I remember as a kid , my neighbor and I made our own bows and arrows, We used it to target practice on a spare door we had in the storage rooms in the basement of our apartment block.
We bought the materials for these ‘weapons’ in a shop in the center of our town,Geleen, in the Netherlands. It was a DIY shop, called Hubo, located on Annastraat 24.
Also later in life when I needed something DIY related I would frequent the establishment and would purchase what I required.
I can’t remember how often I went in there, it would not have been an awful lot because when it comes to DIY I am pretty much double left handed. But I would have been in there at least a few dozen times, and would have passed by the shop on a daily basis.
Never did I realize the fate of one of its former occupants.
Frederik Goldsteen was born on the 9th of july 1918 in Rheydt-Germany. As a student he lived with his brother in Voorburg a suburb of the Hague in the Netherlands . He studied to become a a radio technician. Between 1937 and 1940 he would reside in Geleen with his widowed Mother and in the Hague with his fiancee Elfriede.
Shortly before they got married they moved back toLimburg, the south of the country.They got married on May 9th ,1941 in Vaals, Elfriede’s mother lived in Vaals. Vaals is the place where the Netherlands borders with Belgium and Germany, It is in the foothills of the Ardennes–Eifelrange, and with 322 metres it is the highest point of the Netherlands.
Shortly after they got married the couple moved to Geleen. Frederik opened a Radio repair shop “Radio Technisch Bureau F. Goldsteen” located on Annastraat 24. In October 1941, the couple were blessed with a baby girl,Carolina .
On March 12 ,1942. Frits was ordered by the German occupiers to close the shop. As a Jew he was not allowed to built or repair radios.
He did find a job with a company that worked for the coal mine Maurits.
However on the 19th of May, 1942 he was arrested for secretly still working on radios and also for being critical about Hitler.
He was sent to Camp Amersfoort via Maastricht . On July 16,1942 he was deported to Auschwitz , where he was killed less then a month later, on August 15,1942.
His wife and daughter both survived the war.
What amazes me . and kind of disturbs me is how close the Holocaust was to me to an extend. Over the last few months I have come across stories of Jewish fellow citizens and town folk, whose addresses I have passed by a multiple of times and U was never award of their fates.
I got most of the information about Frits Goldteen from a foundation called Stichting Stolpersteine:Geleen-Sittard. At the bottom of Frits’s page they state the motivation of his persecution was for being Jewish. No other reason, just for being Jewish and therefor seen by an evil regime with a warped ideology as sub human. Where the real sub humans were those who subscribed to that warped fascist ideology.
When I go visit my hometown in 2 weeks time I will go into the shop again, but this time armed with the knowledge of its history.
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