America I#254, p10, pan6 (plays matchmaker)
Captain America I#269, p3, pan2 (furious at Neo-Nazis)
Captain America I#237, p10, pan6 (family)


Appearances:
Captain America I#237 (September, 1979) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#241 (January, 1980) - Mike W. Barr (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#244 (April, 1980) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Tom Sutton (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Captain America I#245 (May, 1980) - Roger McKenzie (writer),  Carmine Infantino (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Captain America I#254 (February, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Josef Rubinstein (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Captain America I#258 (June, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils & inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Captain America I#269 (May, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Captain America I#275 (November, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#284 (August, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#317 (May, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Dennis Janke (inks), Mike Carlin (editor)
Captain America I#380 (December, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 08/21/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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