Love is stronger then the fear of death.

Weddimg

I probably could do a whole essay on how Guus van der Wijk and Mina de Vries met, and at some stage I probably will, but for now it suffices to say they were extremely brave people, in fact in my eyes they are heroes.

Despite the knowledge that there was a great chance they would be separated and likely would face death , it did not stop them in declaring their love for each other and copper fasten their love in matrimony, and capture that moment for future generations.

On August 17,1942 arranged in an improvised manner to have a wedding picture taken,in Leeuwarden in the North of th Netherlands. There was no fancy wedding dress or expensive ring. Just ordinary attire, the only indication that it was a festive occasion was the carnation on Mina’s dress.

In less then 3 months later Mina would become a widow,Guus was killed in Auschwitz on November 13,1942.

Mina herself would be killed in Sobibor on March 20,1943.

In death they would be reunited again because their love had no fear of death.

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NIOD

 

You didn’t have to do it.

Gemmi

You didn’t have to do it. You didn’t have to kill me.

You didn’t have to do it, you wanted to.

You didn’t have to do it, but you hated me and didn’t think twice.

You hated me, why?

You hated me, because someone told you to hate me. Were you really that stupid that you couldn’t make up your own mind?

No one could make you love someone you didn’t want to love. Yet they could make you hate someone you didn’t know. A child you didn’t know.

You hated me, but I did not hate you. How could I? I didn’t know you. I got have been a dear friend because that is my name Liebfreund, Dear Friend.

Aren’t you embarrassed that a 9 year old boy knows more then you. A 9  yar old boy whp knows that it is wrong to hate. Because hate turns to anger, anger turns to bitterness, bitterness turns into self pity. It is this self pity that turned you into this pathetic excuse of a human being. Some people call you a monster, but you are not, You are a human being . You are responsible for your actions.

I am Gemmi Liebfreund. I was born on 7 October 1933, in the Hague. I was killed in Sobibor on 13 March 1943.

Lets keep it personal.

Jozua

The biggest group of people who were murdered during the Holocaust were the Jews. An estimated 6 million were killed.

The number of 6 million should have really been zero, because none of these people had done anything wrong, They were only killed because they were Jewish or had been Jewish, there was no other reason.

This may sound strange coming from somebody who writes a lot about the Holocaust but I really don’t care about that number of 6 million. It has become a statistic which often has been disputed and manipulated by people who want to use it for a political agenda. Personally I believe the number is higher.

What I am interested in ,is the personal individual stories.Because that is what each of all the 6 million people were, all unique individual.

People like the Croonenberg family. Their number was 3, a Father-Jacob Croonenberg; a Mother-Elisabeth Croonenberg-Grishaver and a Son Jozua Croonenberg.

Jacob was a Diamond worker in Amsterdam. He reached the age of 35 and was killed on June 11, 1943 in Sobibor.

Elisabeth was a housewife or homemaker in Amsterdam , he reached the age of 34 and was killed on June 11,  1943 in Sobibor.

The lovely smiley boy Jozua, was just that, a lovely beautiful smiley boy. When he was killed on June 11,1943 he had only been 7.

The document at the start of the blog is a questionnaire which was filled in by I presume Jacob.

It asked the names, birth dates and addresses of the family. What I find disturbing is the matter of fact questioning on the form and even more disturbing is the last question, which was left blank.

It asks “Specifics of family members who have already been sent to a camp or to Germany” It is clearly proof that the authorities( in this case Dutch authorities)were well aware of the camps.

In the case of the Croonenbergs there are only 5 numbers that matter. The umber 1 as in one family. The number 3 as in three family members. The numbers,35,34 and 7 as in their ages when they were killed. We should not get distracted by statistics, we should keep the memory of the victims personal.

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Joods Monument

 

Do you dream of me at night?

Henny

Yesterday it would have been my 80th Birthday. Henny Sophia Frank, born on February 23,1939 in Amsterdam. My name is Henny Sophia but people call me Henneke.

But alas I was not allowed to celebrate my 80th birthday. Nor was I allowed to celebrate my 70th or 60th, in fact I wasn’t even allowed to celebrate my 5th birthday.

You see, you killed me in Sobibor when I was 4. All the things I could have been never came to pass. In the end I became a number, a statistic. But I am so more then that.

I am a child who had many dreams, dreams of becoming a teacher, a nurse, a doctor or just simply someone that works in a shop, a boutique where they sell the lastest fashion from Paris and Milan.

My dream were cut short by you and the regime you so admired, a regime of hate and greed.

My dreams were cut short, but do you see me in your dreams?

Do you ever think of me or all the others you killed, the ones you lied to. You told them not to worry, they’d be fine after they had a shower, but they did not get water but death.

Do you ever see my eyes in your dreams? My eyes that only displayed innocence.

I doubt you dream at all.

 

There is nothing more beautiful then the smile of a child.

ema

Being a Parent is the hardest job in the world. The sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the countless times being peed on.Also the worries when your baby has a bit of a temperature, the millions of scenarios of what could go wrong with your child.

But all of that is forgotten the second you see that very first smile. Nothing on this earth is more valuable or could replace its beauty.

A smile so pure and full of innocence and unconditional love, it could melt every one’s heart.

Yet there are those who saw this token of purity and innocence as a threat to their very existence.

The love was answered with hate.

The pureness was answered with filth.

The innocence was answered with death.

How could anyone look at a smiley face like that of Emma Zilverberg and feel compelled and righteous enough to destroy that life?

It breaks my heart to think that the last minutes of this 18 month old girl were filled with pure evil. Evil in its most barbaric, inhumane form.

The really disturbing aspect of this that those who killed her possibly had young children themselves, or may have been an uncle or aunt to a niece or nephew.

Emma Zilverberg was killed in Sobibor she was still a baby. If we forget Emma and all those countless children who died in the Holocaust and other genocides, we will have failed as a society.

 

Source of picture

Ancientfaces.com

 

Your hate will die with you. My love will last.

LUIS KOE

You hate me simply because I am a Jew.

You hate me just because I am not a pure Aryan.

Yet by your own definition I look more Aryan then your leader, the same man who has told you to hate me.

You hate me because you lack the intellectual capacity to recognize that your hate is based on nothing.

You hate me  that’s why it is easy for you to kill me, but you only kill the body that encapsulated the essence of me.

You hate me and you will take that hate in to your grave and your hate will die with you, whereas my soul and love will love forever.

You hate me,  but I am loved by so many

I am Louis Koe I was born on January 3, 1936. I was deported to Sobibor in June 1943 from Vught via Westerbork on the so-called children’s transport. I was murdered  on July 9th, 1943 age 7.

 

Source

Yad Vashem

Joods Museum

 

Cleaning the gas chambers.

Gas

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The Nazis used forced labor to clean the Gas chambers it was done by the so called Sonderkommando’s mostly mad up of Jewish inmates who were selected because they were often young and still reasonably fit, fit enough to carry out physical labour.

Being forced to clean the gas chambers was actually one of the cruelest punishments really , because often those tasked with that awful job had remove their own family members.

The hair of the victims was s shaven  from the heads of corpses straight after their removal from the gas chambers .Human hair was often used in delayed action bombs, where its particular qualities made it highly useful for detonating purposes. Women’s hair was preferred over men’s and children’s , the Nazis running the camps even made a profit from this.After treatment  the hair  was put into twenty-kilogram bales. The bales were sold to German companies at twenty pfennig per kilogram.

hair

It is believed some of the products manufactured  from or containing  hair in those companies may still be in use in German homes today.

In camps like Auschwitz or Sobibor It was the job of the Sonderkommanso’s to get the bodies from the gas chambers, remove the gold teeth from the jaws  using large pliers and then throw the bodies in the mass grave and cover them with chlorinated lime. At a later stage  the corpses from the gas chambers were immediately burned in crematoria or pyres. They also had to clean the gas chambers and remove the blood and excrement. This work was physically and mentally draining and would cause physical and mental  exhaustion , so the work could only be done for a short time.When brink of exhaustion was reached the Sonderkomanndo’s would be gassed themselves. They would quicklt be replaced by prisoners from yet another transport.

Below are some testimonies of some who survived.

Henryk Mandelbaum, a member of the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz.

“I thought I was in hell. Fire and smoke were everywhere. I had to clean the gas chambers and put the bodies in the crematoria, or burn them outside when the extermination was in full swing and the crematoria were not enough,”

SONDERKOMMANDO

Daniel Bennahmias was  also selected to be part of the Sonderkommando unit in Auschwitz.

“Once the gas chamber had been cleared, it must be hosed free of all traces of blood and excrement – but mainly blood – and then it must be whitewashed with a quick drying paint. This step is crucial, and it is done each time the gas chamber is emptied, for the dying have scratched and gouged the walls in their death throes. The walls are embedded with blood and bits of flesh, and none on the next transport must suspect that he is walking into anything other than a shower. This takes two or three hours.”

BLUEPRINT

 

Donation

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Sources

USHMM

Sobiborinterviews.nl

 

 

 

 

 

Karl Frenzel-‘Fair’in his punishments

Frenzel

Karl August Wilhelm Frenzel  was an SS non-commissioned officer in Sobibór extermination camp. As the commandant of Camp I, he was in charge of a Sonderkommando, a unit consisting inmates, mainly Jewish prisoners forced to do a variety of jobs including herding  victims into the gas chambers.

Frenzel claimed that he was always fair in conducting punishments.

Below are a few examples of his ‘fairness’

A 15 year old boy was caught stealing a can of sardines, Frenkel took the boy to Lager III, the crematorium and shot him.

In spring  1943,  two Jews from Chelm escaped from the camp, Frenzel announced that as a punishment , every tenth prisoner at the morning roll call would be executed. He personally walked along the lines of the roll call and selected the victims  to be shot at Camp III. Twenty prisoners were shot as a reprisal for the two who escaped.

One  survivor testified that one time Frenzel grabbed an abandoned baby in an incoming transport, smashed the baby’s  skull and threw the infant aside, like a dead rat.

After World War II, he was arrested by United States troops at a prisoner of war camp near Munich, but was soon released. Frenzel found a job in Frankfurt as a stage lighting technician. On 22 March 1962, while on a break at work, he was again identified, arrested and brought to trial along with other former SS officers at the Sobibór trial on 6 September 1965.

Trial

Frenzel was  charged with personally murdering 42 Jews , and was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes but was ultimately released after 16 years.

He died 2 September 1996,aged 85.

It seems to me the only one who got a ‘fair’ punishment was Frenzel. Another case where justice wasn’t served.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a 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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Transport 64:Westerbork-Sobibor

Westerbork

The Transport 64  from Westerbork in the Netherkands , was the designated transport number for the moving of 2511 people to Sobibor in Poland, on May 18th 1943.(The transport also had designated number 12, there would often be more numbers for 1 transport)

Trein

Most of them were residents of the city of Nijmegen. In the middle of the night 17/18 May they were taken from their homes by the SS and NSB.

The journey would take 3 days, those 3 days were the last days of the 2511 alive.Among these 2511 were,620 children. One of those  children was 10 year old Lotte Löbenstein .

cHILD

As they arrived in Sobibor all 2511 were led straight to the gas chambers and were killed.All that was left of these people were their names on a list, a number, no longer seen as a human being.

Lijst

 

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a 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

Stichting Sobibor

Joods Monument

 

 

I am a product of love.

Celine

I am a product of love,love between a man and a woman.

I am a product of love, by 2 people who would do anything for me.

I am a product of love, for anyone who looks into my angelic eyes can’t but love me.

I am a product of love to all those around me.

But I am not only a product of love I am also a victim of hate.

I am a victim of hate, hated by those who say they love their country and the men who lead them.

I am a victim of hate for some think I am different,not quite human.

I am a victim of hate, but yet I have 10 fingers and 10 toes just like those who hate me.

I am a victim of hate because I am different but yet I am the same.

I am a victim of hate but I don’t want to be remembered as a victim of hate.

I am Celine de Vries but people also call me Lieneke. I was born in Amsterdam on Nov 15 1936. But I died a long way from home in Sobibor on June 11 1943. I was only 6.

I am a victim of hate but I want to remembered as a product of love.