Kanis, John

1E1 - John Kanis 1E1 - John Kanis 1 1E1 - John Kanis 2
John (center, with large bow) with his siblings, circa 1905
With Emma, on their wedding day
John, Adèle and Felix, circa 1925
Plot Location 1E1
Surname Kanis
Given Name(s) John (Jonas)
Place of Birth ‘s-Gravenhage (according to family records)
Date of Birth (Eng) September 16, 1891 (according to family records)
Date of Birth (Heb)  
Date of Death (Eng) August 4, 1932
Date of Death (Heb)  
Age at Death 36 (41, according to family records)
Hebrew Name  
Spouse’s Name Nura Ann Rebroff
Father’s Name Barend Kanis
Mother’s Name Fina Eva Canter
Other Surnames  
Sex M
Marital Status M
Maiden Name  
Title (e.g., Dr)  
Religious Status (כ/ל/י)  
Cause of Death Suicide
Other Family Data Daughter: Johanna/Joan
Inscription (Eng) IN
4TH AUGUST, 1932.
Inscription (Heb)  
Inscription (Other)  
Historical Committed suicide at the Trocadero Hotel in Kowloon.

Joan (b. February 24, 1933, Shanghai) was born six months after John committed suicide.

John was previously married to Emma Robinson (b. August 2, 1896, Indonesia; d. October 25, 1977, The Netherlands). They were married on February 11, 1917 in Ambarawa, Central Java, Indonesia, near where he was stationed in the Dutch army. They had five children together – Adèle Johanna Kanis Van Straaten (b. May 17, 1917; d. January 27, 2000), John Kanis (b. June 3, 1918; d. February 19, 1995), Felix Emmanuel Kanis (b. August 16, 1920; d. December 28, 1994), Max Kanis (b. 1921) and Sybile Kanis (b. 1921). Max and Sybile were twins. He died at three months; she died at ten months.

According to newspaper reports, Nura was the pianist in David Jacob Wolff’s (4D7) trio at the Gloucester Hotel. The trio debuted on June 1, 1935 but ended with Wolff’s death on July 30 that same year.

It’s interesting that John committed suicide soon after he learned that his wife is pregnant with their first child while Wolff committed suicide just as his career was taking off, and the woman involved in both situations was Nura.

Nura (b. November 17, 1909, Kansk, Russia; d. May 8, 1996, San Diego) married Florian Joseph Haas in Arizona on May 2, 1941. They were living in San Diego at the time but it seems they were living in Hollywood in 1943. On the marriage certificate, Florian states his age as 37, meaning he was born around 1904. However, his WWII draft registration has his DOB as October 26, 1894, a 1940 ship’s manifest lists it as October 27, 1898, and his death certificate lists it as August 28, 1895.

As he was born in Rensselaer, Indiana, he most likely knew his real DOB.


Joan married artist Arnold S. Trachtman on May 25, 1956.

John’s mother died in the Sobibor concentration camp on April 2, 1943.

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