A picture like this I find nearly as disturbing as a picture of piles of dead bodies. It is not the image itself, but the knowledge of what happened to most if not all of the people in the picture.
The majority of them are young, healthy people, still in the prime of their lives.
It is a picture of pupils and teachers of the Jewish Lyceum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, taken in July 1942.
On August 16, 1941, the Nazis ordered that all schools in the Netherlands had to submit a list of the names of the Jewish students. The parents were then told that their children were no longer welcome in the new school year. The situation at the Sint-Janslyceum was striking. On September 11, 1941, Rector J. Bauwens wrote to the secretary of OMO in Tilburg: ‘I hereby inform you that no Jewish students are enrolled or have been registered for the Sint-Janslyceum’. While according to the data from the Department of Education in The Hague, the lyceum should have four Jewish students.
In the Netherlands there had been little opposition to the expulsion of Jewish students. Nine Jewish secondary schools were established across the country. All children from the area (Bommelerwaard, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda and Oss) were accommodated at the Joodsch Lyceum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The school had only been operating for a few months. In January and February of 1942, classes were no longer held “because of coal scarcity” and the constant cold. In April 1943 all students and teachers in Dutch camps were locked up, deported or went into hiding. As a result, the school formally ceased to exist.
75% of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. It is therefore same to presume that the majority of these children and their teachers were murdered.