Education is often seen as a human right and it really should be, but so often it is a privilege taken away from many.
Moshe Flinker was a teenager born in the Hague, in the Netherlands on October 9, 1926. He had a particular talent for language,he studied eight languages including Hebrew. The language he used to write his diary.
Now I could write a lot about Moshe , about his life in the Hague or about his life in Brussels, where he and his family hid from the summer on 1942 to 1944. He and his family remained relatively safe until 7 April 1944, the eve of Passover. But they were betrayed by an informer. Moshe’s Father had managed to keep the family safe by obtaining a so-called Aryan permit snf bribery thus far.
Rather then writing about his life I think it is better to give a glimpse of Moshe’s life in his won words.
“November 24, 1942
For some time now I have wanted to note down every evening what I have
been doing during the day. But, for various reasons, I have only got round to it tonight.
First, let me explain why I am doing this – and I must start by describing why I came here to Brussels.
I was born in The Hague, the Dutch Queen’s city, where I passed my early
years peacefully. I went to elementary school and then to a commercial
school, where I studied for only two years. In 1940, when the Germans
entered Holland, I had another two years to go until graduation. They issued a decree forbidding Jewish students to attend schools staffed by gentile
(“Aryan”) teachers, and so I was prevented from finishing my course. The
exclusion of Jews from public schools is just one of a long list of restrictions:
they had been forced to hand over their radios, they were not allowed into the movies, etc.
In the big cities, where many Jews lived, special schools for Jews were
opened, with only Jewish teachers. One such school was opened in The
Hague. Our school was a high school with three departments: classical
languages, modern subjects, and commerce. I, of course, continued my
commercial studies. During the year I attended, the number of restrictions onus rose greatly.
Several months before the end of the school year we had to turn in our bicycles to the police. From that time on, I rode to school by streetcar, but a day or two before the vacations started Jews were forbidden to ride on street-cars. I then had to walk to school, which took about an hour and a half. However, I continued going to school during those last days because I wanted to get my report card and find out whether I had been promoted to the next class. At that time I still thought that I would be able to return to school after the vacations; but I was wrong. Even so, I must mention that I did get my promotion.
Now I wish to note the restrictions inflicted upon us during the vacations. I
forgot to mention that during that year we had been forced to sew a “Badge of Shame” on the left side of our outer clothing. This “Badge” was a Star of
David, on which the word “Jew” was written in Dutch.
Halfway through that year the Germans began gathering Jews into the big
cities, particularly Amsterdam. Jews were not permitted to move anywhere
except to Amsterdam. When there were enough Jews there, the Germans
began sending them to destinations which are still unknown to me today. This is the way they sent them: many Jewish families would receive letters ordering them to get ready for a three-days’ journey. They were to get food for the trip and also take whatever clothes and utensils would be necessary for the journey. Then at midnight they had to go to the railroad station. From there they were sent to Westerbork, a detention camp near the Dutch-German border”
Moshe’s siblings survived but he and his parents were murdered in Auschwitz.
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