Happy Birthday Roger Whittaker

Roger Whittaker (born 22 March 1936) is a Kenyan-British singer-songwriter and musician, who was born in Nairobi to English parents. His music is an eclectic mix of folk music and popular songs in addition to radio airplay hits. He is best known for his baritone singing voice and trademark whistling ability as well as his guitar skills.

Happy Birthday Marcel Marceau

I did do a blog on Marcel Marceau about 2 years ago but he would have been 97 today. Therefore I thought it to be appropriate to do another tribute to this silent Hero.

He survived the Nazi occupation, and saved many children in WWII. He was regarded for his peerless style pantomime, moving audiences without uttering a single word, and was known to the World as a “master of silence.”

Marcel Marceau was born Marcel Mangel in Strasbourg, France, to a Jewish family. His father, Charles Mangel, was a kosher butcher originally from Będzin, Poland. His mother, Anne Werzberg, came from Yabluniv, present-day Ukraine.

At the beginning of the Second World War, he had to hide his Jewish origin and changed his name to Marceau, when his Jewish family was forced to flee their home. His father was deported to Auschwitz, where he was murdered in 1944. Both Marceau and his brother, Alain, were in the French resistance helping children to escape to safety in neutral Switzerland. Then Marceau served as interpreter for the Free French Forces under General Charles de Gaulle, acting as liaison officer with the allied armies.

He gave his first major performance to 3,000 troops after the liberation of Paris in August 1944.

In 1947 Marceau created the character Bip the Clown, whom he first played at the Théâtre de Poche (Pocket Theatre) in Paris. In his appearance he wore a striped pullover and a battered, be-flowered silk opera hat. The outfit signified life’s fragility and Bip became his alter ego.

He died on September 22,2007 . A silent Hero who should never beforgotten.



Happy Birthday – Max Henri Lievendag

Dear little Max, what future you may have had?

You’re future was taken awy from you. Murdered for one reason only, you were Jewish.

What breaks my heart is to know that you spend your 3rd birthday in a concentration camp. Camp Westerbork. The day after that birthday you were put on a train heading east , towards Auschwitz.

When I say train I am not talking about a comfortable means of transport , no you were cramped with hundreds of others in a cattle car. The only consolation you had was that your mother was with you.

You were born on this day in 1940 in Den Bosch, the Netherlands , February 22,1940. You were murdered 4 days after your 3rd birthday on February 26,1943. in Auschwitz

I hope you are celebrating your birthday among the stars in heaven.



Only fools and horses work

Today is the 81st birthday of David Jason, known for TV series like ‘ A touch of Frost; Porridge; Open all Houra’ but also for his voice in the 1989 film adaption of The BfG and many other movies and TV Shows.

However the part that will always be associated with him is the part of Derek Trotter, aka Del Boy of Trotter independent traders in one of the best(if not the best ) British Sitcoms ‘Only fools and horses’ below are just some of the best movies of that show.

Happy Birthday Del Boy

Happy Birthday Phil Collins

Hard to believe it is Phil Collins’s 70th birthday today.English drummer, singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the drummer/singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career. Between 1982 and 1990, Collins scored three UK and seven US number-one singles in his solo career.

Hare are just some of my favourite Phil Collins songs.

With Genesis


Happy 80th Birthday Neil Diamond

Born on January 24 1941,in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family descended from Russian and Polish immigrants. 16 year later he received his 1st guitar on his 16th birthday.

He became one of the biggest selling artists, about 100 million album sales.

These are 4 of my favourite Neil Diamond songs

Happy Birthday Jim Croce

Jim Croce is one of my all time musical heroes. He would have turned 77 today. Unfortunately he died aged 30 in a plane crash.On Thursday night, September 20, 1973, during Croce’s Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single “I Got a Name” was released, Croce and all five others on board were killed when their chartered Beechcraft E18S crashed into a tree during takeoff from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Celebrating his birthday with my 3 favourire Jim Croce songs and one lesser known song.

This is taken from his very first album ‘Facets’ the song ”Hard Hearted Hannah, the Vamp of Savannah” was originally released in 1924 by by Ager, Yellen & Bornstein, Inc. The words are by Jack Yellen, Bob Bigelow, and Charles Bates, and music by Milton Ager.

Isaäc Swart and Henderika Piller.


Isaäc Swart, what can be said about him and who is ?

Basically there is not much that can be said about him , he was just an ordinary travelling sales man.

Today would have marked his 95th birthday. He was born April 21,1914 in Amsterdam. Three days before his 26th birthday he married Henderika Piller on April 18,1940 in Amsterdam.


It was only a few weeks  before Germany would occupy the Netherlands and a Nazi regime would control the country.

The story of Isaäc and his wife Henderika is at first glance unremarkable. Just 2 young people,newlyweds who went about their daily mundane lives.

However their’ wittebroodsweken’ (this is the Dutch term for the first 6 weeks of marriage)  were disrupted in a way they did not expect.

May 15th after the bombardment of Rotterdam, the Dutch resistance was broken and the Germans invaded the Netherlands, bringing with them the most brutal regime the country had ever seen.

For most newlyweds life did not change all that much but Isaäc and Henderika were now considered enemies of the German occupiers, not because they had taken up arms to fight them but because they were Jewish, That was the only reason, A loving couple who never harmed anyone, were now considered enemies.

During the first few months there were only a few changes to their lives. But gradually their lives were made increasingly difficult. as it would be for every Jewish person in the country.

Isaäc and Henderika were arrested at their home  on  the 7th of  September 1943 , together with Isaäc’s aunt Schoontje Bont-Schenkkan. That  very same day they where deported to Auschwitz. On arrival there on the 10th September, his aunt was immediately killed.  Isaac and Henderika were selected for hard labor. Henderika  died  in Auschwitz on 30 November 1943,aged 28. Isaäc died in Auschwitz on 31 March 1944.aged 29. Only 3 weeks away from his 30th birthday.

There is one solace to be found in this. These ‘unremarkable’ people became remarkable heroes and were made heroes by the regime that saw them as subhuman. Like all the other millions who were murdered, each one of them a hero and a reminder that we are not allowed to let this happen again, for now we have the hindsight of history.


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Joods Monument