Made available to the Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre, for the exhibition In bewaring gegeven (Given in Safekeeping)
For years Chris B’s family used this silver-plated cutlery to eat their meals. In 1943, B. was an ardent Nazi who actively took part in hunting down Jews hiding in Amsterdam and its vicinity. He was a member of the Henneicke Colonne, a group that in a period of six months arrested between 8000 and 9000 Jews and delivered them to the Hollandsche Schouwberg, the Amsterdam theatre venue from which the deportations took place. B. and his fellow Dutch ‘Jew hunters’ received a bounty payment of 7.50 guilders for each person they rounded up.
And just like the other members of the Henneicke Colonne, B. regularly stole valuables like this silverware from the homes of arrested Jews. It is not known who originally owned this cutlery: the B. family used it for decades. When the family’s youngest daughter Elly (1945), after the death of her mother, discovered the history of the silverware, she got very upset. Instead of getting get rid of it, Elly put the cutlery away for safekeeping, because she felt it should end up someplace appropriate. In 2002 she gave guardianship of the cutlery to the Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre. Whether the original owner or any of heirs are still alive is not known.