My Amsterdam Office
The two top right windows on the right (with shades drawn) are my office.
My office is in the Amsterdam Jewish Quarter. In 1700 there were 10.000 Jews living in Amsterdam, the biggest Jewish community of Western-Europe. Many arrived from wealthy Spain and Portugal in Amsterdam and brought important trade contracts, thereby boosting the Amsterdam economy of the Golden Age. The Second World War ended the Jewish history of Amsterdam, as only 28.000 Amsterdam Jews out of 120.000 survived the Second World War.
The building used to be a synagogue. The entrance still displays the Star of David.
The office building, used to be the home of the Family Roeper. Benjamin Roeper moved in 1927 together with his wife Eva de Lange and their two children. Benjamin and his son worked in the synagogue. His daughter married Moses de Jongh, March 18, 1942. All of them lived together in the synagogue.
Their daughter was born March 23, 1943. The whole family was deported to a transitional camp May 25, 1943. A week later, they were transported to the Sobibor concentration camp and all of them were killed around June 4, 1943.
Every time I set foot in this historic place, I’m reminded of the Roepers and their tragedy. I sit in a room right above their living quarters 75 years ago. They had a life, a future, hope. And all of this was taken away by murderers.
They should never be forgotten and that’s why I applied for Stumbling Stones. Every day, we should be reminded that their lives made a difference.
Next door to my office, used to be the Jewish Girls Orphanage. Up to 80 girls were housed here. And they were deported in 1943. Now, it’s an apartment building.
There’s so much pain in this whole street, the whole quarter. Time doesn’t heal everything, It just teaches us to live with the pain.
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