About Albert Hertz, his wife Erna Alexander and their two daughters Margot Bertha and Anna Dorothea.

Albert Hertz, born 26 March 1895 in Sittard (Limburg) was a son of Moises Hertz and Bertha Stiel. He married in Peine near Hannover to Erna Alexander, a daughter of Emil Alexander and Hulda Stempel. The couple had two daughters, Margot Bertha in 1923 and Anna Dorothea in 1929.

Albert and Erna lived after their wedding a long time in Peine, but decided still to leave Germany. On 5 October 1935 they arrived in Hillegersberg near Rotterdam, were they found a house in the Kerstant van Den Bergelaan 18b. However on 31 March 1938 they moved to the city of Rotterdam where they lived at Noordsingel 92b. Albert Hertz started a wool store elsewhere in town, which became a great success.

In May 1939, Erna’s father arrived in Rotterdam too, lived not in with his daughter and family but found lodging with Jacob van Spier in the Molenstraat 20, which was at Schiebroek/Hillegersberg North. However, Albert, Erna and his two daughters, moved one last time: in 1942 they lived in the Nolensstraat 20b in Rotterdam, not far from Blijdorp.

On the 4th of October 1942, women and children of Jewish labourers, who were in the Jewish labour camps, were picked up and brought to Westerbork. And in the first week of October 1942, also the big roundups in Rotterdam started, whereby Jewish citizens of Rotterdam up from 60 years of age were transported to Camp Westerbork and from there deported to the extermination camps. (sources: archive of the4 Dutch Red Cross, transports to Westerbork and the Wikipedia website Loods 24).

Also the four members of the Albert Hertz family were carried off from their home via Loods 24 in Rotterdam to Westerbork, where they arrived between 3 and 5 October 1942 and on 16 October, they were all deported to Auschwitz. The transport of more than 1700 deportees arrived there on 19 October 1942. But during a stopover in Kozel, located ±80 km west from Auschwitz, 570 men between 15 and 50 years were forced to leave the train; they were deployed as forced labourers in the surrounding labour camps. The remaining prisoners stayed in the train and were transported onwards to Auschwitz.

It is most likely that Erna Hertz-Alexander and her daughter Margot Bertha have been killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, together with the youngest daughter Anna Dorothea upon arrival the 19th of October 1942. However, the official certificates of death are not clear; the order of the Court of Justice in Den Haag reads for Erna Alexander and Margot Bertha, that they died “in de second half of October 1942”, while Anna Dorothea’s certificate of death reads “on or about 19 October 1942 died in Auschwitz”.  It is therefore more than plausible that Erna Hertz-Alexander and her two daughters were killed together in the gas chambers that 19th October 1942.

On the other hand, Albert Hertz was deployed as forced labourer and eventually lost his life on 19 January 1944 in the Extern Command Ludwigsdorf, which is one of the more than 200 sub camps from Gross Rosen, which is located in the South-West of Poland. However, it is unclear whether Albert Hertz belonged to the group of 570 men who were forced to leave the train during that stopover in Kozel, or that he ended up eventually in Ludwigsdorf from Auschwitz. In his certificate of death – drawn up by the City of Rotterdam, on order of the Ministry of Justice, is established that he has died in Ludwigsdorf on 19 January 1944.


Sources among others: the City Archive of Rotterdam, family registration cards of Albert Hertz; the file cabinet of the Jewish Council, registration cards of Albert Hertz, Erna Hertz-Alexander, Margot Bertha and Anna Dorothea Hertz; certificates of death made up in Rotterdam, for Albert Hertz nr. 2856 of 25 Aug.1950, for Erna Hertz-Alexander nr. 267 of 6 Apr 1949, for Margot Bertha Hertz nr. 268 of 6 Apr 1949 and for Anna Dorothea nr. 449 of 27 Jun 1949; the Wikipedia website jodentransporten vanuit Westerbork and additions of visitors of the website.

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