Today is the birthday of my mother-in-law, Gertrude Augusta (Trude) Koch. She was born 22 May 1911 in Landstuhl, Germany, daughter of Ludolph Koch (dutch link) and Caecilia Mayer. She died in 1998 at age 87.
Her parents and two siblings emigrated to Argentina around 1938. I am not sure whether Trude came to the Netherlands before or after her parents left, but she had known her prospective husband Frits for a long time; his mother Rosalia Voss was a sister of Herman Voss, who was married to Caecilia’s sister Anna Mayer. Trude worked in Herman and Anna’s store in the 1930’s.
Trude spent the second world war in the Netherlands, which cannot have been easy. She had four Jewish grandparents, and so was classified by the Nazi’s fully Jewish. However, thanks to a number of faked letters to Hans Calmeijer, in which Trude’s mother confessed to an affair with an Dutch man, resulting in Trude’s birth, and she was reclassified as half-Jewish. We have copies of her dossier, and it is truly scary to think about what could have happened.
I honor her on her birthday; we miss her.