Kindertehuis-Home for Children

I came across date about the ‘Voormalig Rotterdams kindertehuis’ or Former Rotterdam home for Children. Initially I was a bit confused. I wanted to find out more so I looked in some Rotterdam archives, then I noticed that the actual home was in Arnhem. To make it even more confusing the address was Amsterdamscheweg 1, as in Amsterdam way 1.

The story behind this home is very sad and disturbing. The original name was Villa Marguerita , but after the bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940, Dr Wolff who was an ENT(Ear Nose Throat) Doctor originally from Berlin, became the director of the boys home. Eventually it became home for about 80 Jewish boys and girls, and later on some elderly Jewish citizens from Arnhem. For a short time it even functioned as a Jewish Hospital.

In December 1942, the deportation of the residents of the home , to Westerbork started. From there they were send to Auschwitz,Sobibor and Bergen Belsen. As far as I could find out none of the residents survived.

The youngest resident was Esther de Leeuw ,born 4 September 1942 in Arnhem. Murdered in Sobibor, 23 July 1943. Only 10 months old.

Kurt Rosenbaum was born in Berlin 2 April 1927 and was murdered Bergen-Belsen, 9 April 1945, a week after his 18th birthday.

I don’t know when this picture was taken, but the look in Kurt’s eyes is chilling. He clearly had got to the age where he knew what was happening around him and what fate would await him.

NEVER AGAIN

Sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/35441/voormalig-rotterdams-kindertehuis

When you come back to school, and your classmates are gone.

The last year has been a strange year for a great number of countries across the world, especially when it comes to education. There is no doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic will have consequences down the line for many students.

However most of them when they go back to school, they will still see their fellow school friend and students.

During the Holocaust a great number Jewish children were killed. In the Netherlands 75 % of all Hews were murdered. Yet the Nazis still get the illusion going that life was reasonably ‘normal’ for the Jews. Jewish children were still going to school, although their curriculum was greatly reduced. Even extra curricular activities were still encouraged.

This to me is one of the more sickening of the Nazi occupation, they gave people false hope. I have said this before that the Nazis had never been abled to succeed with their final solution plans without the help of other. The bureaucrats, the civil servants, the public transport staff and also other citizens who thought they could benefit from the removal of their Jewish neighbours, this wasn’t only the case in the Netherlands but all of occupied Europe. The one main difference with the Netherlands compared to many of the other countries, the Dutch had an extremely efficient public service, which was used to its full capacity by the Nazis.

I sometimes wonder how distressing it must have been for those poor children to see that every time they came back to school from a break, or after the weekend, some of their classmates were gone. What questions would have gone through their minds?

Any nation that kills their children kills its own future. Most of the children in the pictures in this blog would have been murdered during the Holocaust. I don’t know their names, where they lived, what age they were. But that is not important, all I know that none of them deserved to be treated like subhuman, none of them deserved the be murdered, none of their futures should have been stolen from them. What they deserve now is to be remembered and for all is us to work hard to avoid something like the Holocaust happening again.

Source

It’s their birthday today, but they were murdered before the age of 6.

I was going to do a piece on Nora Italiaander. She would have celebrated her 80th birthday today, but she was murdered on June 4,1943 in Sobibor. She was just aged 2.

The picture above is of her death notification issued on the 11th of June 1947, 4 years after her death.

But like Nora there were more children who were born on September 26 and they only got to celebrate a few birthdays. They were murdered before they were six. Below are just the names ,date of birth ,place of death and date of death. Sometimes it is harrowing enough just to see the raw data. All you really need to know is that they were children murdered for no reason.

Emma Reina Kalker-Born September 26,1940. Murdered in Auschwitz November 9,1942 -Age 2

Anna Neeter-Born September 26,1940. Murdered in Sobibor June 4, 1943-Age 2 The exact same dates as Nora Italiaander.

Helene Scholte-Born September 26,1940.Murdered in Auschwitz October 27 ,1942 -Age 2.

Louis van der Velde-Born September 26,1938. Murdered in Auschwitz February 11 ,1944 -Age 5.

Henri Andriesse-Born September 26,1938.Murdered in Auschwitz October 12 ,1942 -Age 4.

Philip Salomon Witteboon-Born September 26,1937.Murdered in Auschwitz October 26 ,1942 -Age 5.

Jeanne Lens-Born September 26,1937.Murdered in Auschwitz October 8 1942 -Age 5.

Rebecca Velleman-Born September 26,1937.Murdered in Sobibor May 14 1943 -Age 5.

Anne Groenteman-Born September 26,1936.Murdered in Auschwitz September 28 1942 -Age 6.Her eyes haunt me.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/

Ankie Stork- The Stork who delivered 35 Jewish children.

Ankie Stork was a Dutch resistance fighter during the German occupation of the Netherlands. She saved thirty-five Jewish children from the Nazis by hiding them in several locations the town of Nijverdal during World War II. She acted as part of Utrechts Kindercomité,(Utrecht Children Committee) a Dutch resistance group based in Utrecht.

Ankie was a member of the Hengelo manufacturing family, the daughter of Johan Charles Stork, the director of the Koninklijke Stoombleekerij in Nijverdal.
She became a lecturer and spokesperson after the war. She continued to reside at two residences in Enschede and The Hague until shortly before her death. She died in Enschede on November 23, 2015, at the age of 93.
Her father and brother,Piet, had tried to escape to England at the start of the occupation of the Netherlands, but were arrested. After they were released ,they turned their home into centre of resistance and also a hiding place for Jews.
In 1942 Ankie started to study social geography. She had to end her studies quite soon after she started because she refused to sign the Loyalty declaration, which was a declaration pledging loyalty to the German occupier.

In 1943 her cousin Anne Maclaine Pont asked her to join the resistance by starting to sell copies of “Het lied der achttien dooden” (the song of the 18 dead) by Jan Campert in order to fund the resistance.
Later on with help from others like the Pastor Hendrikus Berkhof, who had warned about the dangers of Nazism during his sermons, to find hiding places for Jewish children, she found places for these children in the eastern rural parts of the Netherlands.
In May 1944 she was caught and arrested but was released after 6 weeks due to lack of evidence.
Because of her and her helpers 35 Jewish children survived the war.

Sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn44496

https://peoplepill.com/people/ankie-stork/

https://dirkdeklein.net/2018/01/12/jan-campert-the-song-of-the-eighteen-dead-a-ww2-hero/

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Most of them were murdered.

I have to be honest and admit that I am not entirely sure if the title is entirely correct, I am working on presumptions. However they are well founded presumptions.

More then 75% of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust it is therefore safe to presume that the at least 75% of these children were murdered too.

I also believe that the picture below is from the same school or after school youth care organisation in Amsterdam which was organised by the Jewish Council.

The things I am certain about is that at least 2 survived one of them is Fred Lessing(below an interview with Fred from January 26,1993)

The other survivor is an unknown visitor to the NIOD Image bank website he said this about the below picture

“‘I am in this picture, sitting in the middle (round shirt collar). Born October 26, 1935. Am sitting next to Fred Lessing .'”

Just look at all those angelic faces and think of the fact that most of them were murdered for no other reason then hate.

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sources

https://www.yadvashem.org/artifacts/featured/teddy-bear-fred-lessing.html

The twisted evil mind of Mengele.

Capture

People sometimes think that Mengele was the only ‘Doctor’ in Auschwitz, but in fact there were more then a 30 physicians working there.

Mengele however was the most notorious one, he also seemed to be the most enthusiastic sicentist, He had a particularly evil mind. I am not going to talk about the experiments because I have written about those before as have others.

I am more interested in that evil twisted mind, a mind that could show ‘kindness’ and extreme evil at the same time.

One survivor once said of Mengele.

“He was capable of being so kind to the children, to have them become fond of him, to bring them sugar, to think of small details in their daily lives, and to do things we would genuinely admire.And then, next to that, the crematoria smoke, and these children, tomorrow or in a half-hour, he is going to send them there.”

In the documentary The Last Laugh ,Renee Firestone recalled an encounter she had with Mengele where he examined her and her sister Klara. Mengele had seen Renee had some issues with her tonsils and told her that get that seen to whenever she got the chance, at the same time he send her sister Klara to the gas chambers.

Even when he showed up at the selections when the transports arrived some survivors recalled “the impression of a gentle and cultured man who had cheerful expression on his face, almost like he had fun, he was very playful.”

On the other hand he got turn extremely evil within seconds, especially when his ‘rules’ were broken . One time a mother refused to be separated from her teenage daughter and scratched the face of an SS guard who was tasked to  enforce Mengele’s decision. Mengele drew his gun and shot both the woman and her daughter. Still fuming with anger, he ordered that all the people from that transport whom he had previously selected as workers  were to be be send to the gas chamber, to be murdered.

On question I often ask myself is if the Nazis had never come to power, what kind of physician would Mengele have been? I believe that the evil he displayed in the camps he worked was already in him, the Nazis only gave him the opportunity to carry out his evil acts and experiments ‘legally’.

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Sources

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0039625720300734

https://candlesholocaustmuseum.org/file_download/inline/25d72a3f-bb51-4c0c-9c72-ac1ed390e57e

https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/553409

 

Remembering the innocents.

children

Every life lost during the Holocaust was an innocent life but the lost lives of Children is what disturbs me the most.

I just want to say this blog is not made up of scientific data but just an idea that came up in my head overnight, and thinking of it to me it sounded like a logical conclusion.

An estimated 1.5 million Jewish children were killed during the Holocaust. If you take the definition of  a child to be anyone under the age of 18 ,you quickly realize that if the holocaust had not happened the majority of them would more then likely be still alive today.

WWII started in September 1939, although elements of the Holocaust started several years before the start of war, there are no known records of any Jewish children being killed before that.

Lets take the year 1939, a child of 17  then would have been born in 1922. That child would have been 98 today. Then when you take 1945 ,the end of the war, and take a newborn child just days before the end of the war, lest say April 20, 1945. That child would now have celebrated its 75th birthday.

To me it is a logical conclusion that the age range of those 1.5 million children would today be between 75 and 98, Given the fact the mass murders of Jews was really accelerated from 1942 onward , one can come to the conclusion that the majority of those children would now have an age range between 75 and 78.

Especially since scientific progress has made it possible for so many people to live a long life nowadays, Just imagine the possibilities if those 1.5 million children had been allowed to live, how many of them would have become scientists? Working on  cures for life shortening diseases?

1.5 million

I don’t know who the children are in teh pictures above, maybe some of them survived. However I aslo don’t know if the figure of 1.5 million is correct. Again I have no scientific data for this but it only stands to reason that the number must be much higher. There are no records of children who died at birth during the holocaust, nor are there accurate numbers of children who died during  or just before transport. Then there are pregnant women whose pregnancies were forcibly terminated either through experiments or otherwise. I just want to add a note to this last point I do not want this used in any current -pro life vs pro choice- debates because that is not at play in the context of the Holocaust.

All I want tod is remember all those who could have walked among us but because if the ideology of a warped lunatic, whose birthday it is today, and his cronies these 1.5 million + human beings were denied a life.

 

Three Children-Two different realities- One Hate.

hj

There are 2 different pictures in this blog. Both pictures portray children but their reality could not be further apart, yet the were all victim of hate. One because he was murdered because of hate, the others because they were indoctrinated by hate from a very young age.

The picture above is of 2 toddlers dressed in Nazi uniforms. They were taught to hate, the choice to love was taken away from them.

The picture below is of Henri Markus a young Jewish boy born in Paris. He was killed in Auschwitz on August 17, 1942 aged 8.

Henri Matkus

It is always the children who suffer most.

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My heart is broken

walk

I don’t know how often I have seen this picture but it is today it finally broke my heart.

I sat down and looked at it for a few minutes. Where before I only saw an woman, probably an elderly woman and 3 children walking towards the gas chambers.

What is so utterly disturbing about this is that they did not know what fate awaited them.

I cam clearly see their shies in the picture. Those shoes ended up in a pile of other shoes. Maybe were even sold on.

But what utterly devastated me is the innocence, one child is holding the hand of a younger child. I can only presume they are siblings.If I didn’t know the context in which this picture is places , I would think that it was a picture of a grandmother who is going to visit a family member or a friend with 3 kids who are reluctant to do so, but yet they do because they love their grand mother so much.

That is what I see in this picture, love. Love despite the hate that surrounded them.

 

Children

Children

The one thing I find hardest to come to terms with in relation to the Holocaust is the murder of the Children, in fact it is something I will never be able to comprehend.

I know that some people will say The Nazis did not select children  because they were children, but because they were , or rather their parents,part  of dangerous racial, biological, or political groups as per Nazi ideology. But I really do not give a f*ck about that. Excuse my language but I really get angry when people start to look for a reason behind the murder of innocent lives. There is only one reason, pure evil.

There will be people who will say that those involved in the killing were following orders and were afraid of their won lives, because if they did not carry out those orders they wold be killed themselves. But there is no evidence whatsoever that there were any punitive actions taken to those who refused to kill children or even adults.

Even if that had been the case. If I had been in their place, I would have let them kill me before I would even think of killing a child, in fact I probably would have fought back first and killed those who ordered the killing, for the simple reason that I am human being and every fiber of my humanity tells me murdering a child is wrong and takes away my humanity.

The picture at the top and the picture below are both pictures if children who were put on transport to death camps, for the sole reason to be murdered. What strike me about both pictures, it they were put in a non Holocaust context they could have been pictures of children going on a school trip. There is no chaos, they are walking in an orderly line , completely trusting the adults that accompany them.

Trnsport

I know tonight I will have nightmares and the pictures will haunt me, but that is a small price to pay.

 

 

Source

USHMM

 

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