I am Dutch and I always will be proud to be Dutch, but there are somethings in my country’s history that really trouble me, even to an extend that it nearly sickens me.
The Dutch bureaucracy is well known to be very efficient, that can be very beneficial but it can also be destructive and dangerous. The Nazi regime were great fans of the Dutch civil service and its bureaucracy . It was the efficiency of the system that enable the Nazis to identify so many of the Dutch Jews , with the result that more then a 100,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
The final insult was that ,the few survivors had to fight to get death certificates issued for their loved ones by going to court. Many of these certificates only came years after the war.The document at the top of the blog is the death certificate of Ernst Otto Lichtenstein, the brother in law of Max Baum, a man I have written about before. I passed by his house many times before not realizing the historical significance of the place.
Below is another version of the certificate. What is so disturbing about both documents is the lack of information.
All it says is that the district court in Assen is requesting of the municipality of Westerbork to register that Ernst Otto Lichtenstein died on a train on transport between Teckoceniwitz(Czechoslovakia) and Oranienburg(Germany) on January 5th 1945. Occupation Butcher. Birthplace Jülich (Germany) born December 6,1913
Last place of residence was Westerbork.
It fails to mention that he was imprisoned in Westerbork. Wher he was mistreated ,malnourished and who knows what other torments. The forms makes it look like he lived in Westerbork as a regular citizen who died on a train journey.
It was Sophie Lichtenstein Baum the widow of Max Baum who had to get the certificate issued via the district court, for her brother Ernst Otto Lichtenstein.
The certifcate was issued on January 6,1948. Three years after the murder of Ernst Otto Lichtenstein.
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