born born 22 August 1890 in Berlin
died 8 May 1979 in Auckland, New Zealand
historical former address Lindenstraße 2, Ketschendorf
today Pappelweg 13, Fürstenwalde South
Stumbling stone Dr.-Wilhelm-Külz-Straße 43
Date of stone-laying 19 May 2022
Walter Cohn (later Brandt) was born into a Jewish family in Berlin on 22 August 1890. Before World War I, he emigrated to New Zealand, where he married his first wife Maude Violet (née Stretche) in 1911. In New Zealand his daughters Olga and Peggy were born. After the Great War, the family moved to Fürstenwalde. Walter worked at the Henry Hall machine factory and iron foundry, which was run by his brother-in-law Richard Behrendt. Richard and his wife Rosa (née Cohn) lived in the “Swan House” in Promenadenstraße (today Dr.-Wilhelm-Külz-Straße), not far from the factory on the bank of the Spree.
Walter Cohn moved into a house at Lindenstraße 2 (today Pappelweg 13) on the housing estate “Eigene Scholle” in Ketschendorf. The marriage to Maude broke up and she moved to England with both daughters. Around 1923, Walter met Luise Richnow (née Henning). She was working as a paediatric nurse for his sister Rosa and had become friends with the Behrendt family. Luise and Walter married in Fürstenwalde on 24 April 1924. Together with Fritz Richnow, Luise’s son from her first marriage, the couple lived in Lindenstraße in Ketschendorf. They had two children: Alice Maria Lilly, born on 12 April 1928, and Walter Peter Theodor, born on 13 November 1929.
At some point, the family changed their last name from Cohn to Brandt. Walter had probably already taken on the name of Brandt in New Zealand, although he is listed in later documents as “Cohn, also known as Brandt”.
After the National Socialists seized power in 1933, Luise and Walter decided to leave Germany. They managed to sell their house at Lindenstraße 2. On 26 September 1934, they emigrated to New Zealand via England, Canada and Hawaii, taking with them their children Alice and Peter as well as Fritz Richnow and Gerhard Fürst, the son of a family friend from Fürstenwalde. They landed in Auckland on 29 October 1934.
Luise and Walter bought a farm in Riverhead near Coatesville on North Island. They moved several times over the years. On 10 September 1946, they were granted New Zealand citizenship. Walter died in New Zealand on 8 May 1979.
Film interview with Bev and Luise Brandt about their grandparents Walter and Luise Brandt
Alice Maria Lilly Doole née Cohn (later Brandt)
Luise Brandt née Henning (formerly Richnow, formerly Cohn)
Walter Peter Theodor Brandt (formerly Cohn)
Fred Ernst Richnow (formerly Fritz Ernst Hermann)