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Philips dynamo hand generator flashlight used by a Dutch Jewish family in prison camps

Object | Accession Number: 2008.200.2

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    Philips dynamo hand generator flashlight used by a Dutch Jewish family in prison camps


    Brief Narrative
    Pocket flashlight used by 7 year old Roosje Waterman and her family when they were imprisoned in Westerbork transit and Vittel internment camps. The flashlight required no batteries; the light went on when you pushed the hand pump and off when you released it. Meijer, his wife, Sophie, and their 6 year old daughter, Roosje, were arrested on September 25, 1942, in German occupied Amsterdam and taken to Westerbork. Roosje’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Keizer, found German officials willing to accept diamonds in exchange for their release in October. In 1943, they were arrested with Sophie's parents and two of her sisters and sent to Westerbork. Some family members held British passports because they were born in London. They convinced the Germans that they were all British citizens and, in March 1944, they were deported to Vittel internment camp in France. The camp was liberated by the Allies in September 1944 and the family returned to Amsterdam.
    manufacture:  approximately 1940
    use:  1942-1944
    use: Westerbork (Concentration camp); Westerbork (Netherlands)
    use: Vittel (Concentration camp); Vittel (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rodi Waters Glass
    Manufacturer: Koninklijke Philips Electronics
    Subject: Rodi W. Glass
    Roosje (Rodi) Waterman was born on April 26, 1936, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the only child of a Jewish couple, Meijer, born on July 14, 1903, in Amsterdam, and Frederika (Sophie) Keizer Waterman, born on October 9, 1907, in London, England. Sophie’s parents, Samuel and Dinah Keizer (Keiser), born on September 29, 1882, were Dutch citizens, but Samuel decided to move his wife and 3 month old, Stella (Estella), to London from Amsterdam for better business opportunities. Sophie and her siblings, Janie, Margie, Philip, and Nathan, were born in England. Therefore, all of Samuel’s children, apart from Stella, had British birth certificates and passports. Samuel moved his family back to Amsterdam in 1923 and opened a shoemaking and leather shop.

    Sophie married Meijer in Amsterdam in 1935. Meijer had a twin brother, Maurits (Moses), who married Sophie’s older sister, Stella. Roosje’s parents worked for the Keizer family business. After the Germans occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, many anti-Jewish policies were put in place: Jews had to wear Stars of David on their clothes, businesses were confiscated, and they were forbidden from using public transportation or attending public school. Meijer tried to arrange visas for the family to go to Portugal, but emigration was not possible. On September 25, 1942, Sophie and Meijer were arrested by the Germans and the family was sent to Westerbork transit camp in the northeastern Netherlands. They were recognized by a German officer, who was a friend of Roosje’s uncle, while they were being processed to be sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, and the officer took their names off the list. Samuel, Roosje’s maternal grandfather, bribed some Germans in Amsterdam with diamonds to release Roosje and her parents. They returned to Amsterdam on October 2, 1942.

    In 1943, the Germans confiscated the family business and Roosje, her parents, and her maternal aunts were forced to move into the Jewish quarter. In early summer, Roosje, her parents, and her maternal grandparents and aunts, Samuel, Dinah, Janie, and Margie Keizer, were arrested and sent to Westerbork. Janie had her British passport and when she showed it to the guards they said she would be transferred to another camp. She told them that Sophie was also British and together they were able to convince the Germans that they were all British citizens. They claimed that the others had lost their passports during the bombing on the embassy. On March 9, 1944, the Germans deported both families to Vittel internment camp in northeastern France. The Allies liberated the camp on September 12, 1944. The families returned to Amsterdam. The majority of her father’s family perished in the Holocaust; he was the only one of seven siblings to survive. His brother, Maurits, and his wife, Stella, had been deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp where they died in 1945. The family was able to reclaim their shoemaking business in Amsterdam. Her aunts, Jane and Margie, emigrated to the United States in 1948. Roosje and her parents joined them in Chicago in 1951. Rodi married Marvin Glass in 1955 and they have two children. Sophie died on August 8, 2011, age 103.

    Physical Details

    English French
    Furnishings and Furniture
    Lighting devices
    Object Type
    Flashlights (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Cylindrical, speckled green-colored metal hand pump flashlight. On the front end is a small, circular light bulb that is missing a protective cover. On the side are a ridged, oblong black lever that retracts and extends and a small, ridged black switch. Along the body are decorative ridges in graduated lengths and 3 metal rivets.
    overall: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 3.125 inches (7.938 cm) | Depth: 1.125 inches (2.858 cm)
    overall : metal, glass, paint
    side, stamped : MADE / IN HOLLAND / TYPE 7424-03 / (Philips trademark) / IMPORTE / DE HOLLANDE / 25 VOLT / 01A

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The flashlight was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2008 by Rodi Waters Glass.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 21:51:04
    This page:

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