I have adopted the name of my mother: Elisabeth Eleonora Hemerik - van Dam. Born in The Hague on 2 December 1904, and died in Auschwitz on 31 January 1944.
My mother Elisabeth Eleonora Hemerik - van Dam with my brother Sanny
My mother was taken away from us in August 1943. She was married to a non-Jewish man. We remained behind: my father Jacobus, my brother Samuel (Sanny), and my sisters Jaantje and Bep and myself, Sara.
My father Jacobus, my sisters Jaantje and Bep and myself Sara
The day that my mother was taken away has been etched in my memory as the worst possible nightmare. I was 11 years old.
That’s why it’s so important that a Names Memorial is at last going to be built, after 70 years, also for all the other families who never returned.
Sara Steensma - Hemerik