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Felix and Flory Van Beek collection

Document | Accession Number: 1990.23.241

The Felix and Flory Van Beek papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, diaries, a personal narrative, photographs, and printed materials documenting a German-Dutch couple, their thwarted efforts to escape Europe on the SS Simon Bolivar, their survival in hiding with two separate Dutch families, their liberation, their immigration to the United States, and the deaths of their family members in the Holocaust. Many documents are accompanied by Flory Van Beek's annotations.
Biographical materials primarily document Felix and Flory Van Beek and include certificates, correspondence, forms, and true and false identification papers documenting Felix and Flory Van Beek and their citizenship, status, resistance work, emigration, and employment. This series also includes a birth certificate for Felix Van Beek’s mother, a birth certificate for Flory Van Beek’s mother, a marriage certificate for Flory’s parents, and documents tracing Alijda Cohen’s deportation via Westerbork to Auschwitz and Flory’s attempts to trace her.
Wartime correspondence includes the last letters Alijda Cohen sent before her deportation to Poland and letters from Jette Levi. Postwar correspondence includes letters from the Brandsen and Hornsveld families who sheltered Felix and Flory, from a friend made during the Van Beeks’ recuperation in England following the sinking of the SS Simon Bolivar, from an acquaintance named Marian who refers to herself as Flory’s sister, from friends and family in the Netherlands, and with the Jewish Community in Rotterdam regarding financial support the Van Beeks provided.
A four part diary written by Felix Van Beek in hiding documents his experiences in hiding and the news he learned about the war’s progress from newspapers and a crystal radio.
Flory Van Beek’s personal narrative is written as a lecture and narrates her childhood in the Netherlands, the German occupation, her experiences in hiding with her husband, liberation, and her discovery of the fates of her family members.
Photographs depict Felix and Flory Van Beek, the Brandsen and Hornsveld families who hid them during the war, and Flory’s mother Alijda Cohen.
Printed materials consist of newspapers and clippings. The largest series of these were collected by Felix and Flory Van Beek during the war and document the occupation of the Netherlands and the progress of the war. Additional printed materials document the sinking of the SS Simon Bolivar after it hit a German mine, the German occupation of the Netherlands and the persecution of Jews, liberation, the Van Beeks and their relatives, and the Brandsen and Hornsveld families who hid Felix and Flory.
Admission tickets document liberation events and events celebrating Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. Liberation cards feature celebratory poems by Ida‐Marie Kriesz. Ration tickets are for textiles and are accompanied by instructions. The collection also includes a poem written by Henriette Boas after hearing a BBC program featuring child survivors from Bergen‐Belsen singing “Lang zullen ze leven” in honor of British soldiers.

Date
inclusive:  circa 1930-1990
Language
Dutch
English
German
Genre/Form
Photographs.
Extent
2 boxes
7 oversize folder
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Felix and Flory Van Beek, in memory of Flory’s mother, Alijda Van Beek, and her aunt and uncle, Jules and Flora Van Beek Frank
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Felix and Flory Van Beek and their Estate
 
Record last modified: 2021-05-25 14:59:38
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn109095