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- Letter sent by brothers Albert and Robert (Bob) Gompers to their uncle and aunt Jules and Jet Boas in Canada after the brothers had been able to flee from Belgium to Great-Britain during the German invasion. The letter contains information regarding family members left behind in Belgium and the Netherlands during the first weeks of May 1940.
- Albert and Robert Gomperts, brothers
- Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
- Dolly Boas, Private collection, Canada
- 2 digitised images (1 photocopied letter)
Albert Benjamin Gomperts was born in Kitchener, Canada, in 1915, as the son of the Dutch couple Maurits Gomperts and Margaretha Boas. His brother Robert (Bob) James Gomperts was born in the same town in 1917. Their father Maurits had migrated from Amsterdam to Canada around 1912. Since he was not allowed to work in the Canadian diamond industry, he had become active in the scrap metal business. In 1913 Maurits had married Margaretha Boas, the sister of his business associates Jaap and Jules Boas.
After World War I and as a result of the decline of the scrap metal business in Canada, the Gomperts-Boas family returned to the Netherlands. When Maurits passed away in Amsterdam in 1923, Margaretha Boas decided to move to Antwerp, Belgium, where her brothers Jaap and Jules Boas had also resettled due to the Great Depression. In 1938, Jules together with his wife Jet returned once again to Canada, which saved them from deportation during the Second World War.
In May 1940, Albert and Robert Gomperts succeeded in fleeing to Great-Britain. Both joined the army. Albert became a military flight crew member and died in a plane crash during a military exercise in Ireland on 21 August 1942. Robert served as a soldier during the allied campaigns in Italy, the Netherlands and northern Germany, and survived the war. He remained in England until 1958, when he returned to Antwerp with his wife and two children. Robert Gomperts passed away in 1999.
Albert and Robert’s mother Margaretha had lived in hiding in Brussels during the war, and passed away due to cancer on 22 May 1944. Her second husband Henry Frank survived the war in Belgium and died in a tram crash in 1972. Jaap Boas, his wife, their daughter Diana and son-in-law Juda, also survived the war.
- The letter was sent to relatives in Canada by brothers Albert and Robert (Bob) Gomperts on 26 May 1940, after they fled to Great-Britain upon the German invasion of Belgium. The original letter is now in the possession of Dolly Boas, daughter of the recipients, and her descendants.
- Albert Richard Gomperts, son of Robert James (Bob) Gomperts, 1997