THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN OF THE WAR
The story of Regina and Georges, hidden Jewish childrenPaul De Keulenaer
On the eve of the Second World War, there were an estimated 70,000 Jews living in Belgium. Between 1942 and 1944, many of them had been deported from the SS Sammellager Mecheln (Dossin barracks) in 28 convoys. However, thanks to the help of organisations and private individuals, there were Jews who were able to go into hiding and escape their terrible fate.
The Forgotten Children of the War is the story of Regina Sluszny and Georges Suchowolski, two of those hidden Jewish children to whom little attention was paid for years. They both survived and were fortunate compared with those who died in the concentration and extermination camps.
It was not until 1991, with the creation of the first International Gathering of Children Hidden during the Second World War (New York), that the forgotten children of that time gradually gained a voice, a face and a public forum which enabled them to begin to deal with their trauma.
For many years, Regina and Georges’ stories too remained in heavy silence, which they dealt with painfully, before being able to share them and – at last – regain a lost identity.
The Forgotten Children of the War is the fruit of numerous encounters, conversations and reflections, of a dialogue with the author who, with great empathy, immersed himself in the past and sometimes found it difficult to discover its secrets.
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Paul De Keulenaer
Paul De Keulenaer was a teacher at GO! (Flemish Community teaching network) and also at the European School Brussels II. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Mémoire d’Auschwitz asbl / Auschwitz Foundation in Brussels. His publications include Regine Beer, KZ A 5148 and Regine Beer. Mijn Leven als KZ A 5148, Jodentransport XXIste-XXIIste A-B Langdorp 1943. He has also contributed to publications such as Genummerd voor het Leven, De laatste Getuigen van de Concentratiekampen in Europa (1940 –1945) and De laatste Getuigen uit de Concentratie- en Vernietigingkampen (ASP, 2010).