Sometimes I feel like just giving up posting about the Holocaust, but I know I can’t.
It is not always the images that upset me, more often it is that lack of images that gets to me. There are no images because the victims were just too young and were born in captivity, so there were no facilities to have a baby portrait taken. Parents could not show off their beautiful angels to friends and families.
These are just three names, with three connections and one fate.
Leo Jack Mathijse: Born in Amsterdam on 26 November 1942. Murdered in Auschwitz on 27 August 1943. He reached the age of nine months.
Max Jack Stern: Born in The Hague on 26 November 1942. Murdered in Sobibor on 5 March 1943. He reached the age of three months.
Roosje Gobets: Born in Amsterdam on 26 November 1942. Murdered in Sobibor on 2 April 1943. She reached the age of four months.
The connection—all were born this day 80 years ago. They were born under occupation, and all were in Westerbork at some stage.
The one fate; they were all murdered before they were one year old.
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.
I believe that one of the most evil crimes committed by the Nazi regime was the crime of false hope. In Westerbork the illusion was created that all wasn’t that bad. Everything was arranged to give prisoners the impression that they would be sent to working camps in Eastern Europe. Life there would be heavy, hard, and monotonous, but it would be liveable. In any case, children and families would be together. That was the information provided at the time.
In the period of 1943-1944, Westerbork’s commander Gemmeker arranged a variety of recreational facilities to make life in the camp run as normally as possible. There were sports facilities, music and cabaret,which also served his own amusement. There was even a fully functional HospitalThe ‘decent’ treatment by the Nazis, the system of exemptions, the hospital, and the cabaret served only one purpose: the creation of illusions. After all, eventually, everyone had to be put on transport. The system only ended up providing false hope.
In January 1941, the German authorities required all Jews to register themselves as Jews. A total of 159,806 persons registered, including 19,561 persons born of mixed marriages. The total included some 25,000 Jewish refugees from the German Reich. A Jewish council was established in February 1941. Most of them were sent to Westerbork before they were deported to Auschwitz, Sobibor or other camps. less then 25% of the Dutch Jewry survived the Holocaust.
Rita and Sandor Joachim Krammer were both murdered in Auschwitz on October 26, 1942. Rita was born on 5 January 1935 in Groningen, the Netherlands. Her little brother, Sander Joachim, was born on 15 March 1937. Their mother, Regina Krammer-Gunsberger. was born in Deutschkreuz in Austria, and their father Jacob Krammer, in Coevorden. He was a traveling salesman selling jerseys.
An eyewitness and playmate of Rita mentioned that she often played outside in the evenings with Rita and Sandor (who was referred to as “Little Brother”).
When Rita was six years old, her father was put to work in the Kloosterhaar camp near Hardenberg in July 1942. She stands behind Groningen with her mother and her brother. Just three months later—on October 3, 1942, Rita, Sander Joachim, and their mother were deported to Westerbork. On October 26, 1942, they were killed in Auschwitz.
Their father managed to escape the labor camp and went into hiding until the end of the war. Only then he learned what happened to his wife and children. He died in Groningen on September 11, 1987.
Elleke Trijtel was born in Amsterdam on October 24. 160-days later, they murdered you in Sobibor.
Dear Elleke, your parents loved each other, you were the fruit of their love. You were born under a regime that hated you so much, they only allowed you to live 160 days.
There was no rain the day you were born. It was a mild day, 16-degree centigrade, quite warm for the end of October.
It was a Saturday.
In Tipperary, Ireland, Frank Delaney was born on the same day as you were born. But he lived much longer than 160 days. He became a famous author and reporter for the BBC.
You could have become famous if you had been given a chance.
160 days, 3840 hours. There was no time for pictures to be taken. All that is left to prove that you existed was a card from Westerbork with your name on it. A card from an organized registration system.
On March 30, 1943 you were put on a train to Sobibor, where you were murdered two days later on April 2, 1943, the last of your 160 days.
Approximately 25,000 Jews from Germany and Austria sought refuge in the Netherlands in the 1930s after the Nazis came to power. They were welcomed in the Netherlands because many Dutch were appalled by the treatment of the Jews in Germany. The picture above shows a large protest meeting in the Amsterdam R.A.I. in 1938 against the treatment of the Jews in Germany. More than 25,000 Dutch people attended this meeting.
The Dutch were always known as a multicultural and lingual, liberal nation. German and Austrian Jewish parents sent their children to the Netherlands, knowing they would be safe.
To facilitate the influx of Jewish refugees the Dutch government established a refugee camp at Westerbork (Centraal Vluchtelingenkamp Westerbork) in 1939 to intern Jewish refugees, mostly from Germany. The first refugees arrived in Westerbork in October of that year. In April 1940, there were approximately 750 Jewish refugees housed in the camp. Some of them were German Jews who had been passengers on the ship MS St. Louis.
On May 13, 1939, more than 900 Jews fled Germany aboard a luxury cruise liner, the MS St Louis. They hoped to reach Cuba and then travel to the United States, but were turned away in Havana and forced to return to Europe.
After a journey that took weeks, 907 German Jewish refugees arrived with the MS St. Louis in the port of Antwerp. Two children look with dejected faces through the porthole of the ship at the disembarkation in the harbor.
For those who ended up in Westerbork, their troubles were far from over. On May 10, 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands.
In the first two years after the invasion, Westerbork continued to function as a refugee camp. From May 1940 to July 1942, the camp remained under Dutch administration. And the conditions were still relatively good.
In July 1942, the Nazis began operating Westerbork as a Jewish transit camp. The majority of Jews, Dutch and non-Dutch, were deported from Westerbork to predominantly Auschwitz and Sobibor.
Also, the Dutch Jews who had lived in the Netherlands as fully integrated Dutch citizens, for centuries, suddenly became ‘lesser’ citizens. They were persecuted by the German occupiers, but there were many Dutch, often their neighbors, who were eager to help the Nazis to identify them, and make sure that new laws introduced by the Nazi rir.
In this secretly taken photograph(below) on June 20, 1943, Amsterdam-South and the Transvaal neighborhood in east Amsterdam were hermetically closed. Loudspeaker cars drove through the streets. Almost all Jews had to go to certain assembly points, from where they were taken to the station by trams. Many Jews, however, turned out to be hiding. That is why, later that day, all houses were systematically searched and arrested Jews were removed with army trucks, such as here on the Krügerplein/corner Schalk Burgerstraat in the Transvaalbuurt. The Ordnungspolizei was assisted in this ‘collection action’ by the special Jewish auxiliary police from the Westerbork transit camp. These men were recognizable by a white band around their arms.
They all thought were safe, but at some stage, they couldn’t have been more wrong. They arrived in a country that had a civilian registration second to none in the world, this efficient part of the bureaucracy, made it so easy for the Nazis.
When I saw this photograph I was reminded of another photograph. It was a picture of my colleagues and I in 1993/1994. It was taken at work on the day of the retirement of one of my colleagues at the time. We had a small party afterwards at the cafeteria of Philips Sittard. The picture was much dissimilar to the picture above.
However the circumstances could not be more different. The photograph is of a group of men who were all interned at the labor camp ‘de Fledder’ in Drenthe in the north east of the Netherlands.
On January 7, 1942, the Jewish Council in Amsterdam was pressured and held responsible for supplying 1,402 Jewish unemployed people. In the end, 1075 unemployed were identified and more than 900 men gathered at the Amstel station on 10 January. They were sent to the labor camps in the northern provinces, in particular to perform reclamation work for the Heidemij company Of these men, 120 in total, were in Camp De Fledders near Norg in Drenthe. On October 3, Yom Kippur, 1942, the Jewish men we were deported by train to camp Westerbork. None of them survived the war.
When you look at the expression of the men’s faces, you can see all emotions from joy to sadness, and hope to despair. One man even has a bunch of flowers, possibly with the hope he will be able to give them to his wife.
The Heidemij company is now known as Arcadis NV , a global design, engineering and management consulting company. I don’t have any current figures but in 2019 the company had a revenue of 3.5 Billion Euro. Thier current stock price is € 33.50 per share. Their tagline is “Improving Quality of Life” it doesn’t appear to me that they improved the life of those who worked for them in 1942.
As for the men who were murdered in various camps after the labor camp closed, all that remains is this monument with these words by Jacqueline van der Waals:
‘EEN MONUMENT VOOR GISTEREN, VANDAAG EN MORGEN. IN 1942 VERBLEVEN IN HET NABIJGELEGEN WERKKAMP “DE FLEDDERS” 120 JOODSE MEDEBURGERS. ZIJ KWAMEN NIET MEER TERUG.’
“A MONUMENT FOR YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW. STAYED IN THE NEARBY WORK CAMP . IN 1942 “THE FLEDDERS” 120 JEWISH FRIENDSHIPS. THEY DID NOT COME BACK.”
I sincerely hope that Arcadis paid for the monument. Somehow I doubt it though.
On September 29, 1943, Amsterdam was declared ‘Judenrein’. (Free of Jews) This happened after a major raid, in which 5,000 people, including the board and employees of the Jewish Council, were arrested and transported via Amstel station to camp Westerbork.
Those who were able to avoid the raids ended up in hiding places. A countrywide hunt for Jews in hiding was conducted. Several additional deportation trains left in late 1943 and early 1944. The solution of the Jewish ‘problem’ in the Netherlands was almost final. Against this background, and as Germany’s overall situation deteriorated, Arthur Seyss-Inquart wrote a summarizing report of the anti-Jewish campaign in the Netherlands.
“Reich Committee for the Occupied Netherlands Territories, The Hague to Party Chancellery Chief Bormann copies to General Commissars in Netherlands and Plenipotentiary Dr. Schroeder
February 28, 1944
Dear Party Comrade Bormann,
We have cleaned up the Jewish question in the Netherlands, insofar as now we only have to carry out decisions that have already been formulated. The Jews have been eliminated from the body of the Dutch people and, insofar as they have not been transported to the East for labor, they are enclosed in a camp. We are dealing here first of all with some 1,500 persons who have not been transported to the East for special reasons such as interventions by churches or by personalities who are close to us. In the main I have warded off the interference of the churches in the whole Jewish question in that I held back the Christian Jews in a closed camp where they can be visited weekly by clergy. About 8-9,000 Jews have avoided transport by submerging [in hiding]. By and by they are being seized and sent to the East; at the moment, the rate of seizures is 5-600 a week. The Jewish property has been confiscated and is undergoing liquidation.
With the exception of a few enterprises which have not yet been Aryanized, but which have been placed under trusteeship, the liquidation is finished and the property converted into financial papers of the Reich. I count on a yield of ca. 500 million Guilders [more than $250,000,000]. At some appropriate time the future utilization of this money is to be decided on in concert with the Reich Finance Minister; however, the Reich Finance Minister agrees in principle to the use of these funds for purposes in the Netherlands.
The question of Jews in mixed marriages is still open. Here we went further than the Reich and obliged also these Jews to wear the star. I had also ordered that the Jewish partner in a childless mixed marriage should likewise be brought to the East for labor. Our Security Police processed a few hundred such cases, but then received instructions from Berlin not to go on, so that a few thousand of these Jews have remained in the country. Finally, Berlin expressed the wish that the Jews in mixed marriages be concentrated in the Jewish camp Westerbork, to be employed here in labor for the moment. Herewith we raise the problem of mixed marriages. Since this matter is basic I turn to you. The following is to be considered with respect to marriages in which there are children: if one parent is brought to a concentration camp and then probably to labor in the East, the children will always be under the impression that we took the parent away from them. As a matter of fact, the offspring of mixed marriages are more troublesome than full Jews. In political trials, for example, we can determine that it is precisely these offspring who start or carry out most of the assassination attempts or sabotage. If we now introduced a measure that is sure to release the hatred of these people, then we will have a group in our midst with which we will hardly be able to deal in any way save separation. If, in short, there is a plan which is aimed at the removal of Jewish partners from mixed marriages with children, then the children of these marriages will sooner or later have to travel the same road. Hence I believe that it may be more appropriate not to start on this course, but to decide in each instance whether to remove the whole family or—with due regard to security police precautions—to permit the Jewish member to remain in the family. In the first case, the couple, complete with children, will have to be segregated, possibly like the Jews in Theresienstadt. But in that case one must remember that the offspring will get together to have more children, so that practically the Jewish problem will not be solved lest we take some opportunity to remove this whole society from the Reich’s sphere of interest. We are [now] trying the other way in that we free the Jewish partner who is no longer to have children, or who allows himself to be sterilized, from wearing the star and permit him to stay with his family. These Jews—at the moment there must be 4-5,000 in the Netherlands—remain under a certain amount of security police control with respect to residence and employability. For example, they are not permitted to direct an enterprise which has employees or occupy a leading position in such an enterprise. There are quite a few volunteers for sterilization. I believe also that we have nothing to fear any more from these people, since their decision indicates a willingness to accept conditions as they are. The situation with the Jewish women is not so simple, since the surgical procedure is known to be difficult. All the same I believe in time this way will yield results, provided one does not decide on the radical method of removing the whole family. For the Netherlands, then, I would consider the following for a conclusion of the Jewish problem:
The male Jewish partner in a mixed marriage—so far as he has not been freed from the star for reasons mentioned above—is taken for enclosed labor to Westerbork. This measure would signify no permanent separation, but action of a security police nature for the duration of exceptional conditions. These Jews will be employed accordingly and will also receive appropriate wages with which they can support their families who will remain behind. They will also receive a few days leave about once in three months. One can proceed with childless female partners in mixed marriages in the same way. We have here in the Netherlands 834 male Jews in childless mixed marriages, 2,775 [male] Jews in mixed marriages with children, and 574 Jewesses in childless mixed marriages. Under certain circumstances these Jews can return to their families, for example, if they submit to sterilization, or if the reasons for separation become less weighty in some other way, or if other precautions are taken or conditions develop which make separation no longer seem necessary.
The Jewish women in mixed marriages with children—the number involved is 1,448—should be freed from the star. The following considerations apply here: it is impossible to take these Jewish women from their families—the Reich Security Main Office agrees—if there are children under 14. On the other hand the women with children over 14 would in most cases have reached an age which would entitle them to request freedom from the star because it is hardly likely that they will have more children.
I am now going to carry out the Law for the Protection of Blood [prohibition of intermarriage and extramarital relations between Aryans and non-Aryans] in the Netherlands, and
make possible divorce in mixed marriages by reason of race difference. These four measures together will constitute a final cleanup of the Jewish question in the Netherlands. Since this regulation could in a certain sense produce a precedent for the Reich, even while in the long run the regulation of mixed marriages in the Reich will also apply in the Netherlands, I am informing you, Mr. Party Director, of my intentions in the hope that I may have your reactions. I wrote in the same vein to the Reichsfuehrer-SS [Himmler].
The one thing that always baffled me is the vehement hate the Nazis had for Jazz music. It was considered “Entartete Musik”—degenerate music, a label applied in the 1930s by the Nazis to Jazz and also other forms of music.
I wrote a piece about Johnny & Jones before, this is not so much a follow-up as it is more of an enhancement to the previous blog. I felt it was important to remember those who were murdered for their art and their religious background.
In the 1930s, the Amsterdam duo Nol (Arnold Siméon) van Wesel and Max (Salomon Meyer) Kannewasser, alias Johnny & Jones, were extremely popular— thanks, in part, to their first single hit, “Mister Dinges Weet Niet Wat Swing Is.” They were cousins and they accompanied themselves on the guitar. The musicians sang their swinging Jazz songs with smooth lyrics in a semi-American accent. Their careers come to an end when the two Jewish musicians were arrested by the Germans during World War II, and they were killed in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.
In 1934, The Bijko Rhythm Stompers performed in De Bijenkorf, the group consisted of Bob Beek, Max Kannewasser, Max Meents and Nol van Wesel. This was the first time that the collaboration between Max (Salomon Meijer) Kannewasser (24 September 1916/Jones) and Nol (Arnold Simeon) van Wesel (23 August 1918/Johnny) can be traced.
In 1936, Johnny & Jones started performing as a singing duo. They were discovered during a performance in the café/restaurant, Van Klaveren on the corner of Frederiksplein and Weteringschans. Shortly afterwards they quit their jobs at De Bijenkorf and entered the artistic profession. They became the first teenage idols soon after in the Netherlands.
They could be heard regularly in 1938 on VARA radio. They then performed as an interlude with “The Ramblers.” They recorded records for the record-label Decca, which was started in November 1938 with the song “Mister Dinges Does Not Know What Swing Is.” This song was their greatest success.
Initially, at the start of the war, Johnny & Jones were able to perform without much problem. For example, in February 1941 they performed at Amersfoort with “The Ramblers,” but by the end of 1941, this was forbidden for Jewish artists.
With growing pressure to go into hiding, their final performance was for a wedding reception of one of Arnold’s colleagues from de Bijenkorf (Dutch department store), Wim Duveen.
He was married to Betty Cohen at the main synagogue in Amsterdam in 1942. Salomon, in 1942, had married Suzanne Koster, a woman from the Dutch East Indies (Surabaya) and Arnold had married Gerda Lindenstaedt, also in 1942, a German refugee who had come to Holland in 1939.
The young men went into hiding with their wives at the Jewish nursing home Joodsche Invalide. The staff would hide them in an elevator between floors during inspections. When they were not hiding, they performed for staff and patients. Disaster struck on 29 September 1943 when the home was raided and its inhabitants sent to Westerbork.
Johnny & Jones were put to work there processing parts of crashed aircraft, including Plexiglas (source: Leo Cohen, a fellow prisoner in Westerbork). They found a place at the camp in the revue (consisting of excellent artists). Since only German-language performances were allowed, Johnny & Jones had to learn German and they had to have it well-mastered. Only then could they perform in March 1944 during a camp revue.
In August 1944, the two singers were allowed to leave the camp, with permission of the commandant, not only for their work disassembling parts but also to record songs in Amsterdam. In the NEKOS studios, they recorded six songs about their life in Westerbork, including “Westerbork Serenade.“
Ik geloof ik ben niet helemaal in orde Ik ben met mijn gedachten er niet bij Opeens ben ik een ander mens geworden Mijn hart klopt als de vliegtuigsloperij Ik zing mijn Westerbork serenade Langs het spoorwegbaantje schijnt het zilveren maantje Op de heide Ik zing mijn Westerbork serenade Mit einer schoene Dame, wandelend tezamen zij aan zijde En mijn hart brandt als de ketel in het ketelhuis Zo had ik het nooit te pakken bij mijn moeder thuis Ik zing mijn Westerbork serenade Tussen de barakken kreeg ik het te pakken op de hei Dieser Westerbork liebelei
Dieser Westerbork liebelei Daarna ging ik naar de saniteter Die vent zei d’r is heus niets aan te doen Maar je voelt je heel wat stukken beter Na ‘t geven van de allereerste zoen (en dat moet je niet doen)
Ik zing mijn Westerbork serenade Langs het spoorwegbaantje schijnt het zilveren maantje op de heide Ik zing mijn Westerbork serenade Mit einer schoene Dame Wandelend tezamen zij aan zijde En mijn hart brandt als de ketel in het ketelhuis Zo had ik het nooit te pakken bij mijn mammie thuis Ik zing mijn Westerbork serenade Tussen de barakken kreeg ik het te pakken op de hei Dieser Westerbork liebelei
Below is the translated text of the song.
I think I’m not quite right I’m not there with my mind Suddenly I became a different person My heart beats like an aeroplane junkyard
Chorus I sing my Westerbork serenade The silver moon shines along the railway track On the heath I sing my Westerbork serenade With a pretty lady, walking together cheek to cheek And my heart burns like the boiler in the boiler house I never hit me quite like this at Mother’s place I sing my Westerbork serenade Between the barracks, I threw my arms around her Over there This Westerbork love affair.
And so I went over to the medic, The guy said there’s nothing you can do about it But you feel a lot better After giving the very first kiss (and you shouldn’t)
A fellow artist who met them at the time wondered how Jews were allowed to walk freely in Amsterdam, without a yellow star. They told him about their temporary freedom. He suggested that they go into hiding but they refused. It was a camp rule, “Those who escaped risked the lives of their families,” who would face deportation. So they returned.
In September 1944, they were deported with their wives to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. They did not stay long. On a transport from the ghetto, the duo were separated from their wives. Salomon and Arnold were deported from camp to camp: Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Ohrdruf, Buchenwald and finally, after a 10-day train journey, they wound up in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, where they died of exhaustion shortly before its liberation. Nol van Wesel died on 20 March 1945 at the age of 26 and Max Kannewasser died on 15 April 1945 at the age of 28.
Salomon’s mother-in-law, Marie Louise Koster, recalled seeing their bodies dragged out of the sick barracks onto a van, to be cremated. She was in the so-called Stern Lager (Star Camp) with her husband Willem and her daughter Sonja. Salomon’s wife Suzanne survived Mauthausen and Auschwitz and lived in the United States until 2018. Gerda was killed in Auschwitz in 1944. Neither had children. Arnold’s parents were killed in Auschwitz in 1942. Salomon’s parents had died before the war. Their cousin Barend Beek went via Westerbork to Auschwitz and was killed in a subcamp of Stutthof on 11 December 1944.
They may have been murdered—but their music lives on.
Werkdorp (Labor Camp) Wieringermeer was opened in 1934, and was managed by the Jewish Labor Foundation. It could accommodate about 300 residents, who would follow a short (two-year) training course.
The Werkdorp , built by the residents themselves – mostly refugees from Germany and Austria – was intended to train its temporary residents in practical skills that would enable them to live in israel and work in agriculture. The boys received a two-year manual or agricultural training, the girls a short instruction in agriculture and housekeeping. In the village there was a carpenter, a blacksmith, a bakery and a joiner’s workshop.
After the German invasion and occupation in the Netherlands, the village was evacuated on March 20 1941, except for about 60 who stayed behind. W. Lages and Klaus Barbie were involved. From August 1940 until the eviction in March 1941, Abel Herzberg was director of the Jewish working village in the Wieringermeer. Herzberg was on the so-called Frederiks( Karel Johannes Frederiks was the secretary general of the department of internal affairs) list with his wife and three children and therefore enjoyed a certain protection.
On March 24, 1941, a number of members of the foundation board sent a letter to the Sicherheitspolizei in Amsterdam stating that continuing the training in the Werkdorp was the only option for the young people to emigrate afterwards. It was hoped that this would appeal to the occupier. Klaus Barbie indicated that he was sympathetic to a restart of the Werkdorp and would discuss this with Lages. On June 9, there was an answer and the members of the foundation board were told that the students could return to the Werkdorp. Barbie asked for a list of the names and addresses of the students living in Amsterdam. The foundation board believed Barbie and gave him the list. On June 11, the Werkdorpers received a message from the Jewish Council that the Nazis would come and collect them from their homes. A number of people did not believe what was about to happen and went into hiding.
Indeed, the Nazis had something else in mind. The attack on 14 May 1941 on the Bernard Zweerskade in Amsterdam – without casualties – and the attack on 3 June 1941 on the telephone exchange at Schiphol – one seriously injured – prompted the Nazis to carry out reprisal measures and they wanted 300 male Jews from 18 to 35 directly to Mauthausen. The arrests of the Werkdorpers started on 11 June. In the end, 59 were arrested. They went to camp Schoorl. 58 of them were murdered in Mauthausen, one was gassed in Hartheim Castle.
Like Westerbork, Wieringermeer had also been built to accommodate Jewish refugees, prior to the war, but they were both turned into much more cynical places.
On August 12th, 1944 a report was issued in Haifa, Israel. regarding the situation of the Dutch Jewry up to May 1944, The transports to the death camps continued for another 4 months . Below is the transcript of the report. Wieringermeer is also mentioned in it.
There were 140.000 Jews in Holland at the beginning of the war (incl. 26.000 non dutch Jews)
Deported to Poland (including all orphanages, old-age homes, hospitals, lunatic-asylum Apeldoorn, and all Jews from Vught-camp excepting a few hundred working in Vught for Philips) 110.000
In hiding (estimated) 15.000
Married to Christians etc, deceased (all estimated) 6.000
(The number of Jews who are free in Amsterdam – there are none in the provinces – is negligible)
The ‘star’ of which I enclose one, had to be worn as from May 1942; the deportations started July 15th 1942 Up to December 31st 1942 40.000 Jews had been deported.
Wieringen on March 20th 1941 210 pupils (boys and girls with the Jewish manager) were brought to Amsterdam about 60 pupils and 20 people from the staff were allowed to remain in order to finish the harvesting of that years crops; they were allowed to remain until August 1st 1941 when the Werkdorp was finally liquidated.
About 60 of the pupils were sent to Mauthausen;
“ 100 were deported to Poland
“ 50 are still in Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen
“ 60 are in hiding.
The dutch authorities paid an indemnity for the property they took over; (although it were the Germans who ordered the liquidation; this money was used to keep two ‘Homes’ in Amsterdam for the remaining pupils until they too were finally dispersed in the great razzias on May 26th and June 20th 1943. The equipment of the carpentershop and the smithy and metalshop was used in trainingschools in Amsterdam and finally brought to Westerbork.
The following data were given to me in Vienna on my way through to Constantinople by the assistant of Dr Löwenherz who could not come personally;
Data July let 1944: Vienna Free Jews … 180
In hiding ………………………………………….. 2000
Versippte (Intermarriage etc) ………… 6- 8000
Sent to Theresienstadt 15000 (of whom 3800 still there)
Sent to Poland…………………………………… 48000
The rest (there were 2100000) emigrated or died.
9000 Hungarian Jews had come through Vienna on their way to Poland; 41000 were still expected. (We saw two transports of 1000 each, one in Vienna and one on the way to Hungary) 310000 jews in Budapest had not yet been interfered with.
Haifa, August 12th 1944″
It was signed by someone with the last name ‘Van Tijn’ unfortunately I don’t know who that is.
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