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.
On 12 May 2009 I visited the former Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the world’s most infamous symbol of terror, genocide and the Holocaust. An atmosphere of foreboding still hangs in the air at this ‘Anus Mundi’, as an SS doctor once put it. The entrance building to Auschwitz-Birkenau in particular looks lugubrious to the visitor.
David van Rijn was a cousin of my great-grandfather. On 13 March 1929 David van Rijn married Judith Mol, a Jew, in Rotterdam. They had two children: Geertruida (1930) and Gerson David (1933). David van Rijn died in 1937.
Hello my dear grandmother and grandfather!
Quite a normal sentence that grandchildren say to their grandparents. But it’s also a sentence I was never able to utter, since all my grandparents were dead before I was born. We didn’t grow old in our family, they always used to say...
It was in about 1922 when my mother, Corrie, then aged 18, enters the employment of Mrs Katoen, probably already widowed (I never heard my mother speak of a husband) with two small sons: 5-year-old Max and 4-year-old Alfred. A small Jewish family living on Van Musschenbroekstraat in Amsterdam.
I’ve been living back in Amsterdam for some twenty years now, and I like it a lot. We currently live with two small children in the Plantagebuurt district, next to the Jewish synagogue, on Nieuwe Kerkstraat.
My mother Elisabeth Agsteribbe came from a family consisting of a father and mother, with two sisters, one brother, and herself.Apart from my mother, who went into hiding in Belgium, none of them survived the war.
I’ve been living in America for some 18 years now, but I cannot forget the Netherlands. I was born on 20 May 1946 in Amsterdam. My father, Mozes Wessel, and my mother, Anna Wessel, survived the war, but many other family members did not, unfortunately. I cannot forget that I never knew my grandparents or aunts or uncles. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to meet up now and again for a family reunion?
I have just adopted the name of Maria Eva Wiesel, born on 22 May 1934 in Budapest, died in Auschwitz on 5 October 1942.
She was not a relative, but she was born in the same city and died on the same day as my aunt, Anna Marie Schwartz. Both of them were called Maria.
Daniel van IJssel, born in The Hague on 22 October 1915, married Elisabeth van der Kleij. They had one son, my father Hubertus (Bert) van IJssel. Strange to admit, but I am proud when I look at the certificate I received bearing the name Daniel van IJssel, Holocaust Memorial of Names. Proud of my second name, which will always live on and may never be forgotten.
We, the nine grandchildren of Anna van Duren - van Lier (1871-1937) never knew our grandmother.
Her three sons, Kees, Maurits and Hans, were crazy about their ‘Moetje’. Moetje in turn was very attached to her four brothers. There is an old studio photo from the turn of the century showing all five of them together, and there are pre-war photo albums and 8 mm films of them.
The following drama took place at the neighbours’ house opposite us on Anna Paulownastraat number 33 in Groningen.
After Mr Israël de Haas was deported, it was the turn of Froukje Polak. For us kids aged about 6-7 years old who were always playing on the street, Mrs de Haas did not know that it was his housekeeper, who lodged in his house.
My name is Alexandra Broekarts, born in 1971. My mother was Maria "Marietje" van der Vennen. Her dearest school friend was Eva "Evi" Voss, born on 25 May 1930. She was the first person after the family to write in my mother’s poetry album, when she got it for her 9th birthday in 1940.
My name is Salomon Natkiel. My parents Joseph Natkiel and Marianne Velleman died in Sobibor, as did my grandfather and grandmother Betje Goudsmit and Salomon Natkiel, and David Velleman and Rachel Wijnschenk.
During the war a girl was in hiding in Lopik. She was 8 years old and hid under the name Fanny. The family that hid her was called De Bruyn and ran a transport business. There were a lot of children, and now they would very much like to know if she’s still alive and if everything is okay with her. Her name is still mentioned on birthdays. All the family know is that she returned to Amsterdam. Who can help the family?
This is the last birthday party of my school friend Sonny Mogendorff. She is seated second from the right. Her little brother Bertie is sitting beside her. To Sonny’s left is Tamara Groen, who made it to America with her parents just in time, as did her cousin Myra Stein, who’s on the very left.
I would like to adopt three names on the memorial. Two names on behalf of my deceased parents, who were active in the resistance at the time. (My father’s drawing talent proved useful in forging such items as identity cards so that people in hiding, among them that small Jewish girl, whose name luckily does not need to be put on the memorial, could survive.
Writing my name openly here almost feels like a liberation. For that’s the double layer that you carry around with you all your life…I am, I think, the youngest of the second generation. What for many seems so long ago is actually very recent.
After the war my grandfather took a foster daughter into our home, in addition to his own 5 children. She was a Jewish woman from Germany, who became my aunt. I have adopted somebody with her family name. My grandfather was probably of Jewish extraction, but we will never know that, because he took that secret with him to the grave.
In memory of David Hoch.
(22 December 1898, Janikowo, Poland — 18 October 1941, Mauthausen, Austria).The married couple David and Hella Hoch moved from Lódz (Poland) to Enschede after the First World War. David Hoch worked in Enschede as a textile merchant.
Not very spectacular, I have adopted four names, but I would have liked to adopt more than a hundred. For that’s how long the list of names is of relatives who met their end somewhere in Europe, the majority of them in Auschwitz and Sobibor.
One event has always stuck clearly in my mind.I was 11 years old and walked along Rapenburg in Leiden.
In front of me was a young girl with a Star of David on her coat.
She wanted to walk though Van der Werff Park, forbidden for Jews.
Every time I make ginger snaps I still think about the de Pool family. My grandmother got the recipe from the mother of Chelly de Pool. Chelly was my mother’s bosom friend right from schooldays. The girls were the same age, both born in 1907. They went to high school together, and Chelly even joined my grandparents’ big family during the vacation.
I am the granddaughter of Mr Jozeph van Cleef and I would like to share with you the story of my grandfather – whom I never knew – and of his wife Agnès van Cleef-Smekens and their daughter, my mothers, Colette van Cleef-Keymeulen.
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