Tuesday, August 09, 2005

For a short while this picture appeared this morning on the website of Ha'Aretz. The caption said: "A boy peering Mon. at a picture of a Holocaust survivor at a museum in Kfar Darom in Gaza. (AP)". Just another example of how sloppy the work of website and newspaper writers and editors can be. The girl whose picture is seen on the right did not survive the Holocaust at all. Her name was Anna Maria ( Settela ) Steinbach, and in May 1944 she was transported from the Dutch transition camp Westerbork to Auschwitz, where she was gassed a few months later. Of her family only her father survived the war, he died in 1946. Ironically this picture - part of a film made in Westerbork on the orders of the Germans - became one of the symbols of the Jewish Holocaust, until a Dutch journalist discovered the identity of the girl. It turned out that she had not been murdered for being a Jew but for belonging to the Sinti/Roma ( it is unclear to me what the correct name is; they call the genocide of their people porajmos). She was only nine years old when she died in Auschwitz. May her memory be blessed.

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