Bescheid über die Judenvermögensabgabe
Notice of property tax
Notification of the Jewish wealth tax
Date of Creation1938
GenreIdentity, Migration & Travel
Administrative/Biographical HistoryPaul Meyer (b. October 9, 1916, d. September 14, 2003) and Max Meyer (b. February 22, 1913, d. April 1, 2004) were born in Cologne, Germany to parents Eugen Meyer (b. August 8, 1880 Cologne, d. October 10, 1964 Vancouver) and Alice née Jonas (b. circa 1890). Eugen Meyer ran a lace and tulle fashion business, M. Meyer & Co., founded by his father, Max Meyer (b. 1848 Bubenheim, Germany, d. 1896 Calais, France) in Cologne, around 1870. Eugen took the business over in the late 1890s, after the death of his father, and ran it with his uncle, Ernest, an accountant. At its height the business employed 300 workers.
Eugen Meyer served as a soldier in the German army in the First World War and wrote a diary of his and his unit’s experiences. Eugen’s brother, Alfred Meyer (b. 1882), also a soldier in the German army, was killed in France in 1918. Ernst Jonas, father of Alice, died on March 17, 1919 while a prisoner of war. Alice’s sister, Lucie Jonas, was married to Heinrich Frank; both were killed in Sobibor in 1943.
After the Nazis came to power in Germany, the Meyer siblings and other Jewish children were forbidden to attend school. Paul was arrested during Kristallnacht and sent to Dachau. Max, a salesman, was in Hanover on business and was not arrested on that night; he was able to buy a visa on the black market to help Paul get out of Dachau. The brothers were told they had to leave Germany or be interned. They obtained passports and a transit visa with help from an uncle, and then arranged passports for their parents. The Meyers paid high taxes upon leaving Germany.
The Meyers applied to emigrate to Canada and received special permission from the Commissioner of Immigration early in 1939, but their plans were cancelled at the outbreak of the Second World War. The family was able to leave Antwerp for New York in October, 1939, and then travelled by train to a camp outside of Montreal.
They settled in Vancouver, BC, where Paul and Max started a pottery business and their mother, Alice, worked for the Red Cross. In 1954, Paul returned to Cologne and visited the former location of his family’s lace business, on Apostelnstrasse II. The original building was damaged but the basement remained intact. Paul retrieved samples and other materials produced by M. Meyer & Co. in the basement and brought these materials back to Vancouver.
Extent & Medium1 document : 1 seal ; 29.7 x 21.6 cm
Scope & ContentItem is a notice requiring payment of a Jewish property tax as a part of Jewish atonement (taxation document). The fee is for 42,800 Reich marks, equivalent to 20 percent of the assessed value of the property. The fee was to be paid in four installments.
Caption, signatures and inscriptionsItem contains machine printed, stamped, and handwritten text in varying shades of black and purple ink. Two holes have been intentionally punctured along the recto’s left edge. The document is addressed to Herrn/ Mase Meyer/ Köln/ Lindenstr. 20 in handwritten black ink (recto). To the left of the addressment is circular emblem containing a black eagle and the word Finanzamt, or “tax office,” machine printed in black ink. Adhered to the recto’s middle right edge is a red and white circular seal with scalloped edges; it encloses a black eagle and the word Reichsfinanzverwaltung, or “treasury,” along its border. A circular, black stamp displaying the topical and chronological date of the document, Köln/ 12.12.38, can be found on top of Meyer in the address found on the item’s recto. Another stamp stating the topical and chronological date of the document, Köln/ 12 Dez. 1938, is located in the top right corner of the verso; it is in purple ink. Following the machine printed words herrn/in is Mase Meyer/ Köln handwritten in black ink in verso’s bottom left corner.
Physical Characteristics and Technical RequirementsSeveral folds (vertical and horizontal) and creases occur across the document’s surface. There is a tear in the bottom punctured hole at the edge of the document. The seal is in great condition with several trivial folds on its outer scalloped edge. A couple of small blue stains can be seen on the recto to the right of the address.
Archival HistoryPrevious item number assigned by the VHEC: 96.015.005