Bijkomende meta info
- This collection contains : a children's desk and chair used by Aline and Jacques Klajn before their deportation in October 1942 ; clogs carved for Betti Blaugrund by Louis Ceulemans while she was in hiding at the Ceulemans-Gryson farm in Aarschot ; a pre-war suitcase used by Betti Blaugrund’s family to store photos ; photos of the extended Blaugrund-Berlinski family, including photos of the Klajn-Berlinski family, the Berlinski-Frenkiel family and the Guzy-Berlinski family ; pre-war photos of family vacations at the Belgian coast ; wartime photos of Betti Blaugrund with Louis and Odile Ceulemans-Gryson who hid her at their farm in Aarschot ; post-war photos of Betti Blaugrund with her rescuers ; documents regarding Betti Blaugrund’s rescuers Louis and Odile Ceulemans-Gryson.
- Betti Blaugrund
- Dutch, French, English, Hebrew
- Latin, Hebrew
- The children's desk and chair are constructed in wood and were manufactured by Torck.
- Betti Blaugrund, Private collection, Belgium ; Kazerne Dossin, Mechelen
- Digital copy available as collection KD_00565 at Kazerne Dossin
- 1 interview (3 parts) and 315 digitised images (260 photos, 5 documents, 1 newspaper and 6 objects)
- The photos of Aline Klajn, Jacques Klajn and Charlotte Guzy from this collection have been added to the Give them a Face portrait collection (KD_00017) and the commemoration wall at the Kazerne Dossin museum.
Betti Blaugrund was born in Uccle, Brussels, on 16 July 1942. Her father was diamond worker Wolf Blaugrund, born on 21 July 1910 in Nowy Sacz, Poland. Wolf came from an intellectual and religious family who held an inn. His mother died young. In 1929 Wolf migrated to Belgium where he joined his older brother Izak Baruch Hollander to work in the diamond industry. They arranged migration documents for their sister Menische Fradel alias Frieda Blaugrund who arrived in Belgium in 1930 and who then married Natjan Schnitzer. Wolf’s father and six other siblings would be deported from Poland to Belzec in August 1942 and were all were murdered.
In March 1940 Wolf met Cypra Berlinski, the youngest of eight children. Cypra was born on 14 March 1912 in Pabianice, Poland, as the daughter of Jacob David Berlinski and Laja Maslo. Father Jacob David passed away when Cypra was four years old. In 1926 mother Laja and her two youngest children Willy and Cypra migrated to Belgium. A year earlier, in 1925, Cypra’s elder sisters Szewa Mendel Berlinski and Liba alias Lena Berlinski had settled in Brussels. Szewa was accompanied by her husband Isaac Starz and their children Jacob David alias Jacques and Gerda. All worked as furrier merchants and Cypra too found a job in the fur industry. In 1927 another brother and sister arrived: Idessa alias Ida and Israel Berlinski. In 1933 brother Bruno Berlinski was forced to leave Germany and joined his family in Anderlecht where family life continued. Idessa Berlinski married Wigdor Klajn and had two children: Aline and Jacob alias Jacques Klajn. Israel met Rywka Frenkiel in a youth movement. Both were Zionists and left for Palestine as pioneers right after their marriage. Their daughter Aviva was born in Tel Aviv, but in 1936 they returned to Belgium where their son Jacques was born. Liba alias Lena Berlinski married Leon Guzy with whom she had a daughter called Charlotte.
When Wolf Blaugrund and Cypra Berlinski met in March 1940, she was still in mourning. Her brother Willy had died of an infection in June 1939. The couple did get engaged and when Nazi Germany invaded Belgium Wolf joined the complete Berlinski family when they fled to France on 13 May 1940. The family settled near Toulouse. On 10 August 1940 Cypra and Wolf married religiously in Revel, France. As the situation deteriorated, the Berlinski family decided to return to Belgium. Cypra and Wolf came back in the summer of 1941 and lived at an apartment at Rue Georges Moreau 46 in Anderlecht. They obed all anti-Jewish decrees. In February 1942 Wolf and Cypra married legally in Schaerbeek since Cypra had gotten pregnant. In the summer of 1942 they received an Arbeitseinsatzbefehl or work order, but Cypra’s brother Bruno Berlinski was suspicious. Cypra and Wolf listened to his advice and didn’t report themselves, but they did register their daughter Betti in the municipal Jewish register after she was born on 16 July 1942.
With the start of deportations in August 1942, the Berlinski family decided to go into hiding. Oldest sister Szewa Berlinski and her husband Isaac Starz tried to flee to southern France to join their daughter Gerda there. They were betrayed by their trafficker and were arrested. Szewa did not survive deportation via Transport 21 from Drancy, France. Isaac was deported with his wife but survived and was repatriated in 1945. Their daughter Gerda survived the war in the south of France with her husband John Lipsart. The other Berlinski family members remained in Brussels. Grandmother Laja Maslo, her daughter Idessa alias Ida, son-in-law Wigdor Klajn and grandchildren Aline and Jacques Klajn were taken in by Alfred and Klara Duval who lived at 541 Avenue Brugmann in Uccle. Wolf and Cypra together with Israel Berlinski and his wife Rywka Frenkiel hid at 459 Avenue Brugmann in an apartment rented by Bruno Berlinski’s half-Jewish wife Gertrude alias Gerda Trichy. Israel and Rywka placed their children Aviva and Jacques with a non-Jewish family, while Cypra and Wolf hid six-week-old Betti with a Belgian woman at Chaussée de Wavre in Brussels.
Cypra soon noticed that Betti was maltreated, so on 20 October 1942 she visited the family doctor to talk about their situation as they feared denunciation by Betti’s ‘rescuer’. During Cypra’s absence the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst (Sipo-SD) raided the family hiding place. Israel Berlinski and Rywka Frenkiel were arrested on the spot. Wolf Blaugrund tried to flee but was captured. Idessa Berlinski and daughter Aline Klajn were arrested when they stopped by for sugar. When Wigdor and Jacques came looking for them, father and son also fell into the trap. To make matters worse, cousin Jacob David Starz as well as Liba alias Lena Berlinski and her daughter Charlotte decided to visit that afternoon and were arrested too. When questioned only Wolf admitted to being Jewish. He was sent to another room to pack and used the opportunity to escape after which he phoned the family doctor from a neighbor’s house and warned Cypra. The couple met at the tram stop and was taken in by Alfred and Klara Duval at the family hiding place that had not been discovered. A few days later they were reunited with Cypra’s mother Laja Maslo who hadn’t stopped by the apartment although she had wanted to turn herself in when she heard her complete family had been arrested. Alfred and Klara had sent Laja to Klara’s mother until they were sure the Sipo-SD wouldn’t come for her too.
Cypra retrieved Betti and took her to the Duval home, but the baby cried a lot and the situation became too dangerous. Alfred contacted police officer Louis Paesen and his wife Anna Gryson who found a hiding place for Betti with Anna’s sister Odile Gryson in Aarschot. Odile, her husband Louis Ceulemans and their daughter Rosa had taken care of orphans and children of unmarried mothers before so the presence of a baby wasn’t suspicious. Cypra only gave Betti up when Odile promised to come visit Cypra with the baby every month. Therefore Odile and Rosa came to Brussels every four weeks. During these trips Rosa met her future husband Richard Elseviers who was a tram driver. He warned Odile and Rosa when Nazis were around.
Louis and Odile took excellent care of Betti, taking photos of her and making small gloves so she couldn’t scratch herself. Betti loved living at the countryside and Louis made her two pairs of clogs so she could run around the family farm. Immediately upon Liberation Betti returned to her parents and grandmother who survived the war in hiding with the Duval family. They kept in close contact with their rescuers. All family members arrested at their Avenue Brugmann hiding place were deported from the Dossin barracks via Transports XIV and XV. No one survived. Betti got married and had two daughters. She lived in the United States for several years. When the local Jewish Community Center created a garden of the Righteous she planted a tree for Louis and Odile Ceulemans-Gryson. Betti remained in contact with them until 1976. Today Betti lives in Belgium.
- Betti Blaugrund carefully collected and kept all photos, documents and objects regarding her family history. The desk and chair were used before and during the war by Aline and Jacques Klajn, her first cousins. After the arrest of the Klajn-Berlinski family, Betti's parents Wolf Blaugrund and Cypra Berlinski hid in the Klajn family home and took care of the belongings of their deported relatives. Betti Blaugrund kept the items safe her whole life and kindly donated the original desk and chair to Kazerne Dossin in 2019 together with several original photographs. The other items in this collection were digitised by Kazerne Dossin and returned to Betti Blaugrund.
- Betti Blaugrund, 2019