How many survived?

When you look at the picture above you can see a few boys having fun. You could ask yourself” Who are these boys?” or “What game are they playing?!

I don’t know who these boys are. I do know though that they were cared for by the BjZ or Buitenschoolse Jeugdzorg, which was a part of the Jewish council in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Buitenschoolse Jeugdzorg cared for Jewish children after school, The activities would include arts and crafts, music,dancing and sports and a few other activities.

The Jewish council was set up after some fights provoked by Dutch nazis broke out beween the Nazis and Jewish men in late January 1941. Hans Böhmcker who was an assistant to the Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands Arthur Seyß-Inquart. ordered the Jewish council to be set up and he made the council responsible to maintain peace and order in the Jewish quarter, which really was a ghetto, which had been established shortly after the skirmishes.

The BjZ gave the children some reprieve of their daily life during the German occupation.

It appears to me that the boys are playing football(soccer). There is another question which needs to be asked which is “How many survived?” Given the fact that about 75% of all Jews in the Netherlands were murdered by the Nazi regime there is a good chance that only 2 boys would have survived, if any.

Aside from the obvious horrors of the Holocaust, in ths case who knows what the world was deprived off. Who knows , maybe one or mor of these boys could have become footballing geniusese like Pele. Johan Cruijff or Maradona.

The more I write about the Holocaust the more I realize the ripple effect it had on the world’s history and future.

For all we know the scientist who potentially could have foreseen the Covid 19 virus was amongst the victims of the Holocaust. So much future damage was caused by the Holocaust which of course is impossible to quantify, but yet it is something we should never dismiss.

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Saying goodbye to 2020, saying hello to 2021.

The media migh have you believe that 2020 was all about Covid 19 and all the negativity that came with it. Howver there were positive things that happened whichwere over looked.

Below are just a few them.

Joy Njekwe, Rachael Akano, and Margaret Akano, two Irish teenagers originally from Nigeria aged 15 and 17 , developed “Memory Haven”, an app for people living with dementia and have gone on to take first prize in the Technovation Girls competition at the 2020 Technovation World Summit, beating 1,500 others from 62 countries.

Puzzles and board games became cool again and offered a much-needed break from our screens.

On 25 August, the World Health Organisation delivered the news that there had been no new cases of wild poliovirus recorded on the continent of Africa since 2016.

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53 year old Keith Bigland from Fenland in Cambridgeshire was “distraught” when his late mother’s pet cat, Biscuit, disappeared in 2017 after escaping from their home.But Mr Bigland and his wife Su were in disbelief when a local vet called them last Wednesday to say their fluffy gold and white pet, now aged 14, had been handed in after he was spotted just over one kilometre from their house.

While coronavirus pushed many museums to close, it opened up their collections to audiences virtually.

Andrea Bocelli giving us a free mini concert from Milan.

I wish you all the best for 2021

And although we have lost some of our economy, in many ways we have regained some of our humanity.

Several vaccines have become available ina record time. Opening up possibilities for future vaccines.

Follow me via this blog or on Mewe/Instagram and Linkedin.

Wash your hands.

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With the Covid 19 virus sweeping the world, you’d swear that washing your hands has become a new thing. How some media talk about it sounds sometimes like a new fashion trend.

People have been told to wash their hands long before Covid 19 made an appearance.Below are some examples of “Wash your hands” campaign from many years ago from different countries.

A Dutch campaign- “Paper is good but hand washing is better.”

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From the USSR  “Dirty hands mean trouble. In order to not get sick, be cultured: before eating, wash your hands with soap!”

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USA-“Wash your hands often”

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Wash your hands and stay safe.

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My letter to Anne Frank

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Dear Anne,

You don’t know me, but I know you.In fact nearly everyone knows you, and yet no one really knows you.

We know you  through your personal stories you wrote in your diary. We see each word, each letter and each paragraph, but we don’t see your hopes, your fears or your anxiety. You write about them , however we cannot really imagine how it must have been. I know I can’t.

Although because of a virus which has engulfed the world now, we are all told to stay at home as much as possible, we get a bit of an inkling how it must have been for  you and your family, but not really. All we have to do is to stay at home and enjoy ourselves. We can write like you did, but we don’t have to stay silent, we don’t have to be afraid to be dragged out of our house.We can do whatever we want to do.

In your time there was also a virus,it was fueled with and by hate, a sickening ideology.

I have a daughter who is about the same age as you, she even looks a bit like you. I really don’t know what I would do if something would happen to her, I am sure I would be devastated, sad and angry and more then likely would want some sort of revenge, but those are just speculation for I try not to think of an event like that.

I once passed by your house or rather the place you hid in, I could not get in because there was a queue of several hundred meters of people who had booked a ticket to see the annex. A thought then came to me, what if there had been a similar queue on the morning of 4 August 1944, the day you and your family were arrested, and what if all the people in that queue would have protested against the arrest, would have made a difference?

You’ll be happy to know your book has become one of the biggest selling books ever, only in recent time it has been surpassed by the books about another teenager, a boy called Harry Potter, but his story is fictional whereas yours is a brutal reality. I am sure though you would have loved his stories.

Even now there are people who dispute the genuinity of your writing. They say your father tempered with it. I am not angry with those people, I pity them, their indifference blinds them to the power of your words, the lessons to be learned from them.

What saddens me the most is not so much that you died a horrible death but the fact it is not even known when you died, it says about the date February or March 1945.

Dear Anne, I am not going to say you are a hero because you weren’t really. You were a young teenage girl whose diary should never have published, but whose life should have been lived to the fullest. Nothing excuses your death, it should not have happened.

Maybe one day when I leave my earthly coil behind we may meet ,but for now know this your memory lives on. Evil was not able to silence you.

 

Yours truly

Dirk de Klein, a father of a teenage girl.

Toilet Paper

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When I first started doing my blogs I never though I would be writing about toilet paper one day, but due this upsurge in the fascination with toilet paper , caused by the Covid 19 crisis, I felt compelled to have a quick look at the history of toilet paper.

Below are just some key events in relation to the evolution of the paper that has become such a popular item recently.

Prior to the use of paper these implements were used to clean one’s behind.

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The use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China. In 589 AD the scholar-official Yan Zhitui (531–591) wrote about the use of toilet paper:

“Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes”

During the later Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked:

.”the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper”

The rise of publishing by the eighteenth century led to the use of newspapers and cheap editions of popular books for cleansing. Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son in 1747, told of a man who purchased

“a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina; thus was so much time fairly gained”

Other times political manifestos were used to wipe one’s bum as a matter of protest.

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Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor’s name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.”

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883.Toilet paper dispensed from rolls was popularized when the Scott Paper Company began marketing it in 1890.

The rolled toilet paper that we use today, which is perforated, was created in the 1880’s. Toilet paper varies immensely; size, roughness, weight, resistance, residues, water-absorption, etc.

The bigger companies invest time and money in surveys to figure out which requirements sell best. This can lead to the adding of aloe in the paper, for a softer feeling paper.

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The manufacturing of this product had a long period of refinement, considering that as late as the 1930s, a selling point of the Northern Tissue company was that their toilet paper was “splinter free” Imagine that up until 1935 cleaning your butt was a dangerous business.

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Self Isolation

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In many countries around the globe people are being advised to self isolate when they have or think they may have symptoms of the Covid 19 infection. The recommended period vary between 7 and 14 days.

Many people say this has never happened before.However for many this was a reality due to the virus  created by Adolf Hitler and his like minded friends in Germany and other European countries, a virus fueled by hate and indifference. The difference though the Covid 19 virus has a high survival rate whereas the Nazi virus meant a certain death for many, especially when you were Jewish,Gypsy,Disabled or or other groups deemed sub human by the Nazis.

To survive many went into hiding, which was basically an extreme  form of self isolation. There are many examples but I am sticking to the most famous account of ‘ Self Isolation’ that of the Frank family.

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Of the Frank family only Otto, the Father, survived. He lost hos 2 daughters and his wife to this ‘virus of hate and indifference’

Below are some diary entries of Anne and also some words of Margot.

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Margot Frank

“Times change, people change, thoughts about good and evil change, about true and false. But what always remains fast and steady is the affection that your friends feel for you, those who always have your best interest at heart.”

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Anne Frank

“Last night Margot and I were lying side by side in my bed. It was incredibly cramped, but that’s what made it fun. She asked if she could read my diary once in a while. ‘Parts of it,’ I said, and asked about hers. She gave me permission to read her diary as well.”

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

margot and anne

A vaccine against the Covid 19/Corona virus is currently in development, especially scientists in Israel are making a good progress on a vaccine and a treatment. Just imagine what could have been if the Nazis hadn’t been able to carry out their final solution.

Unfortunately there is no vaccine as of yet against hate and indifference.

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