Paesi Bassi / Storia

Survival, despite everything: mother Roosje and daughter Ali



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The story of the Jewish people of Meppel, who were among the few to survive. In this case, mother Roosje and daughter Ali. Father Bram unfortunately did not make it to the liberation.

Bram Wolff and his wife Roosje Kleermaker lived with their daughter Alie in Woldstraat at number 6. This was a thriving textile business, where the ever-good-humoured Abraham could be found for much of the day. His daughter Ali attended MULO during the war years. She was only really confronted with the Nazi doctrine when she had to have the infamous J stamped in her identity card. She knew the civil servant Tinus Koster well and later sighed: "Couldn't he simply not do it?". 

During her written exam for her MULO diploma in Zwolle, the custom was to eat the sandwiches she brought with her during the break in a nearby café. Ali had to eat outside, however, as she was not allowed in! Father Bram foresaw the impending storm and, before the shop was taken away from him, had deposited some money with a non-Jewish acquaintance. He reported for a Jewish labour camp and also ended up in Westerbork, from where he was deported to Sobibor and later killed.  

Ali and her mother Roosje went into hiding in Staphorst with the Pauptit family, where they witnessed the Canadian liberators appearing in the street on their way to Meppel on 13 April 1945. 

Author: Wim Sagel