And the world watched and did nothing.

affiche

No one in their right mind would argue that it was the Germans who are responsible for the Holocaust. However when it comes to the Holocaust there are a lot more countries that can’t say they had no blame.

They may not have started it but they did very little to stop it. It suited them better to look away and do nothing or very little.

I have heard the arguments that no one could have possibly know what Hitler and his henchmen had planned for the Jews. But that argument doesn’t hold water.

The poster at the start of the blog is from 1933, the year Hitler took power, it was issued by a Dutch organisation with the name ‘The committee for special Jewish Interests’ The organisation was set up on March 23,1933 by Dr David Cohen, a lecturer of History and Classic languages at the University of Amsterdam

The poster is an appeal for funding to help Jewish refugees and Jews who were persecuted . On the poster there is a sign in German which translates Entrance forbidden for Jews.

The appeal is for 200,000 Dutch guilders which is the equivalent of about €91.000 or $98,000. Taking in consideration an inflation between 1933 and 2020 it would be the equivalent of $1,965,000

This is a clear indication that in 1933 the fate of the Jews was already known. In 1933 Hitler had just come to power, 6 years before the war and 9 years before the Wannsee conference where the Nazis came up with the blue print for the Final Solution.

The world already knew and decided to look away.

Dr David Cohen ended up in Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943, fortunately he survived the war.

cohen

Below another fundraising poster also from 1933. The poster of artist Samuel Schwarz was published at the occasion of a night of art for funding The Jewish Refugees, which was held in City Theater of Amsterdam on 29 May 1933.

art

The Nazis and especially Hitler never made it a secret what they were planning to do with the Jews. Anyone who read Mein Kampf would have known, but even before he published Mein Kampf he published anti-Semitic articles.

If this hadn’t been ignored, more then likely the Holocaust could have been stopped.

Donation

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Sources

NIOD

https://joodsecanon.nl/34z/1933-Komst-Duitse-Joden/

 

Harriëtte Zeeman

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Harriëtte Zeeman just another teenager.

But she was more then that.

She was someones’s daughter.

She was someone’s sister.

She was someone’s friend.

She was someone’s student.

She was someone’s neighbor.

She was someone who annoyed people.

She was someone who made people laugh.

She was someone born in Amsterdam.

She was someone’s enemy.

She was someone who was murdered by an evil regime in Auschwitz, on 26 October 1942.

She was someone who was murdered aged 14, the same age as my daughter is now.

Annelise Julie van Voolen-Murdered age 9 months.

annelise

I know some people will criticize me for this article. Because they cannot fathom why anyone would harm a 9 month old baby, leave alone murder her.

Seeing the face of a baby , knowing the child was killed by an evil regime, hits them hard in the gut.

But I don’t care, truth is I want people to feel uncomfortable when they look into the eyes of this baby girl. A baby girl that could have grown up to be their teacher, cleaner, chef, doctor or the mother of their best friend, or even their mother in law.

Stories like Annelise Julie van Voolen’s story have to hit us hard. They have to shake our core values. The people who killed her were not that different from us. There is often talks about an inconvenient truth. This is one of those inconvenient truths.

The people who killed Annelise were quite possible well educated and cultured. But they listened to a promise. A promise of a better life and prosperity. The promise of having a life filled with a purpose. They liked the promises they heard and fully immersed themselves in the ideology that fueled those promises.

However they never asked the question that any one should ask themselves if they hear a promise. How? How are they going to fulfill these promises? What is the price that needs to be paid?

And I get it. When you are promised a better life it is very seductive. But when following this promise is followed without critical thinking you only create chaos and destruction.

The really sad thing is we haven’t changed all that much. We still fall for promises and ideas without questioning them, and now as it was then , the few who do ask the questions are ostracized.

I sincerely hope you feel the anger when you see the face of Annelise Julie van Voolen. Born in Amsterdam 17 September 1942 , Murdered in Westerbork, 1 July 1943. 9 months old.

But don’t let the anger make you bitter but let it make you a critical thinker, ask questions, ensure this doesn’t happen ever again.

Those who survived the Holocaust will soon all be gone. It is our duty to continue telling their stories and the stories of all their loved ones who were brutally murdered, soame even younger then Annelise

Hendrikus van der Meer, killed for distributing leaflets.

2020-01-29

It is often asked “Why did the people not stand up against the Nazi regime?” I have even asked this question, especially when it came to me fellow Dutchmen.

But it is easy to judge in hindsight. I wonder how many who asked that question would have stood up against the regime(and I include myself), if they were put in that situation.Would they be willing to risk their lives?

Some men and women did stand up against the occupier and paid a heavy price for it, Mostly they were ordinary people, and would not have a military background. People like  Hendrik van der Meer.

Hendrik was a driver who worked for the local launderette in Amsterdam. On May 6 1943, he was spotted by 2 police men. Hendrik was distributing leaflets door to door, encouraging people to strike, and to refuse to report former Dutch soldiers. Previously there had been strikes between April 29 and May 3rd 1943.

When the police picked him up they found hundreds of leaflets. Hendrik was executed the same day  at an unknown destination.There was no trial.

He had a wife and 3 children who did not even know where their husband and Father was buried, or if he was buried at all. Just because he was distributing leaflets.

The picture at the top is the announcement of his execution.

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Holocaust – Victim by Victim

remy

The UN designated this day January 27 as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, although Auschwitz (which consisted out of about 40 camps) was the biggest death camp. There were other camps, though smaller in scale but equally as evil.

I know it is hard for people to fathom the amount of people who were murdered, but you can start remembering them victim by victim.

Victims like Koenraad Huib Gezang aka Remy van Duinwijck, two days from now it would have been his 78th birthday, but he didn’t even reach his 2nd birthday.

In October 1942, he was taken in by the crèche opposite the Hollandsche Schouwburg in Amsterdam. He was left as  an abandoned child.Nobody knew who he was. They named him Remi van Duinwijck, after Remi after the boy in the book ‘‘Sans Famille’ or Nobody’s Boy by Hector Malot. Duinwijck was the place where he had been found.

The little angel was real heart breaker as he had stolen the hearts  of the  staff at the crèche and even of SS-Hauptsturmführer Ferdinand aus der Fünten, who came to visit him regularly. But all this attention he received made it impossible to keep him safe send him into hiding, he was taken away and sent to Westerbork in April 1943, where he remained until May 18, 1943/ From there he was sent to Sobibor where he arrived on May 21 and was killed. After the war,in 2002,.  his true identity  was discovered, his real name was Koenraad Huib Gezang.

His parents had decided in August 1942 in order to increase the chance of survival to split up the family. Koen was initially send to another family member and via other shelter places eventually ended up at the crèche, where he was left as an abandoned child.

His mother Florence Gezang-Goudeket was also murdered in Sobibor, om April 9, 1943 just a few weeks before Koen was murdered.

His father Maurits, who had been a member of the resistance in the Hague , the Netherlands and Koen’s brother Edward both survived the war.

Koen

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

https://jck.nl/nl/page/koenraad-huib-gezang

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/144975068/koenraad-huib-gezang

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/144975068/koenraad-huib-gezang

NIOD

 

 

#holocaust

 

Four Innocent Lives

4 kids

This picture really upset me, it comes from an album from the National Monument of Camp Vught. When I saw the picture first I thought it was a family picture of 4 siblings. But these kids are not related, it appears to be a staged picture taken at  Vught Concentration Camp

But that is not what upset me, what did, is the notion that these 4 kids were given some bit of hope of a life, but that life was taken from them.

4 futures taken for no other reason but hate.

What is even more upsetting is that so little is known of these children , only the bare facts and not even all the facts either.

The boy in the picture, top left, is Simon Koster born 20 January 1934 in Amsterdam.Murdered in Auschwitz 17 September 1942 .aged 8.

The little girl in front of  Simon is Dora Fresco, born 13 September 1940.in the Hague Murdered in Sobibor 16 July 1943, aged 2.

The oldest girl ,top right is Rabecca Pemina Vorst, date of birth not known, birthplace not known. Murdered in Auschwitz 26 March 1943.

The baby lying down on the bed is Rosalie van Baale, born 22 June 1941, in Amsterdam. Murdered in Vught Concentration Camp on 12 April 1943, aged 1.

NEVER EVER FORGET WHAT HATE CAN DO.

A slight correction, one of my readers found some additional information and discovered that the 4 children are related through their mothers who were sisters from each other, and the picture was made before they were sent to Vught.

The kids all have different surnames which indicates 4 mothers. This makes that picture even more upsetting because it means that 4 young families were either killed or torn apart.

 

 

 

 

Love is stronger then the fear of death.

Weddimg

I probably could do a whole essay on how Guus van der Wijk and Mina de Vries met, and at some stage I probably will, but for now it suffices to say they were extremely brave people, in fact in my eyes they are heroes.

Despite the knowledge that there was a great chance they would be separated and likely would face death , it did not stop them in declaring their love for each other and copper fasten their love in matrimony, and capture that moment for future generations.

On August 17,1942 arranged in an improvised manner to have a wedding picture taken,in Leeuwarden in the North of th Netherlands. There was no fancy wedding dress or expensive ring. Just ordinary attire, the only indication that it was a festive occasion was the carnation on Mina’s dress.

In less then 3 months later Mina would become a widow,Guus was killed in Auschwitz on November 13,1942.

Mina herself would be killed in Sobibor on March 20,1943.

In death they would be reunited again because their love had no fear of death.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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NIOD

 

Boycotting the Cinema-A small act of resistance.

verboden

The majority of the Jews in the Netherlands were killed during the Holocaust, The estimates vary from 100,000 to 104,000. It would be too easy to say that this was because the Dutch were willing participants in the Nazi ideology, because for the majority this wasn’t the case.

The large number and percentage of Jewish victims in the Netherlands compared to say to Belgium and France can be explained in the first place by the fact that in the Netherlands, the German police had sole authority over the organization and execution of the deportations, independently of the occupying regime and the local authorities. This doesn’t mean the German police weren’t helped by the Dutch,because the were . Some of the Dutch collaborators made a profit out of it.

On the other hand there was also the fact that the Dutch had a very efficient citizens registry, which made it easy for the Nazis to find the Jewish citizens.

What I find most disturbing is the fact that although the majority didn’t help the Nazis, many did turn a blind eye. or simply did nothing, which I think is just as bad as collaborating.

The persecution of Jews did not happen overnight, Gradually new laws were introduced undermining the Jews in daily life.

On January 8 1941 Jews were forbidden to enter cinemas, this led to a call to boycott cinemas. Posters with the texts “Boycott this Cinema” and “No hate for Jews in the Netherlands” were posted on the doors of cinemas. Sometimes they also had posters protesting low salaries.

boycott

In February 1941 there was also a nationwide workers strike,in defense of persecuted Dutch Jews and against the anti-Jewish measures and activities  the Nazis in general.The strike was organized after a number  of arrests and raids  by the Nazis in the Jewish area of Amsterdam. It started on 25 February 1941 ; on 26 February, 300,000 people joined the strike. The strike was violently stopped  by the German occupiers after three days

Despite the inaction of many Dutch there were many others who risked their lives helping their Jewish neighbours.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

NIOD

Films

 

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.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Source

Joods Historisch Museum

Betsie ten Boom-Hero and Righteous Among the Nations

Betsie

On this day 75 years ago a real Hero died.

Betsie ten Boom died in Ravensbruck on 16 December 1944, at the age of 59. Sge ended up in Ravensbruück for one reason and one reason only, She died because she did the righteous and decent thing. Together with her family she hid  numerous Jews and members of the Dutch resistance.

Many others looked away and did nothing, she did not and could not. Despite illness and mistreatment she always looked for the best in circumstances.

She was a member of  the Dutch Reformed Church and strongly believed that all man were equal in the eyes of God.She remained steadfast in that believe untill the day she died.

Rather then write a whole story about Betsie, and I easily could, I feel this hero deserves more then that. That’s why I am asking everyone who reads this to do their own research on Betsie ten Boom and her family. A good starting point is the book The Hiding Place.

Betsie and her father, Casper, were honored by the State of Israel in 2008 as Righteous Among the Nations.