07/31/2015 Archival Research

Hendrik Reinders’s letters handed over to the Memorial

Last week, the Veldman family from the Netherlands gave the Memorial the copies of the letters written by their late grandfather Hendrik Reinders (September 11, 1887 – May 3, 1945) who died as a prisoner of the Neuengamme concentration camp. Hendrik Reinders sent these short letters to his family both from the prison in Assen and on his way to the Neuengamme concentration camp.

Among them:

On the morning of March 16, 1945, Hendrik Reinders wrote from the prison: “Dear children, I hope you will get this letter. Today we are leaving Assen. Don’t despair; hopefully we will be together soon. God will make everything right, as it should be. Love, Father.”

Another letter by Hendrik Reinders to his children begins with these words: “Dear children, we are leaving this morning; where we are going, we don’t know.”

On his way from Assen to Neuengamme he managed to add something to the letter. In pencil, he wrote on the side: “We are going to Germany.”

Hendrik Reinders died only few days before the end of the war, on May 3, 1945 during the bombing of the Cap Arcona.