Sunday, July 15, 2012


This picture of the memorial at Westerbork I found here.

Exactly seventy years ago, on 15 July 1942, also on a Sunday, the first group of Dutch Jews was deported from  the Dutch transit camp Westerbork to Poland. A train with more than 1,100 men, women, and children, including 51 children from the camp's orphanage left Westerbork for Auschwitz. Only 8 male deportees on that train would still be alive at the end of the war. Of the 107,000 Jews who were deported from Holland only 5,000 would survive the war. 245 Sinti and Roma were also deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz, of whom only 31 returned.
For those who say: "This all happened such a long time ago, it is not really relevant for us!":
As it says on the website of the Memory Center Camp Westerbork, this was ONLY 70 years ago. There is only one generation - my wife - between our three children and their grandmother (who was three months old when the war started in Holland and Belgium, and who survived in Southern France), and only one (my mother-in-law) between my wife and my mother-in-law's father, who was murdered in Majdanek in early 1943, and my wife's grandmother, who also made it through the war in Southern France and who passed away about twenty years ago in Israel.

No comments: