Rita and Sandor Joachim Krammer were both murdered in Auschwitz on October 26, 1942. Rita was born on 5 January 1935 in Groningen, the Netherlands. Her little brother, Sander Joachim, was born on 15 March 1937. Their mother, Regina Krammer-Gunsberger. was born in Deutschkreuz in Austria, and their father Jacob Krammer, in Coevorden. He was a traveling salesman selling jerseys.
An eyewitness and playmate of Rita mentioned that she often played outside in the evenings with Rita and Sandor (who was referred to as “Little Brother”).
When Rita was six years old, her father was put to work in the Kloosterhaar camp near Hardenberg in July 1942. She stands behind Groningen with her mother and her brother. Just three months later—on October 3, 1942, Rita, Sander Joachim, and their mother were deported to Westerbork. On October 26, 1942, they were killed in Auschwitz.
Their father managed to escape the labor camp and went into hiding until the end of the war. Only then he learned what happened to his wife and children. He died in Groningen on September 11, 1987.
Eva and Bram, born in 1932 and 1934, were the children of Hartog Beem and Retje Kannewasser in Leeuwarden. At the end of 1942 and at least until May 1943, Eva and Bram were still in hiding in the Veluwe, at ‘De Zwarte Boer’ near Elspeet. The children were arrested in February 1944 and murdered in Auschwitz on 6 March 1944.
Bram and Eva’s parents, Hartog Beem and Retje Kannewasser, survived the war by going into hiding.
Jansje and Benjamin Pais from Harlingen. The picture was taken shortly before deportation, 1942. Jansje was born in Harlingen on March 31, 1933.Benjamin was born in Harlingen on November 8, 1934.
Both children were murdered on November 23,1943 in Auschwitz.
Frits and Helen Sophie Reindorp, the picture was saved by neighbours, after the family was deported, hoping they could return the picture after the war. Unfortunately no one of the family returned .
Frits Reindorp born in Leeuwarden, 16 October 1934 .Murdered in Auschwitz, 2 November 1942. Helen Sophie Reindorp born in Leeuwarden, 11 May 1936.Murdered in Auschwitz, 2 November 1942.
It was only after I put the pictures together I realised that all these sets of siblings were from Friesland, in the Northwest of the Netherlands. It is the province my maternal grandparents were from. They moved to Limburg in the Southeast of the Netherlands in the late 1920’s. All of those children could have easily been related to me.
Eduard and Alexander Hornemann are two of the 20 Bullenhuser Damm children who were murdered on April 20,1945. I have written about the Bullenhuser Damm children before, but I just want to focus on these 2 brothers now. The reason being , at another time it could have been my boys whose names would have been on that list.
Like Eduard and Alexander’s father, I too worked for Philips at one stage in my life.
Eduard, the elder of the two Hornemann brothers, was born on 1 January, 1933. He was known as Edo in the family. Alexander was born on 31 May 1936 and was nicknamed Lexje. The family were from Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The father, Philip (aka Flip)Carel Hornemann, worked for Philips. After the occupation of the Netherlands by German forces, he and another 100 Jewish colleagues were deployed into a special department of the company. His wife Elisabeth hid on a farm with their son Alexander, whilst Eduard was taken in on another farm. When the Jewish employees of Philips were taken to Vught Concentration camp, Elisabeth Hornemann followed her husband with her two sons.
On August 18, 1943, German troops surrounded the Philips plant in Eindhoven, and arrested all the Jews. Philip Carel Hornemann and the rest of the Jewish employees were sent to Vught, a Dutch concentration camp, where they were put to work in a Philips operation that employed over 3,000 of the prisoners.
The Philips workers received extra rations and were given the special privilege of living together with their wives and children. When a Philips Corporation representative told Alexander’s mother that the company could guarantee her family’s safety only if she joined her husband in the camp, she felt that she had no choice but to go.
But prior to that their lives had already been interrupted. In 1942 the family lived in the Staringstraat in Eindhoven. The Nazis them to move to Gagelstraat, because they have to make way for a Nazi-minded family.
On June 3, 1944, the Hornemanns were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland. The 2 boys remained with their mother and were sent to the women’s barracks. Conditions in the camp were horrendous. There was little food, and disease was rampant. Alexander’s mother contracted typhoid fever three months after their arrival, and died soon after. Philip died from exhaustion on transport to another camp.
Kurt Heissmeyer was a SS physician and the nephew of the senior SS officer August Heissmeyer. He was working to obtain his Professorship, which required original research.
Although previously research was dismissed ,Heissmeyer’s hypothesis was that injecting of live tuberculosis bacilli into subjects , the bacilli would function as a vaccine. Another aspect of his experiment was based on the Nazi racial theory that race played a factor in developing tuberculosis. By proving his theory he injected live tuberculosis bacilli into the lungs and bloodstream of 20 Jewish children, at the Neuengamme concentration camp. These were the 20 children selected by Joseph Mengele, amongst them were the 2 Hornemann boys. Eduard and Alexander Hornemann were brought to Neuengamme Concentration Camp on 28 November 1944.
On April 20, 1945, the children are taken to the abandoned Bullenhuser Schule. They were cheerful, happy to get out of the camp. The children were given a morphine injection that evening. Just before the injection, they were that they will be “put to bed quickly”. That night, all twenty children were killed by hanging in the basement of the Bullenhuser Schule.
On April 20, 1945, the British were less than three miles from the camp
“I don’t think that camp inmates are worth the same as people,” said 61-year-old Kurt Heissmeyer on June 21, 1966. “Why didn’t you use laboratory animals?” is the question he is asked. “Because there is no difference between laboratory animals and humans”, replies Heissmeyer. He then corrected himself: “Between laboratory animals and Jews”
The most beautiful announcement any parent can make, is the announcement of the birth of a child.
Mary Louise van der Horst-Beerenborg and Abraham Arthur van der Horst. must have been so proud when they put a notification in the Jewish weeklu(Het Joodsche Weekblad) on September 4.1942 that their son Hartog was born on August 29,1942 in the Hague, the Netherlands.
But from conception to death took only 18 months for Hartog. He was murdered aged 9 months, on June 7,1943 in Westerbork.
All that is recorded of Hartog is the newspaper notification and the notification of his death.
Both his parents were murdered just over a month later on July 16,1943 in Sobibor.
I wish I could write a biography of these 3 murdered children, but I can’t. They didn’t live long enough to have a whole lot of details. In fact most of their lives could be written down on a small registration card.The one thing they have in common they were all murdered on May 20,1943.
I know there will be people who will argue that these children were not murdered, but they died. These kid were forcibly taken from the safety of their homes, they were mistreated and put in a horrible place. To me that constitutes murder.
Mindel Altman, was the oldest of the 3. She was born on April 16,1942.She was murdered on 20 May 1943 in Westerbork transit camp and was cremated on 21 May 1943.
The urn with her ashes was placed at the Jewish cemetery in Diemen on field U, row 5, grave no. 24.
José Velleman’s parents Benedictus and Rebekka were married on 14-12-1938 in Amsterdam. The young family settled on 20th of December 1938 at the address Jodenbreestraat 24, 3-hoog. Rebekka’s parents live a few houses away, at number 35. In the years before the war, Benedictus was a market trader. From April 1939 he sold stockings on the Waterlooplein market. Their son José was born on April 28, 1942. Benedictus then managed to get a job at the Jewish Council,
In February 1943 disaster struck for the young family. On 24-02-1943 they are deported to camp Vught. From there on 04-05-1943 Benedict is forced to work in the Aussenkommando Moerdijk. Shortly afterwards, Rebekka and José are deported to camp Westerbork, on May 8,1943. A day later . On 09-05-1943 they are registered in Westerbork. A few weeks later, on May 20-1943, young José is murdered in Westerbork, aged 2.
Judith van Sister, is the youngest of the 3, she was only 10 months old when she was murdered. She was born on July 16,1942.
It is hard, if not impossible, to define what the most evil crime was during the Holocaust. It is not like there is a gradient scale you can apply. Without a doubt though the murder of children was among the most heinous of acts.
One especially comes to mind. On April 20,1945, on the 56th birthday of Adolf Hitler, 18 days before the end of the war in Europe.
At that time, 20 Jewish children who had been living in Neuengamme Concentration Camp outside Hamburg.Aged between five and 12 years. Ten girls and ten boys, including two pairs of siblings. For months, the SS doctor Kurt Heißmeyer has been maltreating them as test objects for medical experiments: he had injected live tuberculosis bacilli under their skin and used probes to introduce them into the lungs. These 20 children and 4 adult supervisors were sent to the Bullenhuser Damm subcamp, a disused school building.
Alfred Trzebinski was a Polish(a Polish history website states that the Trzebinski family belonged to the nobility of greater Poland) assistant physician at Auschwitz, Neuengamme and Madjanek concentration camp. Together with Kurt Heissmeyer and Arnold Strippel, he was held responsible for the murder of twenty Jewish children in the Bullenhuser Schule.
On the night of 20 April 1945, Trzebinski injected morphine into the children (to sedate them) after which they were hanged in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school.
After the war he tried to go underground, but was arrested on 1 February 1946 and sentenced to death in the Curio-Haus trial. During his trial he confessed in quite an arrogant maner, saying, “If I had acted as a hero the children might have died a little later, but their fate could no longer be averted” and admitted “you cannot execute children, you can only murder them” but they were “only” Jews. Trzebinski was executed by hanging on 8 October 1946 by Albert Pierrepoint at Hamelin prison.
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Every time when I look at a picture of a young Holocaust victim, I get this uncomfortable feeling, and even feel physically unwell. But that is a miniscule price to pay to ensure that they are remembered, not as just a number or statistic, but as a human being. Made from flesh and blood, a product of love.
Beatrix Romijn was such a human being. Born in Amsterdam, on the 19th of April 1941.Murdered in Auschwitz on the 2nd of August 1942. She reached the age of 1 years.
She hardly ever experienced what it felt like to play with a toy. She never got to do that typical Dutch thing of riding a bike.
On July 31, 1943 she was deported to Auschwitz together with her parents. In total there were 1002 human beings on that transport. 54% male,46% female.
I don’t know if this is true but I believe it is safe to presume that Beatrix was named after the Dutch Crown Princess at the time .
Beatrix and her Mother, Bertha Romijn-Kool, were murdered on August 2nd 1942 in Auschwitz. 194 Dutch Jews were murdered that day in Auschwitz.
Bertha Romijn-Kool, born in Amsterdam, on the 16th of November 1913. Murdered in Auschwitz, on the 2nd of August 1942. Reached the age of 28 years.
Beatrix’s Father ,Philip Romijn, born in Amsterdam, on the 29th of December 1912. Murdered in Auschwitz, on the 22nd of September 1942. Reached the age of 29 years, occupation: Diamond worker.
Robert Bierman was murdered on July 18, 1942 in Auschwitz, he was 4 years old. I could have done a piece on his sister ,Francisca, who was also murdered on July 18, 1942. She was aged 6.
The reason why I picked Robert because it is his birthday today. He was born in Amsterdam on April 13,1938. He would have been 88 today.
I probably could have found out more about Robert, but I have reached a point where my heart just no longer can take it, He was perceived by the Nazis as an enemy of the state. Below are just some pictures of this 4 year old enemy of the state.
With his sister Francisca and mother Marianne Bierman-Trijbetz.
With his big sister Francisca, who is skillfully driving him around the garden.
Brother and sister relaxing in the sun.
A proud father ,Herman Eduard Bierman, and his daughter Francisca and infant baby boy Robert, their lives were still safe when that picture was taken,
Herman Eduard Bierman was murdered on August 1,1942 in Auschwitz.
Marianne Bierman-Trijbetz was murdered on the same date as her children, July 18,1942.
For some reason this one had a greater impact on me than others. Perhaps it is because I could have been Robert if I had been born 30 years earlier .
You are telling the world that you have carried out this military mission in the Ukraine, to protect its citizens, to rid it of Nazis. However you have not fully explained to us what you consider to be Nazis.
I would love it of you could just clarify that matter to a simpleton like me. When you say Nazi, are you referring to the Ukraine’s Jewish president whose grandfather barely survived the Holocaust?
Or were you perhaps referring to the 10 year old school girl Polina, who was murdered on your orders?
Maybe it is the 2 year old Shpak who was murdered during a shelling ordered by you. Was he that Nazi you were referring to? Is that the type of funerals you want to see more in the Ukraine to achieve your goals?
Dear Comrade Putin, if you can’t explain it to me may you can explain it to Oleh,Shpak’s Father? Because he asked “I don’t know if there is a God. What is this all for? For what?”
Dear Comrade Putin, your actions look a lot like that of a nationalised German Austrian, he also said in the 1930’s that he wanted to liberated the people in the Sudeten land and Poland. But he was a Nazi, So are you perhaps a Nazi, Comrade Putin? If so, the only thing for you to do to rid the Ukraine from Nazis is by withdrawing your troops.
Perhaps that isn’t your goal. Perhaps you long to the Russia of the days of yore? Where it was still part of the USSR and maybe you want to rule like Czar Nicholas once did. Maybe you want to become the new USSczaR.
If you ask me that is what you want to be. But people will not remember you as a Czar. They will see you like cowards such as Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. That is what you real legacy will be.
Is that what you really want? It is not too late yet, you can still change that.
There are times when I am so eager to tell the story of one of the Holocaust victims.
But then there are times. like today, where I am happy that I don’t know anything more then just the name of a child. Because I know it would have broken my heart in millions of pieces.
Sara Barmhartigheid would have been 80 today, but she was murdered in Auschwitz on October 5,1942, not even 7 months old. That she was murdered at such a young age was truly awful but what compounds this tragedy is her last name. Barmhartigheid means compassion in Dutch. The Compassion child born in Amsterdam, was murdered without compassion in Auschwitz.