K.G. Smit Den Haag, 7 November, 1945
23 Paul Krugerlaan
To the Bureau of Ex-political-prisoners, Honthorststraat 3, Amsterdam
In the month of August j.l. [?] I sent a number of communications to the Concentration Camps Resolution Bureau in Vucht, but since I don’t know to what degree you and they exchange information, it probably does no harm for me to repeat these to you.
On March 18th, 1944, I was arrested in Paris in the company of Mister Frans van Hugenpoth (who had lived in Den Bosch, on the Oude Dieze. In May, 1944, I saw van Hugenpoth once again during a move from one prison to another. I have learned via rumors that he died in Germany. In a cell near mine was one Mr. de Zeeuw, a sailor from Schiedam. He left in June 1944, I do not know to where.
On August 15th, 1944, Fresnes was evacuated to Buchenwald. This transport arrived in Buchenwald on August 20th. The Dutch people who found themselves part of this transport were:
- 1. Abraham van Boetzelaer, who lived in Amsterdam at Minervaplein 3
- 2. Victor Swane, resident of Vucht
- 3. Victor van Gunsteren, who stated that he was a reserve naval officer and who held from May 1940 a clandestine language institute on Valkenboschlaan in the Hague. Further, he said he had a wife and children. He was a great guy, and he kept our morale up for the rest of us. He is unknown among the population of the Hague. I have been unable to discover any surviving relatives of his.
- 4. de Roos, a chemist by trade, from Woerden
- 5. Herman Laatsman, working at the Dutch Consulate in Paris, to where he has returned
- 6. Janssen, worked at the Dutch Embassy in Vichy, to where he has returned
- 7. One Mr. Arnolds, from Rotterdam, to where he has returned
- 8. One Mr. Moore (M?), or Mohre, who worked in a KLM branch office in Paris
- 9. A Roman Catholic Clergyman, Rijpstra, from Friesland
- 10. A major in the Royal Military Police, an old man who said he lived in Breda and later in Paris. His name was Brandsen or Brantsen van ………… I have forgotten his surname.
- 11. One Victor Mandaat from Haarlem
- 12. One Spierenburg, from Leiden but lived later in America, who was an officer with the R.A.F.
On September 1st, 1944, we were transported to DORA near Nordhausen. Those who stayed in Buchenwald were:
- 1. Father Rijpstra (with diarrhea)
- 2. Hr. Moore (with diarrhea)
- 3. Victor Mandaat (was not sick)
- 4. Arnolds (was not sick and has returned to Rotterdam)
- 5. Spierenburg (was not sick)
On September 8th we were transferred from DORA to ELLRICH. Janssen and Laatsman stayed behind in DORA; both have returned [home].
At the end of October or the beginning of November, 1944, Victor Swane died of a lung infection.
On October 22nd, 1944, I was sent with an infirmary transport from DORA back to ELLRICH and after my recovery was put to work there in the hunting terrain. Here I received messages reporting the deaths (the crematorium for Ellrich was in Dora) of:
- 1. de Roos in December 1944
- 2. Victor van Gunsteren on January 1st, 1945
- 3. van Boetzelaer in March, 1945
In March 1945, in my infirmary in Dora, Jahannes Palthe, former resident of the Hague at 234 Nunspeetlaan, died of a lung infection and general weakness. I informed his surviving relatives).
On April 5th the Dora barracks was evacuated with an unknown destination. Those who remained, ill, behind in our infirmary barracks were:
- 1. Houtzagers, a police agent from Eindhoven
- 2. Strietman, a cheese wholesaler in Amsterdam
- 3. Veltman, an analyst of laboratory assistant from Amsterdam
In Ravensbruck, in April 1945, I met:
- 1. Eric Roest, a student who lived in Rijswijk, South Holland
- 2. v.d. Put, son of a lawyer from Eindhoven
- 3. van Gelder, a salesman from Amsterdam
I do not know if any of these men returned home.
In conclusion I can also inform you that one Dijkstra, who lived on Troelsgrakade in the Hague, died in DORA on March 13th, 1943.
I have hereby transmitted to you all of the information that I know. I am enclosing a list with the names of those who I know with certainty returned to the Netherlands. It’s possible that there are some with whom you are not in contact and who can shed further light on things. I am also enclosing a passport photo, as requested, as proof of my identity.