Never Again

March 13, 2022 by  
Read on for article

Watching a mother carry her three-year-old child in her arms, fleeing their home to seek shelter from the unbearable rocket onslaught on their Ukrainian city, brought on by the Russian armed forces at the order of their president Vladimir Putin, brings tears to my eyes…writes Eddy Boas.

EddyBoas with his brother in 1940

Three months after I was born in January 1940 in The Hague, Netherlands (Holland) on 10 May, the army of Nazi Germany crossed into Holland.

My father had been mobilised in August 1939 and fought with the Dutch army, in a war they knew they could not win, against a better equipped and ruthless German army, led by Adolf Hitler, a Chancellor (President) who did not care how many people he would murder. Despite the fact that the Dutch army put up a better resistance than the Germans had expected, it took the Germans 5 days to overpower the Dutch and occupy the country.  My father avoided capture and made his way back to The Hague where over the next 3 years, he mainly stayed in hiding, inside our flat.

In the middle of the night on 28 September 1943, my parents, my eight-year old brother and I were pushed down 2 flights of stairs out of our second floor flat, by an armed German soldier and a Dutch Nazi with a rifle.

I, only 3 years old, was in my mother’s arms. Once on the street, we were dragged along to a waiting army truck and forced towards whatever space was available. We left behind all our possessions, except for clothing, that my mother was able to put into the three small bags, which my father was carrying.

We were taken to the train station and pushed with hundreds of others onto crowded trains to an unknown destination.

Today, I see fathers, mothers and children being forced out of their homes and flats because of the indiscriminate bombing of the major cities in Ukraine, by a ruthless Russian army and air force. Mothers carrying their young child in their arms, fathers carrying a small suitcase or bag, their aim is to escape and make it to the nearest border crossing, by foot by car or by train, it will take them at least 3 to 5 days to get there. The roads are crowded, the trains are full.

At the border, they say goodbye to their husbands and fathers, who are staying behind to fight a war, which they know they cannot win, against a better equipped and ruthless army, led by Vladimir Putin,  a president who does not care how many mothers and children his army will murder.

In March 1938, when Hitler invaded and annexed Austria, the world stood by and did nothing, only 2 years earlier in 1936 Germany had hosted the Olympic Games. This gave Hitler the green light to invade his next country, Poland in September 1939, which in turn was followed by World War 2, where Hitler occupied nearly all of Europe.

Putin gave the world plenty of warnings about his plans to annex Ukraine. He attacked Ukraine on 24 February 2022 four days after China had finished hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Apparently Putin had done a deal with China’s President Xi, not to invade Ukraine until after 20 February the last day of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

The World again stands by and does nothing, their excuse they can’t help Ukraine because Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

In the 1940s Hitler’s Nazis established various concentration camps where approximately 20 million* civilians from European countries occupied by Germany, were murdered. Nearly all were transported to the camps via the railways.

The Allies refused to bomb the railway tracks leading to concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. In 1944 three request to bomb the Railway lines to Auschwitz were dismissed by the Allies.

In Holland, the Dutch resistance requested permission from  Dutch Queen Wilhelmina to blow up the railway line to Westerbork Transit Kamp, from where Dutch Jews were deported by Rail to the various concentration camps around Germany and eastern Europe. 

Queen Wilhelmina, in exile in London; refused permission.

Of the 107,000 Dutch Jews deported, 102,000 were murdered.

*Wikipedia there are many interpretations of how the actual numbers are calculated

 The head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, when continuously asked by journalists why NATO does not implement a NO FLY ZONE over Ukraine, his feeble excuse was; it could bring on WW3. However, in earlier interviews, he claimed that if Ukraine had been a member of NATO they would have covered Ukraine, with a NO FLY ZONE.   Would we not have the same result i.e.WW3.

After 11 days of fighting by the much smaller and under-equipped Ukrainian army, with the help of the civilian defence force, the much larger and better equipped Russian army is still not in control of Ukraine. The Russians could not defeat the Ukrainian forces by conventional means, they have now changed their tactics and are relentlessly attacking civilians by sending hundreds of rockets and missiles from the air and from the ground, into populated areas of Ukraine’s major cities, killing thousands of civilians.

No one knows what Putin’s plan is, that is if he has a plan. At present, he is causing mass destruction and murdering thousands of civilians.

Mothers and children are fleeing by the thousands, after 10 days of fighting, over 1.5 million Ukrainians have sought asylum in neighbouring countries.

Before this war, 43 million Ukrainians had a peaceful life, living within the borders of their country. If there ever is peace, what will these people find when they return home?

On the night of 28/29 September 1943 we were on a crowded train travelling northeast, according to rumours we were on our way to  Westerbork Transit kamp. We were held in Westerbork from 29 September 1943 to 1 February 1944 when we were transported by train to concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, located near Hannover in Germany.  We were in Bergen-Belsen for 14 months when on 9 April 1945 we were forced onto another train travelling east, again destination unknown. On 23 April 1944 our train was liberated by Friendly Russian soldiers, after 14 days in crowded cattle wagons with no food, the Russians gave everyone food and put us up in a town called Trobitz in East Germany.

As time went on and the war finished the Russians helped us to Leipzig and from there we returned to Holland by train arriving 13 June 1945. We had overcome  624 days of hell, surviving shocking conditions, starvation, a typhus epidemic and mistreatment by Nazi Guards

We survived as a family of four, according to official records this was unique. When we returned to our flat in The Hague other people were living there and refused us entry.  The Police nor the Dutch Bureaucracy were  interested in assisting us to regain our flat and retrieve all our belongings.

We were on our own, no home, no family, no money but we were alive.

I hope Ukrainian mothers, fathers and children will not have to wait 624 days before being allowed to go back to their home city and hopefully they will find their home intact and not occupied by others.

The UN, NATO, EU must give Ukrainians assistance in rebuilding their lives.

Many will be mentally damaged;

My brother was badly affected from our experience, he had nightmares all his life, he passed away November 2017, he was 82 years old.

The UN must hold Russia to account but how can they, when Russia can Veto every motion against them.

Eddy Boas is the author of  “I’m Not a Victim I Am a Survivor”

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.