Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Posner - March 11, 1986

Being Held at the Schouwburg Theater

No one to talk to.

Yeah, I think the first really frightening experience we had was when we went to the Schouwburg.


Yeah, the theater, which we went to twice--we were there twice. Um, and I think the definitive, definitive book on the Schouwburg has not been written and should be written. I, I don't know. Do you know if, if anybody's written about it?


Because, I don't know if it's because it was the first uh, experience that we all had, but it was certainly uh, you know, even people who went to the camps talk about going to the Schouwburg. It was devastating. By that time--by the time we went there it was already 1942 and my father could no longer work in his business. He, he had to--I guess it just--it was just liquidated, it was just taken from him, which meant my father was home, he had nothing to do. Um, my father had a lot of uh, Christian friends--and it's still that way in Holland where people socialize a lot uh, between Jews and Christians--and my father could no longer go to visit his friends. I, I think it's unusual. Here you wouldn't find too many kosher butchers who would have too many Christian friends, but my parents had a lot of them. And uh, he was especially friendly with other butchers--just, you know, there were other butchers down the road.

Non-Jewish butchers?

Yeah, right. And uh, he could no, they could no longer visit. And uh, the first time we were picked up and taken to the Schouwburg, the soldiers came to the house and they took us and they left the rest of the family--my grandparents and my aunt and uncle were just left in the house. We were the only ones who were taken.

Did you receive any warning, do you remember?

No, they just come...

No notification, they just come to the house.

Yeah. No, they come to the house. We were still living in, in the--our old house--the original neighborhood. And uh, when we got to the Schouwburg, the theater--the main room of the theater had been emptied out, there were just some seats around the edges and those were basically for old people. And uh, the Schouwburg was used--it was like a staging area and uh, people--we stayed there two or three days until enough people had been collected from all over Amsterdam to make a transport.

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