Most of my life has been occupied with one question ” Why did my Grandfather die?”
As far as I am aware and as far as I was told he was executed by the German occupiers during WWII. It has only been recently I actually found out the actual date he died, which was May 12 1942, he was 47 at the time.
I have come across some other information I had not been aware of until today. I had an uncle who had the same name as my grandfather .Jan de Klein. I found a picture of the grave of my Grandparents and my Uncle. The odd thing about it was the fact there was a little headstone on top of the grave of my Grandparents. Usually this is done when a young child has died with the parents, however my Uncle was 77 when he died in 1998.
This left me with a few more questions, Firstly why was the grave in that particular configuration, secondly since my Uncle was born October 24,1920 this would have put him age 19 at the start of the occupation of the Netherlands, was he therefore involved in any way in the armed forces or resistance?
None of that would have been the case. It turns out he was severely mentally and physically disabled since birth.
This then posed another question, “How or why did he survive?” given the fact people with disabilities were send to the concentration camps.
The bizarre thing is I can tell you how the weather was on May 12 1942. The average temperature was 12,6 °C, and there was precipitation of about 0.3mm. But the reason why my Granddad died remains unanswered. It did bring up another theory though. On May 12 1942 there was a notification in the newspaper “Het dagblad van het Zuiden! the daily newspaper of the south that all men who served in the Dutch army on May 10,1940(this was the day the Germans invaded the Netherlands) and who were up to the age of 55, had to report to the occupying authorities by May 15th 1942. They had to bring a whole raft of ID with them.
Maybe my Granddad refused to do so and was killed for it. Either way my quest for the answers remains.
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