Forgotten History-The Jews from Geleen 1940-1944.

It looks like several children of those Jewish children who were hidden and raised by Christians are wanting to know more about their ancestors and the Jewish faith to which they want to belong or look for a faith where rabbi Jeshua is seen as the Messiah but not praise as a god like in certain Messianic Jewish communities and in the majority (but not all) Christian denominations. The ‘Father Jew’ problem is also felt in our regions, not having proof of a Jewish mother, because many Jewish women been killed but having their children under the survivors.

It is lovely that some people dig in the history of the decimated Jews and provide some listings and background which can shed some light on the ancestors.

 

dsc_0230Dirk De Klein, a Dutch man originally coming form Geleen, in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands, but now living in Ireland, with his interest in history looks at a dark period in our history. He also does not mind remembering people of the atrocity which mankind brings over itself.

Bergen-belsen.jpgHe doesn’t really like to post horrific images but like on the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Bergen Belsen he posted some pictures with the knowledge that it is important that we are reminded how cruel humanity can be. {Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp}

He writes

As a child I had heard some  war stories from my parents and my aunts and uncles and was always intrigued by those stories. They were tales on how some of my family avoided being shot by the Germans, after stealing food, by jumping into big barrels and hiding in there until it was safe to come out again. Or the time that one of my grandfathers was nearly shot by the allies after liberation by telling him he was Deutsch rather then Dutch (his English wasn’t great) luckily one of the soldiers figured he meant to say he was Dutch. These stories tough gave me a more romantic and nostalgic sense for the era. {Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp}

He also looks how the German Luise Löwenfels went to a Roman Catholic school and did get consolation from her Catholic friends at school, when she was 10 at the time her father passed away.

She was very attracted to the Roman Catholic faith and often visited Catholic churches and would attend mass on a regular base, this to the dismay of her family.She would often be punished by her Mother and Brothers for this. Later when she still didn’t conduct herself in the manner her family expected her to she was disowned by them.

She sought refuge in nearby convents. In the 1930’s due to the Nazi imposed laws on the Jews she regularly had to change her place of residence. {Forgotten History-Luise Löwenfels}

Aloysia2_01After her baptism (on 25 November 1935) she received the name Maria Aloysia and planned to move to England but she ended up in the Netherlands  in the small mining town Geleen near the Dutch-German border in the convent of ‘Arme Dienstmaagden van Jezus Christus’ (Poor Maidens of Jesus Christ). Who she joined on the 8th of December 1937, on the 12th of September 1940 she gave her first vows as a Nun.

sterBecause of her Jewish origin her religious live was made increasingly difficult, she was no longer allowed to teach at the local junior infant school and she was forced to wear the yellow star of David. {Forgotten History-Luise Löwenfels}

Together with dozens of other Catholic converted Jews including  Edith Hedwig Stein [St. Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, OCD] and her sister Rosa Adelheid Stein, who both lived in the nearby convent of Echt, Sister Aloysia was arrested and were brought to Kamp Amersfoort. {Forgotten History-Luise Löwenfels}

 

Then they were transported to Westerbork .

wester

On the 7th of August 1942 they were all transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau where they most certainly were led straight to gas chambers when they arrived on the 9th of August. {Forgotten History-Luise Löwenfels}

Sister Aloysia died the tender age of 27. Her only ‘crime’ was being born in a Jewish family.

Although the story of Edith Stein had been well known and documented, the story of Sr. Aloysia had been largely ignored.

The convent had been destroyed in October 1942 by a bombing campaign by the allies who had mistaken Geleen for nearby Aachen in Germany. {Forgotten History-Luise Löwenfels}

 

*

To remember

  • Geleen during World War II = small mining town in South-East of the Netherlands in province of Limburg.
  • Due to close proximity to Germany many Jews escaped to Limburg in the 1930’s.> Netherlands = neutral country > Jewish community thought they were safe > 67.
  • 42 events > systematic dehumanisation of the Jews by the Nazi’s.
  • 19 May 1942: Radio builder Frederik Goldsteen arrested  > Via Camp Amersfoort sent to Westerbork > Auschwitz
  • 2 August 1942: In all of the Netherlands Jews converted to Catholicism are picked up
  • 21 January 1943: Jewish mental asylum “Het Apeldoornse Bos” evaucuated > Auschwitz = all perish.
  • March 1944: Jews from mixed marriage ordered to be sterilized or to proof they are infertile
  • 18 September 1944: Geleen is liberated by the Combat Command (B) 2nd Armored Division

**

Other recommended writings by Dirk de Klein

  1. The “Jewish-SS” of Westerbork
  2. Barrack 66-Camp Westerbork-the Christmas wish of a little boy
  3. Nicolette Bruining-WW2 Hero, Theologian and Broadcaste
  4. Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp
  5. Arthur Seyss-Inquart: A dangerous fool
  6. The return journeys that never happened
  7. 4th of May-Remembering the Dead
  8. Pinkpop: the death of an institute

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Preceding / Voorgaande

De Messiaanse beweging onder de loep

History of Sorts

During the war Geleen was a small mining town in the South-East of the Netherlands in the province of Limburg. Below are 2 maps the first one is of the Netherlands and the other one is of the greater Geleen Sittard area, just to give you a geographical sense of the place.

Due to the close proximity to Germany many Jews escaped to Limburg in the 1930’s. The Netherlands was a neutral country so the Jewish community thought they were safe.

Geleen itself had a relatively small Jewish community but significant enough for a town with a population of approximately 15,000 at the time.The exact number of Jews living in Geleen is not known but it is estimated there were 67.

Rather then going in to each individual account I will be showing the timeline of event relating to the Jews in Geleen. This timeline would be identical for Jewish communities…

View original post 931 more words

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