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.



Ivor Arnold Troostwijk-10 weeks old Holocaust victim.


I so vividly remember the day my wife told we were expecting out first child. The only way to describe it was magic. And that is how new life should be celebrated as a magical moment, young expecting parents should only have to worry about the health and well being of their baby.

But what if you are expecting a baby and you don’t even know if you will survive leave alone your child.

Annie Troostwijk-Samuel and her husband Abraham Troostwijk knew in In October 1943 that their baby was due in 6 weeks time.

The couple got married on April 9, 1941. On March 17 , Abraham notified the governing Church authorities about his plans to marry Annie Samuel. Although they were Jewish it was standard practice that  the church authorities would also be notified. Abrham did this in writing.



In October 1943 they decided to move from Arnhem to Amsterdam, in the hope that they would be safer there and their son could be born in a safe place. They left their other child,one year old daughter Greetje behind in a safe hiding place.

Alas Amsterdam was not the safe place they thought it would be. The couple decided to take  the gamble: and go by train to Belgium.But they were arrested at Den Bosch train station and .ended up in a detention centre.

November 13,1943 was a cold Saturday but it was also the day that little ray of Sunshine Ivor was born in the prison hospital.

One month later, Annie, Abraham and Ivor were transported to Westerbork.


On 25 January 1944 Annie, Ivor and 946 other Jews were put on transport to Auschwitz. Even the heavens were sad that day because on January 25,1944 there was a Solar eclipse.

Annie and Ivor arrived three days later in Auschwitz and were killed straight after arrival.

It is not clear what exactly happened to Abraham or when he was put on transport, but he died March 28,1945.

Greetje survived and lives now in Israel.

There is a picture of Ivor available but I decided not to use it because even though it is a picture shortly taken after his birth, it is still distressing to see this tiny infant knowing he would be dead 10 weeks later.


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Brabant remembers

Joods Mounument