Who is she ?
This frightened, dark-eyed girl with a white headscarf – anonymous icon of the holocaust … a few seconds in the unique Westerbork Film. Raw footage shot by Camp Westerbork inmate Rudolf Breslauer during World War II in Holland.
Early 1990s – 50 years later – little is known about this Westerbork film. Dutch journalist Aad Wagenaar starts searching for the girl’s name. Project ‘Esther’ – his working title.
Key finding together with the Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre researchers Gerard Rossing en Koert Broersma analyzing the film footage, is the inscription on the suitcase of that woman brought on a stretcher to that transport. Close inspection of that suitcase – flipping the image – viewing the film frame by frame – to and fro – revealed her name and birthdate : F.KROON
In this video I also inverted the black–white.
Further , a clearer image is possible now in the still presented here – likewise edited – taken from the higher quality , recently recovered ‘camera-original’ film found on other archived reels by Gerard Nijssen for the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision | NIOD – and published Jan 20, 2020.
That special train car with Settela, car #16, with the 74 pers. mark on the vertical shelves, was also part of that train filmed by camp inmate Rudolf Breslauer leaving Westerbork – with the ‘4’ crossed out and a 5 added – so one person had been added before departure.
On that stretcher was Frouwke Kroon – born 26 September 1882 – deported May 19, 1944 – and murdered on arrival in Auschwitz.
That train left Camp Westerbork on May 19, 1944 with ca 700 people – both Jews and 245 Sinti and Roma – the so-called ‘Gypsy transport’ – dutch: ‘Zigeunertransport’.
The girl with the headscarf got her name back Monday 7th February 1994, when Aad Wagenaar met survivor ‘Gypsy mama’ Theresia Crasa Wagner . She told him, she sat on the floor behind the girl , standing near the door. When they heard the doors being closed , her mother yelled :
Get away from the door, or your head will get stuck !!’
The Dutch Sinti girl Settela (Anna Maria) Steinbach was born – the traditional way , under the family wagon – on 23 December 1934 in Buchten in the Dutch province of Limburg.
Settela’s family had been arrested 3 days before they were deported. Settela’s hair was shaved off in Camp Westerbork – hence the ‘headscarf’ made by her mother.
Mother Toetela (Emilia) Steinbach with ten children and a grandchild were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The 9-year old Settela was gassed and burned early August 1944.
Settela’s father Moeselman (Heinrich) Steinbach died of grief in 1946 in Holland.
Filmed by Rudolf Breslauer 19 May 1944 in Camp Westerbork, Netherlands.
Video from Westerbork film montage reel 1 (RVD cat.nr. 02-1167-01) courtesy of NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (KNAW), and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
Still (edit by Michel van der Burg) from camera-original film published Jan 20, 2020 courtesy of Gerard Nijssen | Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision | NIOD | NOS.
Story based on :
* Settela, het meisje heeft haar naam terug (1995-2007) by Aad Wagenaar ISBN 9789089751898 / English translation by Janna Eliot ‘Settela’ (2005-2016) ISBN 978-0-9933898-2-5 .
* Documentary film Settela, gezicht van het verleden by Cherry Duyns (VPRO, 1994).
* Kamp Westerbork gefilmd by Koert Broersma and Gerard Rossing (editors Dirk Mulder and Ben Prinsen; ISBN 9023232658 .
* Westerbork Film | Full version RVD 1986 | 20190605 | Michel van der Burg | Settela•Com | ISSN 2949-9313 (accessed 2021 Apr 16) URL: https://wp.me/p91enH-1x
* Nieuwe beelden van iconische Westerborkfilm gevonden (by Ronja Hijmans | NIEUWSUUR | NOS (accessed 2020 Jan 20) URL https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2319497-nieuwe-beelden-van-iconische-westerborkfilm-gevonden.html
* Settela en Willy en Het geheim van de Heksenberg (2e druk) by Rob Hendrikx and Marouska Steinbach (Heerlen : Historisch Goud – Rijckheyt, centrum voor regionale geschiedenis en Stichting Historische Kring “Het Land van Herle”, April 2017) ISBN 9789082241686. URL https://www.landvanherle.nl/product/settela-en-willy-en-het-geheim-van-de-heksenberg-2e-druk/
* ‘Sinti en Roma in Den Haag, voor, tijdens en na de Tweede Wereldoorlog (1900-1970)’ by Peter Jorna (Haags Gemeentearchief, 2021) PDF online (accessed 2021 Apr 15) URL https://www.owrs.nl/nieuws/nieuw-boek-sinti-en-roma-in-den-haag
* The Forgotten Genocide – The fate of the Sinti and Roma. Online exhibition by Tweedewereldoorlog.nl . Including a clip of the interview by journalist Aad Wagenaar with Crasa Wagner ; from documentary Settela, gezicht van het verleden, directed by Cherry Duyns (VPRO 1994) (accessed 2021 Apr 15) URL https://romasinti.eu
TAGS #girl #Settela #headscarf #anonymous #Sinti #Roma #Jew #1Memo #MiraclesMedia #michelvanderburg #Holland #Westerbork #Porajmos #Holocaust #genocide #identification #Wagenaar #WesterborkFilm
ANONYM | Girl with the headscarf … | 20210416 | Michel van der Burg | Settela•Com | ISSN 2949-9313 | CC BY 4.0
20220604 – Format changes credit line , references
20230518 – Credits and references updated with ISSN