The Netherlands / Biography
Roosje Mozes was a Jewish girl who loved parties, especially her own birthday, enjoyed swimming in the lake the IJzeren Man and collecting trading cards, especially of Shirley Temple. Her life changed drastically in 1941.
Roosje Mozes grew up with her parents and older sister Martha in Tilburg, a city in the south of the Netherlands. In 1941, the Mozes family took in Horst Eichenwald, a Jewish boy from Germany who was sent to the Netherlands by his parents in the hope he would be safe there. However, daily life in the Netherlands changed for both Roosje and Horst. They were no longer allowed to attend their own school, and swimming in the IJzeren Man was forbidden for Jews. In April 1943, the Mozes family had to report to Camp Vught. Father Salomon Mozes, a nurse by profession, was sent to Westerbork, having to leave his wife and children behind. In May 1943, there were almost 1,800 Jewish children at Camp Vught. Many died as a result of sickness and privation, news of which spread outside the camp. The SS decided to take action to put an end to these reports. On 5 June, it was announced that “all children between the ages of 0 and approximately 16 years are required to leave the camp to be accommodated, as we have been informed, in a special children’s camp”. There was great panic. A children’s camp? “No one believes it,” wrote one Jewish woman. On Sunday 6 June 1943, it rained continuously. The youngest children and their mothers were deported. Amongst them were mother Kaatje Mozes, her youngest daughter Roosje as well as Horst.
They are followed, on 7 June, by the older children, also accompanied by one or both of their parents. Martha, being 17 years old at the time, remained in Camp Vught. In total 3,014 parents and children were taken away. Upon arrival of these ‘Children’s Transports’ in Sobibor almost everybody was killed in the gas chambers, Kaatje, Roosje and Horst included. Father Salomon was killed a month later, also in Sobibor. Martha survived several concentration camps and was eventually evacuated to Sweden, where she wrote a letter to friends in the Netherlands in which she dreamed about being reunited with her family — still unaware of the fact that she was the only one of her family who had survived the war.