Luise Brandt née Henning (formerly Richnow, formerly Cohn)

born 20 February 1888 in Friedrichsdorf (Polish: Draskowo)
died 15 July 1969 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

Luise Henning was born on 20 February 1888 in Friedrichsdorf (Polish: Draskowo) in the municipality of Dramburg (Polish: Drawsko Pomorskie) in Pomerania. Her parents Gustav and Emilie Henning (née Krüger) lived in Falkenburg (Polish: Złocieniec). Luise married Ernst Richnow, and their son Fritz Ernst Hermann Richnow – later known as Fred Richnow – was born on 4 September 1908. A short while later, Luise left her husband and began training as a nurse, and later midwife, in Berlin. Her son stayed with his grandparents in Falkenburg until he finished school after Year 8.

In 1913, Luise met Richard and Rosa Behrendt (née Cohn), with whom she became close. The Jewish couple lived in the “Swan House” in Promenadenstraße (today Dr.-Wilhelm-Külz-Straße), Fürstenwalde, and Richard managed the Henry Hall machine factory and iron foundry situated on the bank of the River Spree. Luise Richnow was employed as a paediatric nurse after the birth of Rosa Behrendt’s second child. Following the end of her employment in Fürstenwalde, Luise returned to Falkenburg, where she worked as a nurse and midwife. In the meantime, the Behrendt family provided Luise with legal assistance during her divorce from her first husband Ernst Richnow.

In 1922, the Behrendt family rehired Luise as a paediatric nurse following the birth of their third child. Afterwards, Luise assumed the position of company nurse at the Henry Hall factory and brought her son Fritz to Fürstenwalde. Around this time, she met Walter Cohn (later Brandt), Rosa Behrendt’s brother. On 24 April 1924, Luise and Walter got married in Fürsten­walde. The family lived at Linden­straße 2 (today Pappelweg 13) on the housing estate “Eigene Scholle” 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.

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, Luise’s son from her first marriage, and Gerhard Fürst, the son of a Fürstenwalde family friend. 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. Luise died in New Zealand on 15 July 1969.

Film interview with Bev and Luise Brandt about their grandparents Walter and Luise Brandt

Family members:
Alice Maria Lilly Doole née Cohn (later Brandt)
Karl Walter Brandt (formerly Cohn)
Walter Peter Theodor Brandt (formerly Cohn)
Fred Ernst Richnow (formerly Fritz Ernst Hermann)