STOLPERSTEINE / STUMBLING STONES
Walter Mayer (born 1909, fled into death 15.51940, Haarlem)
Annelise Mayer-Cohn (born 1913, fled into death 15.5.1940, Haarlem)
Marianne Yvonne Mayer (born 1936, taken into death 15.5.1940, Haarlem)
The German artist Gunter Demnig started placing the first Stolpersteine in 1997 in the Berlin's Kreuzberg district.
Meanwhile there are Stolpersteine in many countries.
It reminds the Holocaust in World War II.
A Stolperstein is a concrete stone of 10 x 10cm, with a brass plate on top, in which the name, date of birth and decease and also place of decease is punched into.
The Stolperstein gets a place in the pavement in front of the former house of the victim.
By doing this, Gunter Demnig gives a private memorial to each victim.
His motto is: 'A HUMAN BEING IS FORGOTTEN ONLY WHEN HIS OR HER NAME IS FORGOTTEN'.
Borne was the first town in the Netherlands in which Stolpersteine were placed.
This happened the 29-11-2007.
May 28th, 1909 (Cologne) - May 15th, 1940 (Haarlem)
Walter Mayer was born in Cologne in May 1909. As a Jewish immigrant, he has left few traces in Dutch sources, but it is certain that he and his wife Annelise Cohn settled in Maastricht at some point. The increasing aggression against Jews in Germany was most likely the reason for his departure to the then safe Netherlands. Their daughter Marianne Yvonne was also born in Maastricht in November 1936. On 19 October 1939, the Mayer-Cohn family settled from Maastricht in Haarlem at Anna van Burenlaan 51. In 1940 it is mentioned that he was director of a public limited company, but further details are missing.
The German invasion of the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 must have deprived Walter and his wife of all hope, because a few days later they ended their own lives and that of their daughter by gas asphyxiation in the house on Anna van Burenlaan. They thus belonged to the group of nearly 400 people in the Netherlands who in May 1940 saw no other way out than suicide. The family was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Haarlem.
Fled in death on May 15, 1940.
He turned 30 years old.
March 22nd, 1913 (Cologne) - May 15th, 1940 (Haarlem)
Like her later husband Walter Mayer, Annelise Cohn was born in Cologne. She too has left few traces in Dutch archives, but together with Walter she made the choice in the 1930s to leave Germany and settle in the Netherlands, which was still safe for Jews at that time. She and her husband initially settled in Maastricht, where her daughter Marianne Yvonne was also born in November 1936. From Maastricht the family moved to Haarlem, where it settled on 19 October 1939 at Anna van Burenlaan 51. A week later, Barbara Martin from Maastricht came to live with the family. It is obvious that Annelise already knew her from Maastricht and probably Barbara worked in Haarlem as a live-in maid with the family.
Shortly after the German invasion of the Netherlands, Annelise and her husband must have decided not to wait for their fate and on May 15, 1940, they ended their own lives and that of their child Marianne Yvonne by gas asphyxiation. Barbara Martin returned to Maastricht on July 22 of the same year.
Fled in death on May 15, 1940.
She was 27 years old.
Marianne Yvonne Mayer
November 6th, 1936 (Maastricht) - May 15th, 1940 (Haarlem)
Marianne Yvonne Mayer was the daughter of Annelise Cohn and Walter Mayer. In the 1930s, her parents left Germany, which was increasingly unsafe for Jews, and initially settled in Maastricht. Marianne Yvonne was born there on November 6, 1936. Shortly before her third birthday, the family moved to Anna van Burenlaan in Haarlem, where her father was registered as a director of a public limited company. After the German invasion of the Netherlands and the expected problems for the Jewish population, her parents decided to end Marianne Yvonne's life and their own.
The difficult task of registering the family's suicide at the registry office was carried out by Mozes van der Hoeden, at the time a messenger and sexton at the Dutch-Jewish Congregation of Haarlem and a messenger at Gemiloet Chassadim, an institution that took care of the preparation of Jewish deceased before burial. Like the Mayer-Cohn family, Mozes van der Hoeden did not survive the war. He was killed in June 1943 in Sobibor. The Mayer-Cohn family was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Haarlem.
Taken by her parents when they fled in death on May 15, 1940.
She was 3 years old.
Do you have more information about this location? Inform us!
- Text: Reini Elkerbout
- Photos: Piet Sebregts