Robbed of Their Humanity.

Like in Germany itself, the Holocaust in the Netherlands didn’t happen overnight it was a gradual process.

Less than two months after the Nazi invasion of the Nethera]lands, Jewish employees of the Dutch Air Raid Defence Service were dismissed. It was the first in a long line of anti-Jewish measures. Jews were gradually isolated from the rest of the population in the Netherlands.

The Nazis went about this very systematically. Jews had to register and their identity cards were stamped with a J for Jood(Jew). Jewish business owners were required to report and assigned a Verwalter, an Aryan supervisor who would take the of over running their business. Measures to restrict freedom of movement followed in 1941: Jews were banned from public places such as parks, swimming pools, sports facilities and museums. Jewish children were forced to attend Jewish schools and even needed permission to travel. More and more signboards appeared on the street with the text Voor Joden verboden (Forbidden for Jews).

Starting in May 1942 Jews were required to wear a yellow star.

These stars were printed on inexpensive yellow cotton in De Nijverheid, a textile factory in the Dutch city of Enschede that had previously belonged to a Jewish family. The company had been confiscated from them shortly before and placed under German supervision. The around 100,000 yellow stars needed in the Netherlands were probably printed on this one 10,000 metre roll of material. Production most likely took no more than a day. This made the sale of these stars for 4 cents each a rather lucrative business. In addition to the purchase price Jews had to turn in a textile ration coupon. Yes you are reading that correctly, they had to pay for it

The deportations from the Netherlands began two months later under the guise of ‘employment’: instead Jews were sent to extermination camps where they were killed.

In October 1939 the first German and Austrian -Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and Austria arrived in Westerbork. They were involved in the internal organization of the refugee camp starting in 1940, as well as later on when it officially became a transit camp for Jews: Polizeiliches Judendurchgangslager Westerbork.

The general supervision of the camp was in the hands of the SS and early on they were also responsible for the security in the vicinity of the camp. Daily life inside the camp was overseen by different Jewish work groups, including the Ordedienst (Lit. Order Service). The members of this group, who wore these green coveralls, were responsible for fire safety and internal security. They supervised the labour gangs, both inside and outside the camp. They also guarded the people scheduled for transport to the concentration and extermination camps. At times the Jewish Order Service was also deployed for razzias (roundups) in Amsterdam, to retrieve the sick from their homes and for instance to empty the Jewish psychiatric hospital the Apeldoornsche Bosch in 1943. Needless to say, members of the Orderdienst were not particularly popular among Westerbork’s prisoners and often referred to as the ‘Jewish-SS’. Eventually, most of the members of the Jewish Order Service were transported as well, to the extermination camps.

sources

https://kampwesterbork.nl/en/

Josephine Cohen just a girl from Geleen.

For anyone who is not from Geleen or the province of Limburg ,in the south East of the Netherlands, the name Geleen will mean very little. Yo may have visited the town perhaps while it was still hosting the annual Rock festival of PinkPop. Maybe you even visited the former mining town during one of the street theater festivals. But to me it is the place where I was born, it is where my roots are.

Josephine Cohen was also born in Geleen, albeit 38 years before my birth.

Her father was Simon, a shop owner. The shop was situated on Mauritslaan 110, in Geleen. A address I would have passed by many times a week because it was near my school.

There were 6 in the Cohen family.The Father Simon, the Mother Esthella Carolina Cohen-ten Brink. Daughters Josephine, age 12, Henny age 16.Frieda age 17 and 1 son Gerrit. Gerrit is the only one who survived the war. He died on September 22, 1998, age 76.

Josephine was the youngest, she was born on July 9.1930.

Simon Cohen’s clothing warehouse was closed with effect from 1 November 1941. The reason for this is uncertain, but it is plausible that Simon refused to accept an ‘Aryan administrator’ imposed by the occupying forces. In August 1942 the Cohen family was called up to report for the ‘Arbeitseinsatz’. The call was for men between the ages of 16 and 65, including their wives and children. As in many families, this led to heated discussions in the Cohen family. Son Gerrit, whose friends urged him to go into hiding, argued strongly in favor of this, but at the express wish of his law-abiding father, he waited with the whole family on 25 August 1942 for the arrival of the police. When the dreaded knock was finally heard at the door, Gerrit fled after all. He reached the flat roof and the attic of the neighbors through a skylight. Then he went into hiding. Rumors of Gerrit’s suicide may have been deliberate so that the police wouldn’t look for him.

The other family members, along with many other Jews, were taken by bus from the Markt in Geleen to Maastricht that afternoon and arrived in Westerbork on August 26, from where they were deported to Auschwitz on August 28. Simon and Esthella and their daughters Frieda and Josephine were gassed there on arrival on August 30 or 31, 1942. Sixteen-year-old daughter Henny was selected for forced labor, but she died less than a month later, on September 26, 1942, according to the death certificate of influenza.Gerrit was the only survivor of the Cohen family. He is said to have hid in the vicinity of Stein-Meers. Gerrit Cohen married in 1947 and continued to live in Geleen for the rest of his life.

Josephine was only 12 when she was murdered.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/485066/simon-cohen-and-his-family

Jacques Swaluw-murdered aged 10 months.

The title is about Jacques Swaluw but it really is about just more then Jacques.

Jacques was born in Rotterdam on the 19th of June 1942.

Esther Swaluw was a daughter of Isaäc Swaluw and Maria Melkman. 2 December 1913 she married Izak van Been in Rotterdam, a son of Abraham van Been and Sientje Bacharach. Esther and Izak however divorced, which was registered in the Civil Registry of Rotterdam 13 June 1936. Together, they had a son Abraham who after the divorce grew up in the family of Izak van Been and his 2nd wife Hanna Boeki.

After her divorce, Esther had three more children: 16 June 1936 her daughter Maria was born. Her possible father was Izak van Been, however no name of a father was registered. But she was “a Jewish child” according a note at the registration card of her mother, made out by the Jewish Council of Rotterdam.

Esther had a relationship with the non-Jewish Jan Houtkamp in Rotterdam, from whom she had a son who was born 17 September 1940 and his name was John Houtkamp. According the registration card of Esther Swaluw, Jan Houtkamp acknowledged John as his at 2 December 1940, being the father of this child. Whether there was a formal marriage or not, could not be researched.

19 June 1942 Esther had another child, named Jacques. He received the family name of Swaluw so it is not clear who Jacques father was. At Esther’s registration per 1 October 1941 by the Jewish Council, her civil status was listed as “divorced”. Also a note made in April 1943 by the Jewish Council reveals that the 3rd child (Jacques) has not been acknowledged by Jan Houtman.

One of the many notes made at Esthers registration card of the Jewish Council is an attempt of 2 April 1943 by Esther Swaluw, to safeguard her children from deportation, where Esther has mentioned that her children Jacques and John were non-Jewish, while Maria Swaluw was Jewish. The note of 9 April 1943 is perhaps the most prominent, whereby “the person concerned (Esther Swaluw) 8 April has made a request that her children Jacques and John are G 1”. (G 1 – Mischiling Ersten Grades / half breed first degree). However, all attempts were in vain.

Her daughter Maria Swaluw was deported to Camp Westerbork already on 26 February 1943 and stayed in barack 84. Her mother Esther Swaluw and her children John Houtkamp and Jacques Swaluw were registered together in Westerbork 31 March 1943 and they stayed in barack 70. 4 May 1943 they were all put on transport to Sobibor and upon arrival there 7 May 1943 immediately killed.

source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/124551/jacques-swaluw

The destruction of innocence and beauty.

The girl in the play penis Renee Sara Gottschalk, born in the Central Refugee Camp Westerbork on 21 June 1941. The two girls in the dark dresses are the daughters of chief physician F. Spanier. The lady on the right is Rosa Strauss; Renee Sara’s mother. Her father is
Erich Gottschalk. Renee and her mother Rosa were killed in Auschwitz on 6 October 1944. Father Erich survived the war.

Rosa Strauss was born on February 24, 1911 in Bochum. Her parents were Emil Strauss and Johanna Strauss-Mendels. Her father was a cattle dealer and butcher. On February 5, 1937, Rosa married Erich Gottschalk, 5 years her senior in Bochum.

Shortly after the wedding, Rosa’s family fled to England via the Netherlands. From there they fled to South Africa. Rosa and Erich did not want to be chased out of Germany.

Erich was trained as a textile merchant, but under pressure from the Nazi measures, he was forced to work in his parents’ company, a wholesaler of advertising materials. The place was completely destroyed during the Kristallnacht. The next day he was arrested and taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Rosa was left alone. Because Rosa could prove that they had plans to emigrate, Erich was released on December 11, 1938.

Rosa and her husband fled to the Netherlands, where they ended up in a relief camp in Hoek van Holland. They planned to flee further, but were overtaken by the German invasion in May 1940. Rosa and Erich were taken to the Westerbork refugee camp. Their daughter Renée was born there on June 21, 1941. Because they were already in the camp during the refugee period, they were not put on transport for the time being.

They were ‘Alte Lagerinsassen’ but on September 4, 1944, Rosa, Erich and Renée Gottschalk were sent to Theresienstadt on transport. They only stayed there for a month. A month later, the family was sent to Auschwitz from Theresienstadt. Rosa and Renée were murdered here immediately after arrival, on October 6, 1944. Erich was chosen to work.

He survived the outside command Tschechowitz. Just before the liberation, he was sent on the death march ahead of the advancing Russian army. Erich Gottschalk was weak and collapsed, but was helped by Polish peasants. On 6 June 1945 he returned to Amsterdam as the only survivor of his family. His beautiful wife was murdered age 33. His beautiful and innocent daughter was murdered age 3.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/591473/rosa-gottschalk-strauss

The murder of Samuel Juda Vredenburg

It is an old Dutch tradition that you send a little card to friends and neighbours, to announce the birth of a baby. As did Izak Vredenburg and Ganna Vredenburg-Hirsch. They must have been delighted to announce the birth of their baby boy Samuel Juda Vredenburg. He was born in Amsterdam, on 24 July 1942.

Poor little Samuel didn’t even get to celebrate his first birthday. He was murdered on June 14,1943 in Westerbork. He would not even be 80 yet today.

Although Westerbork was a transit camp,which meant that most would only stay a short term before transported to other camps, predominatly Auschwitz and Sobibor. There were still at least 772 people who died or rather were murdered in Westerbork.

None of Samuel’s family survived.

Raphael Salomon Vredenburg, born in Amsterdam, 11 June 1941.Murdered in Sobibor, on23 July 1943.Reached the age of 2.

Jacob Menachem Vredenburg, born in Amsterdam, 20 July 1939.Murdered in Sobibor, on 23 July 1943.Reached the age of 4

Simon Azaria Vredenburg, born in Amsterdam, 14 April 1938.Murdered in Sobibor, on 23 July 1943.Reached the age of 5

Judith Julie Vredenburg, born in Amsterdam, 17 July 1936.Murdered in Sobibor, on 23 July 1943.Reached the age of 7.

Both parents, Izak Vredenburg and Ganna Vredenburg-Hirsch, were also murdered in Sobibor on 23 July 1943.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/183523/izak-vredenburg

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Samuel-Juda-Vredenburg/02/163505

Anne Frank’s age group.

Today is Anne Frank’s birthday. She was born June 12,1929. We all know her story through her diary, therefor I will not really go into Anne’s story but I will look at some other children who were also born on June 12,1929 and who were also murdered during the Holocaust.

Levy Spanjer, born in Amsterdam, 12 June 1929 .Murdered in Auschwitz, 12 February 1943. Reached the age of 13 years.

Philip Trijtel, born in Rotterdam, 12 June 1929 . Murdered in Sobibor, 20 March 1943.Reached the age of 13 years. Unlike Levy, there is no picture or Philip, but there is a bit more data. Philip was transported from Westerbork to Sobibor on March 17,1943. Where he was murdered 3 days later.

Sara Kloos, born in Amsterdam, 12 June 1929. Murdered in Auschwitz, 11 December 1942.Reached the age of 13 years. Although there is only a registration card as a record of Sara. That card tells us that she arrived in Westerbork on November 26,1942 and that she was deported to Auschwitz on December 8,1942, where she was murdered 3 days later.

Salomon Seijffers, born in Gouda. 12 June 1929. Murdered in Sobibor on 28 May,1943.Reached the age of 13. A year before he was murdered he did his Bar Mitswa, on May 30,1942, although it says Bar Mitswo in the newspaper announcement.

Before being transported to Westerbork, May 24-1943, he was imprisoned in Camp Vught. On May 25,1942 he was deported to Sobibor where he was murdered 3 days later.

A stumbling block, stolper stein has been placed for Salomon Seijffers in front of Lage Gouwe 84 in Gouda, the Netherlands.

Sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Philip-Trijtel/01/73026

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Sara-Kloos/01/15282

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Salomon-Seijffers/01/20171

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

$2.00

Holocaust in the Netherlands.

During World War II, Jewish citizens in the Netherlands were isolated and subjected to discrimination and persecution by the National Socialists and their associates. Most of them did not survive the war. More than 102,000 Jews from the Netherlands were deported and murdered during the Holocaust.

One of the most compelling pieces of evidence to have survived from this period are photographs of the victims.

By the summer of 1943 most of the Jews in the Netherlands had been deported. By the time the last transport left in September 1944 a total of 107,000 Jews had been deported to the extermination camps. Only 5,000 of them returned after the war. More than 75% of Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. This was the highest amount, per capita, in all of the occupied countries.

The large number and percentage of Jewish victims in the Netherlands compared with for example, Belgium and France, can be explained in the first place by the fact that in the Netherlands, the German run police had sole authority over the organization and execution of the deportations, independently of the occupying regime and the local authorities. This applied to a lesser extent in Belgium and not at all for France. The Dutch civil service also kept immaculate records of all citizens.

However in recent years there has been a greater awareness of the mistakes made during the war and the inaction of many civil servants. Compared to some eastern European countries, the Dutch government is at least trying to own up to its mistakes rather then trying to revise history.

The picture at the top of the blog is of Nehemia Levy Cohen. Born in Amsterdam on 20 December, 1940. Deported to Westerbork on January 25.1943.Transported to Sobibor on 4 May 1943. where he was murdered 3 days later on May 7,1943, aged 2.

Following are just some pictures of a few of the 107,000 Jews who were sent to the concentration camps. Most of them never returned.

They were just ordinary citizens who never harmed anyone.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/191815/nehemia-levy-cohen

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/bronnen?term=Nehemia+Cohen+

https://www.annefrank.org/en/anne-frank/go-in-depth/netherlands-greatest-number-jewish-victims-western-europe/

https://www.yadvashem.org/righteous/stories/netherlands-historical-background.html

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

$2.00

The murder of Joseph Hartog van der Horst

The most beautiful announcement any parent can make, is the announcement of the birth of a child.

Mary Louise van der Horst-Beerenborg and Abraham Arthur van der Horst. must have been so proud when they put a notification in the Jewish weeklu(Het Joodsche Weekblad) on September 4.1942 that their son Hartog was born on August 29,1942 in the Hague, the Netherlands.

But from conception to death took only 18 months for Hartog. He was murdered aged 9 months, on June 7,1943 in Westerbork.

All that is recorded of Hartog is the newspaper notification and the notification of his death.

Both his parents were murdered just over a month later on July 16,1943 in Sobibor.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/29524/joseph-hartog-van-der-horst

https://www.openarch.nl/dar:4c101509-0655-488f-8d5c-cd9709b04774

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Joseph-Hartog-van-der-Horst/01/49889

Gideon Prager-1 year old boy murdered

It is stories like Gideon that make me want to give up doing blogs on the Holocaust, but paradoxically it also encourages me to continue with it. The reason why I want to stop is obvious. Every time when I see a picture of a beautiful innocent infant, knowing that child was murdered by an evil regime, I feel physical and mental pain. However, that is also the reason why I have to continue, to make sure it never happens again, although I feel like I and others are failing in that task.

There is not much to say about Gideon, how could there be he was only 1. He was born in the Hague ,Netherlands, on June 4,1942. On February 28,1944 he was transported to Westerbork but from there he was deported to Auschwitz on March 6,1944, together with 661 other men, women and children. Gideon was murdered in Auschwitz on March 6,1944.

There is more information about his family and especially about his mother and her family.

Family Prager

Fany Feingersch came as a German refugee from Celle to Zevenaar on 9 March 1939. She lived from March 9, 1939 to November 22, 1939 at the Jewish Youth Farm in Gouda, the villa Catharinahoeve with over two hectares of land. On April 1, 1940 she left for Rotterdam.

Fany’s parents, Isaak (Yitzkhak) and Rebekka (Rivka) Feingersch-Aswolinskaya, left Odessa,Ukraine for Germany in 1912. Because they had the Russian nationality, they were interned,seperately in Holzminden during the First World War. Once out of the camp they moved to Ovelgönne near Celle. There Fany was born in 1918. She was the fourth child; after her, a sister and five brothers are born.

Fany managed to reach the Netherlands together with her sisters Marie and Rosa. As a so called Palestine Pioneer, she had an agricultural education and lived in different places. Four of her brothers went to British Mandated Palestine. Her parents and two youngest brothers remained behind in Celle.

On August 30, 1939, Fany addressed a personal, handwritten letter to Princess Juliana, the Crown princess and future Queen of the Netherlands, pleading for her parents and youngest brothers to temporarily stay in a refugee camp in the Netherlands, The request was denied.

Fany married Wilhelm (Willy) Prager on December 3, 1941.

They lived above the pastry shop on Korte Poten in The Hague. Their son Gideon is born on June 4, 1942.

Fany was pregnant with their second child when she arrived in Westerbork on 28 February 1944, together with her husband, their son Gideon and Gerda Klein, her husband’s niece who lived with them at the time . On March 3, 1944 they are deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz (transport no. 89). Fany is murdered simultaneously with Gideon and Gerda on March 6, 1944.

Fany was 25 years old, Gideon was aged 1 and Gerda was 9 years old. Willy Prager survived the war. He was liberated in Dachau on April 29, 1945.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/144723/gideon-prager

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Gideon-Prager/01/20001

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

$2.00

Sally van Dijk,8 year old boy Murdered on May 28-1943,Sobibor.

Sally was born on August 19, 1934 in Geffen, the Netherlands. I wish I could say more about Sally, but there is very little known about him. The fact that he was murdered on May 28,1943 in Sobibor is sad, What makes it even sadder, his father, mother and older sister were murdered the same day, in the same place.

In fact in total 2849 Dutch Jews were murdered that day in Sobibor. They had all been transported from Westerbork.

Sally’s short life already had been interrupted. From September 1, 1941, Jewish children had to go to separate schools and were no longer allowed to go to public schools.

The Mandatory Star of David was introduced from May 3, 1942 and obliged all Jews older than six years to wear the Star of David. It had to be worn visibly at chest height. The star was distributed by the Jewish Council and cost 4 cents each.

I don’t know when Sally and his family were forced to go there, but until 25 May 1943 Sally van Dijk was imprisoned in Camp Westerbork.

Only 3 days later, Sally and 2848 others were murdered in Sobibor.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/33516/sally-van-dijk

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Sally-van-Dijk/01/436