Colombine High school Shooting April 20,1999.

It is hard to believe it has been 23 years ago since the Columbine High School massacre happened.

On April 20,1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

So many articles have been written about it and books full of analysis have been published about it. Rather then going into the lives of the 2 killers, maybe it is a better ideas at this stage to read the experiences of the mother of one of the killers.

Sue Klebold’s son, Dylan, and his friend, Eric Harris, killed 13 people at Columbine high school. Sue is still haunted by one question: is there anything she could have done?

“I can be in a doctor’s waiting room and still hope they call me by my first name, rather than shout out Mrs Klebold. Every time I meet someone and give my name, there’s a moment of hesitancy where I watch their face very closely. They may say, ‘Gee, why does that sound so familiar?’”

In these cases the assumption is made in the aftermath of a shooting that the fault must lie predominantly with the parents – or, rather, with the mother. “A mother is supposed to know,” Klebold says.

Sue Klebold worked in the same building as a parole office, and often felt alienated and frightened getting in the elevator with ex-convicts. After Columbine, she writes, “I felt that they were just like my son. That they were just people who, for some reason, had made an awful choice and were thrown into a terrible, despairing situation. When I hear about terrorists in the news, I think, ‘That’s somebody’s kid.’ “

Recalling the day her son was buried, Ms Klebold said he was laid to rest in a cardboard box, and broke down into floods of tears.She was desperate to understand what drove her son to commit such an atrocious crime.

“He was just there in a cardboard box and they allowed us each to have a few minutes with him. What I remember doing was just wanting to crawl in that casket with him, he was so cold I just kept thinking, I’ve got to get him warm, I just wanted him to be warm.

“I said out loud, ‘Darling help me understand what happened, that’s all I want to understand’. And I didn’t realise until this very moment that did became my life mission, I hope Dylan has helped me understand because that’s what I’ve been seeking for 20 years, was understanding.”

Sue remembered the moment she was told that her son was one of the shooters, admitting that she prayed for her son to die after finding out he had hurt so many people.

“I got home and before long a SWAT team got there and a detective and it was just craziness. They were saying 25 people were dead and I remember thinking at one point, if Dylan is really hurting people the way they’re saying he is – I prayed that he would die.”

For months Sue was in denial about what her her son had done: “They said the boys did all these terrible things. Not only killed and hurt people, but that they would say awful racist things and sadistic things and I just shut that out of my mind. I thought, Dylan would not say anything like that. They had got so much information wrong about Dylan and our family, that I settled into the belief system that they were wrong about what Dylan did.”

“We like to feel that something like that could never happen to us. It can happen to someone else, it can’t happen to us. And that’s why I think so many people get comfort from vilifying the parents of shooters, because it makes them feel safer. I understand; but one of the frightening things about this reality is that people who have family members who do things like this are just like the rest of us. I’ve met several mums of mass shooters, and they are as sweet and nice as they can be. You wouldn’t know, if you saw all of us in a room, what brought us together.”

It took Sue six months to fully acknowledge the extent of her son’s crimes, with police having to show Sue evidence that proved the massacre was premeditated.

“For the first time I got it,’ Sue said. ‘I saw it was planned, I saw video tapes they had made, I saw Dylan in a way I had never seen him before, they were talking about what they were going to do, it showed him with weapons. It was horrifying to see him in that mode. I had been grieving so much for this lost previous child and remembering who he was and that was the point I realised who he was to the rest of the world, everything died in my world, God died, my belief in truth in what my family was.”

After the murders at Columbine, the Klebold family issued a statement through their attorney, expressing condolences to the victims families, and in May 1999, she wrote personal letters to both the families of those killed and survivors who were injured, expressing similar sentiments. The Klebold family initially refused to believe Dylan’s involvement in the massacre, but in an interview with Andrew Solomon, Sue Klebold stated that “seeing those videos was as traumatic as the original event […] Everything I had refused to believe was true. Dylan was a willing participant and the massacre was not a spontaneous impulse.”

In 2016, Sue published ‘A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy’ She donated the profits from her book to mental health charities, research, and suicide prevention, toward the goal of helping parents and professionals find more ways to detect and treat signs of mental distress.

sources

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9769349/Mother-Dylan-Klebold-breaks-recalls-funeral-son.html

https://www.britannica.com/event/Columbine-High-School-shootings

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/14/mother-supposed-know-son-columbine-sue-klebold

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Happy Birthday Simon Herman van den Bergh

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.

source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/224924/simon-herman-van-den-bergh

The shoe of a boy-The story of murder.

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.

sources

https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/identity-of-child-murdered-in-auschwitz-found-scrawled-inside-old-shoe-14295

http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/news/little-shoe-and-suitcase-the-story-of-amos-steinberg-continues-,1446.html

https://www.timesofisrael.com/note-in-murdered-boys-shoe-lets-auschwitz-museum-match-with-fathers-briefcase/

https://www.foxnews.com/science/auschwitz-discovery-childrens-shoes

How a 1991 murder connected me to Peter R de Vries

This is probably my most personal blog. I will not mention the names of the people involved, but I don’t think knowing the names is actually relevant.

On June 13.1991 the partially covered body of 18 year old Jessica R was found near a dump in Bergen op Zoom, in the province of Noord Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. The young girl had been murdered on the 12th of June.

At that stage I had never heard of any of the people in relation to this story. The name Peter R de Vries did ring a bell because of the kidnap case of Freddy Heineken, but that was about it.

The following day on June 14,1991 I was actually at my mother’s wedding.

She married my stepfather that day.

Fast forward to 1996 . Peter R de Vries covers the case of Jessica on his TV show. A reconstruction is shown, and also some witnesses are interviewed. One witness says she knows who killed Jessica. She describes a man, and jokingly I tell me wife that this sound like a person we both know.

A few weeks later we get a call from the Noord Brabant Police force, they wanted to have a chat with us. The following day, 2 investigators call to our apartment. Obviously we knew it was serious, the 2 cops had to drive close to 2 hours to get to us. They advised us they arrested a man ,who was very near and dear to us, in relation to the Jessica R case. The irony is, it was the man I jokingly had referred to while watching the Peter R de Vries show. The cops asked us about the man, what kind of man he was. We both said he wouldn’t harm a fly leave alone brutally murder a girl.

After a few weeks he was released because the DNA proved it wasn’t him. However this ordeal had a major impact on his life, and a few years later he died of a heart attack, he was still a young man when he died.

The witness who had identified him as a suspect in the show, was an ex girlfriend of him, who had a grudge to bear.

I sent Peter R de Vries an email afterwards and told him the Jessica R case had claimed a second victim, our friend who was also a member of the family. I told Peter that his researchers messed up and believed the words of a vindictive ex girlfriend.

To be honest I didn’t think anything would come from my email. However to my surprise, during a business trip in Munich, I received a call from Peter. We had a good and frank chat about the case which lasted for about 30 minutes or so.

A few weeks later he also wrote an apology to the family in Panorama magazine, a Dutch current affair magazine.

Apparently there had been several suspects in the case, including the Father and Brother of Jessica R.

The killer was eventually caught in 2003 and was sentenced in 2004.

My connection with Peter R de Vries did not stop there. In 2005 one of my cousins was murdered, and although the Police know who is responsible for the murder, they have no evidence and no arrest has been made as of yet.

In May 2008 I emailed Peter and asked him if he could have a look at the case. He contacted me a few weeks later and told me he would look into the murder of my cousin.

Alas there was not much he could do because of some judicial and legal technicalities. But he did do as much as he could and as far as I am aware his team kept an eye on the case until quite recently.

Peter R de Vries, 64, was shot on Tuesday, July 6, after leaving a TV studio in Amsterdam. Three men were arrested, but police say one is no longer a suspect.

Peter R de Vries died of his injuries July 15.

Rust in Vrede Peter.

Rest in Peace.

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

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 uncomfortable. I want you to sit down for 5 minutes and look at the picture of Klara 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 was 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

I am

eva

I am a child

I am innocent

I am a daughter.

I am a primary school pupil

I am a young girl.

I am a human being

I am human

I am a child with a whole future ahead of herself

I am a potential future painter,decorator,dentist, neurosurgeon,homemaker,artist,musician,dancer,actress, virologist, someone who finds the cure for cancer, a mother, wife,girlfriend, I am all that and more.

I am a product of love

I am someone hated by an evil regime.

I am someone who was murdered ,maybe by someone who had a daughter the same age as me.

I am murdered by someone who maybe goes to church every sunday and prays to the same god tat I believe in ut in a different way.

I am murdered in Auschwitz in a gas chamber as are my parents.

I am Eva Gersch aged 7 or 8, daughter Rudolph Gersch and Elisabeth Grunfeld Gersch.

I am

 

 

 

There is no place for hate in this world.

ivan

You killing me did not stop your hate. Hate is like a disease, a cancer, it eats on you bit by bit , the more you hate the sicker you get. Hate is like a tumout in your head,it drives you insane. Up to the point that you don’t even realize anymore that killing an 8 months old baby is an act of depravity.

I am Ivan Rozenbaum , born in Romania. I was 8 months young when you killed me in Auschwitz. Your hate died with you but the love for me grew stronger each day.

When people see my face they are equally amused and saddened. Amused because who doesn’t smile when they see the innocence of an infant. Saddened because they cannot comprehend the hate that killed me.

J am Ivan Rozenbaum, for ever remembered as a product of love between 2 people.

Don’t you realize that your birth was a result of an act of love. If there had been no love, there had been no you. Yet you wasted your time and energy with hate.

You should have spent your time learning about me and my people. We did not ask for you to become like us, all we wanted was for you to respect and except us. We will never become special by being the same, it is our differences that makes us special. But your hate stopped you seeing this. Your color was black and white and you missed out on all those colours in between.

Do I feel sorry for you? No! I pity you and the pathetic ideology you followed. An ideology based on hate. If you had only had the epiphany that Love is the strongest weapon you have, yet you never used it.

I am Ivan Rozenbaum and it saddens me that so many decades after my murder, some people still are not able to use that powerful weapon called love.

There is no place for hate in this world. But alas there are those who are so eager to create some space for hate. But hate will never win. It might win a few battles but never the war.

 

The Murder of a perfect child

Bernhard Leo

Dear little boy , you are perfect in every aspect . Even your imperfect hair is perfect.

Imperfect and perfect in one sentence is a paradox.

A paradox is what you are because you were hated event though all you gave was love.

It is said that the eyes are the portals to the soul and in your eyes I see perfect love.

Dear little boy your are perfect in every way because there are no imperfect 2 year old’s.

Jacob Loisstraat 12 a, Rotterdam a random address but to you it was the perfect place for it was your home.

Alas your home was not the safe place that every child deserves. Nit because you had a bad family.

No, they loved you for nearly 800 days and each day was perfect because you were in it.

Your home wasn’t safe for one reason only, hate.

Hate by those who didn’t even know you

Hate by those who children of 800 days themselves, so they should know you were perfect.

But their hate made them blind

Dear little boy your are perfect, you were Bernard Leo Laden age 2. Murdered by hate in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Dear little boy your are perfect, to me you shall always be perfect, may you rest in perfect peace.

 

Source

Joods Mounument

 

 

 

 

I have two arms

Child

I have two arms and two legs

I have two eyes and two hands

I have a nose and two ears.

When I am happy , I laugh.

When I am sad, I cry.

When I am in pain, it hurts.

My blood is red.

My body temperature is about 37 degrees Celsius.

I eat when I am hungry and I drink when I am thirsty.

I need air to breathe.

I go to sleep when I am tired.

When I close my eyes I see nothing

So please tell me is there anything in this, that makes me different from you?

I am Regina Bertha Blein, aged 4.

I was killed in Sobibor even though I am the same as you.

 

 

 

My smile offends you!

smile

My smile offends you, and when I see your eyes I see hate.

I see hate although I do not know what hate is. It is a word people around me use.

I have no notion of the concept of hate, I am only 22 months old.

All I know is love.

My smile offends you!

But I smile because I see another human being in front of me, for I smile to everyone.

I don’t see the monster you really are,because monsters only live in nightmares, don’t they?

You are like me, the same skin, the same organs,the same teeth.

You bleed like I do.You sneeze like I do.

When you don’t eat, you die.

When you don’t drink, you die.

When you don’t breathe, you die.

When I smile, I die.

Because my smile offends you.

I am Ishtvan Blankennberg/I was killed in Auschwitz on May 21 1944. I was not yet 2.

Remember my smile for I don’t want it to offend you.