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Of men, monsters and mazel : surviving the "Final Solution" in Belgium

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Of men, monsters and mazel : surviving the "Final Solution" in Belgium
Call No: 940.53161 T29o

Call Number940.53161 T29o
Dates2016; ©2016
Statement of ResponsibilityMarcel Tenenbaum.
Creators & ContributorsTenenbaum, Marcel Paul (author)
Tenenbaum, Marcel Paul (subject)
Summary"Marcel Tenenbaum is a child survivor of the Holocaust who lived through the German occupation of Belgium between May 1940 and September 1944. He was born in Brussels and was Jerman and Gitla Tenenbaum's only child. Jerma, Marcel's father, was a master tailor who had moved from Poland to Brussels, where he was employed and later opened his own tailor shop. Marcel attended his first year of school under the German occupation of Belgium and wore a yellow star to be identified as a Jew. After completing grade 1, he went into hiding with his parents when the Nazis started deporting Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in 1942. The Tenenbaums lived for two years in two attic rooms under the roof of Jerma's first employer's house. His family's location was revealed to the Nazis in 1944 by a neighbor. Their luck or mazel, was that they arrived at the Malines gathering camp 72 hours after the last deportation train for Auschwitz departed from Belgium. Marcel and his parents were imprisoned at Malines for one month and were then liberated by British and Canadian troops on September 4, [1944]. The Tenenbaums emigrated from Belgium in 1951 and settled in Montreal, Canada." —Back cover
ContentsAcknowledgements
Dedication
My Chosen Quotations
About Spiritual Resistance and Holocaust Humour
Some Definitions
Preface
  • Why Did I Choose the Title Of Men, Monsters and Mazel?
  • Three Main Sources for the Material Described in This Book
  • Obedient Belgium
Introduction
  • In August 1944, When I Was a Nine-Year Old Young Jewish Boy Hiding with My Parents
Part One
  • Chapter One
    • How Did I Survive the Holocaust?
    • Giving "My Testimony" Versus Telling "My Story"
    • The History of the Holocaust in Belgium
    • The 2007 "Obedient Belgium" Report
    • The Words "Holocaust" and "Shoah"
    • The Final Solution
    • About Child Survivors
    • "The Children of Silence"
  • Chapter Two
    • Born in Belgium but Barred from Being Belgian
    • Foreigners in Belgium
  • Chapter Three
    • My Parents Came from Poland
    • Born in Radom, Poland
    • I Never Knew Any of My Grandparents
    • To My Parents I Was a "Miracle" Child
    • "Generation 1 1/2"
    • I Never Played with Other Children Between 1942 and 1944
    • My Father Left Eastern Europe for Luxembourg and Belgium
    • Fat Meat and Lean Meat
    • My Father Left Luxembourg City for Brussels
    • My Parents Gave Me Life Twice
    • Uncle Haskell's Visit to Belgium Before September 1939
  • Chapter Four
    • The Great Depression in Belgium
  • Chapter Five
    • Jews in Belgium
    • Only Ten Percent of the Jews Held Belgian Nationality
    • A Flüchtling, a German Refugee, Came to Our House
    • The MS St. Louis and Belgium
    • Refugees from Nazi Persecution in Belgium Recast as "Enemy Nationals"
  • Chapter Six
    • Why I Was Raised as a Non-Religious Jew
    • The Birth of Jewish Political Parties in Poland
    • My Father and His Favorable Inclination Towards Communism
    • Soccer Game with Hakoah-Vienna
  • Chapter Seven
    • The Germans Invaded Belgium and My Life Changed Forever
    • I Acquired a Children's Gas Mask
    • Belgium, 1940
    • Rationing
    • The French and British Armies
    • King Leopold III Capitulated
Part Two
  • Chapter Eight
    • Why is the History of the Holocaust in Belgium so Little Known?
    • The Red Star Line
  • Chapter Nine
    • Belgium's Economy Under German Military Administration
    • Governing by Decrees: Putting Belgium's Economy Back on Track
  • Chapter Ten
    • Why Was Hitler's Germany Called the "Third Reich"?
    • Why Was Hitler's Anti-Semitism Such an Easy Sell to Christians?
    • The Nuremberg Laws
  • Chapter Eleven
    • Why Was the Shoah Different in France and the Netherlands?
    • Vichy France
    • The Netherlands Under the Austrian Nazis
    • Anne Frank Deported to Auschwitz as We Were Being Liberated in Belgium
  • Chapter Twelve
    • Belgium's Secretaries-General Ran the Country
  • Chapter Thirteen
    • Belgium Under the Boches
    • A German Officer Became One of My Father's Customers
    • Flemish Nationalism and Its Impact on the Persecution of Jews
    • German Edicts Against the Jews and a Strong Belgian Resistance Movement
  • Chapter Fourteen
    • 253 Rue Rogier, Schaerbeek: Our Store and Our Home
    • My Father's Foot-Operated Sewing Machine
    • I Started Grade 1
    • How I Learned to Read Before I Even Went to School
  • Chapter Fifteen
    • Life in Occupied Belgium
    • Six Bottles of Good Oil to Make Real Mayonnaise
    • My Mother's Belgian Cooking
    • Belgians Were Forced to Pay for the Costs of the Occupation
    • Air Raids
  • Chapter Sixteen
    • My Father's Attempted Flight from Belgium to France
  • Chapter Seventeen
    • The Association of Jews in Belgium
    • Why Then Was the Clumsier and Harder-to-Handle Vereinigung Model Selected in Belgium?
    • In France
  • Chapter Eighteen
    • Anti-Jewish Decrees Promulgated by the Germans in Belgium, 1940–1942
    • Our Mazel Again
  • Chapter Nineteen
    • Wearing the Yellow Star in Belgium
    • May 27, 1942
    • Rules About Wearing the Yellow Star
    • No Comments at School
    • The Gypsies in Belgium
  • Chapter Twenty
    • No Streetlights in the City and Blacked-Out Car Headlights
    • Air Raid Alerts
    • Food and Ration Stamps
    • Rationing in Canada? Really?
  • Chapter Twenty-One
    • August 4, 1942: The First Train Left for Auschwitz
    • Convoy Number 1: The First Train That Left Malines for Auschwitz
    • We Go Into Hiding in August 1942
    • A Shortage of Trains Available to the SS to Deport Jews
Part Three
  • Chapter Twenty-Two
    • August 1942: We Went Into Hiding
    • Jewish Resistance
    • The First Deadly Wave: 100 Days of Deportation
    • A Little Over 70 Years Ago, During the Summer of 1942
    • Listening to the Phonograph
    • Hiring Traitors
    • The Fate of the Hidden Jews in Belgium
  • Chapter Twenty-Three
    • A Child Growing up in Hiding
    • The Fear of Being Caught
  • Chapter Twenty-Four
    • What Did I Do While in Hiding?
    • Sitting on the Stairs Facing the Window on the Courtyard
    • I Went to the Racetrack, I Bet, and I Won
  • Chapter Twenty-Five
    • The Day My Father Saw the Gestapo Headquarters Attacked
    • About the Gestapo Headquarters
    • Avenue Louise
    • The Gestapo Headquarters in Brussels
    • Jean de Selys Longchamps
    • Baron de Sélys
  • Chapter Twenty-Six
    • The Predicament of the Jews Living in Antwerp
    • Collaboration in Flanders
    • The Antwerp Pogrom
    • The Destruction of Antwerp's Jewish Community
    • The Status of Jews Living in Brussels
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven
    • Residences for Jewish Children and the Elderly
    • The Important Role Played by Public Residences for Jewish Children and the Elderly
    • Abandoned Jewish Orphans in Belgium
    • Reality Set in for the Children After Liberation
    • Jewish Orphans and the Belgian Resistance
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight
    • We Were Arrested: Coming Face-to-Face With le Gros Jacques
    • The Jail Cell in the Basement of the Gestapo
    • The Truck Ride to Malines
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine
    • Icek Glogowski, Known as le Gros Jacques
    • Tracking Down "Jacques the Informer"
    • How My Parents Probably Acquired False Belgian Identity Papers
    • My Mother Knew Glogowski's Wife, Eva, and Her New Baby Boy, Simon
  • Chapter Thirty
    • The Informer and His Lady Who Lived on the Second Floor
    • The Man Who Lived in the Apartment Below Us Denounced Us
Part Four
  • Chapter Thirty-One
    • Arriving at the Dossin Barracks on August 4, 1944
    • Food Parcels
    • We Received a Package from Uncle David
    • The Caserne Dossin SS Administration
    • Jewish Detainees Made Up the Administrative and Maintenance Staff
    • Management and Liquidation of the Goods Confiscated from Jews
    • Camp Commander Schmitt Succeeded by the More Moderate Johannes Frank
    • The Germans Abandoned the Dossin Barracks in the Middle of the Night
  • Chapter Thirty-Two
    • "I should scratch the eyes out of your head for bringing a child into a place like this."
    • I Contracted Impetigo
    • Physical Scars and Psychological Scars
    • Playing with Other Children
    • "With only a shirt on my back"
  • Chapter Thirty-Three
    • Les Cents Jours de la Déportation: The Hundred Days of Deportation
  • Chapter Thirty-Four
    • Witnesses' Accounts of Life in the Malines Transit Camp
    • La Mystérieuse Caserne Dossin à Malines: The Mysterious Dossin Barracks in Mechelen
    • Salle 1: Room 1
  • Chapter Thirty-Five
    • The Role of the German Railways (the Reichsbahn) in the "Final Solution"
    • The Advantage of Using Trains
    • Scale of the Need for Mass Transportation
    • "Resettlement to the East"
    • The Journey
    • Locomotives and Wagons
    • Payment: The Jews Were Forced to Pay for Their Own Transportation
    • The Odds Were Better if You Jumped off the Train
    • Boxcars
    • Why Cattle Cars?
    • German Jews
  • Chapter Thirty-Six
    • Mazel Plus More Mazel, All in One Single Month
    • I Am Not Sorry I Missed the Train to Auschwitz and Lived
    • Convoy Number XXVI Departed from Malines on July 31, as Scheduled
    • The Planned XXIXth Transport and the Gasoline Shortage That Saved My Life
    • Adolf Eichmann Sent SS Major Anton Burger to Brussels
    • Bergen-Belsen Instead of Auschwitz
    • The Planned XXIXth Transport
    • The Gasoline Shortage Saved My Life for a Second Time in Three Weeks
Part Five
  • Chapter Thirty-Seven
    • We Were Free! The Germans Abandoned the Caserne Dossin
    • Camp Commander Frank's Gallows Humour
    • A Local Family Invited Us to Their House
    • The "Joyous Entry" of the Tenenbaums into Brussels
  • Chapter Thirty-Eight
    • But the British Army Did Not Liberate Us!
    • Lokshen Hidden in One of the Bolts of Woollen Cloth in My Father's Tailor Shop
    • Brussels Was Liberated on September 3 and 4, 1944
    • This Flat Homeland of Mine: Le plat pays qui est le mien
  • Chapter Thirty-Nine
    • The Germans' Last Day in Brussels
    • Montgomery and Brussels
  • Chapter Forty
    • D-Day June 6, 1944: The Allied Invasion That Saved Our Lives
  • Chapter Forty-One
    • Back to School After Two Years
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • I Could Not Read What Was Written on the Blackboard
    • The Roar of a Low-Flying Propeller Airplane
    • One of My Teachers Was Anti-Semitic
    • I Get Thrown Out of the Class
    • Being Taught Moral Values
  • Chapter Forty-Two
    • 1945: I Caught Sight of a Walking Living Skeleton
    • Post-War Jewish Refugees in Belgium
    • Obtaining Belgian Citizenship Was Made Easier
    • The Jewish Population of Belgium in the Twenty-first Century
  • Chapter Forty-Three
    • My Cousin Edith Bialer After the Liberation of Belgium
    • My Aunt Rosa Was Deported to Auschwitz
  • Chapter Forty-Four
    • The V-2 Rockets, the Siege of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge
    • Bastogne
    • The Battle of the Bulge
    • "NUTS!"
  • Chapter Forty-Five
    • 1944–1951 in Belgium
    • Almost No One Had a Brother or a Sister
    • Going to a Jewish Camp in Marcinelle After the War and Being Very Unhappy
    • I Never Had a Babysitter
Part Six
  • Chapter Forty-Six
    • "Obedient Belgium" The Belgium Authorities and the Persecution of the Jewish Population During the German Occupation
    • Moment 1: The Fall of 1940
    • No Bullying
    • Moment 2: The Summer of 1942
    • Why the Difference in Behaviour?
    • Moment 3: After the War Ended
    • Why Did Belgium Behave This Way?
    • Not Obliged to Follow German Orders
    • No Longer Certain the Germans Would Win the War
  • Chapter Forty-Seven
    • Belgium's Problem with King Leopold III
  • Chapter Forty-Eight
    • Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and the Jews
  • Chapter Forty-Nine
    • Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana of the Netherlands During WWII
    • Princess Juliana of the Netherlands in Ottawa: The Canadian Wartime Exile
    • A Room at the Ottawa Civic Hospital Became Dutch Territory
  • Chapter Fifty
    • The Belgian Catholic Church During the Shoah
    • Cardinal Jozef-Ernest van Roey
    • Historical Precedents
    • Cardinal van Roey Opposed Nazism in His Way
  • Chapter Fifty-One
    • The Righteous Among the Nations
    • Andrée Geulen
    • Father Bruno
    • Yvonne Névejan
  • Chapter Fifty-Two
    • Falling "Outside the Sanctified Universe of Obligation"
    • About the Armenians and the Jews
    • "Aliens"
  • Chapter Fifty-Three
    • Belgian Nazi Léon Degrelle and the Rexist Party
    • Degrelle Escaped the Death Sentence
    • Léon Degrelle's Holocaust Denial
  • Chapter Fifty-Four
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, the USA and the Jews
  • Chapter Fifty-Five
    • Winston Churchill, My Father's Hero
    • The Einsatzgruppen, the Mobile Killing Units
    • The Vel' d'Hiv July 16 Roundup of Jews in Paris
    • About the Auschwitz Extermination Camp
Part Seven
  • Chapter Fifty-Six
    • What a Difference a City Made!
    • Location, Location, Location
    • The Roundups Started in Antwerp
    • More Collaboration
  • Chapter Fifty-Seven
    • What a Difference a Country Made: France and the Netherlands
    • Vichy France, 1940
    • Jews in France
    • No Registry of Jews in France
    • The Configuration of the Jewish Community in France
    • The Catholic Church in France
    • O.S.E., Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants, Children's Aid Society
    • Jews in the Netherlands
  • Chapter Fifty-Eight
    • Jewish Resistance Operations in Belgium
    • Finding Hiding Places for Jewish Children
    • The Fate of Jewish Children in Belgium During the German Occupation, 1940–1944
    • Jewish Armed Resistance in Belgium Often Overlooked
    • The AJB and Robert Holzinger
    • The Twentieth Train
    • Most of the Jews Who Survived Did so Thanks to Their Own Initiative
    • Tintin and Le Soir
    • Was Tintin's Creator Hergé a Nazi Collaborator?
  • Chapter Fifty-Nine
    • My Father's Ulcers
  • Chapter Sixty
    • Brussels Recognized Its Complicity in the Deportation of Jews and Apologized
  • Chapter Sixty-One
    • March 12, 1950: My First Referendum
  • Chapter Sixty-Two
    • My Visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, August 24, 2011
  • Chapter Sixty-Three
    • Belgium Opened a New Holocaust Museum
  • Chapter Sixty-Four
    • My Testimony
Part Eight
  • Chapter Sixty-Five
    • Montréal, Québec, Canada
    • Understanding English
  • Chapter Sixty-Six
    • University Education and Professional Career
  • Chapter Sixty-Seven
    • Marriages, Children, Grandchildren and Retirement
  • Chapter Sixty-Eight
    • We Are Damaged Goods: Psychological Effects of a Lost Childhood
    • Extreme Fear for Our Children and Need to Protect Them
    • The Parti Québecois Was Elected in November 1976
    • The Ace up My Sleeve
    • About My Cousin Edith
    • Jewish Orphanages
    • La Belgique Docile: Compliant Belgium
    • Pro-German Antwerp
    • Belgian Civil Servants Carry Out the Germans' Instructions
    • A Key Decision Made After the War Ended
Epilogue
  • Questions My Son Daniel Asked Me and Some of My Answers
  • Telling My Grandchildren About How I Survived the Shoah
Appendices
  • Decree for the Establishment of the Association of the Jews in Belgium
  • Successive Anti-Jewish Decrees
  • Belgian Jews Faced Assignment for Work "in the East"
  • Instructions for Marking the Jews in Holland, Occupied Belgium and France
Physical Description xliv, 401 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
Carrier Typevolume
LanguageEnglish
Publisher[Bloomington, IN] : Xlibris ; [Montreal?] : Marcel Tenenbaum