Monday Sept 14 visiting a survivor

Written by Jack van Ommen on September 15th, 2009

Paul and Ineke Boosman, the parents of Bart, the OSTAR racer, stopped by to take me with them to meet Lies Bueninck in Rotterdam. She is one of the last surviving members of the political prisoners our mother was liberated with in late April 1945 near Dachau. Lies is 100 years old. I had just finished reading the memoirs of Bart’s grandmother Tiny (pronounce Teenee) Boosman, who was a member of the same resitance group our mother worked for and who was arrested in the same period and went through the same prisons and camps and the liberation as our mother. Many questions we have had for the last 25 years are being answered through this unusual meeting Bart and I had on the Atlantic. But there are still pieces missing in the puzzle. More get-togethers are planned with the Boosmans, Bep Boosman, I have been told, is the historian of the family.

Why am I and my brother spending so much energy on this depressing subject? Lies still does not like to look back and my mother and most who went through this did not want to dwell on it any longer. Why did we not have these questions answered in my mother’s living years?

I promise I’ll change the subject and there will be pictures of “Fleetwood” sailing by wind mills and tow headed blond children on wooden shoes.

The last Picture is part of the address book that all the prisoners made for oneanother in the last days in Dachau. They wrote their address and a dedication. This is the one my mother made for Lies Bueninck and an emotional moment for me to find it between the hundreds of names, done 64 years ago. And this and the trinkets, they fabricated from scraps of clothing and parts of the timing devices they made in the forced labor camp, survived the death march outof  Dachau.
 

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