AD 1962 artikel Melzer

What preceded the birth of M+P (48/50)

A birth is normally preceded by 9 months of preparation and growth. It was no different for the birth of M+P in October 1972. And despite this preparation taking a little longer than 9 months, it provided a good foundation and interesting future opportunities for our organisation. Based on some information we have uncovered in our archives, and after a recent conversation between Jan Hooghwerff and Miron Melzer, the son of Abraham and Ruzia Melzer, we have reconstructed the period of development in which the small office of A. Melzer M.Sc. (acoustics) – Consulting Engineer developed into the takeover prospect that eventually turned into Melzer & Partners bv.

Wife with Dutch roots
To get a good idea of the conscious preparation, we must first go back a little further back in time. Abraham Melzer, born to Jewish parents in Romania in 1927, was sent to Israel alone, as a 13-year-old boy, early 1941. After completing his secondary education he studied mathematics and physics at the well-known Technion in Haifa. He was particularly interested in acoustics, but there was no faculty for that in Israel at that time, so he received specific education in acoustics from a professor. Once he had completed this, he was able to call himself an acoustic engineer.

Rosalia Jerosolimski, known as Ruzia to everyone she met, left the Netherlands for Israel at the age of 12 in 1951. Her father died before the war and her mother was killed in Auschwitz during the Second World War. Ruzia herself went into hiding in the Gooi. After the war, her two aunts took care of her. In 1951 they took her to Israel. Ruzia studied in Jerusalem. And it’s there she met Abraham. They tied the knot in 1960.

Ruzia and Abraham move to the Netherlands
After their wedding, it is Ruzia who suggested the idea of moving to the Netherlands together. Neither of them had any family in Israel at the time. She wanted to complete her psychology studies and did not enjoy studying under the American system that the Israeli universities used where little to no attention was paid to child psychology at all. Her Dutch nationality meant she was able to go to the University of Amsterdam and study child psychology. An additional advantage of this was that studying in Amsterdam cost a lot less than in Jerusalem. Accommodation was not a problem either. Ruzia owned a house in Bussum that she had inherited from her parents and had been renting out. Abraham, who was not very attached to the job he had at the time agreed to follow his wife to the Netherlands. All in all, it was a great start for a newly-wed couple.

The original idea was to return to Israel after completing the studies, but a couple of years quickly became 15 years. While Ruzia was busy completing her child psychology studies and starting her own practice at home, Abraham became professionally involved in room and building acoustics. He founded his own agency in 1962. His original choice of name (Sonorex) was quickly changed to A. Melzer M.Sc. (acoustics) – Consulting Engineer. In addition to working in her own practice, Ruzia helped her husband with the new business.

His passion for acoustics, her talent to connect
Abraham was a creative type with a lot of technical knowledge, but he preferred to work alone. Thankfully, his wife was able to take care of the human element. The reports from this time clearly show her role in this. And it is her ability to connect with people that contributed significantly to the company expanding to 6 employees over the years. In fact, it was actually Ruzia who was the key figure in the acoustics consulting engineering firm. When the agency was offered for sale to Müller-BBM in 1972, they had a very close-knit team. The preparation for the birth of Melzer & Partners bv was completed, and this required both technical input from Abraham and positive human input from Ruzia.
As mentioned previously, it was a solid foundation from which Alexander von Meier could get started.