Most of them were murdered.

I have to be honest and admit that I am not entirely sure if the title is entirely correct, I am working on presumptions. However they are well founded presumptions.

More then 75% of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust it is therefore safe to presume that the at least 75% of these children were murdered too.

I also believe that the picture below is from the same school or after school youth care organisation in Amsterdam which was organised by the Jewish Council.

The things I am certain about is that at least 2 survived one of them is Fred Lessing(below an interview with Fred from January 26,1993)

The other survivor is an unknown visitor to the NIOD Image bank website he said this about the below picture

“‘I am in this picture, sitting in the middle (round shirt collar). Born October 26, 1935. Am sitting next to Fred Lessing .'”

Just look at all those angelic faces and think of the fact that most of them were murdered for no other reason then hate.

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sources

https://www.yadvashem.org/artifacts/featured/teddy-bear-fred-lessing.html

Nanne Zwiep- Died for speaking his mind.

It is very easy to judge in retrospect. It is true that the Dutch could have and should have done more for their Jewish neighbours. However when even speaking out about the Nazi regime could get you arrested and even killed, it is understandable that people were reluctant to act, To be honest I would have second thoughts .

Nanne Zwiep was a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church in the town of Enschede. On Sunday 19 April 1942, during a sermon in church he spoke out against the Nazi regime and the persecution of Jews.

The following day he was arrested and after 5 months of interrogation in prison in Arnhem and Amersfoort he was transported to Dachau. On 24 November 1942, two months after his arrival at the camp, he died of exhaustion and malnutrition.

It had not been the 1st time he had spoke out against the Nazis . After an act of sabotage, the cutting of cables, the Nazis raided the town of Enschede on the night of 13/14 September 1941 where about 100 Jews were arrested as a retribution and were deported to Mauthausen, within a few weeks 64 of them were murdered.

Immediately after the raid the clergy of the churches in Enschede got together to voice their protest and demanded the release of the Jewish prisoners. Pastor Zwiep was sent as a representative of the clergy men to deliver the letter of protest in the Hague, to General Friedrich Christiansen. the supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht in the Netherlands. The protest was ignored.

After the death of Jewish Surgeon Julius van Dam in December 1941, Pastor Zwiep did not hold back his criticism about the Nazi regime in the Netherlands, he was convinced that the death of Surgeon Julius van Dam was caused by the terror committed to the Jews in the Netherlands.

His sermon on April 19,1942 must have been the last straw for the Nazi regime.

He died in Dachau on November 24,1942 because he voiced his opinion, not because he suggested to take up arms or endorses violent protests, no he only voiced his opinion and that was enough reason to be killed.

On May 1, 1945 the biggest scout group was named after Pastor Zwiep in his honour and to this day still carries his name.

Ending this blog with a quote by Pastor Zwiep.

“One conquers small things with humour and big things with faith”

Sources

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/58791/Memorial-Nanne-Zwiep.htm

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Edmund Plesser- Born 16 October 1928- Murdered 23 July 1943

One thing I only thought of today. On September 26 1940 there was a ban imposed on all Jewish newspapers in the Netherlands, with the exception of ” Het Joodsche Weekblad” the Jewish weekly. I always found that strange, why didn’t they ban all newspapers?

Then today I cam across the story of Edmund Plesser a young talened Jewish singer. When he was aged 8 he did a convert in the small oratorium of the Amsterdam Concert building. The concert was led by Samuel Henri Englander, I presume. That was the name on the advertisement in the newspaper.

In October 1941 Edmund’s parents announced the Bar mitzvah of their son which would occur on October 25, 1941. The ad must have been placed in ” Het Joodsche Weekblad” because that was the only news paper was allowed to be used by the Dutch Jews.

When I saw this ad it dawned on me because the as gives all the details of the family, their address, their names. It was basically a record for the Nazis and their collaborators. So even that bit of freedom the Dutch Jews had was used as a tool to locate them, Undoubtedly other Jewish families would have placed similar ads or announcements of other family events.

Edmund and his family were murdered in Sobibor on July 23,1943.

Edmund’s musical director Samuel Henri Englander was also murdered in Sobibor , on June 11, 1943 about 6 weeks before the Plesser family was murdered.

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Moshe Flinker- a school boy’s diary.

Education is often seen as a human right and it really should be, but so often it is a privilege taken away from many.

Moshe Flinker was a teenager born in the Hague, in the Netherlands on October 9, 1926. He had a particular talent for language,he studied eight languages including Hebrew. The language he used to write his diary.

Now I could write a lot about Moshe , about his life in the Hague or about his life in Brussels, where he and his family hid from the summer on 1942 to 1944. He and his family remained relatively safe until 7 April 1944, the eve of Passover. But they were betrayed by an informer. Moshe’s Father had managed to keep the family safe by obtaining a so-called Aryan permit snf bribery thus far.

Rather then writing about his life I think it is better to give a glimpse of Moshe’s life in his won words.

“November 24, 1942
For some time now I have wanted to note down every evening what I have
been doing during the day. But, for various reasons, I have only got round to it tonight.
First, let me explain why I am doing this – and I must start by describing why I came here to Brussels.
I was born in The Hague, the Dutch Queen’s city, where I passed my early
years peacefully. I went to elementary school and then to a commercial
school, where I studied for only two years. In 1940, when the Germans
entered Holland, I had another two years to go until graduation. They issued a decree forbidding Jewish students to attend schools staffed by gentile
(“Aryan”) teachers, and so I was prevented from finishing my course. The
exclusion of Jews from public schools is just one of a long list of restrictions:
they had been forced to hand over their radios, they were not allowed into the movies, etc.
In the big cities, where many Jews lived, special schools for Jews were
opened, with only Jewish teachers. One such school was opened in The
Hague. Our school was a high school with three departments: classical
languages, modern subjects, and commerce. I, of course, continued my
commercial studies. During the year I attended, the number of restrictions onus rose greatly.

Several months before the end of the school year we had to turn in our bicycles to the police. From that time on, I rode to school by streetcar, but a day or two before the vacations started Jews were forbidden to ride on street-cars. I then had to walk to school, which took about an hour and a half. However, I continued going to school during those last days because I wanted to get my report card and find out whether I had been promoted to the next class. At that time I still thought that I would be able to return to school after the vacations; but I was wrong. Even so, I must mention that I did get my promotion.
Now I wish to note the restrictions inflicted upon us during the vacations. I
forgot to mention that during that year we had been forced to sew a “Badge of Shame” on the left side of our outer clothing. This “Badge” was a Star of
David, on which the word “Jew” was written in Dutch.
Halfway through that year the Germans began gathering Jews into the big
cities, particularly Amsterdam. Jews were not permitted to move anywhere
except to Amsterdam. When there were enough Jews there, the Germans
began sending them to destinations which are still unknown to me today. This is the way they sent them: many Jewish families would receive letters ordering them to get ready for a three-days’ journey. They were to get food for the trip and also take whatever clothes and utensils would be necessary for the journey. Then at midnight they had to go to the railroad station. From there they were sent to Westerbork, a detention camp near the Dutch-German border”

Moshe’s siblings survived but he and his parents were murdered in Auschwitz.

Sources

https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/text/moshe-flinker-s-diary-entry-hiding-january-19-1943

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Reached the age of 9 years

Hannelore

“Reached the age of 9 years” may seem like a very matter of fact and brutal title , but the brutal honesty is many of the 1.5 million children murdered during the Holocaust did not even reach that age.

Reached the age of 9 years should never be said of any child as the age of death.

Reached the age of 9 years should never be said of any child as the age of death because of murder.

But reached the age of 9 years was the reality of Hannelore Cahn, born on 31 May 1935 in Wesseling near Cologne, Germany. Murdered on 25 October 1944 in Auschwitz.

It is not clear how Hannelore ended up in the Netherlands . She was the daughter of Emil Cahn and Irene Löwenstein. In 1939  she and her 2 brothers Kurt and Josef came from Cologne in Germany to the Netherlands and resided at the Jewish orphanage in Utrecht,

Her brother Kurt reached the ag15 years, he was born om April 10,1929 39 years before I was born. He was murdered on 28 February 1945, not clear where he was murdered.

Her brother Josef reached the age of 19 born in Wesseling, 25 August 1925 and died in Germany just before the war ended on 2 May 1945.

All 3 Cahn children I presume were sent by their parents to the Netherlands, to escape the Nazi regime.

Their Father Emil, ended up in the British army and shortly after the war he enquired about his children, only to find out they all were killed. No Father should ever have to go through that.

Reached the age of 9 years a brutal reality because of a warped ideology.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/121861/hannelore-cahn

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/

 

I have to tell your story- Betrayed by domestic violence.

Capture

I don’t want to tell your story but I have to. It is my duty as a father and as human being to ensure that no child will ever get treated like you were treated, My heart breaks each time when I see a picture of innocence, knowing that this innocence was destroyed.

What makes the story of Eva and Liane Münzer even more sad and poignant is that they were betrayed not by their enemies but by the actions of their friends. The two girls were from Jewish Polish parents who lived in the Netherlands, In 1942 their father was sent to a German labour camp.. Their mother recognized the dangers they would be facing and decided to place the 2 girls with catholic friends of the family.

Sometime in 1944 the Police was called to deal with a domestic violence case , the Police were called to the house of the rescuers of Eva and Liane. The husband and wife had a fight and the husband denounced his wife and the 2 Jewish girls. The Münzer sisters were sent to Auschwitz and murdered.Eva was 8 and Liane was 6.

They had a younger brother who survived the war, as did their mother, The father died a few months after liberation, at least the only comfort he had he died a free man.

It is just so heartbreaking to see that a mother who thought she did the best for her children had to find out that the decision she made turned out to be the wrong one. But she was not to know. as a parent I more then likely would have done the same.

Everyday I am thankful that I have never been out in that position.

The people to blame for the death of Eva and Liane were the Nazis and those who helped them, I don’t even blame the foster or rescue mother , she put her life at risk as did her husband but he eventually put his own life above that of his wife and the 2 children he vowed to protect. He though he was more valuable then the people around him. Nithing is more valuable then the life of a child.

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

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/photo/sisters-eva-and-liane-muenzer?parent=en%2F7711

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/83760575/eva-munzer

Anne & Kitty

kitty

If there is one thing that Anne Frank’s diary teaches us ,it’s the importance of context. If you take her diary out of context it probably is quite a boring book. But if you leave it in the context and the time it was written in it becomes a powerful story of daily life and the reality of the Holocaust. However what makes it more powerful ten anything else is not how it was written but how it should have ended.

The diary ends abrupt because all those hiding in the annex were arrested in August 1944 and then were deported to several camps, of the 8 people only Anne’s father,Otto, survived. Anne died in Bergen Belsen. Her story should no have ended in death but in survival

The book “The Diary of a Young Girl”  really should never have been written or published, because Anne and her family really should never have been put in the situation that they had to hide,nor should they have ever had to flee their home in Frankfurt, because they were no enemies of any state they were just a normal family, minding their own business .

anne

The book has some versions with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt and in here lies an irony, if her husband had granted the visa to Otto Frank, The Visa Otto Frank had applied for at a time where it was quite clear what fate the Jews awaited in Europe, if that visa had been accepted then the book would never have been published.

To Anne it wasn’t only a diary it was also het best friend she called Kitty, a way of telling her friend of what was happening around her. Some people have criticized Otto Frank for publishing the book in the firts place because they felt it was a violation of the privacy of his youngest daughter, these people do not realize that Anne had wanted her diary to be made public anyway. Shortly after D-Day the Dutch government in exile had announced via Radio Orange BBC, that all documented records would be treated as evidence, that’s why Anne edited her diary so it could be used as a work of evidence.

The Dutch government however treated their Jewish citizens poorly after the war. Many could not return to their homes because others lived there then. Sometimes they were issued with bills for tax arrears.

It was only on January 26,2020 the Dutch prime minister issued an apology for the treatment of the Jews.It was on the 80th birthday of the survivor and campaigner for the apology,Eddy BoasJust 1 day before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

train

75% or 104,000 of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Shoah, this was by the far the highest number of Jews,per capita, in all of Europe. The contradictory though is that in February 1941, the Dutch went on strike en mass to protest against the treatment of Jews by the Nazi regime. This was the only mass collective act of defiance against the Nazis in the occupied territories.

I watched the documentary  #AnneFrank – Parallel Stories last night. I didn’t really like the insincerity and overacting of Hellen Mirrens’s reading of the diary but it was a powerful documentary nonetheless, In the film ,Ronald Leopold, the Executive Director of the Anne Frank House said something very important and something I totally agree with, it does explain to an extend why so many of the Dutch Jews were deported and murdered. It was all about choices , some choose to resist, some choose to collaborate but the majority choose to do nothing.

We all have to ensure that we never ever choose to do nothing again. The fight against Holocaust denial and anti semitism should not be on the shoulders of the survivors and their families, it is a fight we all must fight otherwise words like Never Again or Nver Forget become hollow slogans.

Anne Frank had Kitty to relay her message to, we have the whole world via internet and social media.

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51258081

https://www.netflix.com/ie/title/81264660

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-netherlands

 

David Koker- Not just a diarist.

David Koker

There are probably quite a few people who will have heard of David Koker,  or at least will know about the diary he wrote during his imprisonment at camp Vught, in the Netherlands.

The diary was published in 1977 with the name Dagboek geschreven in Vught and was published in 2012 it was translated into English and published wit the title  At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944.It was written between 11 February 1943 and  8 February 1944.

On the night of 11 February 1943,David and his family were arrested in Amsterdam and arrested and transported to camp Vught. For this transport they actually received a train ticket, and if you see the ticket it looks like something nice was done to the Koker family. It appears to be an act of charity.

urn-gvn-EVDO01-MMNIOD01-244_1657-medium

It was issued by the ‘Centre of Jewish emigration Amsterdam, and ordered by the Hauptsturmbahnführer Woerlein.

The text of the ticket says ” The keeper of this permit and ticket referring to call up of the same number, has the right to travel free of charge by allocated train to the Station of Hoogthalen. The permit and ticket have to be shown without being asked to the train staff at the station of Hooghalen. The inspector will then tear the ticket from the permit”

At  the bottom it says “If you show this ticket you can avail at cost of transport via tram or bus at the above mentioned date”

Hooghalen

If you wouldn’t know the history you could be forgiven that the ticket was a charitable thing to do, but in fact it was the first step to the transition of systematic murder.

I won’t post anything from his diary. I leave it up to all of you to find the diary and read it yourself. However I will put down below 2 pieces he wrote. The first piece I belive is either from 1939 or early 1940. It illustrates David’s awareness of what was happening around him and in Germany.

“The finest experts of the human heart,can’t make me out.I’m quite a thing apart/ They say that from them I perhaps should quit. “You sir, don’t fit our system one small bit””

On 2 June 1944, while the family was being transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, David managed to throw a letter from the train. Below is an excerpt of that note.

“Dear friends, we are close to the border now. It is very disappointing, but we were prepared for it and remain hopeful. I think a lot about you. (…) I’ve got all your letters and photos with me. My dearest possessions. When will we see each other again? That will take a long time. But we shall survive. (…) Lots of love guys, thanks for everything. Goodbye.”

Auschwitz Birkenau would not be the final destination for David.On February 23 1945 he died in Gross-Rosen concentration camp. He was aged 23. David’s mother and brother Max survived the war.

Ending the blog with a picture taken in 1930 in Amsterdam of the Koker family..

koker

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

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/507940/about-david-koker

https://geheugen.delpher.nl/nl/geheugen/view/oorlogsdagboek-koker-david-koker-david?coll=ngvn&maxperpage=36&page=2&query=Auschwitz&identifier=EVDO01%3AMMNIOD01-244_1657

https://books.google.ie/books?id=-cT2yHpiSgUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://www.coenraadrood.org/nl/westerbork/aankomst-in-kamp-westerbork

http://www.stationsweb.nl/station.asp?station=Hooghalen