Isaäc Swart and Henderika Piller.

isaac

Isaäc Swart, what can be said about him and who is ?

Basically there is not much that can be said about him , he was just an ordinary travelling sales man.

Today would have marked his 95th birthday. He was born April 21,1914 in Amsterdam. Three days before his 26th birthday he married Henderika Piller on April 18,1940 in Amsterdam.

henderika

It was only a few weeks  before Germany would occupy the Netherlands and a Nazi regime would control the country.

The story of Isaäc and his wife Henderika is at first glance unremarkable. Just 2 young people,newlyweds who went about their daily mundane lives.

However their’ wittebroodsweken’ (this is the Dutch term for the first 6 weeks of marriage)  were disrupted in a way they did not expect.

May 15th after the bombardment of Rotterdam, the Dutch resistance was broken and the Germans invaded the Netherlands, bringing with them the most brutal regime the country had ever seen.

For most newlyweds life did not change all that much but Isaäc and Henderika were now considered enemies of the German occupiers, not because they had taken up arms to fight them but because they were Jewish, That was the only reason, A loving couple who never harmed anyone, were now considered enemies.

During the first few months there were only a few changes to their lives. But gradually their lives were made increasingly difficult. as it would be for every Jewish person in the country.

Isaäc and Henderika were arrested at their home  on  the 7th of  September 1943 , together with Isaäc’s aunt Schoontje Bont-Schenkkan. That  very same day they where deported to Auschwitz. On arrival there on the 10th September, his aunt was immediately killed.  Isaac and Henderika were selected for hard labor. Henderika  died  in Auschwitz on 30 November 1943,aged 28. Isaäc died in Auschwitz on 31 March 1944.aged 29. Only 3 weeks away from his 30th birthday.

There is one solace to be found in this. These ‘unremarkable’ people became remarkable heroes and were made heroes by the regime that saw them as subhuman. Like all the other millions who were murdered, each one of them a hero and a reminder that we are not allowed to let this happen again, for now we have the hindsight of history.

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Joods Monument

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Jules Frank- Murdered in Sobibor.

Jules Frank

Like Anne Frank, Jules also kept a diary but his was never published. It is on display in a museum in Utrecht in the Netherlands.

On April 15th,1943  Jules and his wife Flora Frank-van Beek picked up their suitcases and left for Amsterdam at 9.00 AM. Not out of free will but they were forced to go.

The day before they left ,Jules wrote one more entry in his diary it said:

“Will we ever return to our blessed and beloved Fatherland where we received so much love and good, God will give it”

He knew he was Jewish and was proud to be Jewish, but he also felt Dutch and was a great admirer of the Royal family. He collected a lot of things related to the house of Orange.

Jules and his wife never returned. So many of their neighbors had offered help,and shelter. They could have found hiding places and would have been safe, maybe even until after the war. But Jules did want to be a bother to anyone and remained in his own house.

 

A home where he would dink a cup of tea with his neighbors when they came to visit. But on the 14th of April 1943 on their 28th wedding anniversary Jules and Flora were told they had to report to the Authorities in Amsterdam.

Exactly one month later both of them were murdered in Sobibor. A Butcher  and his wife who for some reason had become a threat to society. I say some reason, but there really wasn’t one. They were Jewish and due to  a sick and twisted ideology what deemed them unworthy of life, they died.

A teacup and a saucer is still there as a reminder that Jules Frank and his wife once lived.

Cup of tea

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Sources

En toen nu

Joods Monument

 

 

Not a statistic or raw data.

soloomon

There are so may stories and accounts written about the Holocaust. Often in horrofic detail and concerning large numbers.

When you look at the numbers, be it 6 million Jews and another 5 million or so  of Roma, Homosexuals, Disabled and other groups, the numbers are staggering. However they are also nearly impossible to fathom for most people.

And this might sound harsh and strange but it is a reality that it doesn’t matter if it is 6 million, 11 million or 15 million. When you talk about those numbers they become statistics or raw data.

The human mind just can not cope with something on that scale and magnitude and soon it gets desensitized to the numbers. It is human nature.

Does this mean we have to forget about all the victims and just move on? The answer is threefold, NEVER,NEVER,NEVER.

The Holocaust can never be allowed to happen again, I found the best way  to bring the message home to people is by making the stories personal, Make people identify with the victims, as a virtual mirror so to speak, because reality is it could have been anyone.

Here are some numbers which are statistics but they belong to a man, a man who does not look that much different then I.  It is I am older and a bit bigger but other then that..

Salomon Engers

7 September 1903-the day he was born in Amsterdam

Ruyschstraat 47 III, Amsterdam-His address

1926 the year he married his wife Klara Markus

6- the number of children the couple had

1939- the year his wife died

1942- the year he was betrayed in Bergen op Zoom

28 February 1943- the day he was killed in Monowitz

39- his age when he died

1- the number of his children that survived the Holocaust.

All of the millions deserve to be remembered but I believe the best way to do it is by 1 victim or 1 family at a time.

It is hard work but it is all our duty as human beings to do so.For each one of those millions deserve to be remembered.

Source

Joods Monument

The Tulp brothers-Evil and Good.

Februari staking

The story of the two Tulp brothers is bizarre and yet intriguing in more way than one. They were half brothers, the older brother took the path of evil although he was a police officer, Where the younger one risked his life by resisting the evil his brother was part of.

Sybren

Sybren Tulp was born on March 29,1891 in Leeuwarden, Friesland, in the Northwest of the Netherlands. When he was 14 his parents divorced and his Father re-married a year later.

In 1912 he graduated from the Royal Military academy and  in 1916 hewas commissioned as an officer with the KNIL-Royal Dutch Indonesian Army and served in Indonesia.

In 1932 he tool command of the Dutch colonial Army  in Surinam, a Dutch colony in South America. In 1938 he returned to Europe, spending 8 months in Germany and Italy. In 1939 he settled in The Haue,the Netherlands, and joined the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party)). In late February 1941, after the February strike, in Amsterdam, the German occupying authorities appointed him Inspector-General of the municipal police in Amsterdam. He organized the force along Nazi operational lines and set up an Office for Jewish affairs (Bureau Joodse Zaken) which took action against Jews whenever they ‘violated’ various prohibitions, like the not wearing the Yellow star of David.

star
When the deportations began in the summer of 1942, Sybren Tulp personally supervised the eviction of Jews from their homes and their transfer to assembly points en route to camps like Westerbork and Vught. He convinced the Nazi authorities that it would be better to have Dutch police  be in charge of this rather  than to entrust it to German police because the Dutch police had a better understanding of the city.

From September 1942 onward there were also nightly raids on Jewish houses and properties, Sybke Tulip would also often supervise those raids.

On October 3rd 1942, he got very sick and died less then 3 weeks later on October 22nd.

Haring

Haring Tulp was the younger half brother of Sybren. He was born on May 26,1909.

Haring was involved with the communist resistance in the Netherlands, He distributed illegal newspapers and magazines like . “Het Noorderlicht”(Northern Light) and “de Waarheid” (the Truth). On May 28th,1941 he was caught and arrested by the SD and locked up in PDL Amersfoort.

AMERSFOORT

I don’t know this for certain and am working on an assumption but I am certain since his brother had such a high position in the Police, he must have known about his younger brother’s arrest, and most have ignored it.

From Amersfoort, Haring got transported to Buchenwald ,where he arrived on February 24,1942 and was designated prisoner number 1127. A few months later on the 6th of July, he was deported to Dachau where he was assigned prisoner number 31169.

He only stayed in Dachau for a few months because by the 19th of September,1942 he was back in Buchenwald.

He died in Buchenwald on October 19th,1942, three days before his brother Sybren died.

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Sources

Verzetsmuseum

Yad Vashem

 

Do you dream of me at night?

Henny

Yesterday it would have been my 80th Birthday. Henny Sophia Frank, born on February 23,1939 in Amsterdam. My name is Henny Sophia but people call me Henneke.

But alas I was not allowed to celebrate my 80th birthday. Nor was I allowed to celebrate my 70th or 60th, in fact I wasn’t even allowed to celebrate my 5th birthday.

You see, you killed me in Sobibor when I was 4. All the things I could have been never came to pass. In the end I became a number, a statistic. But I am so more then that.

I am a child who had many dreams, dreams of becoming a teacher, a nurse, a doctor or just simply someone that works in a shop, a boutique where they sell the lastest fashion from Paris and Milan.

My dream were cut short by you and the regime you so admired, a regime of hate and greed.

My dreams were cut short, but do you see me in your dreams?

Do you ever think of me or all the others you killed, the ones you lied to. You told them not to worry, they’d be fine after they had a shower, but they did not get water but death.

Do you ever see my eyes in your dreams? My eyes that only displayed innocence.

I doubt you dream at all.

 

The after war treatment of Dutch Jews.

jewish children

First of all let me tell you I am Dutch and I am proud to be Dutch. I love the country where I was born and where I grew up.

But I am not proud of some of its black pages in history.

I can understand why some Dutch bureaucrats and civil servants colluded with the German occupiers, most of them did this for self preservation. I understand it but I will never condone it.

This may sound like a contradiction but what happened after the war I can’t comprehend but yet I can understand. I can’t comprehend it because of the sheer ignorance and stupidity , but I can understand because of my personal dealings I had in the past with the Dutch civil service.

After the war some local authorities, and especially the authorities of the bigger cities like Amsterdam and the Hague, imposed fines on on hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors.

The City of Amsterdam collected several Million guilders(an equivalent of about $10 million)  from Holocaust survivors who were charged ground lease fees for periods they spent in hiding or in concentration camps. Many of the houses in question were used by Nazi occupation officers and local collaborates,  The Amsterdam authorities pursued Holocaust survivors for missed payments as late as 1947 and imposed fines on them for missing payments.

This is typically something some  Dutch civil servants.or rather ignorant pencil pushers, would do. Not looking outside the box, just at the books or the accounts and vigorously pursuing payments regardless of what the history was behind it.

amsterdam

In 2014 the Mayor of Amsterdam,van der Laan, a son of resistance fighters asked NIOD (the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies) to research the cases.

Some of the money has since been reimbursed.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

NIOD

The Times of Israel

 

Rembrandt’s tragedies

Nachtwacht

There is this funny riddle, it goes like “What’s Rembrandt’s first name?” Rembrandt of course is his first name, his last name is van Rijn.

But unlike the riddle his life wasn’t funny. He suffered many tragedies in his life.He got married on June 22 1634 to Saskia van Uylenburgh.

Rembrandt en Saskia.JPG

Saskia was the cousin of a friend of Rembrandt,Hendrick van Uylenburgh, Hendrick was also an art dealer. and when Rembrandt first moved to Amsterdam he stayed with  van Uylenburgh.

Rembrandt and Saskia got married in the local church of St. Annaparochie without the any of Rembrandt’s family being present.

Their first born, a son by the name Rumbartus died in 1635, only 2 months after birth.Their first daughter Cornelia died in 1638, she was only 3 weeks old. Their second daughter also called Cornelia died in 1640 who barely lived for a month.

In 1941 their 4th child, a son called Titis was born.Saskia died in 1642 most likely from tuberculosis. Titus survived into adulthood and became a monk for a while.

Monk Titus

Rembrandt never remarried but he did have a long term relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels, who had initially been his maid. They had a daughter together in 1654, and to no surprise she was called Cornelia, who died in 1684 in Batavia, Java, Indonesia.

His son Titus did marry Magdalena van Loo, the daughter of a Silversmith.

Rembrandt outlived both Hendrickje, who died in 1663, and Titus, who died in 1668, leaving a baby daughter,Titia. He died within a year of his son, on 4 October 1669 in Amsterdam. His son’s wife and mother-in-law also died in 1669.

selfie

 

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Holocaust Wedding

1

Elisabeth Appelboom and Philip Flesschedrager did what so many young people of their age did, they fell in love, got married and promised to stay together until death did them part.

For most married couples it is a journey they enjoy for many years to come. But not for Elisabeth and Philip. because death did do them part sooner then they had envisaged.

Philip Flesschedrager was a shop assistant age 21  when he married Elisabeth Appelboom  on April 8 1942 a seamstress age also age 21,

They got married in the Synagogue on the Rapenburgerstreet in Amsterdam.

3

Up until spring time 1942 daily life had been reasonably ‘normal’ for Jews in Amsterdam. It was only on May 3rd it was obligatory for the Jewish population to wear the yellow Star of David.

Little did the newlyweds know that just over 1.5 year later their marriage would come to an end.

4

On December 26 1943 Philip was killed in Auschwitz age. Elisabeth was killed on January 18 1945, they were both 23.

Elisabeth Appelboom and Philip Flesschedrager had a child that survived the war.

5

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Joods Monument

 

I am a product of love.

Celine

I am a product of love,love between a man and a woman.

I am a product of love, by 2 people who would do anything for me.

I am a product of love, for anyone who looks into my angelic eyes can’t but love me.

I am a product of love to all those around me.

But I am not only a product of love I am also a victim of hate.

I am a victim of hate, hated by those who say they love their country and the men who lead them.

I am a victim of hate for some think I am different,not quite human.

I am a victim of hate, but yet I have 10 fingers and 10 toes just like those who hate me.

I am a victim of hate because I am different but yet I am the same.

I am a victim of hate but I don’t want to be remembered as a victim of hate.

I am Celine de Vries but people also call me Lieneke. I was born in Amsterdam on Nov 15 1936. But I died a long way from home in Sobibor on June 11 1943. I was only 6.

I am a victim of hate but I want to remembered as a product of love.

 

 

Sometimes the good guys live a long life-Johan van Hulst WWII Hero.

jvh-curtain

Only the good die young all the evil seem to live forever are lyrics from an Iron Maiden song. For many years I thought this to be true for I saw so many evil men living a long life, however luckily I was wrong in that assumption. Sometimes good men do live a long life, like Johan van Hulst who died on 22 March aged 107.

He was a key player  of a  network that helped at least 600 Dutch babies and children escape the Nazis.Those children survived thanks to carefully orchestrated operations that smuggled them away right in front of the Nazis seeking to send them to concentration camps.

In 1942, two years after the German invasion of the Netherlands, Johan van Hulst – the son of a furniture upholsterer-was the director of the Reformed Teacher Training College, a Protestant religious seminary at Plantage Middenlaan 27, Amsterdam.

Across the street at Plantage Middenlaan 24 was the Hollandse Schouwburg theatre, the main clearing site for the Jews living in Amsterdam who had been issued deportation notices by the Nazi government.

LR_039_ afb.01 recht

While the records of those detained there are no longer available, historians believe about 46,000 people were deported from the old theatre over about 18 months up to the end of 1943.

8e905489a59a3f3b763758573e7213c0

Children who arrived at the Schouwburg with their families were separated and sent to the neighbouring nursery at Plantage Middenlaan 31 run by Henriëtte Pimentel. Who was  brought up in a well-to-do Portuguese-Jewish family.

Henriëtte_Henriquez_Pimentel_(1876-1943)

The nursery shared a back garden with the college that van Hulst directed.

The deportation centre’s administrator was a German-Jewish man named Walter Süskind, entrusted to run the centre by Nazis who disregarded his Jewish heritage.

12.01.27.Walter-Suskind-met-kleinkinderen

Soon after starting his work there however, he noticed that it was easy to help people escape.His close relationship with the German authorities helped him in his activities to help children escape. He especially tried to get close with the SS officer Ferdinand aus der Fünten, who was then the second man of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam. He falsified arrival numbers, claiming for example that 60 people instead of 75 had arrived on a particular day, and then letting 15 people escape.

His task became easier when, in early 1943, the Nazis took over a crèche across the road from the theatre – and next door to Van Hulst’s school – to place Jewish children before deporting them to concentration camps.

Süskind joined forces with the head of the nursery, Henriëtte Pimentel, sneaking children to safety when a tram passed in front of the nursery.creche-1976Working with Pimentel, Süskind and dozens of other volunteers, van Hulst arranged for the children to be spirited over the hedge separating the neighbouring back yards of the nursery and the teachers’ college, often assisted by the teachers-in-training or local university students.When the time came to move the rescued children and babies away from the school, they would be hidden in containers such as bags, sacks or laundry baskets.Numerous methods were used to move the hidden children from the school. In one method, the operation’s helpers would then wait for the moment a tram passed, blocking the view of Nazi guards at the facing Hollandsche Schouwberg, to cycle away with the hidden child.

The operation came to a halt on September 29, 1943 when the Nazis sent Pimental and 100 children from the nursery to Nazi concentration camps.[6] Decades later, van Hulst described the days preceding the closure to Yad Vashem: “Now try to imagine 80, 90, perhaps 70 or 100 children standing there, and you have to decide which children to take with you. … That was the most difficult day of my life. … You know for a fact that the children you leave behind are going to die. I took 12 with me. Later on I asked myself: ‘Why not 13?'”

In total, the operation had rescued about 600 Jewish babies and children.The punishment for aiding Jews was death.

Van Hulst received the Yad Vashem Distinction in 1970.[11] During a state visit to Israel in 2012, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of van Hulst “We say, those who save one life saves a universe. You saved hundreds of universes. I want to thank you in the name of the Jewish people, but also in the name of humanity.prime minister

After the war Van Hulst served as a politician at several levels. From 1956 until 1981 he was a member of the Dutch Senate. From 1961 until 1968 he was a member of the European Parliament and from 1969 until 1972 he was chairman of the CHU. From 1972 until 1981 Van Hulst was group leader in the Senate; first for the CHU and from 1977 on for the CDA(Christian Democrats).

For all the attention he later received for his success at saving lives, Dr. van Hulst said he was traumatized by memories of those he could not rescue.Some of the children Johan van Hulst helped rescue were so young that they no longer remember the daring acts that saved their lives.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

BBC

CNN

Washington Post

NPR

Yad Vashem

Special thanks to Norman Stone and Melody Ziff for reminding me of this Hero.