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  • Exhibitions
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In Memoriam: Deported and Murdered Jewish, Roma and Sinti Children, 1942−1945

In Memoriam: Deported and Murdered Jewish, Roma and Sinti Children, 1942−1945.

Over 19,000 children under the age of eighteen were deported from the Netherlands, in a total of 102 transports. Just over 1,000 of them returned. Almost 18,000 children were murdered. All those children might still have been alive today. They should have had children, grandchildren, instead of which they disappeared. We can still find their names, the names of their parents, their brothers and sisters, and where they lived. But whether they enjoyed singing and whether they loved football but not cabbage, we don’t know. Of 3,000 of the children, photographs have been preserved. These are displayed here. At first sight they look like ordinary photos, of ordinary children, but here they are once more linked to the transport that would take them to their death. And that changes everything.

The Jewish, Roma and Sinti children who were murdered by the Germans were robbed of their identity before being killed. They were isolated and banished from society, they were made invisible and, once invisible, transported to a transit camp, where they slowly but surely lost their names. When they arrived at the death camps, they were nothing more than bothersome ciphers to the Germans, who got rid of them as soon as possible. The children were sent to the gas chambers, without names.

Of 17,964 of the murdered children, the names, places and dates of birth, and places and dates of death are given here. This does not suffice to give the children back their identity. But the Germans, who wanted it to be as if they had never existed, did not achieve their goal. The children are visible again.

Many of the deported children died without leaving us a single memory. Tangible evidence of their existence is also scarce. In a few cases we have an album, a school report, a postcard or a drawing. For a slightly larger number, we have a photograph. In this exhibition the lives of four Amsterdam children are looked at more closely.

Since the opening of this exhibition in Amsterdam, the names of some 700 hitherto unknown children have been collected, as well as new information about some of the children in the exhibition. The search for new material is ongoing. If you any photos or additional information, please contact the Ghetto Fighters' House Archives.

The little register contains an alphabetical index of all the names of the children whose photographs are displayed here.

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