I am a second generation survivor of the Dutch Shoah. In 2013 I witnessed, with my family, in Amsterdam the post humous recognition of 10 Dutch citizens who protected my mother during the war. My mothers story has been published and at the end of this year I will privately publish my story as the child of a survivor.
After my mother’s death at age 97, we found a handwritten memoir in Dutch of her time in various camps, including Auschwitz. I had it translated into English, but we still have the original of course. Her name was Anna Moffie Lierens; she had lived in Amsterdam.
My father, Maarten Lefor and his brother Arnold were born in Amsterdam and lived on Prins Hendriklaan. In 1938, given the terrible situation for Jews living in Germany, my grandfather (a banker at H. Albert du bary on Heerengracht who emigrated to Amsterdam in 1920) invited his 16 family members to live in Amsterdam and made sure that they all had a livelihood.
I adopted the names of Lydia van der Zijl-Salomons and her three sons Philipp, Leon and Emanuel on the National Memorial of Names, that will be build in Amsterdam. Lydia and her three boys were murdered on November 2, 1943 in Auschwitz.
My name is Lukas van Witsen Franck. My father, Frederick Franck changed the spelling of his family name from Frank to Franck upon arrival in the United States out of an abundance of caution and to somewhat disguise his background.
During the second world war my parents, Bert and Annie Bochove lived in Huizen, Noord Holland. For three years they opened their home and offered protection to a total of 36 Jewish people whose lives were threatened by the Nazis. One of those families were Abraham and Lea Rodrigues with their children Henry and Elly. At one point our family was betrayed and the Rodrigues parents were harbored in Utrecht while Henry and Elly ended up at other addresses.
In the summer of 2004 I typed my own name into Google and discovered that a little Jewish boy with the same name as me was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau when he was eight years old! After the initial shock I decided to start investigating the fate of this little boy and his family.
My parents were Austrian-born Jewish refugees who fled their homeland in 1938 arriving to 'safety' in Amsterdam in August, 1938. They were lovingly taken care of by the Papegaaij family who lived on the Rapenburg (the address does not exist nowadays).
ANNA SCHWARTZ & MAURICE LEIBOVICI, a wartime love story
I never met the older sister of my mother, Anna Schwartz.
Anna moved from Budapest to Paris, hoping to start a new life with her father, stepmother, brother and little sister, my mum.
In Paris she met Maurice Leibovici, another young Jewish émigré from Romania.
Here is my story for the reason I adopted Salomon Czapnik:
My father Sydney Czapnik was the first cousin of Salomon Czapnik who was murdered at Auschwitz on 7th September 1942 aged 9. Salomon and his family, brother Leo, sister Fanny, and parents Chaim and Frajdla lived in the same neighbourhood of Tilburg as my father, his twin sister Frances and his parents Nathan and Priscilla Czapnik.
Ro was my mother’s younger sister; she had a very unhappy life and she was the first in the family to be deported and murdered, on August 3rd in the first Auschwitz gas chamber at the age of 38. She had responded to the Nazi call-up to report for “labour in Germany”.
She lived in Rotterdam at the family home where I was born on Bergweg 99 where she had her own room on my grandparent’s floor.
We recently adopted the names of a couple for the Holocaust Monument. We live in the old Jewish neighborhood on the Rapenburg. We wanted to honor a family that lived on our street by adopting their names on the Holocaust Memorial Wall. We looked up the Rapenburg on the Jewish Digital Monument website, and found the names of Rosa Elframowitz (37) and her husband husband Israel Elframowitz (41) who lived at number 60. Now we often think of them when we walk by their building.
I am the son of Aron Houtkruijer and Clara Houtkruijer – Duits. Besides adopting the names of my parents and grandparents, I have also adopted the names of several uncles, aunts and cousins. As a substitute teacher in New Mexico I get invited from time to time to talk about my experience as a Holocaust survivor, that is as a Hidden Child, during the last 2 years of the war.
This is a picture taken in 1943. The baby is me, Heleena van Raan (now nearing 73) the young boy is Rudy Klijnkramer age about 9 or 10 (now 82). He was hidden with another child by my parents Ger and Gerard van Raan. The story they told anyone who asked was that the two children were my father's nephews and that their mother was in a TB sanatorium.
I have adopted the names of my father, both grandfathers and both grandmothers. I survived the Holocaust along with my mother. I’m almost 80 now, and I hope I live to witness the completion of the memorial. Then I’ll visit it with my children and grandchildren.
I have adopted the name Sophia Abram. Why? I often bumped into Sophia on Generaal Cronjestraat in Haarlem. She lived there with her parents and brother. Her parents had a shop that sold toys that I sometimes frequented, fond as I was of fun things. I was born in 1932, so I was about 11 at the time. The persecution of Jews was often discussed in our home, so I knew what was happening.
My sister and I have adopted the name Sientje Bril, our great-grandmother. Our grandmother was the youngest of her three daughters. The older two and their families were murdered in Auschwitz, just like our grandfather.
I was born in Amsterdam in 1938, a child of the marriage between Izaak Sealtiel and Theodora Sealtiel-Leon.
My parents probably sensed that the Nazis would pick up Jews, so through the heroes of the underground resistance movement they managed to get me into hiding with 4 different families in Limburg, and even in Switzerland, but we weren’t allowed to stay there.
Fredi was my girlhood friend. She was about 3 years older than I was, but our parents were friends, and both of us were only children.
On Wednesday afternoons, if we had no school, we would often go with our mothers to the V&D department store for lemonade and ice cream.
Fredi always skipped and jumped ahead, hopping along the pavement slabs, two-one, two-one, with her jacket flapping about her.
The alias used by this young Jewish boy was Robbie Rietmeijer, but his hair and eyebrows were not bleached, because he was an albino.
His real name was Samuel Groenteman, born on 30 December 1937 in Amsterdam. He was the son of Michiel Groenteman and Rachel Groenteman-Mozes.
Roosje Henselein, 16 July 1928, 14 years old. This is the name adopted by my mother Sjaan Turkenburg, who died on 23 July 2015.
What most impressed her was that Roosje lived with her family in Ouder-Amstel.
We have adopted the name Simon Knap. The boy was a neighbour of my husband Henk Klootwijk, who lived on Banierstraat in Rotterdam.
His sisters, in particular Aartje, played with him on the street. One day my husband, then aged 8, saw the whole Knap family being deported.
Up until 1943 we lived in half a house with an alcove on Knollendamstraat in Amsterdam. Luckily, that September we were offered a better home at Majubastraat 7II in the Transvaalbuurt district, a neighbourhood that was initially home to many Jewish families, but where many homes were left empty after the Nazi roundups.
I was too young to remember my father, or my grandparents and uncles and aunts. Our mother couldn’t bring herself to talk about the war, which I can understand. It influenced her life forever in a negative way. That’s why I’m so happy now for the attention being given to all these people who had names, with a memorial you can visit if you need to.
What a wonderful initiative. I experienced at close hand the effects of the Nazi roundup in my home town of Putten. Of the 661 people deported from Putten, just 48 returned. The last survivor, Jannes Priem, passed away last year. A close friend, he was in Bergen Belsen when Anne Frank died there. He told me that he might have carried her to the crematorium.
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