April, 2016

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Wednesday April 27th. The Dutch King’s birthday

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

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Today:

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Prinsengracht looking towards Leidsestraat

Prinsengracht looking towards Leidsestraat 2011

Today, notice difference in foliage with 2011.  Global Freezing?

Today, notice difference in foliage with 2011. Global Freezing?

 

 

 

 

Sunday, April 24. Ravensbrück Monument

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

This was the first time that I attended the annual memorial service for the victims and the ex-political prisoners of Ravensbrück.  Sort of an early Mother’s day attention. Friday I visited her grave, Saturday the Dachau memorial and today the one for the second concentration camp she passed through. Winter weather is back. It wet snowed on the outdoor gathering at the monument. Yesterday it was the KLM who hosted the coffee prior and the lunch after the ceremonies and today it were the Russians of Gaz-Prom who hosted the participants. The Ravensbrück camp was liberated by Russian troops. Yesterday there was just Willemijn van Gurp as the last surviving attendee. Today there were at least six women survivors. I will add the names to the below photograph as soon as I can locate them.

 

L.R.: Beppie Ottenbros, Lotty Veffer-Huffener, Marianne de Burger, Selma Velleman-van de Perre, further on Right (not shown) Gisela Soehnlein-Wieberdink

L.R.: Beppie Ottenbros, Lotty Veffer-Huffener, Marianne de Burger, Selma Velleman-van de Perre, further on Right (not shown) Gisela Soehnlein-Wieberdink. (Ik gebruik Amerikaanse volgorde: Meisjesnaam-Trouwnaam)

For her who continued to say "No" to the very end to Fascism

For her who continued to say “No” to the very end to Fascism

With the "Old Glory" flying above the monument from the US Consulate

With the “Old Glory” flying above the monument from the US Consulate

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Saturday April 23rd. The annual Dachau Monument memorial

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

It was a cold Spring day for the commemoration of the 1945 liberation of Concentration Camp Dachau. This was the fourth year in a row that I was able to attend. Every year there are fewer survivors of the camp. Today there were three. My guess is that the weaker sex, Willemijn, will be the last one to turn the light off. Then it will be up to my generation, the children of the former political prisoners to keep their example and message alive.

I am posting a few pictures with names that I took this afternoon and I have posted these and more in my drop box  where anyone can help themselves to download any of these at full size.

The deputy consul after laying the wreath.

The deputy consul after laying the wreath.

The American wreath next to the German one.

The American wreath next to the German one.

Willemijn laying wreath with school children and Jos, one of her "Names instead of Numbers" biographers

Willemijn laying wreath with school children and Jos, one of her “Names instead of Numbers” biographers

L.R. USA Vice Consul Kharmika Alston, Deputy Consul Pamela Hack

L.R. USA Vice Consul Kharmika Alston, Deputy Consul Pamela Hack

 

The last of the Mohicans Willemijn van Gurp 97, Skippy de Vaal 94, Henk van de Water 93

The last of the Mohicans Willemijn van Gurp 97, Skippy de Vaal 94, Henk van de Water 93

My plans here in Holland:

I arrived here last Saturday on the 16th. Wednesday night I had my first rehearsal with the choir for the May 4th concert. I am very excited about the choices of the program. (See my previous blogs for details) And I was welcomed back with open arms by the whole choir. If nothing else would happen this alone would be worth the trip but I am sharing many other blessings. My hosts, first my sister and brother in law and now I am being spoiled by Theo another choir tenor and his wife Carla. “Zeilen”, the most read Dutch sailing magazine, just appeared on the shelves with their May issue which has a plug in it for me giving presentations on my circumnavigation and to promote the sale of “SoloMan”. Until now I have made just one commitment on May the 16th. Tomorrow is the annual commemoration and laying of the wreaths at the Ravensbrück monument in Amsterdam, I shall attend. Another rehearsal on Thursday and I shall be in Brussels on Friday and Saturday and possibly Sunday, to see my granddaughter Corrine and husband Euan and the Godmother of (daughter #2) Rose Marie, Collette and her sister Yvette, who we reconnected with last year and have not seen since 1970. The general rehearsal on May 3rd for the 4th f May concert.

Then I fly to England on Friday the 6th to see friends near Southampton and to receive my OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) burgee at one of their rallies on the Solent. Saturday I travel to Bath to see my niece Anna and her husband and meet their twins for the first time. Then I will train to London on Monday to meet Melina Merlin and her boys and friends. Melina and I became acquainted through the happenstance meeting I had with her biological father in Zimnicea on the Danube in June of 2011. They were reunited after a 41 year search by her reading my blog after the meeting.

 

 

Sunday April 10. Details van het 4e mei concert

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Zoals ik al eerder meldde zing ik mee met het koor in de Augustinus kerk ter gelegenheid van de Dodenherdenking. Het thema van het concert is “Abide with me”. Het gedeelte van mijn boek “De Mastmakersdochters” waarin onze moeder beschrijft hoe de 650 vrouwen dit zongen toen de trein in beweging kwam op weg van concentratiekamp Vught naar Ravensbrück  wordt voorgedragen en in de achtergrond gezongen als de opening. Mijn eerste ervaring van dit mee te zingen, op 4 mei 2013, blijft een van de mooiste herinneringen van mijn verblijf in Nederland op mijn zeiljacht. Het kan niet op.

4 Mei Concert Final2