Rotterdam - Stronger Through Struggle

May 11th, 2015, 07:13 AM
  #1  
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Rotterdam - Stronger Through Struggle

On May 14th 1940, German bombers razed Rotterdam to the ground in a surprise bomb attack. Gers Magazine has posted this beautiful video to commemorate.

Yes, Rotterdam may be a tough nut to crack, but as a Dutch city, it is indeed the future of what Dutch society will be like as a whole in a generation's time: young, energetic, ethnically diverse, not without conflict, but strong in its ambition. There's no more interesting, warm and vibrant city in The Netherlands.

https://www.facebook.com/gersrotterd...8/?pnref=story
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May 11th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Menachem:

Thank you for your post and video..dramatic!

I agree on your assessment of Rotterdam. In fact, we went to a Seder held in an elementary school on one of our early visits (Pesach 1987)and were treated royally. The Rabbi covered The Hague and R'dam. My grandfather spent a few weeks in R'dam waiting for passage on a boat to NY in 1912. HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) made dormitory lodgings available for transit passengers. He spoke very kindly of his stay there. He died before the disasterous bombing raid of 1940...it would have shaken him to the core!

We found a comfortable pension in town, Hotel Gare du Nord.
Since we were driving up from Brugge, we took in Kinderdjk and Delft en route to Am'dam.
stu
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May 11th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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Of all my day trips from Amsterdam Rotterdam remains my favorite - lots of varied things to see and do there - not old new but new new - a realy Phoenix that sprange back to life.

Thanks for posting!
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May 11th, 2015, 10:23 AM
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Stu, that's almost the story of my father's family. They were quarantined in Rotterdam, because my grandfather turned out to have TB. They wanted the family to go back to, then, Poland. But a benevolent society intervened and they eventually settled down in the north of the Netherlands. That must have been at about the same time.

And your seder must have been in the congregation at Mozartlaan, in Hilligersberg. It's true that the rabbi there, Menno ten Brink and before him David Lilienthal also served The Hague. Since then it's been remodeled and is now a beautiful synagogue instead of a converted kindergarten. I've served as ba'al kri'a (torah reader) there on a a number of occasions. Small world.
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May 11th, 2015, 11:17 AM
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Small world, indeed. R'dam was not the busiest emigrant port (Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Antwerp were madhouses(!), which I describe in one of my books. My dad and his older sister came though Hamburg in July 1913 and his six younger sisters and my grandmother....ouch! May 1914, just weeks before the assasination of the Archduke and WW I. They would have had an imposibly difficult time getting out of Europe had their departure been scheduled for June or July. The last of the sisters died at 104 last summer, in DC.

All except Grandpa docked in Boston. Grandpa had headed for Boston as soon as he checked out of immigration at Ellis Island....so I was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts, thankfully!

Happy your family found refuge in Netherlands rather than returning to Poland.
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May 11th, 2015, 11:35 AM
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Didn't help them much come 1940 though, but that's another story.
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May 11th, 2015, 02:37 PM
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Menachem:

so sorry...I was guessing that perhaps they finally embarked to North America between wars. The "luck of the draw" played an insidious role in "survive or not"...
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May 11th, 2015, 11:36 PM
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stu: totally.
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