Desecrating Synagogues

The Holocaust wasn’t only the mass murder of the European Jews and other groups, it was also desecrating places of worships, especially synagogues,. It was showing total contempt and disrespect for holy places.

The above picture was taken on September 16,1944. It shows American and Canadian Jewish soldiers clear the synagogue in Maastricht , which was used as a warehouse during the war. This photo appeared in the New York Times of September 16, 1944 under the caption: “Hope springs eternal”.

The V-actions were Allied propaganda expressions based on the V-sign (V for Victory). To curb the success of these actions, the Germans devised a similar action: ‘V=Victory, because Germany wins for Europe on all fronts’. In August 1941, the synagogue in Apeldoorn. was set on fire, and daubed during on of those V-actions.

The synagogue in Deventer, destroyed by the Nazis, 1941.

Synagogue of Nijmegen, in Gerard Noodtstraat, defaced with anti-Semitic slogans and a Swastika , August 1941

Defaced synagogue in Beverwijk, circa 1942

The synagogue in Apeldoorn was set on fire and defaced by NSB members. August 1941.

Synagogue Paslaan 18, in Apeldoorn. Set on fire by NSB members in mid-August 1941.

What pains me to say is that all of these synagogues were desecrated by Dutch and not Germans. They probably were members of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi Party, buy they were Dutch and no one forced them to do this.

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Chaim Nussbaum- The Rabbi who escaped the Nazis and survived theBurma Railway

Nussbaum

Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum was born in Lithuania, but  grew up in Scheveningen in the Netherlands.  His story in World War 2 is a remarkable, some people just have a very strong life force.

After he got  married  he returned, together with his wife, to his country of origin, Lithuania. When the Nazis invaded Lithuania in 1941,he  managed to escape with his family.

H reached Java in the Dutch East Indies via Via Russia and Japan . In  the Dutch East Indies (nowadays known as Indonesia) he became Rabbi of the Jewish communities of Batavia and Bandung.

In 1943, the Japanese occupiers of the Dutch East Indies, imprisoned  him in the Changi Prisoner of War Camp in eastern Singapore.

Changi

There  he was forced to work to do slave labor on the notorious Burma Railway. Chaim also took up a role  as the rabbi for the Jewish prisoners in the camp, and  even established a synagogue there named Ohel Jacob.

A fellow prisoner, Bert Besser, made this tapestry, which was to function  as a curtain for that synagogue’s Holy Ark, which stored the Torah scrolls.

tapsetry

The text on the curtain say: ‘The Torah is Our Life’ and ‘House of Worship of POWs, Changi’. Chaim Nussbaum survived the war and after he was liberated he  moved to Canada.

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Source

Joods Historisch Museum