Susanne Meyer (Veit) (1902 - 1987)

Susanne Abramczyk of Breslau (today Wrocław), born in 1902, was the daughter of a Jewish lawyer. As a young fashion illustrator, she moved to Berlin in 1923, where she had an exhibition in the Ullstein publishing house. Two years later she married Wilhelm Meyer, a Jewish journalist for Ullstein. Their only child, Hans-Ulrich, was born in 1926.

After the Nazis took power in 1933, Wilhelm Meyer lost his job as an editor for Ullstein, which was soon Aryanized and forced to conform to the Nazi line. Since Meyer became seriously ill, the couple did not manage to leave Germany. Only their then thirteen-year-old son was able to escape to England in 1939 on one of the last children’s transports (Kindertransport).

Over the course of 1942, Wilhelm Meyer’s name was put on a deportation list twice, but each time he was deferred because he was too sick to be transported. When he died in September 1942, his widow had to reckon that she would soon be deported. Friends pressed upon her to flee. One of them, Arthur Veit, managed to acquire a birth and baptismal certificate for Susanne Meyer issued under the name Charlotte Klose.

Thus began Susanne Meyer’s odyssey from one lodging to another. Her numerous helpers belonged to different social classes. She knew some of them for years through the Ullstein publishers; others she did not know at all. After staying near Landsberg an der Warthe and in Düsseldorf, Susanne Meyer was referred by a friend, Alois Florath, a Social Democrat and former press illustrator, to Kagar, a village near Rheinsberg in Brandenburg.

For a few months in 1944 Meyer also stayed with a doctor in Berlin. When the air raids on the city intensified, she returned to lodgings in Kagar.

After liberation in late April 1945, Susanne Meyer hurried back to Berlin, where she could once again embrace her son, who had meanwhile returned to Berlin as a British soldier. On July 7, 1945, she married her helper Arthur Veit. The couple spent the postwar years in West Berlin, later moving to Orselina in Switzerland. Susanne Veit died in 1987 at the age of eighty-five.

Bibliography:
Kosmala, Beate. “Zuflucht für Verfolgte: Kagar bei Rheinsberg.” In Juden in Rheinsberg: Eine Spurensuche, edited by Peter Böthig and Stefanie Oswald, 163–170. Karwe (Neuruppin), Germany: Edition Rieger, 2005.
Kosmala, Beate. “Solidarität mit verfolgten Kollegen: Die Rettung von Susanne Meyer.” In Die Eule lässt Federn. Das Ullsteinhaus 1926–1986. Setzer, Drucker, Journalisten, edited by Egon Bannehr, Bernd-Ingo Drostel et al., 94–100. 2nd rev. ed. Berlin: Trafo, 2012.
Susanne Meyer (Veit)
Photo: privately owned

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