Happy Birthday Leonard Samuel van Esso

Dr. Maria Montessori once said “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”

The picture above is of a Montessori school in Amsterdam, it was taken in 1937.

Leonard Samuel van Esso was one if that school’s pupils. He was born 20 March 1936 in Amsterdam. He would have been 85 today, but he didn’t even get to celebrate his 7th birthday because he was murdered 15 days short of that day. He was murdered in Sobibor on March 5 1943, alongside his parents and older sister.

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”

The regime that sent him to Sobibor did not see him as a human being, nor did they gave him the respect he was due by reason of his innocence and greater possibility of his future.

It would be easy for me to say it was the Germans who murdered him, and I wouldn’t be wrong, but as in many other crimes there were accomplices and enablers. They made not have been in uniform, they could have been behind a desk, getting the paper work ready.

No respect was shown to any of 1.5 million children who were brutally murdered. Leonard’s ‘crime’ is that he was Jewish. According to the Nazi ideology the blood of the Jews was impure, yet they didn’t mind using the blood taken from Jews in Auschwitz and I presume other camps , for blood transfusions for the wounded soldiers .

Another quote by Maria Montessori is “The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities.”

Whoever got the paperwork ready for Leonard, whoever put him on the train, the drivers who transported him to Sobibor, whoever murdered him , did not only deny Leonard his future , they also denied themselves of a world of hidden possibilities.

There is no pictures I could find of Leonard. The artist Willem Volkersz, created a series of suitcases in memory of holocaust victims. This is Leonard’s suit case.

Dear Leonard wherever you are I hope you have a happy birthday. This article is my present to you. It is there to ensure your name will not be forgotten.

Some of my fellow country men may have forsaken you. I will not.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/169231/leonard-samuel-van-esso

Hans Jack Tannenberg-Just a boy and a teddy bear.

Hans Jack Tannenberg, a boy with a teddy bear. That is basically one of the few things I know about him. I probably could find out more if I would do some more research. But I decided not to because I shouldn’t have to.

This boy should have become a man, a father ,a grandfather .

Every time I do research on one of these innocent young victims, a bit of my heart breaks. I just don’t know how much my heart can still take.

Hans Jack Tannenberg, a boy with a teddy bear. Born Amsterdam, 16 July 1934. Murdered Sobibor, 9 July 1943 a week before his 9th birthday, even that was taken away from him.

Hans Jack Tannenberg, a boy with a teddy bear. Murdered because he was Jewish. But he wasn’t only murdered he was picked up by somebody, his details were processed by somebody. He was put on the train by somebody, and who knows how many were involved to get a 8 year old from Amsterdam to Sobibor just to be murdered.

Hans Jack Tannenberg, a boy with a teddy bear.

Happy Birthday Joseph Lierens

Born in Amsterdam, 24 February 1936 – Murdered in Auschwitz, 12 August 1942, aged 6.

Why kill a 6 year old boy?

All he wanted was to play with a toy

Why kill a 6 year old boy?

Did that give you joy?

Why kill a 6 year old boy?

Or why would you kill any boy?

Why kill a 6 year old boy?

Why kill a 6 year old boy?

Why kill a 6 year old boy?

I will never be able to fathom why any one would want to Why kill a 6 year old boy?

Dear Joseph, where ever you are in that firmament among the stars. I wish you a happy birthday.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/192317/joseph-lierens

I am Annie

I am Annie Nakache.

My Father,Alfre Nakache was a famous Olympic swimmer. In 1936 he competed in the Berlin Olympic games for France.

In July 1941 he set the world record in the 200 metre breaststroke with a time of 2:36.8.

But his biggest achievement happened on August 12,1941. He became a father that day. A father to me Annie Nakache. I was born in Constantine Algeria.

This strange thing happened though in 1944 , my parents and I were sent to a camp called Auschwitz. My mother and I were murdered there.

I am Annie Nakache, a child of 2 Jewish people one died with me the other one survived,

My dad would win more races after the war but he lost his wife and his daughter Annie Nakache.

I am Annie Nakache. I could have become a famous Olympian ,maybe a footballer.

I am Annie Nakache but an evil regime did not deem me to be worthy of life.

Betraying your neighbours for greed.

fee

War brings out the best and the worst out of people, that is just a fact. It is easy to acknowledge the good but there is often a struggle acknowledging the bad, even to the extent of trying to completely erase it from history.

When it comes to the Holocaust there is no question about it that it was caused by Germany and Austria and their Nazi regimes, however they could never have succeeded without the help of others in the occupied countries, and even from people who were not in occupied countries.

Some collaborators were driven by fear and a sense of self survival but there were some who saw an opportunity to gain from the misery and horrors of others.

In the  Netherlands there were people like Dries Riphagen and Wim Henneicke, who were both members of the Column Henneicke. They would hunt Jews for the SD and SS for a reward of 7.5 Dutch guilders per Jew, which is the equivalent of $50 or €42 today.

Rip Drieshagen would sometimes befriend some of his Jewish victims prior to selling them out to  the Nazis, he would tell  them to give him their valuables and he would save it for them and return it to them after the war. He escaped being captured after the war, He fled to Argentina where he became friendly with Juan and Evita Peron, He died in Montreux,Switzerland on 13 May 1973.

Dries

On November 19, 1940 in Warsaw Poland someone who called himself Ewald Reiman, blackmailed a family he believed was Jewish, threatening to reveal their identity if not paid hush money.

Capture

“”Ladies and Gentlemen.

On the basis of accurate investigation, we have determined the truth about your Semitic origins. In view of the above, we request that you deliver to the bearer of this note the sum of 2,000 zlotys (two thousand zlotys) in a sealed envelope. … In return, we will destroy the incriminating evidence that is in our possession. Otherwise, we will immediately hand over the evidence to the German authorities.”

These type of  blackmailers made life extremely difficult  for Jews who had false identification documents enabling them to hide in plain sight and evade German orders to move into ghettos.

The Nazi regime often drew upon some Polish agencies, such as Polish police forces and railroad personnel, in the guarding of ghettos and the deportation of Jews to the killing centers. Individual Poles often helped in the identification, denunciation, and hunting down of Jews in hiding, often profiting from the associated blackmail, and actively participated in the plunder of Jewish property.

But this wasn’t only the case in Poland but in most of occupied Europe.

I know that I will get a lot of comments and emails about me suggesting there was even one Polish collaborator, but I am basing my research on facts and research of historians.

It is such a pity that so many ,mainly former Eastern European communist countries are trying to whitewash their Holocaust history. To suit their own narrative but it is an insult to all the victims Jewish and Non Jewish. It is also not necessary . No one will accuse or judge anyone born after the war or those who were still children during the war for the sins of their parents,grandparents and great grandparents. In fact most people will think it is courageous when you face up to a part of a darker part of history .

However people will judge you for denying or trying to erase that part of history rather then highlighting it and learning from it. You owe to the victims and future generations to face up to all aspects of your history.

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Sources

http://somewereneighbors.ushmm.org/#/exhibitions/neighbors/un860/description

https://apnews.com/9eb9502f00724a50aeb33082ff7ce692

https://www.timesofisrael.com/poland-honors-world-war-ii-group-that-collaborated-with-nazis/

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/poland-s-holocaust-law-is-a-licence-to-whitewash-history-1.3383516

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/02/yes-some-poles-were-nazi-collaborators-the-polish-parliament-is-trying-to-legislate-that-away/

 

My letter to Henio Zytomirski

Henio

Henio Zytomirski was a 9 year old boy who was gassed at Majdanek concentration camp in Poland , on November 9 1942.

In 2005 a project was started in Lubin ,Poland, called ‘Letters to Henio. Each year on April 19 ,which is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Poland, pupils and citizens of Lublin are asked to send letters addressed to Henio Zytomirski at 11th Kowalska Street, the last known address of Henio in Lublin.

Although it is not the 19th of April today I still will send him a letter via this blog. It is not only a letter to Henio but also an indictment to those who want to silence people like me. People who desperately want to keep the memory of Henio ,and all the other victims alive, But often they are met by threats of those who take pleasure in the Holocaust and/or deny it, Or are threatened by history revisionists who lack the bravery and dignity to admit their nation made many mistakes, they rather sweep it under the carpet.More disturbingly they are being ridiculed by so called Holocaust scholars, not because they are telling untruths , but because they choose a different word then these so called scholars would and they start a war of semantics not realizing how much damage that does because it distracts from the message. The message of maintaining the memories alive , the memories like those of Henio.

My Letter to Henio

Dear Hennio,

I should not have to send you a letter. In fact I should not even know your name. You really should have lived a mundane or even boring life. Or perhaps a very exciting life but you didn’t.

You never got the chance to grow up . You were born 25 March 1933 and murdered in a most brutal way on November 9 1942. You were just 9 years old when you were killed.

Your life was taken from you but your memory isn’t.

Nowadays you would probably have been called an ‘influencer’ because you have several social media accounts with a great number of followers. But if I look at some of the pages dedicated to you I get sad, because they are using you as a way to get some political message across.

You were not a politician, How could you have been? You were only 9. All I want to do is to show your picture and a few details of your life so that people remember your name, and maybe they will even try to find out more about you, and that is good, because that means a piece of you is still alive.

There are some who want to stop me from telling your story and that of other children, but I won’t let them, Because these people have nothing to contribute to society.

If my day comes and I hope that won’t be any day soon, and I pass through I pass through the pearly gates,if I am allowed, I will look you up and we will talk then.

For now my young friend rest in peace in the knowledge you are not forgotten.

The parallel universe that was Auschwitz.

FUN

If you wouldn’t know the wider context of the picture, you would smile at it and think” a lovely picture of young people in the military enjoying themselves”.

And that is exactly what they did , they did enjoy themselves. However this weren’t just some random service men and women. These men and women all had a part to play in the industrial murder of innocent men,women and children, sometimes even newborn babies.

These men and women were all officers and guards of the Auschwitz concentration camp. This photo and others were taken by Karl Hoecker arrived at Auschwitz on May 25, 1944. He was adjutant to Richard Baer, who was a commandant of Auschwitz I concentration camp from May 1944 to December 1944.

karl

Prior to Auschwitz he worked in Majdanek . Majadenke Camp records showed that between May 1943 and May 1944 Höcker had acquired at least 3,610 kilograms of Zyklon B  for use in Majdanek from the Hamburg firm of Tesch & Stabenow.

People often ask me what pictures do I find I most disturbing from the Holocaust. It is not the pictures of children, although they churn my stomach every time I see them. Nor is it the pictures of the heaps of bodies piled on top of each other . It is the pictures like the ones from the Höcker album, which show such an apparent parallel universe that existed in Auschwitz and the sheer evil of people enjoying themselves after work , when they would have been responsible or at least witnessed at first hand, the destruction of so many innocent  lives, only because of hate fueled by a sick ideology.

Some of these men and women had children themselves, yet they did not hesitate killing children of other parents. As if the lives of Jews and other groups just didn’t matter.

kids

singing

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This is how close the Holocaust still is.

no5

May 10, 2020 is Mother’s Day in most countries, with only a few exceptions like the UK and Ireland who had it on March 22. May 10 1943 is the date when one Jewish Mother and Grandmother was killed at Westerbork, aged 83. Her name was  Jeanette Meyer-Cahn, wife and  widow of Daniel Meyer. Daniel had died on 10 March 1941 in Geleen, the Netherlands.

Although Jeanette was originally from Leutesdorf, near Koblenz in Germany in 1938 Jeanette, Daniel and their youngest child, Max, and his in laws, the Kaufmann family moved to the Netherlands, initially to Sittard and on June 21,1939 to neighbouring Geleen. The address Jeanette and Daniel moved to was Graaf Huynlaan 5. The picture above is of that address. This is where suddenly the Holocaust comes very near to me again.

Not only passed I by that address a lot, because it was actually in the city centre, I even bought sunglasses a few times in the sunglasses shop right next to the house. It is also in the direct vicinity of the bank, ABN AMRO where I had an account, and in fact still have, but also my favourite restaurant, Akropolis, as the name suggest a Greek restaurant.

graaf

It was also near a bistro, named ‘t Wittebroodje, which served a great French onion soup.

Jeanette and Daniel had 5 children Walter, Rosa, Mathilde, Leo en Max Meyer, and 2 grand children Erich Meyer and Bruno Nathan(picture below)

btuno Walter was killed in WWI during the battle of Verdun. Leo and his wife had emigrated to South America in the 1930’s.

On August 25, 1942 Max and his wife Berta reported to the Market in Geleen, from there they are first deported to Maastricht and then to Poland via Westerbork, where in Poland they ended up isn’t clear. All we know is that they did not survive.

Jeanette’s 2 daughters and grandsons were all killed during the Holocaust.

Jeanette died  on 10 May 1943 in Westerbork transit camp, due to illness and exhaustion and she was cremated on 12 May 1943. The urn with her ashes was placed on the Jewish cemetery on field U, row 6, grave nr. 6.

Only Leo survived the war.

The war may have ended 75 year ago and with it also the Holocaust, it is a fact that decades on people like me can still find a connection with it.

REMEMBER ALWAYS

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

https://www.stolpersteinesittardgeleen.nl/Slachtoffers/Jeanette-Meyer-Cahn

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/514769/about-jeanette-meyer-cahn

Women in Auschwitz

women

On March 26, 1942, close to 1000  women were taken from the Ravensbrück concentration camp to Auschwitz, mots of them were deemed “criminals” and “a-socials”.Only a few hours later,  yet another transport arrived. Again, it was made up of almost 1000 Jewish women from Slovakia. It would be first transport of women to  Auschwitz.

Rather then going into the details of this event I will focus on 4 eye witness accounts of women who survived the Holocaust.

Laura Varon on the experience when she first arrived in Auschwitz

“They opened the doors, the squeaking doors… and a little bit of air came… When we arrived in Auschwitz, we were already numb: the bones, the legs were not moving anymore. Two men in striped uniforms, because they heard us speaking Ladino, they told us in Ladino, ‘We are Greeks from Saloniki. Give the children to the old people,’ they told us. Again, we didn’t [understand] what this meant. How can you understand, ‘Give the children to the old people?’ And then they were afraid to talk to us and that’s all, ‘Give the children to the old people.'”

Feige Serl-Lax  on her arrival in Auschwitz

“…And then we were in Auschwitz and then they opened the door, the Polish Jewish boys come… They were there… a long time. And he sees my sister, [she] was a beauty. He said, ‘You have children?’ She said, ‘Yes. Two children.’ And in that manner he said, ‘Let the children go left and you two go right.’ I take out the child and my sister takes out [the other child] and we don’t let him. We come in the line to Mengele. That Polish man that I didn’t want to release the child to, then he comes and takes the child from me and pushes me to the right… and he wants to take from my sister, also the little boy… Mengele was angry and told my sister to go left. I never saw]her again. That was the last time.”

Yehudit Rubinstein on her experiences

“…They sent us… to the bathhouse. So there the first order we got: Everything off. We just couldn’t believe what we heard: to take off everything, take off clothes, everything, pins from your hair, everything out. We were uncomfortable, the first time in my life I was in public, undressing in front of men, coming in and out, then we understood that nothing will help us, so we had to undress, and they called ‘Who is a hairdresser?’ …So one woman whom I knew as a young girl from my town, she was a hairdresser, so step by step with the scissors and with their machine started to cut the hair, other parts, everywhere, private parts, before we turned around under the shower, opened the water before we had a chance to wet ourselves: ‘Raus’ , they gave us this gray uniform, and just our shoes – the lot of us were holding on to their shoes, put on their shoes, bare naked and nothing on them and out in the garden, out in front of the bathhouse.

shaven

Lea Kahana-Grunwald recalled her memories if a pregnant woman.

“A girl came in. She came in with her mother. She was pregnant and he overlooked it, Mengele. He didn’t notice. It was a young girl, a young person. The first child. She wasn’t so big. She had the child on the bunk, without any help. The mother was with her and I suppose the staff helped her through it… I don’t know what they did with the child, whether they burned it or what. She gave birth and she had to stand next morning at roll call. She survived. The child was killed. How they killed it I don’t know the details, but I knew the girl. She was from my town and she got married a few months earlier. That was her first pregnancy, her first child.”

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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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Source

Yad Vashem

 

Auschwitz- Some forgotten facts.

AUSCHWITZ

Prisoners in Auschwitz were given a number which was tattooed on their arm. Marking people with a number makes it easier to treat them as objects rather then human beings. However not everyone got a number, there were occasions where they ran out of ink.

More people were killed in Auschwitz then the combined total  WWII military casualties of the US,UK and Canada. An estimated 1.1 million were murdered in Auschwitz. 845.800 UK/US and Canadian troops were killed during all of WWII .

A Star of David was placed above the entrance to the gas chamber and a sign was painted in Hebrew on a purple curtain covering the entrance to the gas chamber that said “This is the Gateway to God. Righteous men will pass through”

Of the estimated 7,500 -8000 guards only 750 were sentenced, and even those sentences were mostly relatively light sentences.

Auschwitz guards had their own athletics team. The camp for the  was like a small town, with its own staff canteen, cinema, theatre and grocery store.

gurads

The Nazis generated a revenue of  60 million Reichmarks, which is today’s equivalent of 163 million USD. from slave labour.

Auschwitz was of course a complex of about 40 camps.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

BBC

http://auschwitz.org/en/