So as some (if not all of you) know in April of 2011 I attended a ceremony for the laying of a Stolpersteine for my grandmother’s first cousin Bertram Polak.
Bertram was born in 1918 to my great grandfather Alfred’s brother Max Henri (Hans) and his wife Bertha Cohen in the town of Tilburg. He was the oldest of four children. As a child he lived two doors down from my grandmother’s family. After 1937 he joined the Army. In 1940 his father and uncle’s families escaped the Netherlands for America, with plans for Bertram to join them later. However he never made it. When he returned to Tilburg after the capitulation he took over the family’s hide tanning business up until he went into hiding and was eventually arrested. in July of 1942 he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and was murdered two months later.
So on the day of the Stolpersteine ceremony for Bertram the current owner of the house Bertram’s family lived in and the person who started the whole process, Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld, asked if I would like to help him write a book about my grandmother’s family, their life in Tilburg, and how memory affects family history. So over the past few years my extended family and I have provided what information we could and will be available to the public in the Netherlands on December 7 and in the US on December 11.
Link to purchase the book https://www.verloren.nl/boeken/2086/231/5944/historische/house-of-memories