SEARCHING FOR THE CHUPPAH OF MY GRANDPARENTS
Cattle-dealer Herman Weijl is a respected man. In the Oldenzaal kehillah, the Jewish community, he is one of the parnassim, members of the governing board. 1 It is 19 November 1914 and Herman’s only daughter is getting married. Herman is 59 years old, for 21 years he has been married to Jansje Poortje from Muntendam. Their daughter Louisa Mathilda was born in July 1894, her brother Louis in May 1897. Both children had been named after their grandmother Louise Meijers.
This Thursday, Louisa marries 28-year old cattle-dealer Arnold de Leeuw from Almelo. The mayor of Oldenzaal is in charge of the civil ceremony at city hall. His aristocratic name sounds very Catholic indeed: Nicolaus Xaverius Theodorus Maria Vos de Wael. But was the ceremony followed by a chuppah, a Jewish wedding? I have searched for an answer for a long time.
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- Oldenzaal is a town in the Twente region of The Netherlands, near the German border