The incomprehensible reality of the Holocaust, whereby millions of Jews perished under the cruel national-socialist agenda is often hard to fully connect to and understand on a physical and emotion level. Sometimes stories of the people involved can help us to come to terms with the abominable nature of the holocaust and hopefully help humanity to realise that this can never be allowed to happen again.
Eva and Leana Munzer
In 1936 and 1938, two little girls were born as sisters to the Munzer family in The Hague, Netherlands. This period fell during the beginning of German hostilities, arguably leading to the creation of a plan for a final solution to solve Hitler’s obsessive hatred towards the Jewish race.
Sisters Eva and Leana were born into the Jewish Munzer family lead by Simcha and Gisele who owned a successful tailoring business in the city. In May 1942, Simcha was ordered to report to an early German labour camp although he managed to evade this, instead checking into a local hospital for an operation. Although he had managed to swerve the wrath of the Nazis, it became clear by September of 1942 that the family would have to go into hiding to avoid further persecution.
As part of the plan, loving father Simcha faked his own suicide in order to be checked into a psychiatric hospital, his wife joining him there undercover as a nursing assistant. In a desperate attempt to preserve the lives of their three children, Eva, Leana and baby Alfred, the pair sold all of their possessions and dispersed the children under the care of local friends and neighbours. Alfred was settled with an Indonesian couple in The Hague whilst Eva and Leana were left to a friend of a neighbour close to the family home.
Fortunately Alfred survived the Holocaust and still lives today.
The unfortunate and most upsetting part of this admittedly real story is the subsequent fate met by sisters Eva and Leana. In early 1944, the husband of the woman caring for the pair denounced them as Jews to the Nazis. All three were immediately arrested before they could go into hiding and taken to Westerbork concentration camp. From there, they were cruelly deported to Auschwitz. Here, they were killed three days later.
This unbelievable story just reiterates to me that we should continually teach about the cruel reality which comes from racial and religious discrimination. The world needs to realise that this crime against humanity should never be forgotten and it is our responsibility to continue to educate future generations on this saddening event in history.