Update — A Story of Transport XX – April 19, 1943 – by Audrey Rogers Furfaro | 20230409 | Miracles•Media | Story originally told April 2008 by Audrey Rogers Furfaro, and next posted Nov 2012 at michelvanderburg•com illustrated with the shirt the 14 year old Robert was wearing when shot in his chest as he jumped April 19, 1943 from the 20th convoy – together with his parents Bertha and Eddy Rottenberg.
Story now updated – with a portrait of Bobby and his parents in Bruxelles, 1941.
A new finding – published at the current 236 exhibition in Brussels – is the location were the family escaped – they were numbers 722, 723, and 724. The Rottenberg family jumped close to Houppertingen, just before the site Simon Gronowski jumped, before Borgloon. That map is showing in a recent video of the vernisage of the ‘236’ project:
In the night of April 19-20 at 2 AM the Belgian partisans Romain Baplu, Nicolas Poncelet, Pieter Schepers and Marcel Swinnen – operating in the Leuven Partisans group – attacked Transport XX just outside Leuven by building a barricade of tree trunks on the track at Korbeek-Lo, that slowed down the 20th Convoy of 1631 Jews in cattle cars, being deported from the Dossin barracks transit camp in Mechelen to Auschwitz , and thus helped many of the deportees to escape, jumping from the death train, between Korbeek-Lo and Tienen. That was the 2nd attack that night. Earlier , a first attack was performed before Leuven between Boortmeerbeek and Haacht by the three young Brussels’ heroes Youra Livschitz (Dr. Georges Livschitz ; aka Livchitz), Robert Maistriau, and Jean Franklemon, who liberated 17 people during an attack by opening one of the cattle cars.
Romain Baplu from Louvain (Leuven, Belgium) and Youra Livschitz (Dr. Georges Livschitz ; aka Livchitz) from Brussels were both reported on a list of hostages shot , published in the April 15, 1944 bulletin of News From Belgium : …
“A List of Hostages Shot — The names of 15 hostages executed in Brussels after the murder of a German soldier have been published:
Victor Jacobs, of Louvain; Michel Stockmans, of Hougaerde; Edmond Vertongen, of Linden; Désiré Regent, of Kessel-Loo; Julien Ameye, of Lans (France); Henri Michaux , of Herseaux; Maurice Knarren, of Brussels; Romain Baplu, of Louvain; Louis Dewolf, of Louvain; Désiré Lasterman, of Wesmael; Pierre Renis and Jean Simon, of Louvain; Léon Magne, of Nivelles; Joseph Nejszaten, of Sciepe; Albert Meurice, of St-Gilles, Brussels… …
Eight patriots whose names follow were recently shot down by the Germans in occupied Belgium: Albert Romain, of Bièvres; Henry Albert, of Haut-Fays; and Dr. Georges Livchitz, René Lachaud, René Brams, Richard Lipper, Jean-Auguste Leyniers, and René Joseph Emile Denauw, all of Brussels.”
News From Belgium Vol. IV, No. 15, April 15, 1944 | Belgian Information Center, New York (USA) | Harvard Law School Library | Digitized by Google.
Film License info : Romain Baplu & Youra Livschitz • News From Belgium | 20230407 | Miracles•Media | TakeNode bb8fc1fd-444f-4bba-aecb-1d439b5bdb3e
The original deportation footage of the annotated 2021 Westerbork film (REF 1) provides insight into Breslauer’s way of filming.
Focussing on film roll 2 of the deportation reel it is evident that Breslauer — right after filming the toddlers Marc and Stella Degen (REF 11) in 3rd class carriage I at the front of the train ( 00:16:49 ) — for his next shot ( 00:16:52 ) went all the way to the rear of the train for a close-up of the 9-year-old Settela Steinbach in cattle car number 16 — with Romani and Sinti people bound for Auschwitz (REF 6,12).
Further note that the first shot that day also focusses on a child, here in cattle car #7 with Jewish people (REF 6) bound for Auschwitz (00:20:18 start of roll 4/4 of reel E198).
The 2021 Westerbork film as mentioned in the recently presented Westerborkfilm Introduction (REF 2) is the outcome of a thorough search that started Spring 2019 for all available film cans in the Dutch media archives of Sound & Vision and the EYE Filmmuseum. All restored unique shots using both the camera original film and film copies (duplicates – when no original is known) were used for the new restored Westerbork film compilation made available as ‘display edition’.
Sound & Vision curator Valentine Kuypers reported in her dutch blog 12 May 2021 (REF 3) that a total of 23 film cans were found, including 2 cans with camera-original negative film – a discovery , because before only reels with film duplicates (copies) were known with only a few minutes section of original footage (see below). For the new 2021 Westerbork film “a compilation of unique scenes in the highest quality was made. Eight films from the archives of Sound & Vision and Eye were used for the compilation, consisting of: 16 mm original negative, duplicate negative, duplicate positive and original reversal film. ” [my translation].
Digital restoration with a conservative approach was used to stabilize and reframe the images , deflicker , and remove dust, scratches, and visible splices (REF 4). The display copy for distribution was color graded and adjusted for the correct playback speed.
Examination of the Westerbork Film for annotation showed the film starts with the two newly discovered camera-original reels E325 and E198, resp.
The first reel (E325) has sections of footage shot at various work sites of the Westerbork camp — starting 00:00:29 and ending at 00:14:22 — that can be traced back in the 1986 RVD Westerbork Film duplicates Act 2 and Act 3 , listed with numbers 5 , 17 , 12 , 5, 18, 9, 10, 9, 10, 19, 20 resp. in the post (REF 5) Westerbork Film – full version (RVD). The last scene on this reel E325 – a newly discovered clip of a few seconds – is showing a soldier standing guard at the camp entrance.
Dutch researchers Koert Broersma and Gerard Rossing reported in their new book on the film (REF 6) that the footage on both reels – although original – has been cut — with reel E325 showing 7 splices. I wasn’t able to discover splices, probably because of the digital restoration. The next reel E198, however, with the deportation footage, clearly does show 2 of the 3 spices reported by Broersma and Rossing — these show up as white transitions in this digital display edition around 0:16:22 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiLNDziwEtc&t=982s – and 0:18:14 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiLNDziwEtc&t=1094s – resp. The location of that 3rd splice that is no longer showing in this restored film could be traced with help of the image of that splice published in Broersma and Rossing ‘s book , page 110 (REF 6) – right after Gemmeker looking up , starting 00:20:18 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiLNDziwEtc&t=1218s .
Since the splices between the film rolls on this reel could be identified here , the film roll numbers 1 to 4 are specified in the annotations.
The display edition of this deportation footage shows the order of the rolls found on reel E198. For the correct chronological order clearly rolls 1 and 4 have to change places, as shown before in the reconstruction Deportation Westerbork Film | 20210719 (REF 7).
The reels E325 and E198 with original film are followed by reels with restored duplicate films – omitting scenes already shown as original footage :
i) first, the 4 reels (acts) of the restored RVD film (REF 5);
ii) next, the so-called Unknown Westerbork Film Reel…F1014 (REF 8) starting with the Transport data animation at 02:03:31 ;
iii) and finally, the so-called Forgotten Westerbork Film Reel…F1015 (REF 9) starting at 02:11:53 with the Gevaert logo. Footage of the Religuous service on this F1015 reel was reported by Broersma and Rossing (REF 6) to be original film also .
Special thanks to researchers, authors, Koert Broersma, Gerard Rossing, and Aad Wagenaar, to curator Valentine Kuypers and her Sound & Vision colleagues Gerard Nijssen and others. The new Westerbork film project is a joint effort of four dutch organizations : the Dutch media archive Sound & Vision, Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre , the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam.
Westerbork Film Shots Order | 20220511 | Michel van der Burg | Settela•Com – CC BY 4.0