Not to forget

By: Louk Vreeswijk

May 17 2020

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Europe, Netherlands

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Aperture:f/2.4
Focal Length:4.28mm
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Camera:iPhone 4S

At the beginning of the 2nd World War there were 17.000 Jewish residents in the part of Amsterdam where I live. During the war 13.000 of them were deported and murdered in the concentration camps.

When I walk through my neighbourhood I can ‘stumble’ sometimes upon little brass plates in the pavement. When I stop and bend down I can read what’s written on them. For example in front of Uiterwaardenstraat 71 (I once lived nearby in the same street):

Here lived Simon Zak, born 1908,
murdered 11-6-1943, Sobibor
and
Here lived David Jacob Zak (Deddie), born 1935,
murdered 11-6-1943, Sobibor
and
Here lived Judith Zak-Vleeschhouwer, born 1906,
murdered 11-6-1943, Sobibor

A father, a mother and their young child, all deported and murdered on the same day in Sobibor.

And in front of Waverstraat 66 (another street where I once lived):

Here lived Jeanette Regina Schenk, born 1936, arrested 25-7-1944, deported from Westerbork, murdered 6-9-1944, Auschwitz
and
Here lived Angèle Schenk-Citroen, born 1903, arrested 25-7-1944, deported from Westerbork, murdered 6-9-1944, Auschwitz
and
Here lived Jolan Schenk, born 1940,
arrested 25-7-1944, deported from Westerbork, murdered 6-9-1944, Auschwitz

A mother with her young daughter and son, arrested, deported and murdered on the same day in Auschwitz.

Waverstraat 66-Amsterdam

Waverstraat 66 Amsterdam

These little brass plates on concrete cubes – all handmade – are part of the memorial installation by German artist Gunter Demnig. Having started in 1992 in Germany with the first plates he has continued ever since and has gradually expanded the placement of these ‘Stolpersteine’ (stumbling stones) to other European countries as well. By the end of 2019 about 75.000 pieces were placed in pavements of cities and towns in the whole of occupied or collaborating Europe under the Nazis at the time. They represent just a little over 1 % of all – mostly Jewish – victims that were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

Photo of the week: Stolpersteine at Uiterwaardenstraat 71, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2020

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