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Westerbork Deportation

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Lagerkommandantur Westerbork Rudolf Breslauer (1903-1944) was a photographer and lithographer by trade, educated at the Academy for Art Photography in Germany. He was married to Bella Weihsmann and had three children: Stephan, Mischa, and Ursula. They fled Leipzig and settled in the Netherlands in 1938. In the summer of 1940, non-Dutch Jews were forced to leave Leiden because the city was near the sea. The Breslauers moved to a boarding house in Alphen aan de Rijn and left for Utrecht shortly thereafter. On February 11, 1942, they were sent to Westerbork, where Rudolf Breslauer was ordered to make passport photos of incoming camp prisoners and film daily life in Westerbork. In the spring of 1944, the camp commander commissioned Breslauer to make what would later be known as the Westerbork-film. In September 1944, Breslauer and his family were deported to Theresienstadt with other privileged prisoners and subsequently deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. Only Ursula survived the camp. Anna Maria "Settela" Steinbach was born on December 23, 1934 in Buchten (the seventh of ten children). Her father, Heinrich "Moeselman" was a trader and a violinist, her mother, Emilia "Toetela" ran their household. In July 1943, the German occupation authorities in the Netherlands instituted a prohibition against the movement of wagons and concentrated them in assembly camps. Settela and her family ended up in Eindhoven, and were rounded up and transferred to Westerbork transit camp on May 16, 1944. Settela was filmed in Westerbork on the May 19, 1944 train transport to Auschwitz, moments before the railcar door was bolted and locked. The 246 Sinti and Roma, including Settela and some of her family members, were in goods wagons 12 to 17, just at the moment that Jewish prisoner Rudolf Breslauer was ordered by camp commander Gemmecker to film the events. Settela was gassed in Auschwitz-Birkenau, probably during the night of 2-3 August 1944, possibly along with her mother, two brothers, and two sisters, and other Sinti and Roma during the Zigeunerlager liquidation. Consult "Settela" by Aad Wagenaar and the documentary film "Settela" by Dutch filmmaker Cherry Duyns (1994).
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  • EHRI
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