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Postwar portrait of the van West family, a Dutch-Jewish family who survived in hiding.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 44530

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    Postwar portrait of the van West family, a Dutch-Jewish family who survived in hiding.
    Postwar portrait of the van West family, a Dutch-Jewish family who survived in hiding.

Pictured are Mozes, Rosa and Rachel van West-van den Bergh.

    Overview

    Caption
    Postwar portrait of the van West family, a Dutch-Jewish family who survived in hiding.

    Pictured are Mozes, Rosa and Rachel van West-van den Bergh.
    Date
    1946
    Locale
    Amsterdam, [North Holland] The Netherlands
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Rosa Cohn

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Rosa Cohn

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Rosa Cohn van West is the daughter of Rachel van den Bergh and Mozes van West. Her parents married on August 19, 1942 and immediately afterwards went into hiding in Amsterdam. In 1944 Rachel and Mozes van West hid at the home of Clasien and Cornelis Haasnoot who lived at Moleneind, Rijnsburg, a small village in the western part of The Netherlands. The courageous couple was in their 60th and childless. The Haasnoots belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church, and Cornelis Haasnoot believed that God desired that he save the Jewish couple. Rosa van West was born on June 13, 1944, at the Catholic hospital Sint Elizabeth Gasthuis in Leiden, The Netherlands. Only the Mother Superior of the hospital knew about the Jewish identity of the mother and baby. When Rosa was thirteen days old, Rachel van West returned to her husband, and the family remained with the Haasnoots until the end of the war, in May 1945. After the war, Rachel gave birth to a second daughter, Evelien in 1947.

    Rosa's mother, Rachel (born May 17, 1902), was the daughter of Simon and Roosje van den Bergh-de Wilde. Simon was a diamond dealer in Amsterdam. They had six children, of which two died before the Second World War. Two sons perished during the Holocaust, one was single, named Louis (b. Amsterdam 18/8/1903 -d. Auschwitz 31/12/1942) and the other, named Jacques (b. Amsterdam 21/1/1906 - d. Sobibor 2/7/1943) perished with his wife Sara van den Bergh-Kater (b. Amsterdam 7/1/1906 - d. Sobibor 2/7/43) and little son Simon Herman (b. Amsterdam 14/12/1941 - d. Sobibor 2/7/1943). Beppy (Elisabeth) van den Bergh who was married with Harry van Geuns, survived the war but died of tuberculosis in 1949. Simon and Roosje van den Bergh, together with their daughter Beppy and son-in-law Harry, went into hiding in the city of Heerlen in the south of The Netherlands, at the home of the family of Maria and Leo Klerckx. Maria had been helping in the household of the family of Van den Bergh before her marriage with Leo, who was a miner. This mining family with 3 children welcomed them in their small home. When it was discovered that Beppy had open tuberculosis, the Dutch Resistance found her another hiding place in a monastery. They all survived.

    Rachel van den Bergh and Mozes van West hid separately. They hid for time with a teacher but left after he tried to convert them and later hid in Rijnsburg, South Holland. However two of Rachel's brothers, Louis and Jacques, did not survive. Jacques, his wife Sara and baby son Simon were killed in Sobibor on July 2, 1943. Louis van den Bergh was killed in Auschwitz on December 12, 1942. Many members of the family of Mozes van West also perished including his sister Betsy Koppel van West, her husband Jacob Koppel and their five children Eva (b. 11/1/1936), Elisabeth (b. 2/4/1938), Leentje (4/10/34), Louis (b. 6/23/41) and Salomon (born in Westerbork 4/12/1943). All died in Sobibor on July 16, 1943. His brother Abraham van West also perished in Auschwitz together with his sister Johanna van West-Menko and their two children Eva Irene and Jetje Erna van West. Finally his sister Femia van West was deported to Auschwitz together with his parents. She was born on May 4, 1920 in Nijmegen. She worked as a nurse in the Jewish hospital Het Apeldoornsche Bos in Apeldoorn in the 1940s before being sent to Westerbork with her parents. From there she was deported to Auschwitz with her brother and sister on February 5, 1943 where she perished.

    The warm relationship between the Haasnoot and van West families continued after the war when the Van West family had returned to Amsterdam. In 1990 Yad Vashem honored Cornelis and Clasien Haasnoot and on August 15, 2002 Yad Vashem recognized Leo and Maria Klerckx family as Righteous Among the Nations.
    Record last modified:
    2009-04-13 00:00:00
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