Anna Kruse RIP

Anna Kruse has been killed at 31 years old by her ex-husband, he also killed their 10 month old little boy. Stop domestic violence, if you know someone or you are in domestic violence, speak out, you are not alone.

DONATE HERE
(gofundme link to pay for funeral expenses for Anna and Stelios Kruse)
 

Anna Kruse shooting a socks ad in Berlin. 2011. Photo: Jo Hempel

On September 30th, 2022, Anna (31) and her baby Stelios (10 months) were senselessly and cruelly deprived of their lives in Greece. After they had separated and during the following custody dispute, her ex-boyfriend (56) and father of the child decided to end the lives of all three of them…

Anna, a German with Greek roots who grew up in Aurich, East Frisia, in Germany was a management assistant in marketing communication, branding designer, photographer and skateboarder well-known in the international scene. To create a photo documentary about the people of a small mountain village – the home of her grandparents – she traveled to the Greek province, where she fell in love with her now ex-boyfriend and perpetrator. After graduating, she gave up everything she had in Germany for love, emigrated to Greece and learned the local language. Less than a year ago, she gave birth to little Stelios.

The money raised through GoFundMe will be used to support the family and especially Anna’s mother at least with the costs of the transfer of Anna and Stelios (7.000€) from Greece to Germany. The two are to be buried in Anna’s hometown, Aurich, next to her father, who passed away many years ago.

Photo: Babas Levrai

Anna’s most distinctive feature – besides the fact that she was really small – was her smile. There was no Anna without her laughter, her humor, as well as her never-ending laughing fits. For this she was known beyond Germany’s borders. Stelios is also said to have inherited the laughter of his pretty mother.

In our school days we were inseparable. Everyone liked Anna and she would have unconditionally done anything for her favorite people (and animals too, because she was crazy about dogs). Supposedly shy and quiet, but always lively, Anna was always a bit of a cheeky rebel and didn’t let anything get in her way. So, it was not surprising that she started skating in her youth. When she was 14 years old, her big brother showed her the first tricks on the board and from then on she spent every free minute in the skating hall. I can still remember little Anna standing on that giant ramp, having everyone cheer her on and then just jumping. There was even a dedication to her late father on her griptape so she would always have him with her. Anna worked hard, made a name for herself internationally as a skater and always showed courage. She often was the only girl at the contests and became a role model for many others. She skated for brands like Morphium, Vans, iriedaily, Dogtown Skateshop and Playground Skatehall, among others. This created a community across Europe that Anna admired, supported and celebrated.

 

Photo: Babas Levrai

Professionally, she became interested in the media field at a very early age. She took many pictures and already at the age of 12 she programmed her first own website. So it’s no wonder that she also trained and studied in these fields after graduating from high school. Her original dream was to become a documentary photographer.

For her studies in Hildesheim, where our paths crossed again and we lived together, she worked on a photo documentary about her Greek grandparents’ mountain village in 2017 as part of her bachelor’s thesis. There she fell in love with the local goat herder, for whom she gave up everything in Germany and emigrated.

There she lived in the simplest conditions and wanted to work from there independently as a branding designer, which was then difficult to implement in everyday life. Sacrificially, as was Anna’s nature, she helped her then boyfriend with the – I think 700 goats – did the housework, cooked and took care of her grandfather in need of care, who also lived in the same village. She even planted a large vegetable garden without much prior knowledge to provide for her family herself. When my boyfriend and I visited pregnant Anna in the summer of 2021, we were amazed at Anna’s new life, which had so little to do with her life in Germany. Only a few months after this last visit, Anna gave birth to her son Stelios.

Photo: Babas Levrai

In the summer of 2022, Anna decided to separate from her partner. The situation was difficult from the beginning and already then death threats were made against Anna, her baby and her family. He was probably afraid that she would go back to Germany with Stelios. Everyone was worried, but she did not want to return to Germany for the time being. I had even offered her to stay with us in East Frisia and do the garden. Honestly, I was secretly looking forward to her possibly coming back at some point. She allowed the child’s father to see Stelios regularly, wanted to please him and not upset him. Even the police, after she sought help after threats, told her to wait for the court date, which was postponed and could not take place until the end of September.

Just a few days after the said court date, the threats then turned into a cruel reality.

When Anna’s mother, who was visiting to assist her at the court date, was on her way back to Germany, Anna’s ex-partner came to the house where Anna and Stelios had lived since the separation. He wanted to take Stelios to the goats, which the little boy liked so much. Already feeling uneasy about the situation, Anna told her neighbor to call after a while to check on them. They drove to the goat shed outside the village, which was situated in the mountains and there he shot first Stelios, then Anna and then himself with a shotgun…

Everyone who knew Anna – and even those who didn’t – are paralyzed and speechless by this terrible news. The loss is unbelievable and the way the lives of these two were taken is just despicable. No one deserves this, least of all the kind-hearted, good-natured little Anna and her even smaller Stelios.

According to reports in the Greek press, similar cases are sadly not uncommon and this is the 13th of its kind in Greece this year alone.

– Malena Wechsler Corres

DONATE HERE*Thank you to Babas Levrai for the idea of the appeal for donations (and the photos).

If anyone has any photos of Anna Kruse, you can send them here and we will add them to her tribute post.

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