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Windmüller, Max (Engels)

  • Born 17-02-1920 in Emden, Germany.
  • Deceased 21-04-1945 in Cham, Germany.
  • Parents Moritz Windmüller, butcher, and Jette Seligmann.

The family fled in 1933 to Groningen, where his father died in 1937. Max was a Palestine-pioneer from the Deventer Association and a prominent member from the Westerweel Group.

He came from February 1939 until the end of December 1939 and again from June 1940 until the end of March 1941 as farmers servant to the family ter Haar at ‘erve Koekoek’ Hasselo No. 42 municipality Weerselo. Then he left for Assen. He got along well with the family ter Haar, they kept a longer time in touch.

In August 1943 he arrived in Westerbork. He managed to escape on August 14 in a wasserijkar. After this he joined the Westerweel Group. He was under the pseudonym ‘Cor Andringa’ involved in the Westerweel group organized escape of Palestine pioneers in Spain. He was responsible for contacts between the group in the Netherlands and groups in France. Max shifted his field of work more and more to France. Tirelessly he traveled between Holland, Belgium, Brittany, Paris and southern France. In the process, he helped a hundred young people, including his brother Emil, along the path to freedom.

In early 1944, Max and his fiancee Metta Lande were living in Paris. Max worked for some time with the French Jewish resistance movement. This group wanted help from London and meanwhile had contact with two agents who had spent as members of the British secret service. This was fatal for them, these contacts also proved to be double spies working for the Gestapo. While Max was with the leaders of the French Resistance in Paris the Gestapo fell in on July 18, 1944 and arrested everyone. Through the Drancy camp and Buchenwald he ended up in the concentration camp Flossenburg, from which they, with the Allies on the heels, began their ‘death march’ to Dachau. Meanwhile Max was seriously weakened and half starved. On 21-04-1945, the fourth day of this tour, Max wanted to drink some water from a well were he got shot by a guard. He died one day before the liberation of this group of deportees in Winklarn, Kreis Cham.

Buried in Buchenwald.

Holocaust victim, as well as his mother and his brother Salomon and his family. His brothers Isaac and Emil and his sister Ruth survived the war.

Posthumously awarded with the medal of the French Resistance ‘la Résistance Française’.

Memorial in the Westerweel Forest in Ramat Menashe, Israel for Joop Westerweel, Max Windmüller and their fellow fighters.

Honored in the Dutch and French memorial room in the Yad Vashem Museum and the Museum of the Ghetto Fighters Lochamei Beit ha Ghettaot, both in Israel. The Virginia Holocaust Museum in Illinois, USA and in the bunker museum in Emden.

Furthermore, the Max Windmüller Foundation in Emden got his name, and the Weber Gildestrasse Emden in 1998 was renamed to Max Windmüller-Strasse. There was also the family ter Haar presence.

In 2015 the new gymnasium at the Steinweg was named after him.

And Stolpersteine were laid on the Mühlenstrasse 4 in Emden. Also on the Javastraat 3 in Assen.

There is a book written in 1997: “Max Windmüller 1920-1945 ‘ and a film / documentary released about the life of Max Windmüller in 2010: ‘Deckname Cor – die dramatische Geschichte des Max Windmüller’.

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All Palestine-pioneers in the municipality Weerselo

(Dutch version)

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Erve Koekoek

Erve Koekoek