Two 10 months old babies- 2 different futures.

babyy

This blog contains 2 pictures of 2 baby boys both aged 10 months. With these pictures I will be attempting to explain the Holocaust in a way that most anyone can understand it.

Having that said no one will really ever understand how it was possible to massacre so many innocent lives on such an industrial scale.

The pictures are nearly identical but were taken with a time span of 25 years between them.

The picture above is a picture of Bernhard Arend Sanders born on March 20,1943 in Schalkwijk, Houten, Utrecht, The Netherlands .

Bernhard was killed on January 28, 1944 in Auschwitz, he was barely 10 months old . He was killed because of someone’s warped ideology of how the perfect human being looked like and because a twisted sense of entitlement.

Although Bernhard was Dutch, seen by the Nazis as a pure race,he was also Jewish, Jews were subhuman,even vermin, according to the Nazi doctrine as lined out by the Nazi leadership, Hitler,Himmler,Hess,Goebbels,Goering and others.

According to these men the Aryan race was the purest form of humanity and everyone else would either be subjected to the Aryan race or eradicated altogether.

There were 3 ironies in this, Firstly none of the aforementioned leaders of the Nazi regime fulfilled the Nazi criteria of being pure Aryan. Because Aryans were meant to be tall,blonde,blue eyed,Germanic blood  and athletic.

Secondly, many of those the Nazis had deemed to be subhuman  actually fulfilled all the criteria for being Aryan

Thirdly, the actual Aryan race were Indo-Iranians from origin.

But because of this warped ideology a young beautiful boy like Bernhard Arend Sanders was murdered in a most horrible way, gassed to death.

The Nazis had this twisted sense of entitlement, they believed they were meant to rule and therefore everything belonged to them. They felt they were entitled to take anything they desired,regardless who owned it.

I deliberately mention Nazis rather then Germans, although the Nazis were able to control a great number of Germans by feeding them false promises and propaganda, there were Germans who resisted them. Also the Nazis did not only control the Germans there are very few occupied countries who did not fall for the Nazi propaganda in one way or another/ Although mostly a minority, there were a substantial number of National Socialists in other European countries and even in the UK and the USA.

Yes the Nazis also  used violence to achieve their goals but it all started off via a democratic route.

baby

Fast forward to 1968/69 and imagine an alternative history. A new  political movement, whose name we don’t know yet, has come to power in one of the smallest countries in Western Europe, the Netherlands. This new government declares that the Aryan race with blonde hair and blue eyes are subhuman, even vermin, and need to be eradicated.

Just imagine that, the little baby boy in the picture above would have been killed, and this blog would never be written, because you see that little boy was me 10 months old.

We should never ever forget the Holocaust and should always hold those responsible accountable. But we also should never forget that this could easily happen again but this time it might be the blonde blue eyed Europeans, the Asians, the Muslims or the Jews again.

Evil has no nationality or creed.Next time it could be me or you.

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

$2.00

 

 

.

 

Advertisements

Tina Strobos-Forgotten Hero

Tina

I had not heard of Tina Strobos before although I have read so much about WWII and the Holocaust, but for some reason her name escaped me. She was born Tineke Buchter.

She was a  was a Dutch physician and psychiatrist from Amsterdam and during WWII she was involved in the Dutch resistance.Together with her mother and grandmother she provided a safe place for about 100 Jews during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

She used her house to hide these Jews,  usually three or four individuals at a time,using a secret compartment in the attic  and a warning bell system to keep them safe from the many sudden police raids. She also smuggled guns and radios for the Dutch resistance and forged passports, by stealing stole  cards from non-Jewish people at social gatherings, to help refugees escape the country..

foged

She knew that if she was ever discovered she would face a certain death.

During the course of the war, she  had been arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo nine times.[ During these interrogations, She would be held by her wrists and thrown against a wall,once she was even knocked unconscious.Despite all this  she never once betrayed the whereabouts of those she hid. In order to endure the interrogations , Tina  learned certain tactics. She always requested for an  interpreter, even though she was  fluent in German, this bought her some time to compose herself. A Nazi officer once commented on her legs, she used this to her advantage and became more courageous : “I realized that he was just a man and he was interested in my legs. So that gave me a sense of power.”

This heroic woman died age 91 on February 27,2012 in New York. Because of people like her I am proud to be Dutch.

 

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

$2.00

The Dutch Pope

Pope

When you think of Popes you wouldn’t think that a small country like the Netherlands ever would produce a Pope. But yet it did.

Born as Adriaan Florensz Boeyens in Utrecht on March 2 1459. He would become thr  head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 9 January 1522 until his death on 14 September 1523.  He would be the only Dutchman so far to become pope, and was the last non-Italian pope until John Paul II, 455 years later.

He was designated the title Pope Adrian VI or also Hadrian VI. Adrian was resented by the Romans as an outsider. He took up the task of reforming the church. Pope Adrian VI took over from Pope Leo X, who had been Pope from 1513 to 1521.Pope Leo had left the papacy in chaos. The treasury was depleted by wars, construction, and private leisure activities.

Adrian chose to keep his birth name. Immediately, the stern theologian made sure that people understood . he was not the sovereign’s puppet. He embarked on a program of reformation to replenish the treasury by putting an end to unnecessary spending

Adrian VI tried to unite the Christians in a crusade against the Turks, he failed in this. Swiftly the Turks under Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Rhodes.

suleman

Adrian also underestimated the early stages of the Lutheran revolt. Adrian did condemn Luther as a heretic, but he took no defensive actions against the Lutheran movement. Ironically the country he was born in would later become one of the most Lutheran countries in Europe.

Adrian VI died in Rome on 14 September 1523, after one year, eight months and six days as pope. Most of his official papers were lost after his death.

Pope A

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

$2.00

 

Sources

Papalartifacts.com

Britannica.com

 

World War 2 violence in Nijmegen.

nijmegen

On February 22nd, 1944 the people of the Dutch  town of Nijmegen were subjected to an attack which killed more than 750 civilians. One would assume that this awful attack was carried out by the German occupiers , but that was not the case. The attack was carried out by B-24 bombers of the 446th and 453rd Bombardment Group if the United States Army Air force.

B-24

The bombers had been on the way on a mission to bomb the German city of Gotha,where the Gothaer Waggonfabrik aircraft factory was producing Messerschmitt fighters and other Luftwaffe planes.

But due to poor visibility the mission was cancelled and the bombers were told to return to base to the RAF Bungay airbase.

map

Initially it was reported that the bombing of Nijmegen had been a mistake, it was said that after the command to abort the Gotha mssion the bombers looked for alternative targets like the German cities of Kleve or Goch which are near the Dutch border.

However in reality the bombers  for targets of opportunity on the way back to Britain. The targets were found in the form of a railway emplacement near Nijmegen, a gasworks in Arnhem, and an industrial area in Enschede.

The devastation caused to of the city centre of Nijmegen was certainly not intented, according to the airmen’s reports. They had dropped the  bombs dropped too early.  a study by Dutch Historian Rosendaal indicated that the bombers were inexperienced. And those were not the only errors: not all the pilots realized they were targeting Nijmegen, nor did they rknowthat Nijmegen was occupied Dutch territory and that it would have needed  special clearance  required to bomb it.

The Germans were quick to use this incident as a propganda tool, They had accused the Dutch government in exile had given the go ahead to bomb Nijmegen.The Germand hung posters in several places  with the text ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies?’

nijmegen propaganda

Their propaganda efforts failed seven months later, the American ground troops were welcomed as heroes by the inhabitants.The propaganda had been counterproductive.

On that day more then 750 civilians were killed, which was close to the  amount of casualties of the bombing of Rotterdam , which was 900,at the start of the war.

monument

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

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

Hermine Santruschitz aka Miep Gies

Miep

The name Hermine Santruschitz will mean very little to most, however the name Miep Gies is a well known name, a name which would forever be linked to a teenage diarist called Anne Frank.

Miep Gies born  Hermine Santruschitz would have celebrated her 110th birthday today, she did not get that old but she still reached the age of 100.

She was born in Vienna on February 15,1909.Her parents Mathias and Genofeva (née Jakuschitz) Santruschitz sent her to Leiden in the Netherlands in 1920. Austria was stil suffering the consequences of World War 1, there were a lot of shortages including food.

The Netherlands had remained neutral during WWI and was reasonably affluent. Hermine was sent to The Nieuwenburg family, consisting of 2 parents and 5 children. The The Nieuwenburg family initially agreed to take Hermine in foster care for 6 months, but due to bad health this was extended to one year. In that time Hermine got very attached to the family and the decision was made for Hermine to remain with the family. They called her by the shortened version of her name Miep.

In 1922 Miep moved with her foster family to Amsterdam.Miep was a bright student and after  graduating high school she got a job as an accountant.

In 1933, Otto Frank had been appointed Managing Director of Opekta, a German company which had expanded into the Netherlands.

Jam

In need of a secretary the Dutch branch, headed by Otto Frank hired Miep in 1933.

In 1933 Miep gad also met Jan Gies but due the fact that Jan had to go into the Dutch Social Services, the couple didn’t meet socially again until 1936.

Jan and Miep became close friends yo the Frank family. Shortly after the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, Miep was urged to  to join a Nazi women’s group. But she refused to do so, because of this threatened with deportation back to Vienna. Jan and Miep decided to get married, this would secure Miep’s residence in the Netherlands. They got married  in Amsterdam on 16 July 1941, The Frank family was in attendance at the wedding.

Frank

Less than a year later the lives of both the Frank and the Gies family would change forever. All of them faced death , the Frank’s simply because they were Jewish, Miep en Jan Gies for helping the Frank , the Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer , hide.

The fate of all those hiding in that little secret annex in an office in Amsterdam is well documented

Miep died on January 11,2010 aged 100.

An unassuming, immigrant foster child who became an icon for heroism.

Happy Birthday Miep.

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

$2.00

 

 

 

17 Million deaths- Not just statistics

Holocaust

I have to make this clear upfront, some of this blog is not based on facts I can proof. It is purely based on my presumptions but also a good dose of common sense,for lack of a better description.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that the total of deaths during the Holocaust is 17 Mullion, 6 million of which were Jewish. The second biggest group deaths were Soviet citizens 4.5 million.Followed by 2.8–3.3 million Soviet prisoners of war and 1.8–3 million Polish followed by several other groups which the Nazis deemed subhuman.

The above numbers are estimates,verified and  compiled by the USHMM and also other Holocaust organisations.

But I believe the overall number must have been higher. In those stats are not included the number of  the unborn children. Many pregnant women were killed immediately after arriving at the camps. Or otherwise they were forced to have abortions.And sometimes babies were killed straight after birth.

Additionally not all the victims of the einsatz gruppen were registered either. Nor is taken in consideration the number of survivors who committed suicide after the war,because of survivors guilt or otherwise.

One thing I do know for certain though. There are many people who just can’t fathom the amount of victims and great numbers like that become statistics.

The statistics become more of a mathematical equation. Merely a scientific footnote and as times passes the human stories are forgotten. All that is spoken about is the Holocaust statistics.

But these victims deserve better, they are not a statistic but a human being who once were flesh and blood.

Human beings like the 2 sisters Eva and Leah(Liane) Münzer.

Ssiters

In February 1944 they were sent to Auschwitz and were killed three days after arrival. They had been in hiding with a friend of a neighbour. But as a result from a domestic dispute the girls were betrayed. The husband of the woman ,in whose house they were hiding, denounced her and the girls to the authorities. All three were arrested and sent to Westerbork. On February 8, 1944 eight year old Eva and six year old Leah were deported to Auschwitz where they were killed three days later

On the other hand there was their baby brother Alfred who survived the war, but nearly wasn’t born.

Alfred

His parents  were from Galicia but  moved to the Netherlands in the early 1930’s.Alfred was born November 23, 1941. But his mother’s obstetrician had urged her to have an abortion. “It would be immoral,” to bring another Jewish life into the world.” he told her. But his Mother Gisele did have Alfred and he was rescued by an Indonesian family living in the Netherlands, Indonesia was a Dutch colony at the time.

Only Alfred and his Mother survived.

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

$2.00

 

Sources

USHMM

Forward.com

 

 

 

 

 

I betcha you didn’t know they were Dutch-The Music edition.

nl

This is slight deviation from my usual heavier history blogs. Every once in a while something lighthearted is needed.

The Netherlands, a small country in the Northwest of Europe. Known for great painters and footballers and for Tulips and windmills and a lot of other things.

It is however not so much known for its music.and to an extend rightfully so. Because lets face it, the majority of Dutch music just isn’t great. But there have been some bits of music  which have become global classics and a lot of people,including Dutch, don’t know the origin lies in the Netherlands. Even some of the worlds biggest acts have some Dutch connection.

Starting off Down Under

Harry Vanda

vanda

The name Harry Vanda on its own will mean very little to most, but connect it to the name George Young and it becomes a different story.

Born Johannes Hendrikus Jacob van den Berg , the young musician Harry emigrated to Australia in 1963. Where he met George Young and teamed up to form the band “the Easybeats”  they achieved a global hit with the song “Friday on my Mind” with the Easybeats.

But it was in their songwriting/producing capacity they achieved the biggest successes, Songs like “Love is in the air” and “Standing in the rain” performen by John Paul Young became massive hits. However the biggest impact they had in the music industry was as producers of the band formed by George Young’s brothers,Malcolm and Angus,AC/DC.

This is one of my favourite Vanda/Young productions. It is the duo in the incarnation of the band “Flash in the Pan” the song “Hey St.Peter”

 

Diesel

diesel

This band started off as more of a hobby project  of former members of legendary Dutch symphonic rock band Kayak. In 1981 their song Sausalito Summernightgot to No.25 in the US Charts and No.1 in Canada. It also did very well in a number of European countries.

Shocking Blue

venus

Shocking Blue are probably responsible for one of the biggest hits, if not the biggest hit ever written by a Dutch band. The song “Venus” still gets an awful lot of airplay in a variety of versions and if it’s not on radio it is on TV, where the song is often used in commercials ranging from products like yogurt to razors for ladies.

This is the original from 1969

 

Dave

dave

This one is a bit difficult to definee, I suppose the best way to describe Dave is a French Disco chansonier, but he wan’t French but Dutch.Born Wouter Otto Levenbach in Amsterdam. He had a string of hits in French, the most successful song  Dansez Maintenant. Most people in the Netherlands don’t know he is Dutch.

The George Baker Selection

george baker

Some bands need only to be heard and not to be seen, well at least that is what I think about this band and especially the singer George Baker aka Hans Bouwens, his fake smile just annoys me. But having that said he is responsible for a massive hit which had an unexpected revival due to the Quentin Tarantino movie “Reservoir Dogs” the son of course is “Little Green Bag” first released in 1970.

 

Pussycat

pussycat

This is like a country and western music fairy tale, Three sisters, telephone operators form a rural part of the Netherlands, the south east of the country. They team up with some musicians and a song writer/lyricist and create a classic Country song which topped the charts in most countries worldwide. A song of a river which they hadn’t seen. The river Mississippi.

 

Caro Emerald

caro

Now before I get accused on only focusing on 20th century music. This one sneaked in a few years ago. Caro Emerald born Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw had a big world wide hit with the Jazz song “A Night like This” which was released in 2009.

To me the quality sign of approval for any musician is when they appear on “Later with Jools Holland” on the BBC. Caro appeared on Jools Holland’s new Year’s eve edition of his show in 2011.

 

I could have added the more commonly known dutch artists like Van Halen,The Golden Earring, 2 Unlimited, DJ Tiesto and Andre Rieu, but I think this is a good compilation of bands and musicians most people outside of the Netherlands know are Dutch.

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

$2.00

 

 

The after war treatment of Dutch Jews.

jewish children

First of all let me tell you I am Dutch and I am proud to be Dutch. I love the country where I was born and where I grew up.

But I am not proud of some of its black pages in history.

I can understand why some Dutch bureaucrats and civil servants colluded with the German occupiers, most of them did this for self preservation. I understand it but I will never condone it.

This may sound like a contradiction but what happened after the war I can’t comprehend but yet I can understand. I can’t comprehend it because of the sheer ignorance and stupidity , but I can understand because of my personal dealings I had in the past with the Dutch civil service.

After the war some local authorities, and especially the authorities of the bigger cities like Amsterdam and the Hague, imposed fines on on hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors.

The City of Amsterdam collected several Million guilders(an equivalent of about $10 million)  from Holocaust survivors who were charged ground lease fees for periods they spent in hiding or in concentration camps. Many of the houses in question were used by Nazi occupation officers and local collaborates,  The Amsterdam authorities pursued Holocaust survivors for missed payments as late as 1947 and imposed fines on them for missing payments.

This is typically something some  Dutch civil servants.or rather ignorant pencil pushers, would do. Not looking outside the box, just at the books or the accounts and vigorously pursuing payments regardless of what the history was behind it.

amsterdam

In 2014 the Mayor of Amsterdam,van der Laan, a son of resistance fighters asked NIOD (the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies) to research the cases.

Some of the money has since been reimbursed.

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

$2.00

 

Sources

NIOD

The Times of Israel

 

Who is an immigrant?

wedding

The buzzword nowadays is “immigrants” and in hardly any context it is used in a positive way.Here is the thing though, who is an immigrant?

This is just a micro snapshot in history. It is basically a background to me family well at least from my Mother’s side.

The picture at the start of the blog is a picture of the marriage certificate of my maternal grandparents. They got married on December 28,1915.

The groom Durk Jager, the bride Tetje Hoekstra. They lived and were married in a small village in the Friesland, inthe Northwest of the Netherlands. The village Harkema-opeinde was part of the wider municipality of Achtkarspelen.

harkema

It was a rural place and there was not much work to be got. In Limburg, in the Southeast of the Netherlands, there was plenty  of work though. This was because of the ‘black gold’, coal . In the early part of the 20th century.Between 1906 and 1926 coal mines were opened in the most southern province bringing with it job opportunities, not just only in the coal industry but also in the wider economy.

The biggest and the last one to be opened was States mine Maurits in Geleen, which opened in 1926.

mine

That was the call for my grand parents to pack up things and uproot the family for a journey southward to Geleen. Even though the Netherlands is just a small country, in the 1920s a journey like that was the equivalent of emigrating to the US or Canada nowadays.

I used the term emigrating because that is what they were doing. The place they were going to was alien to them. Coming from Friesland they had their own language, a different culture and also a different religion,Friesland being a predominantly Protestant province where Limburg was a predominantly Catholic province. Even the landscape was different.

The new immigrants arrived in Limburg and had to adapt to a new way of life.My Grandparents weren’t the only ones to leave Friesland, because of the lack of work in Friesland a great number of Frisians chanced their luck in the hilly area of the Southern part of Limburg.

daniken

I am an immigrant too, because I left that same hilly area of southern Limburg for the emerald isle, Ireland.

So many people have immigrated over the centuries, when you go back far enough in history you will discover that most of us come from an immigrant background.

So next time someone talks in a disparaging manner about immigrants , just remember they maybe talking about you or your family.

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

$2.00

 

 

 

 

Hongerwinter-Hunger winter.

honger 1

In September 1944 most of the southern part of the Netherlands had been liberated, Unfortunately the rest of the country faced a very harsh  winter. Extreme cold combined with lack of food resulted in a famine, causing the death of about 20,000 citizens.

Dutch railway workers had gone on strike hoping to help the allied forces to advance. Alas the British led allied campaign called Operation Market Garden failed.The Nazis retaliated by blocking food supplies.

The effects of the famine is still felt more then 7 decades after it ended. One famous example of someone who suffered with the effects of the hunger winter for the rest of her life is Audrey Hepburn.She spent her childhood in the Netherlands during the hunger winter and although she would become a very successful actress who accumulated quite some wealth in her later years,  she had lifelong negative medical conditions as a result of the famine . She suffered from anemia, respiratory illnesses, and edema.

hepburn

Babied born from women who were pregnant during the famine would often be a few pounds heavier then the average.Their death rate would also be be higher then those who had been been in utero before or after the famine.

Below are some impression of the hunger winter 1944/45.

hunger 2

hunger 3

hunger 4

hunger 5

hunger 6

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

$2.00

Sources

Beeldbankwo2.nl

New York Times