Brothers in Arms-Friends in life and death.

 

Angelo P. Marcaletti and Charles James Jr, who were they?

To be honest I don’t know who they were. However I do know they both lived in New Philadelphia,Ohio, and they both had attended the Dover High school in Tuscarawas County,Ohio.

3461548602_e40a841e5d_z

I also know they were buddies when they both were inducted to the US Army on October 27th 1942.

And I know they were still friends when they were killed on April 7 1944.

The question really shouldn’t be who they were but what they were. That is an easier question to answer for they both were Heroes. Heroes who sacrificed their lives to afford me the freedom to live my life any which way I wish.

Dear Sirs, I salute you.

Angelo P. Marcaletti

35399901_soldier

Angelo P. Marcaletti entered the Army from Ohio. He married Vera Dindo on 18 December 1943 at the Sacred Heart church.

Sacred_Heart_Church_-_New_Philadelphia,_Ohio_2012-07-20

He was stationed at  Camp Breckinridge in Kentucky at the time of his marriage.His parents and his brother were immigrants from Italy.

Charles James Jr.

Charles James.

Charles James Jr. was a veteran of the US 9th Army’s campaigns in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

He had been awarded the Infantry Man’s medal and the Good Conduct medal. He was born and raises in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Prior to joining  the US  Army he had been employed at the Robinson Clay Products Co. at Parral.

18271.0

He graduated from High school in 1939 and was a member of the Catholic Church.He married Louise Martinelli in June 1942.

Both Angelo and James were killed when a land mine exploded under them while they were laying communication lines.

They are both buried in the American War Cemetery,Margraten in the Netherlands.

 

 

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

$2.00

Advertisements

Kamp Amersfoort-Concentration camp in the Netherlands.

amersfoort (51)Between 1941 and 1945 approximately 37,000 prisoners, mainly political prisoners, were incarcerated for varying lengths of time in this camp, which served as both a transit and prison camp under the direct command of the SS.

The fluctuating prisoner population showed an eclectic group of people from all over the Netherlands: Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, prisoners of war from the Soviet Union, members of the resistance, clergy, black marketeers, clandestine butchers and smugglers.

dea046ed1d9afb3183a9a38266dd0ccf

 

It was a simple black & white signboard alongside the road with a few abbreviated German words. Nothing more. But for the thousands of prisoners who saw this board on their way to Polizeiliches Durchgangslager (Police Transit Camp) Amersfoort, it was their first glimpse of an unknown future.

27.-Wegwijzer-naar-Kamp-Amersfoort

They had to walk from the main train station in Amersfoort to the outskirts of the city, where a complex of barracks called Camp Amersfoort was located from 1941 to 1945. The camp was small at first. The guards were cruel and uncertainty ruled. During the course of the war, the number of prisoners increased and in the spring of 1943 the camp was expanded. Many more prisoners could be housed after this, but neglect, hunger, abuse and murder remained the order of the day. On 19 April 1945, the camp was transferred to the Red Cross. More than 35,000 prisoners were interned in Camp Amersfoort for a brief or extended period of time.

27.-NIOD-61859

After the re-opening in 1943, 70 Jews from Kamp Vught and 600 Jews from Kamp Westerbork of British, American and Hungarian nationality were briefly sent to Kamp Amersfoort. They were joined by contract breakers of the German Arbeitseinsatz (forced labour program), deserted Waffen SS soldiers, deserted German truck drivers of the Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahr-Korps, and lawbreaking members of the NSB (the Dutch National Socialist Movement).

This medley of prisoners was not the only feature that determined the character of Kamp Amersfoort. The extreme cruelty of the camp command made life miserable for thousands of prisoners. Despite their relatively short stay, many prisoners died from deprivations and violence at a camp where rumour has it that one could hear the screams of people being beaten up there for miles over the heath. It is more than a rumour. Jewish prisoners in particular were treated horribly, not only from guards, but fellow prisoners.

amers.

Edith and Rosa Stein, two Hebrew Catholics arrested by the SS, described what it was like arriving at Amersfoort at 3:00 in the morning on August 3, 1942:

Rosa & Edith (Sr. Teresia Benedicta) Stein #2

When the vans reached the camp, they emptied their passengers who were taken over by the S.S. guards. These began to drive them, cursing and swearing, beating them on their backs with their truncheons, into a hut where they were to pass the night without having had a meal.

The hut was divided into two sections, one for men, one for women. It was separated from the main lager by a barbed-wire fence. Altogether, the lager held at that moment, about three hundred men, women and children.

The beds were iron frames arranged in a double tier, without mattresses of any kind. Our prisoners threw themselves on the bare springs trying to snatch a few minutes sleep; but few slept that night, if only because the guards kept switching the lights off and on, from time to time, as a precaution against attempts to escape, which was next to impossible in any case. Their cold harsh voices filled the prisoners with anxiety about the future and, in these circumstances, it is anxiety which can turn a prison into a hell on earth.

Both sisters died 6 days later in Auschwitz

Violence from the guards was not the only thing that prisoners had to worry about. Weakened physical conditions from overwork, very little food and poor hygiene in camp made illness and disease another frightening and lonely way to die. Yehudit Harris, a young boy in Amersfoort remembers screaming from the pain as his mother washed him with snow in the winter to rid them of lice and to protect against illness. Even the mattresses that prisoners slept on were often infested with lice, diphtheria, dysentery or T.B.

Amersfoort was a brutal place to be a prisoner and is summed up by Elie Cohen, who said that “transfer from Amersfoort to Westerbork was like going from hell to heaven”

The first camp leader was SS-Schutzhaftlagerführer I Johann Friedrich Stöver . From January 1, 1943, the camp leader was SS-Schutzhaftlagerführer II Karl Peter Berg . Berg was a very cruel man, who was described as a “predator who derived great pleasure from the agony of others”. During roll call he loved to sneak about unnoticed behind the rows of men and catch someone in some violation, such as talking or not following orders properly. With a big grin, he would torment his victim.

berg

n 1948 the camp commandant and guards of Amersfoort were tried and convicted for their crimes. Karl Peter Berg was sentenced to death and was executed in 1949.

After the war people wanted to forget the horrors of the camp as quickly as possible and the camp was completely dismantled. Despite the fact that everything was torn down to the foundations the anguish remained tangible.

In 2004 a beautiful, modest memorial was completed, symbolizing the resurrection of the memories from the ground (from oblivion).

001

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

$2.00

Jan Ingenhousz-Scientist

1-jan-ingenhousz-dutch-physiologist-science-source

This blog is about one of the best known scientists in the history of the world,Jan Ingenhousz.

Jan Ingenhousz or Ingen-Housz  (8 December 1730 – 7 September 1799) was a Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist.

He is best known for discovering photosynthesis by showing that light is essential to the process by which green plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration.In his lifetime he was known for successfully inoculating the members of the Habsburg family in Vienna against smallpox in 1768 and subsequently being the private counsellor and personal physician to the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.

Kaiserin_Maria_Theresia_(HRR)

Okay, lets be fair. He actually wasn’t a well known scientist at all and most of you(including me) probably only saw his name for the first time today, either because of this blog or more likely because Google reminded us of his Birthday today.

nintchdbpict000371619348

Photosynthesis is so essential to life on this planet that it’s easy to forget we didn’t even know about it 250 years ago.

The process of plants converting water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen, using light as a catalyst, was first discovered by Dutch scientist Jan Ingenhousz in 1779.

Ingenhousz began studying medicine at the age of 16, and spent the first part of his career developing a vaccination for smallpox.

In the 1760s he travelled to London and on to Hertfordshire, where he immunised 700 village people in a successful effort to combat an epidemic.

This involved the fairly gruesome process of pricking the skin with a needle that had been dipped into the pus of an infected person’s wound.It worked, however, and after word of Ingenhousz’s success spread, he was invited by the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa to inoculate her entire family.

Over the years, he turned his attention to other scientific pursuits including energy generation, particle motion and gaseous exchange in plants.

Alhough it was already known that plants produced and absorbed gases, it was Ingenhousz who first noticed that oxygen was produced by leaves in sunlight, and carbon dioxide produced in darkness.

This demonstrated that some of the mass of plants comes from the air, and not only the water and nutrients in the soil.

He published his findings in 1779, significantly influencing further research on plant life in the centuries to follow.

Today’s Google doodle focuses on Ingenhousz’s lasting contributions to our understanding of the natural world, on what would have been his 287th birthday.

He died September 7, 1799, Bowood, Wiltshire, England.

Jan-Ingenhousz

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

$2.00

The Nazi Musical Genocide

music-comp

The Holocaust was and still is the biggest crime ever committed in the history of mankind.Additionally it also killed music by killing the talent the produced and created music.

Some of the composers and musicians in this blog were killed only because they were Jewish.or because they defied the Nazi rule, for as musicians they were creatures of emotion and they knew what they witnesses was wrong because that how they felt it, and they decided to do something about it.

 

Samuel Schuijer

0

Samuel Schuijer was born in The Hague on September 9, 1873, son of Roosje van Kam and Abraham Schuijer. The family had a jewelry store on the Heerengracht 18. Five of the nine Schuijer children became professional musicians. Sam studied violin, cello, bassoon and music theory at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Shortly after graduating, he worked primarily as the principal bassoonist in various Dutch orchestras and also made a European tour with the Eduard Strauss orchestra as principal solo bassoonist. In 1894, he married Elizabeth Alter, an opera singer and actress. They had three sons: Abraham (pianist), Marinus, who died in infancy and Louis (cellist).

On December 11, 1942, Samuel Schuijer was murdered in Auschwitz. His home and music school had been plundered by the Nazis. With the loss of his life and destruction of his belongings, all traces of this significant Dutch musician seemed to be erased. But a group of children in The Hague found a box containing music manuscripts, waiting for the garbage truck. They took their treasure home and it became the first step in rediscovering a lost fragment of Dutch music history.

Mischa Hillesum

MischaHillesum

 

The pianist Mischa Hillesum was an extremely musical, sensitive but also mentally unstable personality. Conservatory teachers acknowledged his stunning talents and audiences were thrilled by his performances. Music was his primary necessity, his way of dealing with daily realities. He was hospitalized several times in a mental institution. In 1943, the Hillesum family arrived in Westerbork. Mischa eventually died while detained as a forced laborer in Warsaw. Only a few of his compositions are known.

Sim Gokkes

Sim_Gokkes_(1928)

Simon (Sim) Gokkes (21 March 1897, Amsterdam – 5 February 1943, Auschwitz) was a Dutch-Jewish composer.

As a child, Gokkes took his first singing lessons with Ben Geysel, an opera singer who ran the Rembrandt Theatre of Amsterdam. Gokkes was also a pupil of Victor Schlesinger, cantor of the Rapenburg Synagogue in Amsterdam. In 1912, Gokkes wrote his first compositions, “Ngolinu Leshabiag” and “Yigdal”. He studied composition with Sem Dresden and also piano and flute at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam, finishing in 1919. He then worked as an assistant director of the Netherlands Opera.

Throughout his life, Gokkes directed several choirs. In 1921, he founded the School Choir of Amsterdam. For years he was director of the Santo Serviçio, the choir of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. Gokkes is known as an innovator of synagogue music. His compositions relate primarily to religious themes.

In 1923, Gokkes married pianist Rebecca Winnik. Along with his wife and his two children, David and Rachel, he was murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp on 5 February 1943.

Only some of his works are preserved in the Netherlands Music Institute.

Jan van Gilse

Jan_van_Gilse

Jan van Gilse received his musical education in Germany. His music developed into a synthesis of French impressionism and German romanticism. He became a popular conductor and one of the founders of the Society of Dutch composers (GeNeCo) and also the copyright organization BUMA. During the war, this socially engaged human being was fiercely anti-German. He had to pay a heavy price for his fighting spirit.

van Gilse (Rotterdam, 11 May 1881 – Oegstgeest, 8 September 1944) was a Dutch composer and conductor. Among his works are five symphonies and the Dutch-language opera Thijl.

7980 Thijl

Coming from a family of theologians, Jan van Gilse showed an early aptitude for piano playing and composing. From 1897 onwards, he studied at the Cologne conservatory. After his teacher, Franz Wüllner, died in 1902, he continued his studies with Engelbert Humperdinck in Berlin. From 1909 to 1911, he studied in Italy. In 1901, van Gilse received the Beethoven-Haus Prize in Bonn for his (First) Symphony in F major; In 1906, the Michael Beer Prize was awarded to him for his Third Symphony, ‘Erhebung’ (‘Elevation’; for soprano solo and orchestra).

In addition to composing, van Gilse soon developed an interest in conducting. He started out with the Bremen opera, a post which was followed by appointments in Munich and Amsterdam.

During World War II, van Gilse became actively involved with the resistance movement against the German occupation of the Netherlands. Both his sons, who were also resistance fighters, were killed by the occupiers before van Gilse himself succumbed (probably to pneumonia) in the autumn of 1944. To protect his shelter, he was buried in an unmarked grave outside the village of Oegstgeest.

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

$2.00

 

 

St Elizabeth’s flood 1421

800px-Sint_Elisabethsvloed_1421

The Dutch have always been in constant war with the sea. Most people know about the 1953 flood but there have been floods throughout the centuries with higher casualties.

I specified the year in the title because today is the 596th of the St Elizabeth’s flood, but technically this is the 2nd flood with that name,because nearly to the date 17 years earlier on the 19th of November 1407, there had been another Elizabeth’s flood.

medieval-flood-woodcut_thumb

The St. Elizabeth’s flood of 1421 was a flooding of an area in what is now the Netherlands. It takes its name from the feast day of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary which was formerly November 19. It ranks 20th in the list of worst floods in history. During the night of November 18 to November 19, 1421 a heavy storm near the North Sea coast caused the dikes to break in a number of places and the lower lying polder land was flooded. A number of villages were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing between 2,000 and 10,000 casualties. The dike breaks and floods caused widespread devastation in Zeeland and Holland.

Arnold_Houbraken_and_Romeyn_de_Hooghe_-_St._Elisabeth_vloed_1421_-_Mathias_Balen_-_Beschryving_der_stad_Dordrecht_SAD01_489-71401_0106

It is thought that the flood was caused by an extremely heavy north-western storm, followed by an extremely high storm tide. A spring tide was not responsible, as in 1953, but instead, wet weather led to the increase in river water levels. Gaps in the coastal line of the ‘Grote Waard’ (the southern side of the present-day province of South-Holland), resulting from previous floods, increased the severity of the flood. As a result, the flood reached a large sea arm between South-Holland and Zeeland, destroying the Grote Waard. The Grote Waard would never return to its original shape and form again.

This flood separated the cities of Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht which had previously fought against each other during the Hook and Cod (civil) wars. Most of the land remains flooded even today.

wars

At the lowest point in-land where the flood waters reached, which was passed the city of Dordrecht, the water still remains today.

1200px-Dordrecht_luchtfoto_01

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

€2,00

 

Life and death of Mata Hari

3455

Despite her exotic name Mata Hari was a Dutch woman. Her real name was Margaretha (Gretha)Zelle and was born in Leeuwarden, in the province of Friesland in the North West of  the Netherlands..

Map_-_NL_-_Municipality_code_0080_(2014)

Today marks the centenary of her execution.

At 18, Zelle answered an advertisement in a Dutch newspaper placed by Dutch Colonial Army Captain Rudolf MacLeod (1 March 1856 – 9 January 1928), who was living in what was then the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and was looking for a wife. Zelle married MacLeod in Amsterdam on 11 July 1895.2164

 

He was the son of Captain John Brienen MacLeod (a descendant of the Gesto branch of the MacLeods of Skye, hence his Scottish name) and Dina Louisa, Baroness Sweerts de Landas. The marriage enabled her to move into the Dutch upper class, and her finances were placed on a sound footing. They moved to Malang on the east side of the island of Java, traveling out on SS Prinses Amalia in May 1897, and had two children, Norman-John MacLeod (30 January 1897 – 27 June 1899) and Louise Jeanne MacLeod (2 May 1898 – 10 August 1919).

SS_Prinses_Amalia

From the start, her marriage was troubled. After the birth of their son, Norman, in 1897, they sailed for the Dutch East Indies, where Gretha would spend four years living in military garrisons. After the birth of their daughter, Non, in 1898, tragedy struck. For reasons that remain a mystery, a nanny poisoned Norman and Non; he died, she barely survived. Although John was able to retire on a military pension in 1900, the couple were unhappy and returned to Holland.

Gretha and John separated in 1902 and she was granted custody. But when he refused to pay the legally agreed allowance, she wrote to his cousin, Edward, who acted as an intermediary. The correspondence reveals her desperation to keep her daughter but, without family connections and with most professions barred to women, she had few choices. She reluctantly returned Non to her father and left for Paris.

Where she reinvented herself as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning “eye of the day” in Malay.

mata_hari_3

She acquired her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army. Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France, mostly because her show consisted of her slowly stripping nude.

She became a famous courtesan, and with the outbreak of World War I her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities. In February 1917, French authorities arrested her for espionage and imprisoned her at St. Lazare Prison in Paris. In a military trial conducted in July, she was accused of revealing details of the Allies’ new weapon, the tank, resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers. She was convicted and sentenced to death, and on October 15 she refused a blindfold and was shot to death by a firing squad at Vincennes.

matahari-rodolfo-valentino

There is some evidence that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and for a time as a double agent for the French, but the Germans had written her off as an ineffective agent whose pillow talk had produced little intelligence of value. Her military trial was riddled with bias and circumstantial evidence, and it is probable that French authorities trumped her up as “the greatest woman spy of the century” as a distraction for the huge losses the French army was suffering on the western front. Her only real crimes may have been an elaborate stage fallacy and a weakness for men in uniform.

Statue of Mata Hari in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands

Mata_Hari

Jan-Peter and Thomas Pfeffer,murdered age 7 and 10.

 

I have been doing blogs on the holocaust now for about 18 months. I did  consider giving it a break for a while, not because I didn’t find the stories important but because at times my emotions were getting the better of me, and they were having an impact.

However I then realised I have to tell these stories because soon enough the last survivor of the Holocaust will have perished and who will tell the stories then?

Additionally I came across accounts of victims ,like the Pfeffer brothers,who have to be remembered because no one belonging to them is able to do it for them because they were killed.

I won’t be saying too much about them because the innocence in their eyes should be a stark reminder on how cruel humanity can be.The only reason they were killed was because they were Jewish, They didn’t commit any crimes. They didn’t even get the choice to play ball outside and accidentally break a neighbors window, or come home covered in mud.

No, they were Jewish and that was enough reason to kill them.

Their father, Heinz, was a German-Jewish refugee who married Henriette De Leeuw, a Dutch-Jewish woman. Frightened by the Nazi dictatorship and the murder of Heinz’s uncle in a concentration camp, they emigrated to the Netherlands when Henriette was nine months pregnant. They settled in Amsterdam

On May 18, 1944, Jan-Peter and Tommy and their parents were  deported to Auschwitz. The boys were  gassed on July 11, 1944. Tommy was 7 years old and Jan-Peter was 10.

And even their death was treated as an administrative exercise.

The District Court of Amsterdam ordered 21 June 1957 the change of date of death for Henriette de Leeuw, Jan Peter Pfeffer and Thomas Pfeffer from “about July 1944” into “7 July 1944”

a13064000070_highres_page_007.jpg(mediaclass-landscape-.2d0bc720e72f7d03ca65aa44863c5e34306fed2d)

 

1740 Batavia massacre

Chinezenmoord_van_stolk_(2)

In September 1740, as unrest rose among the Chinese population in Batavia(nowadays Jakarta in Indonesia), spurred by government repression and declining sugar prices, Governor-General Adriaan Valckenier declared that any uprising would be met with deadly force.

Adriaan_Valckenier_(1695-1751)_by_T.J._Rheen

On 7 October, hundreds of ethnic Chinese, many of them sugar mill workers, killed 50 Dutch soldiers, leading Dutch troops to confiscate all weapons from the Chinese populace and to place the Chinese under a curfew.

Two days later, rumours of Chinese atrocities led other Batavian ethnic groups to burn Chinese houses along Besar Stream and Dutch soldiers to fire cannon at Chinese homes.

1024px-Tableau_de_la_Partie_de_Batavia,_ou_s'est_fait_proprement_le_terrible_Massacre_des_Chinois,_le_9_Octob

The violence soon spread throughout Batavia, killing more Chinese. Although Valckenier declared an amnesty on 11 October, gangs of irregulars continued to hunt and kill Chinese until 22 October, when the governor-general called more forcefully for a cessation of hostilities. Outside the city walls, clashes continued between Dutch troops and rioting sugar mill workers. After several weeks of minor skirmishes, Dutch-led troops assaulted Chinese strongholds in sugar mills throughout the area.

Troops under Lieutenant Hermanus van Suchtelen and Captain Jan van Oosten, a survivor from Tanah Abang, took station in the Chinese district: Suchtelen and his men positioned themselves at the poultry market, while van Oosten’s men held a post along the nearby canal.

800px-Chinezenmoord_Van_Stolk

 At around 5:00 p.m., the Dutch opened fire on Chinese-occupied houses with cannon, causing them to catch fire.Some Chinese died in the burning houses, while others were shot upon leaving their homes or committed suicide in desperation. Those who reached the canal near the housing district were killed by Dutch troops waiting in small boats,while other troops searched in between the rows of burning houses, killing any survivors they found.

These actions later spread throughout the city. Dutch historian Vermeulen notes that many of the perpetrators were sailors and other “irregular and bad elements” of society.During this period there was heavy looting and seizures of property.

Despite a call for peace and amnesty by the Dutch Governor-General on October 11, the violence continued all the way through October 22, when he finally forced an uneasy peace on the city. The council had posted a reward for anyone rounding up or killing a Chinese person, and the rest of the population enthusiastically pursued the rewards.

About 500 Dutch soldiers had died in the fighting. The areas outside the city were another story, and violence continued for weeks afterwards, never really stopping until a year later when the Java War broke out and lasted for another 2 years. Governor-General Adriaan Valckenier was recalled to the Netherlands and charged with atrocities pertaining to the massacre. At first cleared, Valckenier was on his way back to Batavia when he was again arrested, and spent the rest of his life (10 years!) in prison on Java awaiting conclusion of an investigation into his stewardship of the islands.

BATAVIA-and-her-Forts-1682

Words can kill

10.-NIOD-1519611

The German occupier not only imposed its will using soldiers, but also through the Civil Service. A typewriter could be just as deadly as a bullet. Until the end of 1944 this typewriter was used in the Scholtenhuis on the Grote Markt, the main square in Groningen, in the north east of Netherlands.

Scholtenhuis-1024x685

In this monumental building countless arrest warrants were set in motion, confessions were noted in detail after brutal interrogations and documents were typed to facilitate the persecution of the Jews.

10.-Foute-typemachine1

The SD used the building as an office and jail. Its eager employees had a reputation for their brutal interrogation methods and the utter randomness with which they operated.

Resistance fighters, as well as many others, were humiliated, beaten and tortured in the Scholtenhuis. The stately building was hated and feared. It was a place best to avoid – the gateway to hell. The situation deteriorated in the last year of the war, becoming more dreadful and violent. Members of the SD who had previously wreaked havoc in the south of the Netherlands joined forces with the staff of the Scholtenhuis. Amsterdam policemen who had already outdone themselves arresting Jews also made their way north. People were shot at random. Murder was the order of the day.

The notorious Scholtenhuis was the northern headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi Security Service. In official communications between the various divisions of the Civil Service under occupation, the SS-insignia appeared regularly. So of course this typewriter was equipped with a special SS-key (above the #3).

FOute typemachIne

De retour reis die nooit plaatsvond

++++++Text is in Dutch++++++++++

1

‘Westerbork-Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Westerbork’ staat op dit metalen treinbord. De terugreis die wordt vermeld wordt door niemand gemaakt. Op 15 en 16 juli 1942 vertrekken de eerste twee treinen met ruim 2000 joden van doorgangskamp Westerbork naar het vernietigingskamp Auschwitz in Polen.

2

De geschiedenis van kamp Westerbork is onlosmakelijk verbonden met het lot dat de Joodse gemeenschap tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog trof. De Jodenvervolging die zich tussen 1940 en 1945 afspeelde, zorgde ervoor dat een gemeenschap die zich sinds honderden jaren in Nederland bevond, grotendeels werd uitgeroeid.

Bijna 107.000 mensen zijn met 97 transporten vanuit kamp Westerbork gedeporteerd.
Op 15 juli 1942 vertrok het eerste transport naar Auschwitz-Birkenau. Vanaf 2 maart 1943 tot 16 november 1943 was er sprake van een wekelijks ritme: iedere dinsdag vertrok een trein met duizend tot soms meer dan drieduizend personen.

westerdeparture
De deportaties werden georganiseerd vanuit Berlijn: datum, bestemming en het aantal te deporteren mensen. De SS-commandant van Westerbork was verantwoordelijk voor het opstellen van de transportlijsten. De uitvoering werd overgelaten aan de Joodse kampleiding. De bestemming was meestal Auschwitz of Sobibor. Enkele keren Bergen-Belsen en Theresienstadt en soms een ander kamp. Het laatste grote transport vertrok met 279 Joden op 13 september 1944 naar Bergen-Belsen. Slechts 5.000 gedeporteerden overleefden de oorlog.

De gevangenen in Westerbork leven tussen hoop en vrees, van transport tot transport. De avond voor het vertrek is ondraaglijk. In de barak wordt dan bekendgemaakt wie moet vertrekken. De volgende dag is er geen ontkomen aan. In iedere smerige wagon van de lange trein worden soms wel 70 mensen met bagage gepropt. De deuren worden aan de buitenkant vergrendeld. ‘Mannen wordt het te machtig, ze slikken de tranen weg. De trein gilt; de giftige slang begint te schuifelen’, schrijft Philip Mechanicus in Westerbork in zijn dagboek.

Vanuit Nederland zijn 107.000 joden en 245 Sinti en Roma grotendeels via Westerbork weggevoerd.

4