Bijkomende meta info
- This collection contains digitised copies of one letter sent by Mendel Fishel and Emily Black right before their departure for the Dossin barracks in August 1942 to their sons and 9 pictures of the Fishel-Black family: a family portrait of Mendel Fishel and Emily Black, with youngest son Leon ; portraits of Mendel Fishel and Leon Fishel ; Leon Fishel in sportswear ; Leon Fishel and his soccer team (Maccabi?) ; Leon Fishel wearing the yellow star.
- FISHEL Melvyn George, They were no numbers, manuscript published online (http://www.fishel.net/shoah.html).
- Fishel-Black family
- Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
- Melvyn George Fishel, Private collection, Kortenberg
- 12 digitised images (9 pictures and 1 document)
Mendel Fishel was born in Kedainiai, Lithuania, in 1888, and became a clothier. In 1915 he married Emily Black, born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, in 1887. Their two oldest sons were also born in Liverpool : Maurice Bernard (Benny) in 1916 and Leonard (Len) in 1920. In December 1921, only a few months after the family migrated to Belgium, a third son, Leon, was born in Antwerp, where Mendel had started a dealership in English fabrics. When war broke out in May 1940, Maurice and Leonard, the two oldest sons who held British nationality, were arrested by the Germans as citizens of a hostile country. They were sent to civil internment camps (Internierungslager) in Poland and Austria, where they would survive the war.
In late spring 1942, youngest son Leon Fishel was arrested by the Nazis and taken to the North of France as a forced labourer for Organisation Todt, the German enterprise responsible for the built of the Atlantic Wall. In August his parents Mendel Fishel and Emily Black received a convocation for forced labour (Arbeitseinsatzbefehl). Both reported at the Dossin barracks on 21 August 1942. Neither survived deportation via transport V to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Their youngest son Leon was deported from France via the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via transport XVII on 31 October 1942. He also perished.
After the war, oldest son Maurice migrated to the United Kingdom, while Leonard returned to Belgium and married Dora Brunner. They had gotten to know each other when Dora helped her cousin Mimi Balken to write in English to Leonard in the internment camp. Dora had survived the war in hiding in Belgium. Leonard and Dora had two children : Shirley and Melvyn. Melvyn still lives in Belgium and researches the family history.
- In the late 1990s Melvyn George Fishel, grandson of Mendel Fishel and Emily Black, started research on his family history. After getting in touch with Kazerne Dossin in 2011 he donated copies of his family's wartime photos to the museum. Photos KD_00052_000003 and KD_00052_000009 were sent by father Mendel Fishel, mother Emily Black and their youngest son Leon to their middle son Leonard Fishel whom was captured in Belgium as a British - thus hostile - national by the Germans in 1940 and who spent the remainder of the war in civil internment camps in Poland and Austria.
- Melvyn George Fishel, grandson of Mendel Fishel and Emily Black, 2011 and 2017