From Marc's Blog, August 2016
"The village of Sobibor was located in the eastern region of German-occupied Poland during World War II. Nearby, the Nazis had built the Sobibor Death Camp. It was the final stop on a railway to hell where 250,000 Jews were gassed and buried in mass graves. Among them were Klaartje de Leeuw, Joachim Bloch and Meijer Stokvis. Andries Bloch (Joachim’s brother) was killed at Trobitz, another Nazi camp located inside Germany. Andries, who was killed last, lost his life in 1945, the year I was born.
Only through books and documentary film can I even begin to grasp the impact that the Holocaust must have had. And now, some 70 years later, I learn all four of these individuals are ancestors of mine, albeit distant cousins, but nonetheless…family.
I can barely attempt to pronounce some of their names properly, let alone imagine the horror they went through in their final months. But just seeing their names brings them into focus…and into reality. Knowing what happened to them, along with realizing the connection, has given me pause.
These people represent some of the blood lines that stream down the branches of my family tree and no matter how inconsequential the linkage may be, all four of them, one way or another, are a part of me."