Anne Frank- Just a teenage girl.

Anne Frank

When you look up in formation on Anne Frank, the first thing you will see is that she is described as a German born or Dutch Diarist as if she was a well established author or Journalist, but she wasn’t.

She was just a teenage girl who happened to write a diary, like so many other girls did in that time and probably still do. If she had been a teenager now, I am certain she would have been on Instagram.Snapchat, Facebook and other social media. She was a very bubbly girl who like to express herself.

Does this make her diary less valuable? No of course not, it makes it even more valuable because the diary was not written by a professional author but by a young girl who described her daily life , a life which so few can even fathom nowadays.

Her diary became her closest friend and ally. A tool to express her fear, boredom, and the struggles as a teenager growing up. On 16 March 1944, she wrote: “The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I’d absolutely suffocate.”

12 days later on March 28,1944 the exiled Dutch minister for education,Gerrit Bolkestein, gave a speech on Radio Orange where he appealed to listeners in the occupied Netherlands to record their everyday experiences on paper.

“If future generations are to realize to the full extent what we as a population are going through and what we are experiencing in this time of war, then it is clear that we will need simple documents: a diary, letters from a laborer forced to go to work in Germany, sermons spoken by a clergyman”.

Bolkesijn

Anne Frank, was one of the many who heard Bolkestein’s appeal at the time. That night she wrote about her housemates: “…of course, everyone rushed for my diary all at once”. She started to rework her diary and called it The Secret Annex.

Next week , June 12th will be Annelise Marie Frank’s 90th Birthday . I had planned to write a blog about Anne on that day, but I will be busy make a preparations for a trip I am taking with my teenage daughter.

Next time when you read about Anne Frank and you see her described as a German born or Dutch diarist please do not forget she was also just a teenage girl, who happened to have written a diary.

A teenage girl who still could be alive today, but her life was cut short by a brutal fascist regime. A regime which had no regard for life.

anne frank diary

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Sources

geheugenvannederland.nl

History Extra

 

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Heinz Sommerfeld-Transport Ek no. 1458 (28. 09. 1944, Terezín -> Auschwitz)

Heinz

Around this time of year many 17 year old kids are getting ready for school exams. And although they may think it is unfair that they have to sit for hours and hours, to do their exams(I know I thought it was unfair). They don’t actually realize how lucky they are.

Education, even though it is a basic human right.it is not a certainty and it should be seen as a privilege when it is given to you.

I am sure Heinz Sommerfeld would have loved to have done his exams when he was 17, but he never got the chance. His biggest worry was staying alive, and because of an evil regime he did not succeed in that either.

He was born in Berlin on March 26th, 1927. On January 5th, 1939, aged 11, he  came to the Netherlands as a refugee without his parents on a  Kindertransport. (children’s transport)

Kinder

When he arrived in the Netherlands he was first in an orphanage in Amsterdam, but in November 1939 he was put in foster care with the Lipschits family in Maastricht . However a few months after the Nazis invaded the Netherlands he was moved again to an orphanage, this time in Utrecht.

In February 1942 he was deported to Westerbork. On January 20th, 1944 he was put on the train to Theresienstadt, from where he was deported to Auschwitz on September 28th, 1944 on transport 1458. A total of 2499 persons were registered on that transport. Heinz was one of them.

The train arrived in Auschwitz on September 29th,1944. What happened to the other 2498 I don’t know, but Heinz was murdered in the gas chambers upon arrival.

He was murdered not because he was bad but because he was perceived to be different, He was Jewish that was enough for the Nazis to kill him.

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One last song

betty

I want to sing one last song , maybe “Hoedje van Papier” (hat made out of paper) my Dad sings that for me everyday and I know all the words.

I want to draw one more picture. Perhaps of a butterfly who sits still on a tulip in the garden.

I want to have one more ice cream, vanilla flavour if you don’t mind.

I want to hear my Mother read to me one more time. The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales I like the most.

I want to feel the warmth of the sun one more time.

I want to sing one more song, but I can’t.

I am Betty Vredenburg daughter of Abracham and Rachel.

Born in Amsterdam on May 6th 1940, 4 days before the Nazis came.

I want to sing one more song, but my voice was silenced on May 22,1944 in Auschwitz. I was only 4.

Yes I was only 4.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Thanks Melody and Sudhir for bringing Betty to my attention

All I want is to be treated as a Human being.

max

All I want is to be treated like a Human being.

I don’t want big presents or fancy food.

I don’t even want to be treated like a Prince.

All I want is to feel the sunlight touch my skin on a warm summer day.

Or to hear the crackling of the snow under my feet in the winter.

I am not complicated.

To me 1 +1 is 2

Simple as.

I do not ask for a special treatment. Just the same treatment as you would give to yout nephew ,your cousin, the son of a friend or the boy next door.

But you can’t even grant me that simple wish.

I am Max Henri van Son, born in Amsterdam killed in Auschwitz,October 1, 1942.

The most simple wish of being treated as Human being was impossible to be granted, purely because of hate. Hate for a 4 year old boy, how is that even possible?

 

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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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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

NIOD

The Times of Israel