One night last week I was watching YouTube and this video popped up.
I immediately thought of our own Liz of Vic who survived Nazi occupation of her beloved Dutch homeland.
Liz wrote back to me with the most moving letter, and it's now my privilege (with Liz's permission) to share it with you.
Indeed the video was beautiful, it took me right back to the time my sister and I saw the German truck going towards the street we lived in and stopping in front of the Silberbergs.
We saw Mr and Mrs Silberberg come outside, they were both beautifully dressed, Mrs Silberberg was wearing her fur-coat and a beautiful colourful scarf, Mr Silberberg was wearing a dark-grey scarf under his coat and a dark-grey hat. Mrs Silberberg had lovely silver hair always beautifully done in a chignon at the back.
Then they were put in the back of the truck, which of course we did not understand at all. We just stood there, but I pulled Josee towards me and then saw Mr Holthaus, who lived next door. He was the Director of the Conservatorium I went to, he told me to quickly run home and to hold on to Josee.
When we came home, we straight-away told my Mother, who went to sit down in her easy chair, which was rather odd, as she only used that to have a little rest with her feet up after lunch.
It must have been a Wednesday as we had no school in the afternoon, so we did not have to have a quick lunch, but that day we had a very late lunch, as my Mother just kept on sitting in her chair and she was talking to us, saying what lovely people the Silberbergs were and she just had no idea, why they would have put them in the back of the truck, but she said perhaps we are having another Kristtall-night.
Both Josee and I thought that we still just were not sure what that meant, as the only thing we remembered that it had meant a lot of misery in Germany, we had not seen Jewish people picked up like that before, we only knew that they had that star on their lapels.
Of course they never came back.
We didn't know at the time what happened to them, but many years later my sister and I brought up the strength to go to Germany and we tried to find the names of the Silberbergs. We found them in Dachau, their names were on a list in the Town Hall.
We worked it out that they did not survive more than a few months.
It was a sad trip for us.
No matter how much time has now gone past, I can remember it as though it was yesterday, them being put in the back of that truck and then years later, when we knew what had happened in those camps to find out that they had been murdered was no surprise, but it is still something one never forgets.
Gosh Michael, it took me a bit of time to return to the world we now live in and the first thing I turned to was your site and your post on Kathy, which really brought me right down to earth.
I just felt though that after watching the video and thinking back on all that these things are meant to be and there must be a reason for all of it. I also feel that we are just about back where we were all those many years ago, when the Germans occupied Holland. We must never allow those things to happen again, that is most likely that you and I became and still are such close friends, as your family has been through the same or worse.
Oh Dear, what one video can cause!
Take care my friend, I have some other stuff to tell you, but will leave it till to-morrow!