For over two hundred Jews from Rotterdam means Friday 26 februari 1943 the beginning of the end. They will be on that day in the Jewish orphanage, hospital and related nursing home met and collected. The Germans transports them via Westerbork to Sobibor. Within five days after the raid, most have been gassed in the extermination camp.

Joods weeshuis aan de Mathenesserlaan

Jewish orphanage in Mathenesserlaan

The Germans hunt on that infamous day in the port together a motley collection of Jews. Elderly, children and sick shall in large army trucks steps in which they are discharged. Also, the staff of the Jewish institutions must believe it. Whether or not they travel voluntarily with their patients. That day is a breeze for the occupier to the raid in Delfshaven a success. The hospital is located on Schietbaanlaan and the old people sitting next to it in the Claes de Vrieselaan. Not much further down the Mathenesserlaan is the orphanage in the Jewish neighborhood.

Sarah Green
A few days before the raid takes place Schiedamse Miep Kalkman visits the Jewish hospital in Rotterdam. She goes with her mother and sister visited Sarah Green. This Jewish woman lives with them in the neighborhood, but is included because of problems with her gall bladder. It was initially planned that Lime Mans her father goes into hiding with help. When he hears the news that Ms. Green is sick and needs to go to the hospital, He is happy for her. "We thought they'd be safe. It never occurred to us that the Germans would deport sick people ", Kalkman says about the mindset at that time.

V.l.n.r.: Miep Kalkman, Miep Smith en Henk Smith

V.l.n.r.: Miep Kalkman, Miep and Henk Smith Smith

It's been days before the massive raid chaos in the Jewish hospital. Kalkman: "Mrs. Green was first hospitalized at Schiedam. Out of nowhere she was transferred to the hospital in Rotterdam. "Several Jewish patients from different hospitals in the Rijnmond region are already days 26 February by the Germans transported to a preconceived plan to Rotterdam.

"It was terrifying and oppressive", Kalkman tells about her experience as a little girl in the crowded hospital in Rotterdam, where she goes to visit Mrs. Green. There are too few beds and therefore there are many people in large containers. Due to lack of space are all these boxes together. It is almost impossible for her to touch Mrs. Green. A girl of two years during her visit makes a big impression on her. "The girl's hair had fallen out and she could not talk through any traumatic events. I asked my mother if we could take her home. But that would not do. "

Het robijntje van Sarah Groen

The ruby ​​Sarah Green

By the horrors of the hospital's parents Kalkman decide that they no longer accompany her on visits. She sees Mrs. Green never. She still has a tangible memory of her. At the last hospital visit Lime Mans mother has a necklace with a ruby ​​red inherited. Kalkman: "Ms. Green said that the Germans snatched everything from them. That's why they gave it to my mother. "The stone is still preserved by Kalkman in a box. "I can still see her before me with that red stone. It hung around her neck and the play was the contrast with the yellow Star of David on her coat ", said Kalkman.

Disappeared
The Miep Granny Smith is in 1943 also in the Jewish hospital. For a long time, probably because she was suffering from thrombosis. "I could not get her legs, because they hurt and were swollen ", Smith reminds. She goes regularly visiting grandma and as a bolt from the blue, she finds out that her grandmother was deported. Smith: "A few days after the deportation my mother went to the hospital to visit. She was startled, because it was empty. "

People living near the hospital to tell her what happened. Although Smith lives a few streets away, She inherited nothing of the horrific news. Radios and telephones were scarce or in times of war. Smith says she then at home have no hope for happy ending. "We had already lost several family where we never heard anything from. It was as if they had vanished from the earth. "

Joods bejaardentehuis aan Claes de Vrieselaan

Jewish retirement home in the Claes Vrieselaan

It also does not end well for the Jews on 26 februari 1943 The Germans are rounded. Within five days after the raid, most end up on a train transport in the Polish extermination camp Sobibor. Many of them are already being gassed on arrival. Smith is hopeful that her grandmother has not experienced this. "I think and hope they did not survive the trip in a packed train carriage by her poor health and that has been the gas chamber spared her this way."

Dutch SS
"Terrible things were happening during the raid. So there was a man who had surgery was taken from the operating table without mercy ", says Henk Smith, who has been informed by examining the events of the day. He is an honorary member of the Jewish organization Foundation Committee Shed 24. This foundation is named after the pilot's current Kop van Zuid, where Jewish citizens of Rotterdam will be collected during the war before being placed on rail transport.

Smith has yet another painful fact up on the raid. "Intoxicated soldiers after songs to sing. And these were Dutch SS ", punctual Smith. "The Germans were of the organization, but made himself not so eager hands dirty ", Smith said.

Loods 24

Warehouse 24

Warehouse 24
In de jaren 1942 en 1943 leaving eight train transports from Shed 24. Ruim 6300 Jews from Rotterdam did not survive the war. Many of them were deported from the harbor pilot on the Entrepotstraat. Often these transports from Westerbork to Auschwitz and Sobibor. Transport takes place at night. In this way, pull the Germans minimize public attention.

"The raid 26 februari 1943 was the last big hit ", says Smith. It is the last major raid where Shed 24 for use. The pilot has played a major role in two years to solve "the Jewish question" in Rotterdam for the Germans.