Bijkomende meta info
- This collection contains pre-war passport photos from Looft (Louft) family members, including Marcus Looft, his brother Mozes Louft, his sister Betsy Louft and their mother Braine Bolda; pre-war holiday photos; a pre-war school picture including Marcus Looft; wedding photos of Marcus’s best friend Maurice (unidentified); a wedding photo of Betsy Louft and Maurice Poznanski; post-war family pictures of Marcus Looft with his wife Constance Van Beek and their daughter Liliane; post-war family photos of hidden child Mina Poznanski (alias Louft, adopted Bols); a photo of Mozes Louft’s tombstone; a newspaper article about the trial against Breendonk camp commander Philipp Schmitt, mentioning the murder of Mozes Louft (Luft) at the camp.
- Content Date
- Marcus Looft
- Physical characteristics and technical requirements
- Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
- Liliane Looft, Private collection, Belgium
- Digital copy available as collection KD_00503 at Kazerne Dossin.
- Level of description
- Extent and medium
- 31 digitised images (30 photos and 1 newspaper article)
- Related units of description
- "Give them a Face" portrait collection (KD_00017) and the commemoration wall at the Kazerne Dossin museum.
- Administrative and biographical
Marcus Looft was born in London, United Kingdom, on 15 March 1916. His parents Mordka Louft (born on 10 September 1889 in Nowy Korczyn, Poland, and passed away on 29 September 1937) and Braine Bolda (born in November 1893 in Novogrodek, Russia, today Navahrudak, Belarus) had left for England during the First World War. Mordka and Braine had three other children: Mozes or Maurice (born on 18 June 1914 in Antwerp), Betsy (born on 14 February 1918 in London, United Kingdom) and Aron (born on 20 November 1919 in Antwerp, Belgium). The Louft family operated their own poultry butchery at Leeuwerikstraat 16 in Antwerp.
In 1940, Marcus Looft married the non-Jewish Belgian Constance Van Beeck. Their daughter, Liliane, was born the same year. However, just before Nazi-Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940 Marcus managed to flee to England and joined the British Army. Constance and Liliane remained in Belgium, living with Constance’s parents.
Marcus’ oldest brother Mozes Louft married the Jewish Rajzla Bicher (born on 25 December 1909 in Tyszowce, Poland). The couple remained childless. On 2 July 1941, Mozes was detained at the fort of Breendonk. On 4 or 7 July 1941 he was put in a boat to clean the moat around the camp. When the vessel drifted off, Wehrmacht soldier Berringer shot Mozes Louft, claiming that he was attempting to escape. Mozes was thus one of the first Breendonk prisoner to be killed at the camp site. Mozes’ wife Rajzla Bicher was deported from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport I on 4 August 1942. She did not survive deportation.
Marcus’ sister Betsy Louft religiously married Maurice Poznanski (born on 15 May 1902 in Lutomiersk, Polen). The couple had 3 children: Bertha or Esther (born on 12 October 1939 in Antwerp), Mina (born on 4 November 1940 in Antwerp) and Leon (born on 18 June 1942 in Borgerhout). On 4 December 1942, Betsy, her oldest daughter Bertha, her son Leon and Betsy’s mother Braine Bolda were interned at the Dossin barracks. Although attempts were made to free the family because of Betsy’s British nationality, the attempts were unsuccessful and all four family members were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport XIX on 15 January 1943. All were presumably killed upon arrival. Betsy’s husband Maurice Poznanski had probably already been deported via Transport VIII and didn’t survive deportation either. Only their youngest daughter Mina survived the war as a hidden child.
Marcus’s youngest brother Aron Louft was a soldier in the Belgian army during the Battle of Belgium in May 1940. He was released from a POW camp on 12 June 1940 and returned home to Antwerp. On 10 February 1943, Aron, who held Belgian nationality, was caught at Rue Haute in Brussels without his yellow badge. He was arrested and sent to the Dossin barracks where he was held until 20 September 1943 when Transport XXII B, transporting only Jews with Belgian nationality, left for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Aron Louft did not survive deportation.
As a soldier in the British Army, Marcus Looft took part in the North African Campaign, the Allied invasion of Sicily (1943) and the landing in Normandy (1944). He would thus become the sole survivor of his family. In 1945, Marcus was reunited with his wife and met his daughter Liliane for the first time. Marcus Looft passed away in 1988.
- This photo collection was kept by Constance Van Beeck, while her husband Marcus Looft fought as a soldier in the British Army during the Second World War. Their daughter, Liliane Looft, kindly permitted Kazerne Dossin to digitise her family photo collection in 2018.
- Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Liliane Looft, daughter of Marcus Looft and Constance Van Beeck, 2018