Every time I see a picture of a sweet little angel like this, I feel like giving up on the research and reporting on the Holocaust I do. I get an overwhelming feeling of anguish, panic, anger and confusion, and I can feel physical pain.
It feels like someone just ripped out my heart. Then I remember I am not doing this for me but for them. If I will not tell their story, who will? What sickens me most is that I have these feelings 80 years after the murder of Mirjam. Why didn’t those responsible for her death didn’t have any of those feelings? Even if they had just one, Mirjam would still be alive today.
Mirjam Lewkowicz was born in Gouda, one of the most picturesque towns in the Netherlands, on 14 October 1940. Murdered in Auschwitz on 17 September 1943, she had reached the age of two years old.
How could anyone look into those eyes, and they must have seen them, and think that this little angel was a threat to their lives or a danger to their nations? How?
My fingers are getting wet because of the tears on my keyboard, tears that fell for you.
It is difficult for me to comprehend your murder. It makes no sense to me. You were born in Gouda, a place famous for its cheese, but I want to make it famous because it is where Mirjam Lewkowicz was born.
Your mother, Bettina, father, Herbert, and your six-month-old brother Hugo, who would have been celebrating his 80th birthday today, faced deportation to Auschwitz, where a gas chamber took the lives of your mother, brother and yourself.
I sincerely hope your story will ensure we never forget how evil mankind can be, or should I say man-cruel?
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