Bijkomende meta info
- This collection contains the false ID of Elisabeth Kanis, her post-war civil resistance ID and six documents regarding medals and titles awarded to Elisabeth Kanis post-war.
- Elisabeth Kanis and her daughter Ines Henriques de Castro
- Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
- Joseph Rothschild, Private collection, Brussels
- 11 digitised images (8 documents)
Elisabeth Kanis was born in The Hague on 22 February 1884 as the daughter of the Ashkenazi couple Elias Kanis and Sura De Leeuwe. She grew up in Amsterdam and became a telephone operator at the Amsterdam stock exchange. There, Elisabeth met Maurits (Moses) Henriques de Castro, born in Amsterdam on 1st February 1886 as the son of the wealthy Portuguese-Dutch couple David Henriques de Castro and Esther Teixeira D’Andrade. Although Maurits’ parents opposed, he married Elisabeth Kanis and on 22 October 1917 their daughter Ines Henriques de Castro was born. However, Elisabeth and Maurits went their separate ways not long after Ines was born.
In October 1923, Elisabeth Kanis and her daughter Ines moved to Brussels, Belgium, where they were often visited by Maurits Henriques de Castro. He would pass away in Brussels on 18 January 1940. Since the couple never officially divorced, Elisabeth Kanis and daughter Ines inherited Maurits’ fortune.
Elisabeth and Ines still lived in Brussels when Nazi-Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940. Both women registered at the municipality at the end of that year. In 1941, a large part of the family fortune was despoiled. Elisabeth took on the false identity of Anna Pauwels in 1942. Both she and Ines became members of the civil resistance, sponsoring resistance activities. They were also involved in the organisation of the rescue operation targeting Transport XX from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Both Elisabeth Kanis and Ines Henriques de Castro survived the war. Elisabeth received multiple titles and medals for her resistance activities. She passed away in 1969. Ines Henriques de Castro married Jacques Lewin. Jacques’ first wife Serah Davids had passed away. Before the couple had fled to Belgium during the war, they had placed their son Paul Igor Lewin at an orphanage in Utrecht. Paul Igor was killed when all children of the orphanage were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In Paul Igor’s honour, Jacques Lewin and Ines Henriques de Castro created a scholarship for students at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels. Ines Henriques de Castro passed away in 2003.
- In 2004, Joseph Rothschild offered digital copies of the documents regarding Elisabeth Kanis' resistance activities to the Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance, predecessor of Kazerne Dossin.
- Joseph Rothschild, 2004