Monday, July 25, 2005

On this website you can find a list with the names of the more than 700 Jews of the Dutch city of Haarlem who did not survive the Shoah. Most of them were murdered in Poland, a few died of natural causes ( n ), and some committed suicide ( 'z' for zelfmoord ). Most of those who committed suicide did so on the day of or right after the Dutch army's capitulation to the Germans, only five days after Holland was invaded, the majority of them committed suicide together with other family members. The following three names caught my attention:
Mayer, Walter Anna van Burenlaan 51 28 mei 1909 - 15 mei 1940 Haarlem (z) Mayer - Cohn, Annelise Anna van Burenlaan 51 22 maart 1913 - 15 mei 1940 Haarlem (z) Mayer, Marianne Yvonne Anna van Burenlaan 51 6 november 1936 - 15 mei 1940 Haarlem (z)
Details such as these turn the Holocaust into something that is all but tangible. Everybody who has children of his/her own can identify with Walter and Annelise Cohn, almost feel the anguish and despair of these Holocaust victims, imagine how anxious and desperate they must have been and how much they must have loved each other and Marianne Yvonne, their - only - child, to make a decision to take their own lives and that of their daughter rather than wait for a future that had probably even more misery in store for Jews than this young couple could imagine. May their memory be blessed.

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