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deportations, judenrat, majdanek, westerbork, chelmno, vught, wannsee, theresienstadt, roma, sinti, night of the broken glass, extermination camps, nazi´s,
hitler, jews, diaspora, jewish council, judenrat, transportation, birkenau, ghetto, hans vanderwerff, sion soeters, aktion reinhard, terezin, himmler, david irving
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wannsee, theresienstadt, roma, sinti, night of the broken glass, extermination camps, nazi´s, hitler, jews, diaspora, jewish council, judenrat, transportation,
birkenau, ghetto, hans vanderwerff, sion soeters, aktion reinhard, terezin, himmler, david irving, holocaust denial, holocaust lest we forget, jews, synagogue,
oswald pohl, siegfried seidl, protectorate, bohemia, moravia, murmelstein, karl rahm, anton burger, karl hermann frank,
The newspaper, Het Joodsche Weekblad -The Jewish Weekly, dated 5 September 1941, issued by the Jewish Council for Amsterdam under the auspices of A. Asscher and Prof. Dr. D. Cohen carried, with the consent of the German authorities, the following announcement which must have sent shock waves through the Jewish community in the Netherlands. It certainly impacted some 20,000 Jewish children between the ages of 1 and 14 years. The announcement read, in part, as follows:
"The Jewish Council and the Board of coordinators announce that in view of the interdiction for Jewish children to attend non-Jewish schools after 1 September 1941, both governing bodies have appointed a Central Committee for Jewish education. This committee is prepared to offer counsel and advice in all matters related to the education of Jewish children. It is our intent where and, in as much as is possible, when to provide education for our children."
The Jewish Weekly placed a further request in the issue of 12 December asking qualified teachers to sign up for a course preparing them for the position of Headmaster. The Central Committee for Jewish education was serious in its attempt to satisfy Nazi orders in segregating Jewish students from the rest of the student body. It was still hoped that these measures would only be of a temporary nature.
It stands to reason that the initial order barring Jewish children from attending public schools could not be carried out overnight. The Jewish Council and the Central Committee for Jewish Education needed time to organize and establish these schools in Amsterdam, both public and advanced, where most of the children lived. Of course throughout the provinces as well. By 9 January 1942 the Nazis assumed they had given sufficient time to carry out their orders. Hence a second, more drastic order came from the Nazi hierarchy forbidding all Jewish children from attending public schools as well as schools of higher learning. Specific Jewish schools were now, more or less, operational throughout the country.
With the deportation schedule in 1942 in full swing, families with children were steadily routed via Vught to Westerbork and from there to Auschwitz/Birkenau and Sobibor. These transports in and out were assembled to the tune of up to two thousand a week thus keeping the camp population more or less at maximum capacity. For instance, on the 2nd of March 1943 the first deportation train leaving Westerbork for Sobibor was crammed with just over eleven hundred Jews. Among them were one hundred orphans between the ages of two and fourteen.
The most notorious of all transports has to be deportation train # 15, destined for Sobibor. The train left Vught on the 6th of June 1943, late that evening. The next morning it briefly stopped in camp Westerbork to take on additional victims. Altogether, Vught's portion and the additional victims from Westerbork, this transport now consisted of 3017 Jews of which 1266 were children. All children were under the age of sixteen. After a one day stay in Westerbork, which must have seemed endless for the victims who boarded in Vught and were not allowed off the train, the freight train made up of cattle cars finally left Westerbork for Sobibor. It was the 8th of June. They arrived at Sobib.or extermination center during the day of the 11th of June where most people, including all the children, were immediately gassed and cremated upon arrival. Only a few dozen able bodies were selected for work in the Lublin area. Of this transport not one single person survived. Since the children's ultimate destination was the extermination center at Sobibor, school attendance for them no longer was mandatory!
Now that children had entered the camps at Vught and Westerbork, the need to keep up appearances became evident. The Jewish Council saw the need to also implement schooling within Westerbork for children between the ages of 6 and 14. These schools again needed Jewish teachers and overseers. No problem, they too were among the deportees. Of course, one cannot speak of organized education. The classrooms were primitive and study material was not always available. The teachers did the best they could under the circumstances. The very small children, to age 6, slept with their mothers. During the day they were brought to the Kindergarten center when the mother was assigned to a workshop. Children from 6 to 14 had to attend education classes. Consequently, the school system in Westerbork almost weekly had a sharply changing student and teacher body. The weekly deportation lists for Poland indiscriminately included teachers as well as students until there were no more teachers and students left