All Jews in Holland were forced to live together in Amsterdam under a strict curfew. Ironically, Rudi thinks that as a child he may have played in the same street as Anne Franks. She was to eventually die in the same death camp that he and his family was to end up in.
Eventually after waiting weeks for the "knock on the door" they were told by German Police to leave their homes for "Resettlement to the East". They were sent by train to a transit camp. Unbeknown to the family, both sets of Grandparents were sent to death camps and gassed when they arrived.
" First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Followed by a Candle lighting ceremony led by the Mayor, David Gold (Chair of West Ham FC), Lyn Brown MP (see photo), John Biggs AM, John Barber (Representative Deputy Lieutenant) and Rudi.
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me".
Finally, a minute of quiet reflection and then classical music from local tutors.
Afterwards, there were some tears from some while others in the hall were talking to each other and sharing stories and even photos of their own relatives. There was a massive queue to buy signed copies of "From Belsen to Buckingham Place" and Rudi sold all his copies. I will get one from the website.
It was quite an emotional event and it is not just about the history. As Rudi reminded us since the Second World war there has been other holocausts in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnian. Not only should we never forget what happened but we must always be on guard against intolerance, bigotry and fascism in all its guises.