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Afbeelding bij Robert Charles van Messel

Robert's index card from the Jewish Council card file in Amsterdam (source: arolsen-archives.org). The information office of the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) in The Hague created a file for Robert after the war under dossier number 120,368. It contained all the information known at that time about him and his persecution.


On the left side of the card, the typing by a Jewish Council worker noted that Robert was a "leerl. verpl[eger]" (student nurse) at the "J.I." (Joodse Invalide, or Jewish Infirmary),  Weesperplein 1, from 10 March 1942. He was also a student nurse at the "JVVV" (Joodse Vereniging voor Verpleging en Verzorging, or Jewish Association for Nursing and Care), number Z271. His work as a nurse qualified him to be exempted from deportation ("gesp[errt] wegens: functie") for an unspecified length of time.


After the war a NLRC worker wrote, in pen in the upper-right corner, the date of Robert's arrival at transit camp Westerbork ("Wbk") on 26 August 1943. The names and birthdates of his father, mother and brother were also noted. His deportation date to Auschwitz ("Tr. 31.8.43") was written in red pencil. 


The NLRC dossiers are housed in the National Archives in the Hague. In 2021 the NLRC announced its intention to transfer the Jewish Council Index Card Archive to Amsterdam's Jewish Cultural Quarter, which plans to exhibit the archive at the National Holocaust Museum beginning in late 2022.