It was "amazing" that in front of the house where her great-grandparents used to live, there are now memorial stones, Lydia Stux described movingly. The great-granddaughter of Sigmund and Martha Moises had come specially from the United States to participate in the installation of memorial plaques (Stolpersteine) for her ancestors at Aachener Strasse 412.
|Artist Gunter Demnig personally installs every Stolperstein.|
As Hitler rose in power, normal life was over for Stux`great-grandparents in Cologne. As Jews, they were humiliated and disenfranchised.
Sigmund Moises was born on September 25, 1859 in Stommeln. On September 6, 1900, he married Martha Oberlander from Mannheim who was born in 1880. In 1901 the couple's only child was born in Cologne, daughter Gertrude, called Trude. For over thirty years, Sigmund Moises headed the menswear business E. Oberländer & Cie at Glockengasse 20. In 1932 he retired.
|Music students from Irmgardis Gymnasium participated in the installation on Aachener Strasse.|
Daughter Trude married Max Ichenhäuser, a physician, and the couple had two children. The family, Trude, Max and their daughters Renate and Erika, was able to emigrate to the United States in 1938 via England.
Sigmund Moises died on 25 March 1942 in the Jewish hospital in Ehrenfeld. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Bocklemünd. His wife Martha was deported to the ghetto Theresienstadt on 19 September 1942. In mid-May 1944, the Nazis deported her to Auschwitz where she was murdered.
Sponsors of the Moises’ Stolpersteine are students of the Archbishop Irmgardis Gymnasium in Bayenthal. In religion class, the young people recently studied the relationship of the Catholic Church to National Socialism, especially the behavior of the then-Pope towards the Jews. When their teacher, Judith Föcker, suggested that they sponsor Stolpersteine, the students were immediately enthusiastic about the idea. "We think anti-semitism is an important issue. The Stolpersteine are a way to engage the younger generation with history.”
“Creativity also plays a role in the project,” Ms. Föcker said. “By examining the individual lives of a specific Jewish couple, the students can better understood what was done to these people.”
|Sigmund and Martha Moises|
Lydia Stux did not know her great-grandparents but her mother had told her about them and about their house in Cologne. Now, by the act of laying the memorial stones, she has been able to share her family history.