Mirjam Lewkowicz—Murdered child

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?

Dear Mirjam,

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?



Rosette Levie, 5-Years-Old—Murdered

Rosette Levie was deported to Sobibor in June 1943 from Vught via Westerbork on the so-called children’s transport

She was born in Amsterdam on 24 February 1938. She was murdered in Sobibor on 11 June 1943 at age five.

Dear Rosette, you never made it to your first school day.

You were denied your first bit of pocket money.

You were denied your first kiss.

You were denied your first dance.

I don’t know if you ever owned a bike, I doubt it because that would have been denied to you too.

You were denied a life.

I don’t see a threat to the nation in your eyes, yet there were some who did.

I see no potential for evil in your eyes, yet there were some who did. They were the ones who were evil.

You were one of 1.5 million children who were murdered by pure evil men and women.

Recently I heard a story about a pregnant woman who was shot. They managed to save her unborn baby, at least for a short while. Because when the Nazis found out that the baby was saved they killed not only that baby but all other babies that were hidden.

At least you had a few years, but that is just a meagre consolation.

Rest in peace little angel.

The 73 Days of Isaac Michel Max Rosenbaum

We now live in an era when we consider 73 years a young age to die. Isaac Michel Max Rosenbaum lived for only 73 days. He was born in Amsterdam on 19 January 1943. He was murdered in Sobibor on 2 April 1943.

His father was Ephraim Izak Levie Rosenbaum, who lived with his wife and children until 1943 at 13 JD Meierplein (Houtmarkt 13 at the time). He was a pharmacist in the building on the Hoek Amstel–Nieuwe Heerengracht 1, Amsterdam.

His wife Johanna Frederika Suzanna Zion and son Izak Michel Max went into hiding in Neede (Gelderland). They were betrayed and sent to Sobibor via Westerbork, where they both were murdered on 2 April 1943.

Ephraim Isaac Levie Rosenbaum was murdered three weeks later in Sobibor.

73 Days- 7 + 3 = 10, that’s what you were Isaac Michel Max Rosenbaum—a perfect 10.

73 days, just over two months, you were a product of love, but you became a victim of hate.

73 days, but it should have been 80 years because that is what you would be today. Happy Birthday, young Isaac Michel Max Rosenbaum—no longer a human made from flesh and bone, but a star in heaven.

His sister survived the Holocaust.



Then Suddenly, the Classroom was Empty

The murder of children during the Holocaust is what haunts me the most. Sometimes I try to be poetic and philosophical when I try to memorialize them, but often seeing the raw cold data is the most effective way to remember these young innocent lives. So many futures were destroyed.

The picture above is from a class at the Joodsche School in Rotterdam. I don’t know if all children were murdered, I can only presume they were. Below is the data of those who certainly were murdered.

Hartog Berkelouw, born in Rotterdam on 5 January 1932. and murdered in Auschwitz on 14 January 1943. He reached the age of 11 years old.

Mijntje Belia Koppels, born in Rotterdam on 29 December 1931. He was murdered in Sobibor on 28 May 1943 at the age of 11 years.

Abraham Sanders was born in Rotterdam on 8 August 1932. He was murdered in Sobibor on 23 April 1943 at the age of 10 years.

Betsy Jacobs was born in Rotterdam on 2 May 1931. She was murdered in Sobibor on 23 April 1943 at the age of 11 years.

Sophia Aandagt was born in Rotterdam on 19 April 1932. Murdered in Auschwitz on 5 August 1942. She was 10 years old.

Hinda Sanders was born in Rotterdam on 18 August 1932. She was murdered in Sobibor on 23 April 1943 at the age of 10 years.

Kaatje Ensel was born in Rotterdam on 23 June 1932 at Auschwitz on 16 August 1942 at the age of 10 years.

Doortje van der Horst was born in Rotterdam on 7 March 1932. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 9 August 1942 at the age of 10 years.

Gizela Minc was born in Danzig on 12 December 1932. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 19 November 1943 at the age of 10 years.

David Ossendrijver was born in Rotterdam on 5 September 1932. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 8 April 1944 at the age of 11 years.

Never forget what a twisted ideology and false promises can do.

Just a Girl

Just a girl, not a soldier or a politician.

Just a girl, the only threat she posed is that one day her smiley face would melt someone’s heart.

Just a girl, no hate to be seen in her eyes.

Just a girl, the only wish she had was to grow up.

Just a girl, just a girl, just a girl.

A girl with no political agenda

A girl with no weapons

A girl whose life was cut short.

A girl who could not even blow out eight candles on a birthday cake.

A girl who was hated and feared by idiots who did not recognize her value.

A girl who was murdered.

Just a girl, a sister and a daughter

Just a girl who is now an eternal memory. She has a place among the stars.

Sarah Eva Vleeschhouwer
Born in Rotterdam on 1 September 1936. Murdered in Auschwitz, on 11 February. She reached the age of seven years.



Children Murdered on December 11, 1942

I find it increasingly difficult to write about the murdered children of the Holocaust. 1.5 million innocent souls who are now 1.5 million stars in the sky. This post will have the raw data of some children murdered on this day 80 years ago. But just the raw data should send shivers down your spine.

Pictured above:

Left: Alexander Katwijk was born in Amsterdam on 30 December 1934 and was murdered in Auschwitz on 11 December 1942. He had reached the age of seven.
Middle: Marianna Katwijk was born in Amsterdam on 26 January 1937. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 11 December 1942. She had reached the age of five.
Right: Elisabeth Katwijk was born in Amsterdam on 19 October 1939 and was murdered at Auschwitz on 11 December 1942 at the age of three.

Above: Bettje van Delft was born in Sappemeer, the Netherlands, on 1 February 1942. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 11 December 1942. She died at the age 10-months.

Above: [The young boy on the left] Edgar Morris Lindenfeld was born in Amsterdam on 26 August 1935 and murdered in Monowitz on 11 December 1942. He reached the age of seven. [The young girl on the right] Marion Lindenfeld was born on 2 March 1933 in Braunschweig, Germany. She was nine when she was murdered in Monowitz on 11 December 1942.

Above: Floor Spreekmeester was born in Amsterdam on 9 May 1931. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 11 December 1942 at the age of 11.

Below: This is a class photo of Floor with her classmates. Very few, if any, will have survived the Holocaust.

Floor’s name also appeared on an obituary page of the Dutch State Newspaper. I don’t know when it was published. I can only presume it was after the war. Look at the number of people on the page—they were all murdered during the Holocaust. Just one page from one newspaper from one country. Just let that sink in. Yet to this day—there are still those who say it never happened.




Felix Max Paul Leefsma

Dear Felix Max,

You were born 29,220 days ago. Approximately 701,280 hours or 42,076,800 minutes, or even 2,524,608,000 seconds ago.

These numbers are so hard to comprehend, just as hard to fathom that you were murdered only 550 days after you were born. The only consolation here is that you had one extra day of life because 1944 was a leap year.

You were born in Amsterdam, on 19 November 1942. You were murdered on 22 May 1944 in Auschwitz.

You were deemed an enemy of the state, of a foreign state, because the ones who thought that you were not fit for life, had occupied your country from another land. This doesn’t mean they didn’t get help from your fellow country man.

A one-year-old enemy of the state.

Dear Beautiful Angel, you look so much like me when I was your age. I hope you are looking down at me from heaven and that you find some comfort that your name is not forgotten.



Johannes van der Hoek—Born to be Murdered

This story has torn my heart open. I can’t tell you too much about Johannes van der Hoek all I can tell you is that he was born on 6 November 1942, in Westerbork. He must have been placed on a transport to Auschwitz, straight after his birth because, he was murdered there on 9 November 1942, with his mother and his two-year-old sister, Johanna, just three days after he was born.

His father was murdered a few months later on 30 April 1943, also in Auschwitz.

The very sad irony is that Johannes’s birthday, 6 November 1942, was the day the Soviet POWs mutinied and escaped from Birkenau. Under cover of fog and falling darkness, they forced their way past the SS guard posts into a part of the Birkenau camp, that was still under construction and not fenced. Unfortunately, the majority of them were either shot or caught during the escape.

Why a three-day-old baby—why?





A Murdered Family

The baby in the picture is Jonas David Kloot, he would have celebrated his 80th birthday today. He would have been blowing out 80 birthday candles on his birthday cake. But he didn’t even get to blow out his first birthday candle. Jonas was born on 15 September 1942 in Amsterdam. Less than nine months later on 11 June 1943, he was murdered in Sobibor.

The other people in the photograph are Jonas’s dad, Hijman Kloot. Born in Amsterdam, on 5 June 1904. Murdered in Sobibor on 9 July 1943. Reached the age of 39 years. Occupation: Merchant

Jonas’s Mother, Femmina Kloot-Engelsman. Born in Amsterdam, 19 March 1908. Murdered in Sobibor on 11 June 1943.

Jonas’s oldest sister, Clara Kloot. Born in Amsterdam on March 1931. She was murdered in Sobibor on 11 June 1943 at the age of 12.

Jonas’s youngest sister, Annie Kloot was born in Amsterdam on 7 August 1935. She was murdered in Sobibor on 11 June 1943 at the age of seven.

Femmina and her three children were all murdered on the same day. They were deported from Westerbork to Sobibor on 8 June 1943 and were murdered on their arrival on 11 June 1943.

The Kloot family were not the only ones on that transport. There were in total of 3,015 on that train, the majority were murdered upon arrival at Sobibor on 11 June 1943. Just think about that, about 2900 were murdered in one day.

The ages of those on the transport were:

Hijman Kloot and Femmina Engelsman married in 1929 in Amsterdam.

All members of the extended Kloot members were murdered at Sobibor, except for Samuel Kloot and Isaac Kloot, and two brothers of Hijman Koot. They were murdered in Auschwitz.

Samuel’s wife and two-year-old son were also murdered at Auschwitz, as well as their nine-year-old daughter and the wife of Isaac Kloot.




Happy Birthday Ina Winnik

In a way I hate saying Happy Birthday ,because is supposed to be Ina’s 80yj birthday today. But she didn’t even get to celebrate her 2nd. She was born in Amsterdam on August 30,1942. She was murdered on October 22nd,in Auschwitz.

The reason why I do say Happy Birthday is because she deserves to be remembered, all of her previous 79 birthdays also need to be remembered. She was just a baby when she was murdered, not an ounce of evil in her, just pure love.

Ina was also the nickname I had for one of my sisters, when I was a kid.

Ina and her mother were caught on 29 September 1943 during a raid in The Hague. And then transported via Westerbork to Auschwitz where they were immediately gassed.

Ina’s half brother was Stanley, but he never met his older sister.

“And then it goes wrong…. My father Ies Winnik is arrested. ‘Mitkommen’, the Nazi screams. They take him to the headquarters of the Security Service.

There he is harshly interrogated. Where did you put the fur coats, Jew?’, asks the Security Service at the head office. He stands firm and is dragged to his cell. At the last interrogation he stands alone in his underpants in front of the interrogator’s desk.

It is warm and the balcony doors are open. The secretary signals with her eyes to my father and the balcony. This is my last chance,’ he thinks and jumps over the balcony and flees….

Stanley, in the film clip below, talks about the places his half-sister Ina went before she was murdered by the Nazis.

The video is in Dutch but you can select English Subtitles in the CC(Close Caption)section at the bottom right hand corner.