Dagobert Stibbe was born in Amsterdam, 13 October 1918. He was murdered in Auschwitz, 23 June 1943.
He was a student at the Technische Hogeschool(Technical University)Delft. He tried to escape to Switzerland, but this failed. He was caught on 2 June 1943 just 15 meters away from French-Swiss border. He was sent to the transit camp Drancy in France From there he was deported to the ‘Aussenkommando Jawischowitz’, that was part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.
There he had to work in a coal mine. His last letter was sent on June 18,1943.
But he was not just a victim of the Holocaust. He was also a student, a son, a friend. A Human Being who contributed to society. A young man who still had a life to live.
His fellow students from the Lyceum in Amsterdam, where he as a student in 1935, were very fond of him. He was described as a spontaneous, lively young man. He played the accordion, and his awkwardness endeared him to the people around him. His honesty and his bravery to stand up for his convictions made him stand out. He was overall a fun guy to be around.
His fellow students were so fond of him that they couldn’t bother finding out the actual date he died. In a memorial piece about him they said that he died after July in the coal mine. The memorial was posted in 1947, 2 years after the war. However in their defense the date of June 23, appears to be an estimate. On his death certificate the date is given between June 23,1943 and May 1, 1945.
I often see these types of memorials of victims of the Holocaust, written or compiled by friends or colleagues. But to me they really are quite hollow. I don’t want to be judgmental, but what did they do to help the victims?
I know it is easy for me to say because I was never put in that situation, but I would hope I would at least have some level of bravery, even if it was to speak out.
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