Mail was allowed to be sent from the concentration camps under strict censorship. It had to be written in the German language and the number of lines was limited. Only simple information about health and daily life was allowed. The Blockführer had to read and sign the mail and then it went to the censorship office. Jews were forced to write that they were in a labour camp to reassure those left behind. This mail was collected in bulk and sent to Berlin.
Meier Vieijra was born on 26 December 1918 in Nieuwe Kerkstraat in Amsterdam. He was the son of Jacob Vieijra and Rachel Simons and had two brothers, Joop (Joseph) and Piet (Louis), and three sisters Elisabeth, Clara and Branca. Like his father and his brothers, Meier was a tailor by trade. They all worked together in his father’s company.
• On 9 August 1939, he married Blanche Nabarro.
• On Saturday afternoon, 22 February 1941, a convoy of German trucks arrived near Waterlooplein. Meier was one of the men who were arrested during the raid in Amsterdam.
• On 28 February 1941, he arrived in Buchenwald (prisoner no. 4754).
• Then he was deported to Mauthausen on 22 May 1941.
Meier sent six letters and postcards to his wife Blanche from Buchenwald.
Below is the translated text of one of those letters
31 August 1941
Thank you for your letters and money orders. Today I have the opportunity to write to you. Blanche, please thank Aunt Aggelen for the money order. You ask in your letter if you can send me 15 RM weekly. It is probably allowed. Blanche, if it will be a boy, name him Jacob Ben Meier. If it is a girl, name her Rachel…
Please send regards to the entire family and especially to Clara and Chellie, and consider yourself warmly greeted and kissed by your loving Meier Vieijra.
Dear Parents and Mother-in-Law! How are you? Well, I hope. Please write to me sometimes.
The handwriting in the letter was not Meier’s. It had been re-written and was also censored. The text that was censored apparently expressed condolences on the death of Samuel Vieijra. Samuel, Meier’s uncle, his father’s brother, was murdered on 7 August 1941 in Mauthausen. Only the signature was original.
Even the written word was controlled, monitored and silenced by the Nazis.
On 17 September 1941, Meier Vieijra died from the consequences of his hard life in Mauthausen. He may not have been gassed or shot but he was murdered nonetheless.
Blanche gave birth to a baby daughter on 2 October 1941 and called her Rachel. In May 1943, Blanche and her daughter went into hiding in Oldebroek with the Flier family. Both Blanche and Rachel survived the Holocaust.