Born in Westerbork

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, northeastern Netherland.[ 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.

sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1066255

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Seeing takes a second- The thoughts will last forever.

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 is was on my way to the Covid 19 vaccination centre.

That particular 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 I 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.

sources

https://map.stolpersteine.app/en/utrecht/locations/handelstraat-48

https://www.oorlogsgravenstichting.nl/persoon/156474/edith-ullmann-fleischmann#

https://www.oorlogslevens.nl/tijdlijn/Rolf-Dirk-Ullmann/01/36729

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/41302/rolf-dirk-ullmann

When you come back to school, and your classmates are gone.

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.

Source

Reached the age of….

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.

Happy Birthday – Max Henri Lievendag

Dear little Max, what future you may have had?

You’re future was taken awy from you. Murdered for one reason only, you were Jewish.

What breaks my heart is to know that you spend your 3rd birthday in a concentration camp. Camp Westerbork. The day after that birthday you were put on a train heading east , towards Auschwitz.

When I say train I am not talking about a comfortable means of transport , no you were cramped with hundreds of others in a cattle car. The only consolation you had was that your mother was with you.

You were born on this day in 1940 in Den Bosch, the Netherlands , February 22,1940. You were murdered 4 days after your 3rd birthday on February 26,1943. in Auschwitz

I hope you are celebrating your birthday among the stars in heaven.

source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/149666/max-henri-lievendag

Happy Birthday Margherita Berkelij

They say that babies born today will live for 100+ years. This of course can not be said with a 100% certainty, simply for the reason that we don’t know what the future brings.

When Margherita Berkelij was born on February 3,1937 her parents had all reason to believe that Margherita would live a long, fulfilling life.

However they could not look into the future and they could not have possibly predicted that Margherita would only reach the age of 6. Not because she was sick, or was killed by accident. The only reason why she died was because she was Jewish. An occupying force in the Hague, the city where she was born, aided by locals who subscribed to the Nazi ideology made sure that Margherita and her whole family were transported to Sobibor where they all were murdered on May 28,1943.

The above picture is a snippet of a record fro, June 2,1949 of the Dutch ministry of Justice reporting the death of Margherita Berkelij. What is truly disturbing is the full record.

Below is a part of that record it is the people who were murdered in Sobibor. If you want to have some idea, these are only Dutch Jews and it is a record by alphabetical order but only from A to C.

Dear Margherita, wherever you are now. I wish you a happy birthday. There were those who did not want you to live, but there were many more who did not want you to die, I am one of them

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/139763/margherita-berkelij

https://www.openarch.nl/kbd:dc9565a9-ca7a-9d17-2132-98d79e891d0f/en

#WeRemember

On this day in 1945 the Soviet Troops liberated Auschwitz. January 27 is the allocated date by the UN to remember the Holocaust.

But rather then remembering all those millions, who were murdered by an evil ideology and regime by the Nazis, I will focus on just one of those millions.

Ralph Ronald Belinfante would have turned 85 today, he was born on 27 January, but was murdered on October 15, 1944 in Auschwitz aged 8.

This is the timeline of his short life

Born January 27,1936 in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands

18 May 1943 transported to Westerbork, although I am not certain of that date, But is the date on te card above and I believe that is the card used for Westerbork.

February 26,1944 transported from Westerbork to Theresienstadt(Terezin)

October 4,1944 Transported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz

October 15 ,1944 murdered in Auschwitz

But Ralph wasn’t just a person with a timeline, he was a young boy who loved to play with his friends and siblings. A young boy who could have grown up to be a productive member of society, A doctor, a plumber, a sales man, a father, a husband, a grand father an uncle, a friend.

#WeRemember

Sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/150850/ralph-ronald-belinfante

https://www.oorlogslevens.nl/tijdlijn/Ralph-Ronald-Belinfante/02/9184

Moshe Hecht- A cheeky boy

This little cheeky boy is called Moshe Hecht.

I would like to tell you his story. When you Google his name you will see that Moshe Hecht is a singer in a band, the Moshe Hecht band.

However the cheeky boy Moshe Hecht is not that Moshe Hecht.

I would like to tell you that Moshe Hecht grew up to become a successful business man, an award winning entrepeneur. Or that he grew up to become a great surgeon, but he is not that Moshe Hecht. in fact I don’t even know if there is a business man with that name

I perhaps could tell you that Moshe Hecht was a carpenter who fixed the stairs in our house when I was 7 years old, but he is not that man.

However that beautiful cheeky little chap. Moshe Hecht. did not to grow up passed the age of 7. He was murdered in Auschwitz om the 14th of May 1942.

A 7 year old boy who was not allowed to live just because he was Jewish. His life was taken from him, his talents were taken from us, but his smile remains as a reminder to us of his innocence.

Humanity has never really recovered from the Holocaust

I wish I could say that despite the horrors inflicted during the Holocaust, humanity found a way to restore itself.

But I would be lying, because how can we possibly say that, knowing that 1.5 million children were brutally murdered in the most inhumane way.

Children like Greetje Leger who has only become a statistic, containg the data ‘Reached the age of 3 years, born 18 October 1940, Amsterdam- Murdered February 11,1944 Auschwitz.

Like all the other 1.5 million children Greetje was not a statistic but a living human being. Who could have meant so much to humanity. She could have been a mother, grandmother, aunt, nurse, doctor, scientist, plumber, teacher, carpenter, police officer .The list is endless.

Today she should have been celebrating Sinterklaas with her grandchildren or great grandchildren. Her face should have lit up seeing the kids open their presents

However an evil ideology caused her death as a toddler. An ideology that never really went away. it just went dormant for a while and is slowly waking up again.

Klara Boda – A child with 2 fluffy toys.

Klara Boda- just a child

Klara Boda, just a child with 2 fluffy toys.

Klara Boda, just a child who wanted to go to school

Klara Boda, just a child who wanted to be a princess.

Klara Boda, just a child whose live was really not complicated.

Klara Boda, all she needed was love and care.

Klara Boda, just a child who received that love and care from her parents.

Klara Boda,Klara Boda,Klara Boda. I put down the name Klara Boda several times to mke sure it gets ingrained in your mind.

Why?

Because Klara Boda was seen as a threat. This child with two fluffy toys would cause the breakdown of society according to that sick and twisted policy adhered to by the Nazi regime.

Klara Boda was only 5 when she was murdered she didn’t even get the chance to go to school.

I want you to feel uncomfortablw. I want you to sit down for 5 minutes and look at the picture of Klar Boda and her 2 fluffy toys. I want you to realize that it was perfectly legal for this child to be murdered . I want you to even try to fathom that the murder of this child ws probably carried out by someone who may have a child of that age himself or would at least have a niece of that age, yet to him it was perfectly justified to kill Klara.

And if you can fathom that then please tell me. Because I can’t. All I can do is cry because my heart is broken.

There was no reason for Klara to be murdered , nor was there any reason for all the other 1.5 million children to be murdered or any of the millions of adults for that matter. It was all because an idea some people had, an idea that they were superior. A notion that they were a master race. But they were not. They were just evil and indifferent, filled with hate.

Klara Boda born 16 October 1938,Tamási járás, Tolna, Hungary. Murdered July 1944 in Auschwitz.

source

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/199766373/klara-boda