Home Contact Us
Index Purchase Info
About Site About Us
Appendices Credits
Further Reading Links
Special Features
By Keyword:

Page Number:
Click on an image to see a larger, more detailed picture.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 355 
Jewish children were sometimes hidden in Roman Catholic monasteries and convents. (Often church officials would not take them unless they did convert.) Pictured are Jewish children of the Soeurs de Sainte Marie convent school in the Belgian village of Wesembeek-Oppem. Included is Sara Lamhaut, who survived the war under the name Jeannine van Meerhaegen. Both of Sara's parents died at Auschwitz in 1943.
Photo: Belgium Radio and TV / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Father Bruno, a Belgian priest, saved several Jewish children from the Nazis. Among them were (left to right) Henri Zwierszewski, George Michaelson, Willy Michaelson, Henri Fuks, and Willy Sandorminski. Father Bruno risked his life to rescue these children. After the war Yad Vashem recognized him as "Righteous Among the Nations."
Photo: Flora Mendelowitz Singer / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Jews of Belgium

The capitulation of Belgium to Germany on May 28, 1940, brought approximately 65,000 Jews under Nazi domination. Tragically, many of these Jews had previously fled from Germany and Austria, thinking they had found a safe haven. For most such Jews, the Nazi shadow of death could not be avoided.

At the beginning of the occupation, Jewish businesses and individuals were registered. In 1941 formal Jewish councils (Judenräte) were created. When Jews were ordered to wear yellow badges in May 1942, the lack of cooperation on the part of Belgian officials enabled many Jews to go into hiding.

Against a wave of opposition, the deportation of Jews from Belgium began in the summer of 1942. Public protests raised on behalf of the Jews, coupled with the intervention of Belgium's queen mother, forced the Nazis to focus their efforts on the thousands of foreign Jews living in Belgium. While many Belgian Jews went underground, others were deported from Belgian soil to the gas chambers at Auschwitz--more than 16,000 from August to October 1942.

By the time the killings at Auschwitz ended in October 1944, approximately 29,000 of the Jews who had been living in Belgium when the Germans captured the country were dead.
Photo: Centre de Recherches et dÕEtudes historiques della Seconde Guerrev / Yad Vashem

 August 24, 1942: Jews are locked in a church at Lask, Poland, and killed. Among the victims are a mother and her baby, who is born inside the church.
 August 24, 1942: At Zdunska Wola, Poland, 1100 Jews are herded to the local Jewish cemetery, where all but about 100 are shot and beaten to death. Survivors are forced to bury the victims.
 August 24, 1942: At the Treblinka death camp, a deranged, young Jewish woman is discovered hiding a small child beneath the bedsheet she wears. Camp guards shoot and kill both the woman and the child.
 August 24-28, 1942: Ten thousand Jews from Nowy Sacz, Poland, are deported to the Belzec extermination camp.
 August 26, 1942: After being unloaded at the Treblinka death camp, a Jew named Friedman uses a razor blade to cut the throat of a Ukrainian guard. SS guards retaliate by immediately opening fire on the other newly arrived deportees.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 355 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.