37.50 Guilders for betraying a family.

This looks like a fairly standard receipt and although it is hard to make out the names on the document, it does tell a very dark tale.

The document is a receipt issued by the SS to a Dutch citizen. The receipt is an acknowledgement of a payment of 37.50 Dutch guilders to this man (or woman but I believe it is a man)

The payment was for the delivery of 5 people to the SS. Although it doesn’t say they are Jewish , it is safe to presume they were. In fact we can say this with a 100% certainty. I discovered the document on the NIOD website, which is the Dutch organisation dealing with all things WW2.

When it says delivery it really reads betrayal because that is what it was, The betrayal of fellow citizens for money.

The names are very unclear because the document is handwritten and it is hard to make out the names . But the family name of those who were betrayed looks like it ‘Vos,.

I would love to say that this was a rarity in the Netherlands during WWII, but it wasn’t. Even though there were many who risked their own lives to help their Jewish neighbours, there were unfortunately also a great number of Dutch men and women who were willing participants of the Nazi policies.

Source

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Benno Redisch- What could have been!

I wish I could tell you that this picture was used to have a good laugh at my history teacher Benno Redisch. That the picture was handed to us by his wife , to use in a presentation of his 10th anniversary as a teacher. But he was not my teacher.

I wish I could tell you that this was given to me by my boss’s wife. And that we used it on January 13,1989 for his 50th birthday celebration. That we according to good Dutch tradition made a doll or figurine called Abraham, (according to Dutch tradition all men when they reach the age 50 they see Abraham. I believe it is from the biblical Abraham). We glued the picture on the doll. to use it as his face, as a joke.But he was not my boss.

I wish I called tell you that Benno was the owner of the bakery who made my wedding cake. But he never owned a bakery.

I wish I could tell you that when I hurt my back, Benno was the surgeon who fixed me. But Benno was not a surgeon.

I wish I could tell you that one day we had a burst pipe in our apartment and when I called my plumber Benno, he arrived 5 minutes later and fixed the problem. But he was not a plumber.

I wish I could tell you Benno lived to age 10, but he didn’t.

I wish I could tell you Benno lived to age 9, but he didn’t.

I wish I could tell you Benno lived to age 8, but he didn’t.

I wish I could tell you Benno lived to age 7, but he didn’t.

I wish I could tell you Benno lived to age 6, but he didn’t.

I wish I could tell you Benno lived to age 5, but he didn’t.

Benno was murdered in Sobibor aged 4.

He was born in Amsterdam on January 13,1939 and murdered on June 4,1943 in Sobibor.

Benno was denied a life. We were denied his life.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/131233/benno-redisch

Clara de Vries-Jazz Musician murdered in Auschwitz.

It is funny sometimes how you are researching one thing and it leads you to something completely different.
I was looking at the origin of a Dutch TV show called ‘Ter land.ter zee en in de lucht” which translates to on the land, in the sea and in the air. It was a light-hearted entertainment show where candidates from all over the Netherlands demonstrate in open air how long and far, they can keep going (sometimes only a few meters) in a self-constructed sort of go-cart, before crashing mostly in to water. But for most it was really more for showing off the design of their ‘vehicles’ rather than winning.
While I was researching it ,I noticed a piece of music used for the show called the beach party, which was performed by a Jazz musician called Willy Schobben, a Jazz trumpetist from Maastricht which is a city I know well because I grew up only a few mile away from it.
When I looked up Willy Schobben, I discovered he married Clara de Vries in 1936, like Willy Clara was also a Jazz trumpetist, and by all accounts an exceptionally talented one. Louis Armstrong once said of her “That Louis de Vries, he had a sister Clara with a ladies-band. Oh boy, she could play that horn!” Her brother Louis, another Trumpetist, was often referred to as the Dutch Louis Armstrong. Unfortunately, he died in a car crash in 1935.
Clara was the sister of Louis de Vries and Jack de Vries, received trumpet lessons from her father Arend de Vries. So, she had quite a musical pedigree.
She played in several Jazz Bands like: Shirmann Jazz Girls; Clara de Vries and her Jazz-ladies; The Rosian Ladies; the Swinging Rascals; and several other bands.

Her talent though was soon to be destroyed, Clara was Jewish and when the German invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940 her fate and that of many other Jews was sealed. Added to that she played Jazz, which was considered degenerate art by the Nazis. Jewish musicians were also forbidden to perform for non-Jewish people and later they were forbidden to perform their art at all
On February 9, 1941 Clara was still giving concerts outside the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam in the Café-Cabaret Alcazar. The NSB, the Dutch Nazis, had heard there was a Jewish musician playing in the club and raided the place. Which led to fights and 23 people were injured.
Clara however, refused to stop playing concerts.
On October 15, 1942 Clara and her family were arrested and sent to Westerbork, A few days later, on October 21 she was put on transport to Auschwitz where she was murdered on arrival a day later, on October 22.
Except for her brother Jakob, all her siblings and parents were murdered.

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sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/507961/about-clara-johanna-suzanna-de-vries


http://www.nettyvanhoorn.nl/sweet_and_hot_music.html

http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/vrouwenlexicon/lemmata/data/Vriesde

Most of them were murdered.

I have to be honest and admit that I am not entirely sure if the title is entirely correct, I am working on presumptions. However they are well founded presumptions.

More then 75% of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust it is therefore safe to presume that the at least 75% of these children were murdered too.

I also believe that the picture below is from the same school or after school youth care organisation in Amsterdam which was organised by the Jewish Council.

The things I am certain about is that at least 2 survived one of them is Fred Lessing(below an interview with Fred from January 26,1993)

The other survivor is an unknown visitor to the NIOD Image bank website he said this about the below picture

“‘I am in this picture, sitting in the middle (round shirt collar). Born October 26, 1935. Am sitting next to Fred Lessing .'”

Just look at all those angelic faces and think of the fact that most of them were murdered for no other reason then hate.

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sources

https://www.yadvashem.org/artifacts/featured/teddy-bear-fred-lessing.html

Edmund Plesser- Born 16 October 1928- Murdered 23 July 1943

One thing I only thought of today. On September 26 1940 there was a ban imposed on all Jewish newspapers in the Netherlands, with the exception of ” Het Joodsche Weekblad” the Jewish weekly. I always found that strange, why didn’t they ban all newspapers?

Then today I cam across the story of Edmund Plesser a young talened Jewish singer. When he was aged 8 he did a convert in the small oratorium of the Amsterdam Concert building. The concert was led by Samuel Henri Englander, I presume. That was the name on the advertisement in the newspaper.

In October 1941 Edmund’s parents announced the Bar mitzvah of their son which would occur on October 25, 1941. The ad must have been placed in ” Het Joodsche Weekblad” because that was the only news paper was allowed to be used by the Dutch Jews.

When I saw this ad it dawned on me because the as gives all the details of the family, their address, their names. It was basically a record for the Nazis and their collaborators. So even that bit of freedom the Dutch Jews had was used as a tool to locate them, Undoubtedly other Jewish families would have placed similar ads or announcements of other family events.

Edmund and his family were murdered in Sobibor on July 23,1943.

Edmund’s musical director Samuel Henri Englander was also murdered in Sobibor , on June 11, 1943 about 6 weeks before the Plesser family was murdered.

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David Koker- Not just a diarist.

David Koker

There are probably quite a few people who will have heard of David Koker,  or at least will know about the diary he wrote during his imprisonment at camp Vught, in the Netherlands.

The diary was published in 1977 with the name Dagboek geschreven in Vught and was published in 2012 it was translated into English and published wit the title  At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944.It was written between 11 February 1943 and  8 February 1944.

On the night of 11 February 1943,David and his family were arrested in Amsterdam and arrested and transported to camp Vught. For this transport they actually received a train ticket, and if you see the ticket it looks like something nice was done to the Koker family. It appears to be an act of charity.

urn-gvn-EVDO01-MMNIOD01-244_1657-medium

It was issued by the ‘Centre of Jewish emigration Amsterdam, and ordered by the Hauptsturmbahnführer Woerlein.

The text of the ticket says ” The keeper of this permit and ticket referring to call up of the same number, has the right to travel free of charge by allocated train to the Station of Hoogthalen. The permit and ticket have to be shown without being asked to the train staff at the station of Hooghalen. The inspector will then tear the ticket from the permit”

At  the bottom it says “If you show this ticket you can avail at cost of transport via tram or bus at the above mentioned date”

Hooghalen

If you wouldn’t know the history you could be forgiven that the ticket was a charitable thing to do, but in fact it was the first step to the transition of systematic murder.

I won’t post anything from his diary. I leave it up to all of you to find the diary and read it yourself. However I will put down below 2 pieces he wrote. The first piece I belive is either from 1939 or early 1940. It illustrates David’s awareness of what was happening around him and in Germany.

“The finest experts of the human heart,can’t make me out.I’m quite a thing apart/ They say that from them I perhaps should quit. “You sir, don’t fit our system one small bit””

On 2 June 1944, while the family was being transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, David managed to throw a letter from the train. Below is an excerpt of that note.

“Dear friends, we are close to the border now. It is very disappointing, but we were prepared for it and remain hopeful. I think a lot about you. (…) I’ve got all your letters and photos with me. My dearest possessions. When will we see each other again? That will take a long time. But we shall survive. (…) Lots of love guys, thanks for everything. Goodbye.”

Auschwitz Birkenau would not be the final destination for David.On February 23 1945 he died in Gross-Rosen concentration camp. He was aged 23. David’s mother and brother Max survived the war.

Ending the blog with a picture taken in 1930 in Amsterdam of the Koker family..

koker

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

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/507940/about-david-koker

https://geheugen.delpher.nl/nl/geheugen/view/oorlogsdagboek-koker-david-koker-david?coll=ngvn&maxperpage=36&page=2&query=Auschwitz&identifier=EVDO01%3AMMNIOD01-244_1657

https://books.google.ie/books?id=-cT2yHpiSgUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://www.coenraadrood.org/nl/westerbork/aankomst-in-kamp-westerbork

http://www.stationsweb.nl/station.asp?station=Hooghalen

 

 

 

 

Does it really matter who betrayed Anne Frank?

anne frank

The question who betrayed Anne Frank and the others hiding in the annex, has never really been conclusively answered. There are plenty of well founded speculations but there has not been a 100% certainty yet to who betrayed them.

There is also still a possibility that no one betrayed them but that they were discovered by accident. Contrary to popular believe it can actually get quite hot in the Netherlands during the summer months. The early days in August 1944 the average temperature was 21 degrees Centigrade(72 Fahrenheit). In the big cities it often feels hotter. There was no air conditioning in the small annex, there were 8 people in there. Maybe someone just briefly opened  a window a bit for some fresh air and this may have been spotted.

I know this theory adds to more speculation ,but here is the thing. Does it really mater who betrayed them?

I believe the only thing that matters is that they should not have been in that annex in the first place. They should have been able to walk around freely wherever they so desired. Their rights should never have been taken away, They were human beings just like anyone else.

It is true that the Nazi regime who had occupied the Netherlands at the time persecuted all the Jews in the country, but this regime would not have been so successful if they hadn’t received assistance from the public servants who insisted in doing their jobs to their best ability. Maybe this was out of fear, and to an extent it was but there were those who endorsed the ruthless regime.

Of course there were more people who were totally horrified by the evil deeds  they witnessed, and often were crippled by fear.

If we keep on asking who betrayed Anne Frank, we also have to look why did they receive so little help from others, before they had to go into hiding. This question has answers which not many people want to hear, because that implicates governments including the US government who refused to give Otto Frank and his family Visas.

So the real answer to who betrayed Anne Frank is, nearly everyone.

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Profiting from the Holocaust.

puls

In any war or crisis there are companies that make a profit, To some people this may sound disgusting but unfortunately it is a fact.

Abraham Puls owned a removal company in Amsterdam. He had been a member of of the NSB , the Dutch Nazis, since 1934. His company was responsible for the ransacking of the homes of Jewish families in Amsterdam. In fact it is estimated that 29 000 homes of Jewish citizens were cleaned out by  A. Puls’s company.

A few days after the raids on Jewish homes, truck’s from the Puls company would show up and empty the homes. The goods would then be handed over to the Nazis to Einsatzstab Rosenberg,the Nazi organization assigned to appropriating cultural property during World War II. It was led by  Alfred Rosenberg.

rr

The plundering of the Jewish home soon became known as “Pulsen” named after Puls.

One of Puls’s trucks also showed up at the annex where Anne Frank had been hiding, after they had been arrested on August 4,1944.

There were reports that some Amsterdam citizens tried to recover prpoerties of their Jewish neighbours,, before Puls would show up, the aim was to return the properties to their Jewish friends but most of the Jews who survived never saw anything belonging to them ever again.

It does sicken me to the corps to know there were companies like that without any scruples or moral compass stealing from fellow citizens and handing it to the enemy, in order to make a profit.

Abraham Puls was sentenced to death on June 4,1947 but his sentence was changed on February 4,1949 to a life sentence . He was released on May 25,1959.

puls a

a puls

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Sources

Abraham Puls; van verhuizer tot rovershoofdman

https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/detail/4dcd3d4e-025a-11e7-904b-d89d6717b464/media/cbee5313-fe4b-adad-3a8e-60523adda2f8?mode=detail&view=horizontal&q=joden&rows=1&page=345

 

 

Just a happy girl

vega

Just a happy girl without a care in the world.

Nor should she have any cares or worries.

Her job is to be a child, go to school, do homework but most of all to be a child.

At a desk with a peaceful picture of grazing Frisian cows behind her, Maybe they ere the cows she got her milk from she might ponder.

A smile that would melt anyone’s heart. a smile that would bring anyone joy and not hate.

Yet it was hate that killed her.

Nelly Vega born in Amsterdam on 2 April 1934, killed in Sobibor 9 July 1943.

Just a happy girl without a care in the world, it was too much to deal with for the evil men that killed her. Happy was not on their agenda, Joy was not on their agenda, Love was not on their agenda, at least not for those they deemed subhuman  and to be less then them. But in reality it was those evil men who were subhuman.

But this happy girl without a care in the world. Makes me realize that evil will not prevail.

 

Louis Asscher-Bergen Belsen victim

Louis

Bergen Belsen was liberated 75 years ago on April 15,1945. For many it was a true liberation but for others liberation came too late. Even for many of those who were liberated on that day it was still too late.

They were either so ill or malnourished that they did not survive,  After liberation nearly 14,000 people died.

Louis Asscher was one of those 14,000 , he died on April 19, just 4 days after liberation. He was an office clerk when the war broke out he and his wife took German Jewish refugees into their home in Amsterdam

But it wasn’t long before he and his family had to prepare for deportation themselves.He packed his phylacteries, prayer books, 25 sheets of paper and pieces of charcoal in his backpack.

Although Louis was an office clerk he was also an artist and while he was in Bergen Belsen he drew a series of sketches, some are as haunting as they are beatutidul.

Half a loaf of bread

brood

Roll call square and barrack 11- “the Hunger barrack”

role call

Watchtower

watchtower

Death bed

death bed

Louis has 4 children, they all survived. If there is one small consolation, and I mean a tiny one at least Louis died a free man.

Donation

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Sources

https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/?mode=gallery&view=horizontal&q=Bergen%20Belsen&rows=25&page=1&record=d201597e-025a-11e7-904b-d89d6717b464

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/515544/about-louis-asscher