The 4th of May is the date when all deaths from World War 2( and the last few years also from other conflicts) are remembered. At 8pm a 2 minutes silence is observed nationwide.
There were 7,900 military death, 198,000 civilian deaths, of which 20,000 died between late September 1944 and early May 1945 due to famine. But I will be remembering one victim of the estimated 104,000, Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
Elisabeth Huisman-Lees was born on August 17,1908 in The Hague, Netherlands. She died on May 4,1945 ,one day before the Netherlands was officially liberated, in Tröbitz, Germany.
Like most of the Dutch Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust, Elisabeth was Jewish but above anything else she was Dutch. She even played ‘Korfbal’ which is a typical Dutch sport.It has similarities to netball and basketball, and is played by two teams of eight players with four female players and four male players in each team. The objective is to throw a ball into a netless basket that is mounted on a 3.5 m (11.5 feet) high pole.
On February 1,1944 Elisabeth was sent from Westerbork to Bergen Belsen. From there she was put on the so called ‘Lost Train: Bergen-Belsen to Tröbitz’.
On April 10, 1945 a transport carrying Jews left Bergen-Belsen with an intended destination of Theresienstadt. However, due to bombings, the train ended up in the German town called Tröbitz.
In early April 1945, prisoners from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp were transferred to Theresienstadt concentration camp.
One of the three trains used for this was liberated by the Russian army near the village of Tröbitz. Many passengers did not survive this train journey. A large number of those who survived the train journey have died as a result of the outbreak of the typhus epidemic. The deceased were buried in a common grave behind the management barracks of the “Hansa” quarry.
211 died on that transport in Tröbitz. The really sad thing is that they all died just before or after the end of the war. Some died in June 1945. The youngest was Raphael Dasberg. He was only 8 years old, he died on April 22,1945.
If I would have to be silent for 2 minutes for each individual Dutch world war 2 victim, I would have to be silent for just over 300 days.
If I would have to remain silent for 2 minutes for each individual Jewish Holocaust victim, I would have to stay silent for 8,3344 days or 22.8 years. 10 years longer then the duration of the Holocaust.
Just think of that for a second.
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