The definition of ‘one in a million’ is : a person or thing that is very unusual, special, or admired.
Herman Wertheim was certainly that. However, sadly he was also one in six million. He was one of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
Herman Wertheim was born on February 17, 1912 in Strijp, the Netherlands . He was the eldest son of Hester and Jacob Wertheim. Herman worked as a tobacco trader for A. J. van Beek in Rotterdam.
Herman married Esther Rosenfeld from Amsterdam on August 4, 1936.
The first child, a daughter whom they called Margaretha Beatrix, died as an infant on 6 February 1938. In 1939 a son was born: Jaap.
During the war, the family went into hiding, all three in different places. Son Jaap is brought to Laren in 1942 at the age of three. He is taken in by the couple Tom and Anneke van Blaaderen. Esther is hiding in Eindhoven with the Hoekstra family in the Fuutlaan and also temporarily with the Boudrez family. Herman Wertheim attempted to flee to England. He ought false work papers for an amount of between 750 and 1000 guilders. Herman Wertheim ended up in Paris in June 1942. On his way to England, however, he was betrayed by a seller of false papers and brought back to the Netherlands where he was charged on 14 August 1942 with ‘unauthorized crossing of the Belgian-Dutch border’. On the same day Herman was taken to Westerbork. From there he was deported on 24 August 1942 to Auschwitz where he was murdered almost two years later, on 15 May 1944. His wife Esther and son Jaap survived the war. Source: Remember the names, September 18 Foundation.
It is impossible for me to remember all the millions who were murdered during the Holocaust. But I believe, remembering the individuals will have a bigger impact.
Herman and I both married a beautiful wife. If I was born in 1912, our fates could have easily been the same.