Simon Herman van den Bergh would have been 80 today.
He would have reached 960 months today.
He would have reached 29,200 days today, plus an additional 20 days if you include leap years.
But Simon Herman van den Bergh didn’t even reach 2 years. He didn’t even reach 19 months.
He was born on December 14,1941 in Amsterdam and he was murdered on July 2,1943 in Sobibor.
On December 19.1941 his proud parents announced his arrival in “Het Joodsche Weekblad” the Jewish weekly. With the words “With gladness we would like to announce the birth of our Son .Simon Herman” It also gives the Dutch date of birth 14 December 1941 as well as the Jewish date 24 Kislew 5702.
His parents knew the uncertainty of their and his future. But could they have envisaged that their baby boy would have been considered a threat to the security of the Nazi regime? Maybe, they did. But poor little Simon wasn’t a threat to anyone, nor were any of the 1.5 million children murdered by the Nazis.
Happy Birthday Dear Simon. Tonight I will look up at the stars and will say a prayer for you, that is the only present I can give you.
I always found it hard to understand why the Nazis kept the shoes of those they murdered. Of all clothing items, shoes are the most personal. Even today you don’t go to a shoe shop and just pick a pair of the shelves. You sit down and you fit them first to see if they fit and if they are comfortable.
It baffles me therefore that the shoes were kept, they had no real value, they could not really be sold to others. Then why keep them? Of course the whole Nazi ideology made no sense.
In July 2020 staff in Auschwitz could match a shoe to the name of a 6 year old victim, Amos Steinberg,
Experts at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial found a pair of children’s shoes with a handwritten inscription detailing the child’s name, their mode of transport to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and their registration number.
But Amos was not just the owner of a pair of shoes. He was a human being, a young child with a future cut short.
Amos Steinberg was born in Prague on June 26, 1938. On August 10, 1942, Amos, his father Ludwig aka Ludvik , and his mother Ida were first imprisoned in Theresienstadt, and then deported from Czechoslovakia to Auschwitz. Amos was deported to Auschwitz along with his mother in the same transport on 4 October 1944, where they were most likely murdered in the Gas chambers when they arrived.
Researchers believe that Ida Steinberg put the note inside her six-year-old’s shoe to show to whom it belonged.
Those shoes should never have been taken off little Amos. He should have lived a full live, Kicking a ball with those same shoes, maybe even breaking a neighbour’s window because he accidentally kicked the ball through it.
Amos was one of the 1.5 million children murdered. 1.5 million, potential artists, athletes, , fathers, mothers, footballers, painters, electricians ,plumbers. The Nazis did not only murder these kids but also their future and the potential history we could have had.
Amos’s Father, Ludwig, was put on another transport, From Auschwitz to Dachau on October 10,1944. He survived the war. He was liberated from the Kaufering sub-camp. He emigrated to Israel in May 1949. He became a teacher and principal of several schools in Israel. He was highly valued and liked by his pupils and teachers who worked with him. He still loved music and worked as a cantor in several synagogues. He also conducted choirs. He passed away in 1985.
Whoever has the youth has the future. Whoever kills the youth destroys the future.
I can never understand the mindset of murdering innocent lives. No matter what ideology, any normal human being must know that killing a little healthy, happy child is wrong, more then wrong, it is evil and despicable.
Yet there were so called sophisticated people who had no issues murdering babies. They more then likely had children themselves, because having children was one of the priorities in the Nazi doctrine. Yet they murdered infants who were not considered ‘pure’. They did not realized that every child is pure?
The picture above is of Margaretha Bertha Aussen, she was born October 4,1941 in Amsterdam and was murdered in Auschwitz, September 10,1942 aged 11 months.
Jack Vleeschdrager was also born in Amsterdam on October 4,1941 and was murdered in Sobibor on June 4,1943 aged 20 months.
Abram Winnik, another child born in Amsterdam on October 4,1941. He was murdered in Sobibor on April 23,1943 aged 17 months.
Eva Kövesi another young citizen of the Dutch capital ,Amsterdam, also born on October 4,1941. Murdered in Auschwitz September 21,1942, aged 11 months.
All these 4 kids would have been 80 today, but they didn’t even make it to age 2. I hope that by writing down their names they will be remembered for generations to come.
I was going to do a piece on Ursula Gerson, who was murdered in Auschwitz on September 6,1944 aged 8. But then I saw there were more Dutch Jewish children and Jewish refugees, who fled Germany and Austria with their parents, who were murdered that day.
Duifje Gans. murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 11
Mirjam Lisette Katz, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 7.
Heijman Karel Franken, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 10.
Jeanette Regina Schenk, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 7.
Mary Winnik, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 7.
Mietje Judith Moscou, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 11.
Samuel Groenteman, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 6.
Karel Jacobs, murdered in Auschwitz, September 6, 1944. Aged 13.
These are only a few. There were at least327 Dutch Jews whose death were registered on September 6,1944.About 30 % or so were children
I was wondering why there were so many on that specific date.Then it dawned on me. They were all on the last transport from Westerbork to Auschwitz, which left the Netherlands on September 3,1944. Anne Frank and her family were also on that transport.
I know that I will have nightmares tonight with the faces of these poor souls haunting me, but it will be worth it. There fate and names should never be forgotten.
Gesina Groen would have been 80 today. But she was murdered on her 1st birthday.
She was born on July 26,1941 in Amsterdam and murdered in Auschwitz July 26,1942, together with her mother.
There are no pictures of Gesina, just a picture of the house she lived in. The address is Nieuwe Keizersgracht 70, Amsterdam, which is a prime location in Amsterdam nowadays. The house would be too expensive to afford for most people now.
All I know though is that when Gesina lived there, there were in total 12 people living in that building. None of them survived.
The oldest resident was Sophia Cohen-Rosenberg, she was murdered April 9, 1943 in Sobibor, aged 78.
There may have been another child on the address, Abraham de Vries he was the foster son of Marcus Rooselaar. Abraham de Vries was murdered in Sobibor ,July 16, 1943, aged 11. However it is not certain that he lived on the address.
I have 3 children and I witnessed the birth of all 3 of them. The birth of a child must be the greatest miracle, Sure the sex beforehand is wonderful, but just imagine it, a sperm cell from a fertile man swims up through the vagina and into the uterus of a woman and joins with the woman’s egg cell as it travels down one of the fallopian tubes from the ovary to the uterus.
This is when the baby is conceived. There is no better moment in a parent’s live to see that first glimpse of the tiny human being, a product of a sexual act and love of 2 people. Seeing their baby for the first time and the feeling that goes with is something which is impossible to describe. The only word that gets close is a miracle.
But what if that baby is born in captivity and you are not sure how long the child will live, or indeed how long you will live, how does that feel? It is something no one wants to experience, yet it was a reality for many people.
The picture above is of Marie Majerowicz she was born in Camp Westerbork.
Camp Westerbork was a concentration and transit camp in Drenthe province, north east of the Netherlands.Established by the Dutch government in the summer of 1939, Camp Westerbork was meant to serve as a refugee camp for Germans and Austrians (German and Austrian Jews in particular), who had fled to the Netherlands to escape Nazi persecution.
But after the Nazis occupied the Netherlands ,the camp was repurposed and was utilized as a staging ground for the deportation of Jews, from 1942 to 1945. Only one-half square kilometer (119 acres) in area, the camp was not built for the purpose of industrial murder as were Nazi extermination camps. Westerbork was considered by Nazi standards as “humane”. Jewish inmates with families were housed in 200 interconnected cottages that contained two rooms, a toilet, a hot plate for cooking, and a small yard. Single inmates were placed in oblong barracks which contained a bathroom for each sex.
Marie Majerowicz was born in camp Westerbork on December 30,1942. In September 1944 she was deported to Theresienstadt from where, on 6 October 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz. She was murdered in a gas chamber after selection. She was not even 2 yet.
Marie wasn’t the only child born in Westerbork. Most of the children died or were murdered when they were still babies. Some only lived for a few days.
Abraham Moritz Benjamins, born February 21,1943. Murdered in Auschwitz October 8,1943.
Tine Bloemendaal, born April 30 1943. Died in Westerbork June 5,1943.
Emanuel Snatager. born May 9,1942. Died in Westerbork May 26,1943.
Karin Walg,born June 19, 1943. Died in Westerbork, June 23,1943.
Bernard Gosschalk, born December 21,1942. Murdered in Auschwitz October 26,1943.
Benjamin Vleeschhouwer, born August 10,1943. Died in Westerbork October 26,1943.
These were just a few. There are so many and to be honest I don’t think I can go through all of their details, my heart just can’t take it.
Aside from the human cost and the sheer evil and horror of it. So much potential talent has been lost. Who know, the scientist who discovered a cure for all cancers could be one of these children. We will never know just because of the warped ideology of Nazism.
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The title is the translation of a line of a Dutch song called ‘Blauw’ or “Blue”. I was listening to it in my car yesterday, while I was on my way to the Covid 19 vaccination centre.
That particular line stuck with me. That is exactly what I go through every time I do an article about the very young Holocaust victims. Seeing them, or rather seeing a picture of them, only takes a second but the thought last forever. I don’t how may seconds I have seen pictures of children, all I know there faces stay with me
The picture above is of Rolf Dirk Ullmann, he was born on March 31,1943 in Westerbork, the Netherlands and was murdered in Auschwitz on October 8,1944. He was only about 18 months old.
He was first transported to Theresienstadt on January 20,1944. On October 6,1944, he was transported to Auschwitz. He arrived on October 8, he was murdered.
His first and last steps he took, were in a concentration camp. His first words, if any, were uttered in a concentration camp. He got his first and his last feed in a concentration camp. All he ever knew was captivity and hate from those who put him there.
His mother Edith Ullmann-Fleischmann was born in Ebeslbach, Bavaria, Germany on October 31,1912. I don’t know for sure but I reckon she escaped Germany when the Nazis took power. More then likely she would have ended up in Westerbork, which was a refugee centre for Jews who escaped Germany and Austria prior to the outbreak of World War 2.
She ended up in Westerbork again during the war. This time it was a concentration camp, a so called transit camp. Here she gave birth to her son, Rolf Dirk Ullmann.
Edith also had a daughter, Ellen Wilhelmina Ullmann. She was born in the Netherlands on September 15,1939 in the town of Oud-Beijerland, which translates in to Old Bavarialand.
Ellen Wilhelmina was also murdered in Auschwitz on October 8,1944. Only a few weeks after her 5th birthday.
Edith Ullmann-Fleischmann was murdered on October 9, 1944 , a day after her children, In Auschwitz Birkenau. I don’t know why she was murdered a day later. I can also imagine after seeing her children being murdered, she gave up the will to live. As a parent I can fully understand that.
These 3 innocent souls are just a few of the 6 million Jews killed during the holocaust. Six million seconds, 1.666.66 hours or 69.44 days. But as the title said already, to me seeing every picture takes a second, the thoughts will last forever.
It is up to all of us to NEVER EVER let there be another Holocaust.
The last year has been a strange year for a great number of countries across the world, especially when it comes to education. There is no doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic will have consequences down the line for many students.
However most of them when they go back to school, they will still see their fellow school friend and students.
During the Holocaust a great number Jewish children were killed. In the Netherlands 75 % of all Hews were murdered. Yet the Nazis still get the illusion going that life was reasonably ‘normal’ for the Jews. Jewish children were still going to school, although their curriculum was greatly reduced. Even extra curricular activities were still encouraged.
This to me is one of the more sickening of the Nazi occupation, they gave people false hope. I have said this before that the Nazis had never been abled to succeed with their final solution plans without the help of other. The bureaucrats, the civil servants, the public transport staff and also other citizens who thought they could benefit from the removal of their Jewish neighbours, this wasn’t only the case in the Netherlands but all of occupied Europe. The one main difference with the Netherlands compared to many of the other countries, the Dutch had an extremely efficient public service, which was used to its full capacity by the Nazis.
I sometimes wonder how distressing it must have been for those poor children to see that every time they came back to school from a break, or after the weekend, some of their classmates were gone. What questions would have gone through their minds?
Any nation that kills their children kills its own future. Most of the children in the pictures in this blog would have been murdered during the Holocaust. I don’t know their names, where they lived, what age they were. But that is not important, all I know that none of them deserved to be treated like subhuman, none of them deserved the be murdered, none of their futures should have been stolen from them. What they deserve now is to be remembered and for all is us to work hard to avoid something like the Holocaust happening again.
One thing that never should be said about children is “Reached the age of..” Yet this did apply to so many children who were murdered during the Holocaust. Everyone who was murdered during that time was innocent.
1.5 million children were killed. 1.5 million human being who never were allowed to blossom into you men and women. Murdered because they were Jewish, Roma or disabled. The though just sickens me.
The number is just unfathomable, but to put it in some sort of perspective, the world’s biggest stadium is Rungrado 1st of May Stadium,in Pyongyang, North Korea. It can hold up to 150,000 people, which is only the equivalent of 10% of all the children murdered during the Holocaust.
I am not able to name all those children, it would take me several live times to do so. Therefore I am just going to remember a few in this blog. Young people who only reached the age of…
The picture above is of Jonas Wallage who reached the age of 13, and of his brother Hartog Wallace who reached the age of 8. Both boys were murdered in Auschwitz.
Hanna Maria Steinbock, reached the age of 8. Murdered in Sobibor
Esther Frederika Polak, reached the age of 5. Was murdered in Auschwitz.
Marcel Alter, reached the age of 5. Was murdered in Auschwitz.
My fear is that these kids will be forgotten because of politics. It was politics that murdered them in the first place, and now it is politics that is trying to erase their memories.
Either by complete denial or by people who get offended that they are reminded that these children were killed in their country.
I will do my best to keep their memories alive. I hope you do your bit by sharing their stories and help to fight any sort of Holocaust denial.