During the war Geleen was a small mining town in the South-East of the Netherlands in the province of Limburg. Above are 2 maps the first one is of the Netherlands and the other one is of the greater Geleen Sittard area, just to give you a geographical sense of the place.
Due to the close proximity to Germany many Jews escaped to Limburg in the 1930’s. The Netherlands was a neutral country so the Jewish community thought they were safe.
Geleen itself had a relatively small Jewish community but significant enough for a town with a population of approximately 15,000 at the time.The exact number of Jews living in Geleen is not known but it is estimated there were 67.
Rather then going in to each individual account I will be showing the timeline of events relating to the Jews in Geleen. This timeline would be identical for Jewish communities in other towns and cities in the country and indeed throughout Europe. It is a good indication of the systematic dehumanization of the Jews by the Nazi’s. In total there are 42 events, I will not mention all of them but will highlight , for a lack of a better description, the most important ones.
22 June 1940: All Jewish shop are besmirched by the Nazi’s with the text ” Jüdisches Geschäft” (Jewish Shop)
1 July 1940: Jews have to leave the Bomb shelters
26/27 July: During night time the windows of Jewish shops are shattered.(Below a news paper article about it)
31 July 1940: Ban on ritual slaughter
6 September 1940: The general secretaries of most Government departments promise not to hire Jews in pubic office jobs.
5 October 1940: Government personnel have to sign an ‘Aryan’ declaration
21 November 1940: An announcement is made that all Jews working in the public and civil service are to be fired.
10 January 1941: Compulsory Registration is introduced, by the 21st of February all Jews need to be registered. Mayor Damen announces on the 15th of April that 67 Jews have been registered.
4 June 1941: The freedom of movement is restricted for Jews
1 September 1941: Jewish children are no longer allowed to attend regular schools. A make shift school is set up in the teachers residence next to the synagogue.
15 September 1941: Signs with “Verboden voor Joden” forbidden for Jews are put up. Jews are forbidden to go to cinemas,sports ground,libraries,concert hall and most other public places.
Also in 1941 Richard Kaufmann is picked up by the Nazi’s and sent to a labor camp in the Netherlands. On October the 3rd he is deported to Westerbork.
Shortly afterwards he is deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz.Richard Kaufmann dies on the 3rd of September 1943 in Auschwitz.
2 May 1942: All Jews are ordered to start wearing the yellow star of David.
19 May 1942: Radio builder Frederik Goldsteen is been arrested after it is found out he kept building radio’s after he was forbidden to do so, and also because of his criticism of Adolf Hitler.Via Camp Amersfoort he is sent to Westerbork and from there to Auschwitz where he dies on 15 August 1942.
12 June 1942: Jews are no longer allowed to buy vegetables in Non Jewish shops
2 August 1942: In all of the Netherlands Jews who have been converted to Catholicism are picked up. In Geleen there were 4 one of then was a Nun who is transported to Auschwitz and dies in the gas chamber. The other 3 are released because they are from mixed marriages.
9 August 1942: Luise Löwenfels aka Sister Maria Aloysia dies in the Auschwitz gas chambers.
25 August 1942:approximately 20 Jewish citizens were deported from City Hall by the Germans. Only 1 survives the war.
10 November 1942: Guus van Dam is picked up and sent to Groningen in the North of the country, from there he is deported to Auschwitz via Westerbork. His fate is unknown. On the 17th of August 1945 some of his family members put an ad in a newspaper to see if anyone has information.
In September 1930, Guus had moved with his parents to Geleen and lived there on Jubileumplein 12, this was near the rear entrance of my school. An address I would have passed by on a daily basis.
21 January 1943: The Jewish mental asylum “Het Apeldoornse Bos” is evacuated. Two patients were from Geleen. They are all send to Auschwitz where they all perished.
September 1943: Jews with mixed marriages are exempt of wearing the yellow star of David
March 1944: Jews from mixed marriage are ordered to be sterilized or to proof they are infertile
18 September 1944: Geleen is liberated by the Combat Command (B) 2nd Armored Division.
Below is the list of all those who were deported from Geleen and never returned.
|1||Freimark-Adler||Hermine||12-12-1876 Urspringen (D)||14-05-1943 Sobibor|
|2||Baum||Max||04-01-1907 Bauchem (D)||31-03-1944 Auschwitz|
|3||Cohen-Ten Brink||Esthella Carolina||05-06-1904 Ootmarsum||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|4||Meyer-Cahn||Jeanette (Jetta)||18-12-1859 Leutesdorf (D)||10-05-1943 Westerbork|
|5||Claessens||Albert||19-04-1905 Obbicht||30-04-1943 Midden-Europa|
|6||Cohen||Frieda||11-07-1924 Vaals||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|7||Cohen||Henny||30-10-1925 Vaals||26-09-1942 Auschwitz|
|8||Cohen||Josephine||09-07-1930 Geleen||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|9||Cohen||Simon||01-05-1889 Midwolda||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|10||Freimark||Ernst||12-08-1936 Frankfurt (D)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|11||Freimark||Friedrich||27-10-1902 Marktheidenfeld (D)||30-04-1943 Midden-Europa|
|12||Freimark||Kurt||21-12-1939 Heerlen||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|13||Levy-Goldschmidt||Irene||15-02-1907 Rheda (D)||30-11-1943 Auschwitz|
|14||Goldschmidt||Josef||24-10-1867 Rheda (D)||28-05-1943 Sobibor|
|15||Goldsteen||Frederik||09-07-1918 Rheydt (D)||15-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|16||Levi-Harf||Rosalie||27-10-1880 Mönchengladbach (D)||28-05-1943 Sobibor|
|17||Goldschmidt-Jacob||Frieda||19-02-1869 Rheda-Wiedenbrück (D)||07-10-1943 Maastricht**|
|18||May-Jacobsohn||Klara||14-05-1871 Neckarbischofsheim (D)||14-05-1943 Sobibor|
|19||Meyer-Kaufmann||Berta||03-01-1912 Köln (D)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|20||Kaufmann||Margard||10-11-1928 Gronau (D)||03-09-1943 Auschwitz|
|21||Kaufmann||Richard||30-06-1886 Moers (D)||03-09-1943 Auschwitz|
|22||Heimberg-Klestadt||Bertha||28-12-1891 Büren (D)||25-01-1943 Auschwitz***|
|23||Claessens-Krzanowska||Ajga||17-03-1909 Zawiercie (Polen)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|24||Lebenstein||Ida||16-05-1888 Ochtrup (D)||28-05-1943 Sobibor|
|25||Levy||Arnold||27-05-1880 Wuppertal-Elberfeld (D)||28-05-1943 Sobibor|
|26||Levy||Hans Erich||22-03-1911 Düsseldorf (D)||31-03-1944 Polen|
|27||Löwenfels||Luise||05-07-1915 Trabelsdorf (D)||30-09-1942 Auschwitz|
|28||Freimark-May||Gertruda||16-02-1902 Niedermendig (D)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|29||Winter-May||Irma Johanna||30-08-1908 Niedermendig (D)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|30||Goldsteen-Mendel||Carolina||06-07-1880 Tetz (D)||22-10-1943 Auschwitz****|
|31||Meyer||Max||23-01-1900 Remagen-Oberwinter (D)||30-04-1943 Midden-Europa|
|32||Roer||Helene||14-09-1921 Zülpich (D)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|33||Roer||Ilse||20-02-1925 Zülpich (D)||31-08-1942 Auschwitz|
|34||Baum-Salmagne||Sophia||12-06-1867 Eilendorf (D)||16-11-1943 Bergen-Belzen|
|35||Willner||Paul Siegfried||05-06-1902 Aachen (D)||30-04-1943 Midden-Europa|
|36||Winter||Gustav||01-11-1897 Korschenbroich (D)||30-04-1943 Midden-Europa|
|37||Kaufmann-Zilversmit||Adele||07-12-1890 Gronau (D)||03-09-1943 Auschwitz|
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