My Interview with Joosje Asser—The Story About her Parents and their Survival

During the night of 21 to 22 January 1943, the Nazis raided Het Apeldoornsche Bosch, a Jewish psychiatric hospital in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Nearly 1300 people are deported to Auschwitz.

All 1181 patients, sometimes naked, confused or in straitjackets, were forced by units of the SS and the Ordnungspolizei under the personal supervision of Hauptsturmführer Ferdinand aus der Fünten of the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung (assisted by Albert Konrad Gemmeker, the SS commander of Camp Westerbork ) in trucks to the waiting freight train. In the days that followed, another 293 people, mainly personnel, were taken away. Most of them do not survive the war.

Eli Asser and Eefje Croisset, Joosje’s parents, who worked in the Hospital managed to escape. In the interview, Joosje talks about her parents, and the book her father wrote about the time.

There are a few small interruptions during the interview, I had considered cleaning them up, but then I realised the symbolic value of it. So many family lives were disrupted during the Holocaust. I decided to leave the interview as it was, unedited.



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