The Holocaust in Belgium

by Chuck Ferree.

The Belgium and Luxembourg Jews, now seized and deported came from many cities, towns and villages. The first deportations from Belgium took place on 4, August 1942. Henceforth, over a period of two years, a total of twenty trains set off to the unknown destination from the internment camp at Dossin, near Malines. The destination was in fact, Auschwitz.

The Germans ignored protests from the Catholic church, including one by Jean Agrinckx, a leading right-wing Catholic, and one by Cardinal Van Roey, Archbishop of Malines.

The local Belgium population was active in helping Jews, of whom more than 25,000 were hidden in private homes and orphanages, and thereby saved. But of the 25,631 Belgium Jews who were deported, only 1,244 survived the war.

More than 1,000 Belgium Jews fought with the Belgium partisans, 140 of them were killed in action

By the most exact estimates of recent research, the number of Jews killed in Europe between September 1939 and May 1945 was nearly six million. This estimate is a minimum. Such a total, however can never be complete. Thousands of infants and babies were murdered, by the Nazis killing squads in the autumn of 1941, for example, before their birth could be recorded for any statistical purpose.

Throughout Europe, the traveler to this day comes across monuments and grave stones of the victims. Stones mark the mass graves of individuals of whom nothing will every be known; not their names, their ages, their birthplaces, nor indeed their total number.

(Work cited: Atlas of the Holocaust, by Martin Gilbert. Second revised printing by Pergamon Press, 1988, 1991 printed in The United States of America)