The Mayer family and Eric Silver honor Caroline Mayer, who was born in 1872 in Altona,
Germany, which is now a part of Hamburg. She worked as a school teacher before she
married Samuel Mayer, a superintendent for a large factory in Hamburg. He died in
1937. November 18, 1941, Caroline, her three daughters, and a small grandson were
all put on a transport from Hamburg to Minsk, the site of the infamous Minsk Ghetto.
the war, her son Hans was informed that Caroline and her three daughters (but not
Heinrich, the grandson) had ended up in Auschwitz, but the family is not certain
where they were actually killed. the Holocaust, the Mayer family had lived a rich
cultural life, but before they died, they had been reduced to miserable circumstances
(see Käthe Levisohn and Heinrich Levisohn). Mayer’s two surviving grandchildren,
Lora (the mother of Eric Silver of Nashville) and Lutz Mayer, ages seven and three,
respectively, and their mother, Martha, last saw Caroline and the other familyJune
1938, just before departing on an American ocean liner, the George Washington, for
the United States. (Hans Mayer had preceded them in order to find work.) They never
saw Caroline, the aunts, or cousin Heinrich again.