Our family, my father David Heymans, my mother Sara Heymans- Bouwman , my twin sister Willy Heymans ,named after our Grandmother Wilhelmina, and my self John Heymans, were transported on the 4th of September 1944 from Westerborck to east Europa , together with the Barnefeldgroup, 3 days and 3 night took this not comfortable journey, in a cattle train, at the end we arrived in Therezienstadt.
My dad started to work as anesthesiologist by Prof.Dr. Stein a skillful and well known opthalmologist and surgeon. March 1945 the first survivors from the so cold "dead-marches",started to arrive in Therezienstadt. Together with other physicians ,was it my dads duty, to take care of those survivors. No need to explain , that those survivors, suffered under the most severe and ill conditions a human- being, can be, most of the care taking physicians, were astonished and surprised that those victims, were still alive . Frozen noses ,hands and feet where very common, most of the survivors, did not have eaten any food for days, some had eaten grass. By most of the victims, there stomach and intestinal canal was not able to digest food any more. My father told us that he even could not give prescriptions for urgent needed medication because there was no medication at all. The only thing he could give his patients was his full attention and to listen to there story's. My father was sitting at the bedsides of many, night after night, and wrote done there story's, this gave those terminal sick patients, a certian sense of satisfaction and good feeling, that a medical doctor, they could trust, wrote done there testimony about there suffering and misery. So there story's did not get lost for the history, and would find a way to the attention and notice of the coming generation. After my father died 1986 in Haarlem, Holland,at the age of 80 of Leukemia, we found the regarding testimony papers, from the survivors from the dead-marches, but most of the survivors,did not stay a live long after, telling there story's. We the children Heymans, my twin sister, my brother, born after the war and named after my fathers oldest brother Hugo, and my self, donated this testimony evidence to Yad Vasheem in Jerusalem, it is translated in Hebrew, by Dr.Dasberg, it may be seen under no.12360 in the archive-house. The paper sheets my father used to write done , those story's, received a special chemical treatment so it will be readable for many years. In the mean time, father made efforts to get information, special from Dutch survivors, concerning his elder brother Hugo, according to rumours he was possible a participant of those dead-marches. Finally he found some Dutch survivors , in terminal health conditions, and from them, he got the following information: Hugo was for sure on there march, they walk together a couple of days, but on a certain point and moment he was not able to walk any more.!! The German guards got strict instructions, that every prisoner-participant, should not stay alive, if he stayed behind, and in the case of fathers brother there was no exception. This was the final story concerning Hugo.
In the beginning of May 1940 Hugo was send, to at that time named Palestian, to do some journalistic work, 5 May 1940 the Netherlands was invaded by suprise by the Germann army. In great hurry Hugo rushed back to Holland to be united with his wife Elizabeth, we knew her by the name of Liezel, both went into hidden and both were betrayed, Liezel died in Aushwitz 1943. Because the hurry to return to Holland, Hugo left his suitcase behind in his hotel in Haifa. In 1946 after iligal immigrating to Palestian before the proclamation of the state of Israel, the youngest sister of Hugo, Anneke Heymans ,went to pick up the suitcase in the hotel in Haifa, it was never opend, the hotel owner told her: "I was sure that one day somebody would come to claim the suitcase".
John Heymans Beth Juliana, Herzlia Israel