Happy Birthday Harry van der Hak-Murdered in Auschwitz.

The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion, even in war time. I don’t know if it is a specific Jewish tradition, but I know it is a Dutch one, that the birth of a child is announced in the newspapers. As did Harry’s parents, Willy and Rose, when he was born on October 20,1942 in Amsterdam . They didn’t know though that he would not celebrate his 1st birthday. He was murdered in Auschwitz on September 3,1943.

Not much is known about Harry, how could that be he was only 10 months old when he was murdered. However I came across a story which mentions him, and a picture of Harry and his grandfather.

Frome the book “Op de foto in oorlogstijd. Studio Wolff, 1943″(In the photograph during war time, Studio Wolff) by Tamara Becker en An Huitzing

“Saturday 17 April was a warm and sunny day. Annemie had four clients. Greta Engers-Neustadt only had to cross the Noorder Amstellaan diagonally to reach Annemie. Ten days later, Greta’s daughter Rose would visit Annemie with her five-month-old son Harry. Greta was German, her husband Freerk came from Groningen. Freerk traded in foodstuffs; since February 1943 he was an employee of the rabbinate of the Dutch-Israeli Main Synagogue. Before Greta and Freerk came to Amsterdam, they lived in Osnabrück, where their children Rose, Horst and Heinz were born. Horst had emigrated to Palestine in 1934. Heinz had left for Amsterdam in the same year; he had moved to Noorder Amstellaan and worked as a salesman for a chemical factory. In 1936 he married Dora Pfingst, whom he knew from Osnabrück. Dora’s father Heinrich was a textile merchant, her mother had died in 1936. Four of Heinrich’s children left for the United States and one for Palestine. Because Heinrich could not get the papers for the US, he came to his daughter Dora and her husband Heinz Engers in 1939, hoping to emigrate from Amsterdam after all.[i]
Greta and Freerk had meanwhile come to Amsterdam with their daughter Rose in 1936; she also moved in with Heinz and Dora on the Noorder Amstellaan. Heinz and Dora later moved with their son and Dora’s father Heinrich to the Volkerakstraat, while Greta, Freerk and Rose remained on the Noorder Amstellaan. Rose worked as a costume seamstress. In 1941 she married Willy van der Hak; in October 1942 their son Harry was born. Willy’s also had a German mother and a Groningen father. Willy, his father Levie and his brother were metal traders. Willy’s family also settled in Amsterdam in the late 1930s, early 1940s. They were all deported and murdered with their families. Heinz, Dora and their son were arrested in 1942; Dora’s father in 1943.

Annemie took a series of portrait photos of Greta Engers-Neustadt on April 17, one of which could serve as a passport photo. On April 28, she would take a large series of photos of Rose as a proud mother with Harry on her arm and of little Harry separately. On June 17, 1943, Annemie would photograph Harry again, more or less sitting in his pram. The wind was blowing hard, Harry’s crest was blowing in all directions. That the pram stood where the RAI is now, can be seen in a photo in which Harry is lifted high into the air by an older man, presumably his paternal grandfather, Levie van der Hak. His maternal grandparents, Freerk and Greta Engers, were arrested at the end of May. They were murdered in Sobibor on July 23, 1943. Willy, Rose and Harry van der Hak, together with Willy’s parents, were arrested three days after the photos were taken in June, on the radiant June 20 when a large raid was held in Amsterdam. -South and East. The same day they arrived in Westerbork. Willy’s parents, aged 73 and 77, were murdered in Sobibor on July 2. Willy, Rose and Harry lived in Westerbork in barrack 57 for another two months, until they were deported with a thousand people to Auschwitz on 31 August of that year – Queen’s Day. Harry van der Hak was murdered before his first birthday.”



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