Stumbling Stones Kraneweg 19

These small, brass memorial plaques (Stolpersteine or stumbling stones) commemorate:

* Carolina Kats-Lezer, born 1859, deported 1943 from Westerbork, murdered 3 September 1943, Auschwitz.
* Carel Hijman Minco, born 1881, born 1891, deported 1943 from Westerbork, murdered 3 September 1943, Auschwitz.
* Wilmina Minco-Kats, born 1892, deported 1943 from Westerbork, murdered 3 September 1943, Auschwitz.
* Manuel Minco, born 1921, deported 1943 from Westerbork, murdered 1 April 1944, Warsaw.

Carel Hijman, a tailor, and Wilmina Kats married in 1916. They had two children – Carolina and Manuel. Carel Hijman started a coat factory with relatives in 1917; then 3 years later he and his brother Salomon became owners of the Menco Clothing Factory in Groningen. They did well. But his brother died in 1933. Two years later, the family moved from Taco Mesdagstraat to Kraneweg 19.

In 1939, Manuel moved to Tilburg to work but apparently returned to his family in Groningen. In 1940, daughter Carolina Minco married Abraham de Vries and moved to Arnhem. Later that same year, Wilmina’s mother, Carolina Kats-Lezer, joined the Minco household.

To try to avoid the anti-Jewish measures, Carel put the Menco Company into the name of B.F.L. Farmyard and resigned as owner and director. Then, in May 1942, the mayor of Groningen informs Carel Minco that the Germans are confiscating their Kraneweg house, its contents, and the land. The Mincos were forced to move to Nieuwe Ebbingestraat 13a. Soon afterwards, they went into hiding with the Chris Wisman family on Padangstraat. But they were betrayed and deported to Westerbork on 23 August 1943. Eight days later, they were deported onward to Auschwitz. Carel, Wilmina, and Carolina were gassed on arrival on 3 September 1943.

Manual Minco was selected (presumably for work) and deported later to Warsaw, where he was murdered on 1 April 1944. His sister, Carolina de Vries-Minco, survived by escaping to Switzerland with her husband; but later her husband was captured, taken to Poland, and murdered in Birkenau.


"Stolpersteine" is an art project for Europe by Gunter Demnig to commemorate victims of National Socialism (Nazism). Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) are small, 10x10cm brass plaques placed in the pavement in front of the last voluntary residence of (mostly Jewish) victims who were murdered by the Nazis. Each plaque is engraved with the victim’s name, date of birth, and place (mostly a concentration camp) and date of death. By doing this, Gunter Demnig gives an individual memorial to each victim. One stone, one name, one person. He cites the Talmud: "A human being is forgotten only when his or her name is forgotten."

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