Het Apeldoornsche Bosch
“THE FOREST OF APELDOORN”
Names mentioned in this article in the order of their appearance:
Dr. S.van Os, J.R. Wolff, Dr. N.J. Lemei, Dr. J. Lobstein, Jacob Seyffers, Bertha Hirsch, Dientje van Gelder, Serline Eckstein, Roosje de Leeuw, Freerk Hollander, Joseph van Tijn, Salomon Theeboer, Judith Cohenzius, H. Hamme, N.E. Brommet, Dr. J.Kat, M. de Jong, Heiman de Jong, Salomon Barents, Dr. D. Schrijver, Dr. M.A. Mendes de Leon, N. Elzas, H. Gelder, D. Schielaar, J. Cohen, L. Hes, S.A. van Witsen, Chief-rabbi J. Vredenburg, R.H. Stratemijer, , S.J.W. van Buuren, G. Parser, Dr. S.J. Philips, Dr. D.M. Sluys, Chief-rabbi L. Wagenaar, J.S. Roos, E. Groenstad, . S. Leuvenberg, Prof. Dr. B.J. Stokvis, Ed. Lankhout, Nurse M.van der Waal, G.J. Mulder, G. Klomp, A.Hulleman, Speyer, Anton Lampe, Dr. J. Wessels, Prof. Bouman, Martin Monnickendam, C.H. Simons, Dr. F. Klein, J.L. Goudsmit, A.J. Mendes Da Costa, Dr. I Cohen, H. van Son, Ph. Fuldauer, P.A. Vomberg.
a. Foundation and development
In 1898 the Association “Central Jewish Institution for the Insane in the Netherlands” was founded in Amsterdam. The purpose of this association was ‘the foundation and preservation of an institution for the insane with the observance of the regulations of the Jewish faith’. The leading thought was: for the Jew a Jewish house. In February of that year, thirty-six hectare ground was bought, which became known as ‘de Apeldoornsche Bosch’. The plot was partly forest, partly pasture with an old farm and the whole was being very suitable for the purpose it was meant for. On November 19, 1907 Dr. S.van Os, chairman of the Association, laid the first brick. Within two years the whole complex of buildings was finished. The solemn, official opening took place on May 29, 1909 and it was again Mr. Van Os who took this task on himself. He held an opening-speech and ended with the words: ‘May the Healer of all diseases, let the physician of all physicians, bless our work, let him have the sun of love, which will bring recovery with its rays, rise over our institution’.In the hall, which afterwards would be called the Wolff-Nijkerk-hall (after J.R. Wolff, L.L.M. of Amsterdam and in memory of his parents) 300 guests were seated. See the endnote for the names of the most important personalities present.
The Apeldoornsche Bosch was situated at the Zutphen road, in the municipality of Apeldoorn. The complex was described as follows: ‘The large institution, which looks like a small town because of the number of white buildings, and meant for different purposes, is seen from a far distance, as many of these buildings rise above the surrounding forests. In front, below the name of the institution, is engraved in Hebrew: ‘Care of the soul, let God give the soul recovery’. The Apeldoornsche Bosch displays a wholesome beauty, which will inspire to rest and calm and which will undoubtedly influence patients in a beneficent way.’
It all started in 1909 with 235 patients, 67 team-members and two physicians: Dr. N.J. Lemei and Dr. J. Lobstein, first and second physician-director. The last-mentioned was from Borculo and stayed in function till the bitter end in 1943. Other members of the staff from the beginning were: house-master and cantor Jacob Seyffers, the administrator Bertha Hirsch, who left in 1914 to Barneveld and who was succeeded by Dientje van Gelder, who kept this function till 1918. The first two nurses were Serline Eckstein (until 1913) and Roosje de Leeuw (till 1911). Freerk Hollander was doorman till 1910, succeeded by Joseph van Tijn till 1913.
Among the staff was a mattress-maker as well: Salomon Theeboer, who fulfilled this profession till his departure to Amsterdam in 1912. Judith Cohenzius was a teacher at the institute from 1909 till she got married in 1913. Her successor was Miss. H. Hamme, who stayed till 1916 and who was replaced by Miss. N.E. Brommet till 1918.
The patients who were able to do some work, worked in the carpentry, the smithy, the painter’s workshop, the mattress-workshop, the matting-work-shop, the tailor’s-shop, the shoemaker’s-shop and the bookbinder’s shop. The women did the work around the house and in the kitchen, or they got sewing, mending or ironing work to do. In the garden too one could see patients, as well as in the laundry-room, the bread-room or the store-room.
Around 1920 one could find in the vegetable-garden fruit and in great variety. This was for own consumption as well as for sale; it was a complete industry and a very healthy occupation for the patients.
However, in 1912 the buildings had to be enlarged again. Due to the outbreak of the First World War, the building-activities were considerably delayed.
The Apeldoornsche Bosch suffered a great loss on May 23, 1914 when Doctor Lemei passed away, being only 46 years old. In September the same year Dr. J.Kat started working in the Institution. At the end of that stirring year, a staff-association was founded, named ‘Useful Hours’. In those years the institution received a lot of gifts.
In 1915 Mr. and Mrs. M. de Jong from Apeldoorn gave a sedan chair to the institution. Between 1916 and 1918 a piece of ground was given, which was called ‘Sara-homestead’, after the name of the donor’s late wife. The last-mentioned gave a sum of 10.000 guilders as well, meant for the building of a teacher’s-home (now corner Bremroad) and the same donor gave afterwards another 22.000 guilders to be used for the building of two houses at the Sara-homestead. Then in one year two physicians came to strengthen the ranks. First Heiman de Jong (before him, for a very short period, there had been the physician Salomon Barents) and when he left for Amsterdam in September 1920, his place was taken by Doctor D. Schrijver, who would give his best efforts to the Apeldoornsche Bosch till 1933.
b. A royal visit
The institution experienced a great moment, when at the 4th of August 1921, Her Majesty Queen Emma paid a visit to the Apeldoornsche Bosch.
About this important event the following was written:
Her Majesty the Queen-Mother, who with the Lord Chamberlain Jhr. W. Roëll L.L.M. and a court-lady arrived at about a quarter to four, was received at the entrance by the chairman of the management, Dr. M.A. Mendes de Leon and by the acting physician-director, Dr. J. Lobstein, while the daughter of the physician-director, Miss. A. Kat offered flowers to her Majesty. In the regent-room the other management-members and physicians were introduced to Her Majesty and her retinue, after which a tour was made over the terrain and through the buildings. With much interest Her Majesty looked at everything. At the department a few patients offered flowers, which were thankfully accepted with a kind word and a handshake by Her Majesty. The synagogue and the dining- and conversation rooms of the nursing team were part of her tour as well. After the tour, which lasted about an hour and a half, the guests again went to the regent-room, where some refreshments were given. The Chairman of the management thanked her Majesty warmly for the big honor, which Her Majesty had offered to the institution with her visit, which words were answered by Her Majesty with the remark, that what she had observed had satisfied her, very much.
c. Celebrating the first 25 years of the founding of the association, continuing development and growth
When the Central Jewish Institution for the Insane in the Netherlands celebrated its 25th anniversary on the first of March 1923, a festive gathering was held in the festivity-hall in ‘Artis’ in Amsterdam. Both the chairman of the association, Dr. M.A. Mendes de Leon and the second physician-director of the “Apeldoornsche Bosch’, Dr. J. Lobstein, delivered a speech.
1924 brought a few changes. According to the slowly changing methods of the care for the mentally ill, it was decided during the yearly general meeting, to enlarge the activities of the association. A change of the articles of association took place and the aim was thus formulated: The aim of the association is the care of the treatment of neurological and mentally ill and of neurological and mental feeble persons in the widest sense of the word, while observing the Jewish religion. The result of this change of articles was double: In September 1924 a health-resort for neurological patients was opened which got the name ‘Rustoord’. This institution was entirely separated from the rest of the institution and at one’s own request one could find rest over there for the overstrained nerves. This new pavilion offered room for fifty women.
The second result was the opening of the ‘Paedagogium Achisomog’, an internal establishment for mentally weakened Jewish children, about which a separate chapter will follow below. The number of patients had grown in the mean time till 583, the number of staff-members was 254 and there were four physicians. As the Association did not restrict itself only to the care of mentally ill, more details were published about its working-methods. In 42 communities correspondents were appointed. These were among others: H. van Son in Apeldoorn, N. Elzas in Borculo, H. Gelder in Deventer, D. Schielaar in Winterswijk and J. Cohen in Zutphen. Besides that, a propaganda-booklet was distributed with photographs and an outline about the development.
On December 14, 1930 a new pavilion for women was opened. Present were among the others the physician-director Dr. J. Kat, Dr. J. Lobstein, Mr. L. Hes, administrator, the teacher S.A. van Witsen and the caring staff, the management of the Association ‘Central Jewish Institution for the Insane in the Netherlands’, Chief-rabbi J. Vredenburg and representatives of the kehilla of Apeldoorn.They gathered in the conversation-hall of the new Pavilion and a choir of nurses sang the following inauguration-song:
Something great and noble has happened
The end of the work will be crowned.
This is a serious inauguration-hour;
A source of joy for the management of the institution
While adding a pearl to its crown,
This house is so joyfully beautiful!
Here is given help and support,
Here one comforts those who suffer.
Thus joyful hope is created,
This speaks of better times.
All who have been called to this,
Their work, large or small,
They dedicate day and night
Their knowledge and strength.
Please descent, oh rich blessing
On work and on endeavor.
To give the best power
To whom who suffer here.
The goal is not always reached,
So let our feeling of duty be strengthened:
While finding satisfaction
Because love…. will win.
This poem was written by the teacher of the institution S.A. van Witsen and composed by Mr. R.H. Stratemijer, book-keeper of the Apeldoornsche Bosch.
There were speeches by several people, the chairman of the association, Mr. S.J.W. van Buuren and the chairman of the building-commission Mr. G. Parser L.L.M. He memorized the many developments and the difficulties concerning the building-project. They had wanted to finish it on March 1, 1929, but the existence of a layer of peat-soil, which could have put the whole project on a shaky foundation, stagnated the whole affair. A special word of thanks received Dr. Kat, who with great devotion had committed himself to the realization of the pavilion, who had worked out the plan into all the details, who had thought about everything!
It was then the turn of the physician-director to speak. He said, ‘that with this building a real effort had been made to bring the care for the mentally suffering, and in this case the most difficult cases, the most troubled patients, on a higher level. The cost of building, including the technical installations and the interest on its financing, was 225.000 guilders, to which the inventory of 31.000 guilders should be added. The pavilion could house about 50 patients, of which 30 could be placed immediately. The remaining space, the left wing, was meant for seven class-patients .Dr. Philips from Amsterdam spoke on behalf of the Central Commission and the Jewish Management for the Poor. In the end Mr. Van Buuren transferred the new building to the physician-director and the ceremony ended. After lunch the party visited the building. It was obvious that the architecture of the new pavilion differed very much from the old pavilions. The old ones were characterized by their white buildings with flat roofs, while the new one had more the form of a villa and they offered a cozy home. Architect was Mr. Joh. Kortlang ‘Fzn’ from Ermelo. During the opening-ceremony it was announced that one of the ladies present had offered an important sum for the new pavilion.
Within a year, on September 7, 1931 a new pavilion for men was opened. There were deputies of different associations and authorities. Dr. S.J. Philips was present on behalf of the Permanent Commission and Dr. D.M. Sluys represented the Portuguese-Jewish Synagogue. Again kehilloth (Apeldoorn, Doetinchem) and Jewish organizations (the Bergstichting, de Joodse Invalide a.o.) were represented.
The architects and advisers of the building-project were also present.
The ceremony started with a welcome-speech by the chairman, Mr. S.J.W. van Buuren. After having thanked the building-commission, he called upon Dr. Kat to speak. He outlined the large difference in these institutions, how they once used to be, without comfort or coziness. New work-shops for men and a physician’s room in one of the pavilions had been added. Enlargement of the laboratory, and improvement of the heating-installation of the main building had taken place, more working-space for the administration was created, in which the significance of a control system of intensive functionality comes to its right and a totally new installation for the cleaning of the sewage. The two nursing-pavilions, of which one for women, started to function on December 14, 1930. He said: ‘Luckily we managed to improve with this new building-project the poverty and the insufficiency of the old institution-building’. But more was about to happen, like the building of a new children-house, of which the opening was planned for July 15, 1933.
In the end the chairman of the building-commission handed over the new pavilion to Doctor Kat, the physician-director.
d. Religious services
On Sunday, the 13th of June 1909 the synagogue belonging to the Apeldoornsche Bosch was inaugurated. Mr. L. Wagenaar, Chief-rabbi of Gelderland, held the ceremony. The Jewish Ladies-committee of Apeldoorn gave the artifacts for the synagogue.
In the beginning the warden J.Seyffers was cantor on the Sabbath and during other religious festivities. The Shabbat-mornings always started with a synagogue-service, religious holidays were exactly observed and on regular days two services were held in the synagogue: in the morning and in the evening. Usually 30 men and 15 women were present. Several patients brought their synagogue-requisites themselves. Chief-rabbi Wagenaar himself came regularly to hold a service. In 1914 Mr. Seyffers married and went to live elsewhere. Until 1918 he stayed precentor. On January first, 1918 Mr. J.S. Roos, ex-rabbi from Suriname, replaced him as teacher. This appointment was temporarily and it ended on December 31, the same year.
On January 28, 1919 Chief-rabbi J. Vredenburg solemnly appointed Mr. E. Groenstad as teacher. Mr. Groenstad previously had been in this function in Veendam-Wildervank. About 50 patients visited the synagogue in those days. They felt very much involved in the synagogue-happenings and they were, with the others, happy and thankful if presents were given, like a red-plush antependium in 1922, six pairs of solid copper chandeliers for the lighting of the Shabbat-lights at the different departments, two new tabernacles from the Hamburg-family in Amsterdam, two sets of golden decoration-towers, a massive silver ‘yad’, a Megillo and some prayer-books. Mr. Groenstad took care that the non-Jewish staff-members received an instruction-booklet with the various rules concerning the rituals. The teacher himself received a cap and a gown. In 1922 the synagogue was enlarged and repaired as well. 27 seats were added, creating accommodation for 90 men and 30 women. At the solemn re-opening on April 6 Chief-rabbi Vredenburg held a speech.
On the 10th of October 1923 Mr Groenstad left and Mr. Seyffers filled the vacancy temporarily until 1924. On January 6, 1924 Mr. S.A.van Witsen was appointed by Chief-rabbi Vredenburg as a teacher at the Apeldoornsche Bosch. Mr. Van Witsen did a lot for pastoral care and he stimulated the visits to the synagogue. In the mean time the synagogue received new carpets and the central heating was improved. By his tactical attitude Mr. van Witsen also succeeded to draw indifferent people closer to the synagogue.
He performed his job with great devotion. He led the services enthusiastically and with his pleasant voice and his preaching he always knew how to fascinate the patients. In the pastoral part of his work his great kind-heartedness was especially striking, he knew how to win the hearts of the patients. A complaint was never heard about him. He also showed interest for the team of caretakers. It was written: “The education of the student-nurses in the subjects of the lower education had his great love and with an endless patience he knew to teach a weak student the necessary knowledge. He was a
tender judge and at the exams he pled for the specific cases, with great tenacity for the candidate”. His house was open for everyone and it made for a welcome diversion from the sometimes quite monotonous institute-life. He performed circumcisions and synagogue-marriages.
In 1933 the synagogue of the institute was enlarged again. On September 10, 1933 the synagogue was re-inaugurated by Chief-rabbi Vredenburg. The Scrolls were brought inside, while the boys of the Paedagogium Achisomog sang. The girls of Achisomog had made a beautiful Tora-cover and handed it over as a present while the boys had made a Loulav-stand. At the ceremony, members of the Municipality of Apeldoorn and of the management of the Central Jewish Institute for the Insane were present. Mr. Van Witsen closed the gathering.
On February 25, 1937 Mr. van Witsen celebrated his 70th birthday, but the same year he and his wife left the Apeldoornsche Bosch.
Mr. S. Leuvenberg succeeded Mr. van Witsen. This new teacher was installed on the third of May, 1937 and he would be the last one before the war. During the year 1938 at least two festive Synagogue-services were held: on February 1, on the occasion of the birth of Princess Beatrix (on January 31) and on September 5, on the occasion of the 40th jubilee of reigning of Queen Wilhelmina. Until 1942 the religious services went on normally. But then the situation became more threatening and the up-going prayers became of a more fervent flavor. The not Jewish team-members were fired and life lost every form of security. Mental help was necessary more than ever. The end came.
Both teachers Leuvenberg as well as ex-teacher Van Witsen together with many others were deported to the concentration camps.
e. Five memorial-stones
On Sunday, December 18, 1932 there was a special management meeting in the main building of ‘the Apeldoornsche Bosch’. Mr. G. Parser, chairman of the institution, explained to the invited people, that the first reason for this meeting was to remember the late chairman, Mr. S.J.W. van Buuren who had opened in 1931 the men’s pavilion and therefore it was appropriate, to give the pavilion his name. In order to honor and to name the other pioneers as well, it was decided to give the four other pavilions the names of the late chairmen of the institution: Prof. Dr. B.J. Stokvis, Dr. S. van Os, Dr. M.A. Mendes de Leon, and S.J.B. van Buuren. The fifth pavilion would receive the name of Mr. Ed. Lankhout LL.M, who had been secretary from the founding of the Institution in 1898 until December 31, 1930 and who still was a management-member and member of honor. With a short word, Mr. Parser remembered the deceased. He memorized that Prof. Dr. B.J. Stokvis already in 1898 had had thoughts of buying a piece of ground. Only in 1904, two years after his death, this idea became reality.
Dr. S. Van Os had opened the Institution on May 24, 1909 and he had been chairman till 1913. From 1913 till 1925 Dr. M.A. Mendes de Leon was chairman of the Institution and was then followed Mr. S.J.W. van Buuren, who already as treasurer had done important work. Thanks to him the support-fund for patients was founded. The last chairman was Mr. Ed. Lankhout LL.M., who from the beginning had contributed to the development of the Apeldoornsche Bosch. ‘The men under whose management all this had been realized have the right to receive the gratefulness of the next generations and the perpetuation of their names, by giving these to the pavilions of the institution’.
Then one of the members of the daily management took upon him the revelation of a commemorative tablet in each of the pavilions.
f. The 25th jubilee of the official opening
The 25th jubilee of the Apeldoornsche Bosch was celebrated on May 24, 1934. Mr. Parser, chairman of the Association ‘Central Jewish Institution for the Insane in the Netherlands’ outlined the large improvement in the care of mentally ill people. He was still in the opinion that the care for the mentally ill was only in the beginning-stadium. He talked at large about the history of the institution and he thought that the necessity of a Jewish institution for the mentally weak ones had been proved very clearly. He praised and thanked the physician-director, Dr. Kat for the great work that had been done, for his excellent advices and the good cooperation. Then the five outstanding personalities of the jubilee were spoken to: Dr. J. Lobstein, Nurse M.van der Waal, and the gentlemen G.J. Mulder, G. Klomp and A.Hulleman. They had given respectively as second physician, as head-nurse, as foreman, as painter and as fireman /night-guard their utmost to the institution during 25 years. After having pointed out the necessity of the building of a house of entertainment, Mr. Parser finished with the wish, that at the golden jubilee of the institution it would be proved, that it knew to keep its position caring for the mentally ill with honor. After that the Queen’s Commissioner spoke, and again many lustrous representatives of Jewish institutions added their speeches.
After Dr. Lobstein had thanked in the name of the celebrators for the good wishes and the given presents, Mr. Parser closed the commemoration.
The speeches were followed by a busy reception with flowers and gifts. Mr. Speyer offered flowers to the celebrators on behalf of the patients. During the whole day games were organized for the patients, while in the afternoon gymnastic-demonstrations were given by some patients and members of the personnel. On Wednesday and Thursday there were celebrations for the patients. The laundry was turned into a stage-hall and the ironing-room into a dressing room for the participants.
Mr. Stratemijer opened the evening at eight o’clock. First of all the sister’s-choir ‘Always better’ sang some songs under direction of the director Anton Lampe. There was a cabaret-program and even a jazz-band performed, consisting of members of the personnel. In the end Mr. Stratemijer received the largest ovations for the huge job he had carried out.
g. The farewell of Doctor Kat.
Because of having reached his retirement-age physician-director Dr. J.Kat left the Apeldoornsche Bosch on April 30, 1936. Since September 10, 1914 he had given his energy to the institution and this occasion should not just pass by. The day started, as usual, with the morning-report, but this time, it meant a departure from the physicians of the departments, the head-nurses and the administrator. Then Doctor Kat went home, to return at about eleven o’clock with his wife, children and other family-members.
The chairman, Mr. G. Parser was the first one who held a speech and he then gave Mrs. Kat a silver tray with an inscription. Then spoke Dr. J. Wessels, Inspector of the State-control over mentally ill and mentally-ill-institutions, also in name of the government. At the end he informed Doctor Kat, that it had pleased the Queen to nominate him as Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Mr. Parser pinned on the decoration to him. Chief-rabbi J. Vredenburg spoke words of thanks and appreciation in the name of the Jewish community. Professor Bouman offered in name of his colleagues a special edition of the Psychiatric Neurological Pages, an edition of homage, dedicated to Dr.Kat (who by the way, more than once wrote in the Journal for Care of Patients). Personally Professor Bouman gave him a radio as a present. At the end Dr. Lobstein outlined doctor Kat as leader of the large institution-complex and he spoke a word of fare-well. Except for a special number of ‘Bosch-pages’ he offered the departing physician-director a portrait and pastel of Dr.Kat, made by the painter Martin Monnickendam. Then it was doctor Kat’s turn to speak. From that the following excerpt:
“Now I would like to especially call to all young people who listen to me: Young friends, it is not true! Don’t believe them, these people who all the time talk about the fact that you have to stand firm on the ground, but they fail to report that your head and your heart have to be in heaven. And I offer you the example of my life, which, I now may say this at the end of my career without elevation, luckily has been mastered , yes not by an ideal, in the sense of a prior indication of what should follow – this will always lead to a disappointment – but by desire and inclination to work for the community. Possessing this desire, this inclination, is not a merit, it is cheer luck; and I call you, young friends, never in your life give up this luck; don’t get yourselves mixed up by the clever people who shake their heads about you. Keep on going, keep your heads cool but your hearts burning. There is a practical idealism, which will conquer all problems, as it gets its power from the heavens as well as from the earth. If I succeeded, it was from the power which came to me from these sources; did I fail, it was because I neglected one of both. This I offer today as the lesson of my life”.
Doctor Kat gave at his departure for the further use of the basketball-matches the ‘Dr. Kat challenge-cup’ and the ‘Dr. Kat challenge-medal’, respectively for the victor and the vanquished.
Doctor Kat, who was not Jewish, was after the war chairman of the Repair-commission and chairman of the Advise-commission concerning the rebuilding of the activities of the
Association. He passed away on October 8, 1957 in Apeldoorn at the age of 86. A unique personality had gone.
Dr. J. Lobstein was appointed physician-director. From 1933 the physician C.H. Simons was working at the Apeldoornsche Bosch as well, and in 1936 Dr. N. Speyer started working there. Dr. J. Lobstein as well as Doctor D. Schrijver published several publications in Psychiatric and Neurological papers and in the Dutch Journal for Medicine. In 1938 Dr. F. Klein became the specialist for internal diseases as well as the röntgenologist.
h. The House of entertainment
Doctor Kat could not forget his old love en so he returned many times to the Apeldoornsche Bosch. On September 29, 1937 he did this with a special reason. He was asked to place a memorial-stone in the house of entertainment, which was being built. It stood at the Ring-avenue, south of the head building and pavilion Stokvis.
On the memorial-stone the following text was written:
‘Every time when G’d’s Spirit was over Sha’ul, David took the harp and played by hand, upon which Sha’ul felt relaxed and better again and the angry spirit went away from him.’ (1 Samuel 16:23). It is clear that above-mentioned text showed a connection with the purpose of the building. Relaxation is a medicine for body and spirit and according to Dr.Kat, it offers the opportunity to relieve many from their spiritual distress as well. His term of office may be seen as the mild influence of a harp-player on a person, ill of mind.
To keep a pastoral atmosphere, only the hall with the stage, built next to it, was pulled upwards by the architect, Mr. Th. van Braningen.
The main entrance, the lobbies, coffee-room, management-room, dressing-rooms and toilets were kept low-roofed. The big hall had 392 seats. Behind this large hall was a smaller one for 106 persons. By moving the in-between wall, a hall could be created for 500 persons. Above the small hall was the film-cabin and in both halls were folding-chairs of beech-wood with seats made of birch-wood. The floors were made of American firs and they were called “rift-floors”.
Care was taken, that a so-called “water-curtain” would come down, in case of a fire on the stage, by only one grasp, as a curtain of rain .From the hall, as well as from the terrace one could enter the coffee-room. The people who came to visit patients could use this place as well. Behind the stage were the dressing rooms and a room for the fellow-actors.
The heating-installation was extremely efficient. Mr. J.L. Goudsmit had constructed things in such a way, that clean outside-air was pushed heated into the hall and bad air and smoke was being pushed outside.
Along the whole length of the building a terrace had been built for the comfort of the visitors.
Exactly 40 years after the founding of the Association ‘Central Jewish Institution for the Insane in the Netherlands’ – on March 29, 1898 the House of Entertainment of the Apeldoornsche Bosch was officially opened on March 29, 1938 and already in 1939 it was used very intensively.
i. The 30 year jubilee
On Monday, June 12, 1939 the 30 years jubilee of the Apeldoornsche Bosch was celebrated. From the early morning already, one could feel that this day was different from other days. There were treats, extra meals, cigars were offered, in short: it was a holiday. This holiday reached its summit, when in the evening the great hall of the House of Entertainment was entirely occupied. By seeing the amount of flowers, put up as decoration, one felt a festive atmosphere. As Mr. Parser could not be there because of a light illness, Mr. A.J. Mendes Da Costa held the opening-speech, the vice-chairman. He welcomed everyone and read a telegram from the ill chairman, who sent his best wishes for the success of this festive evening and thanked everyone who had cooperated. It was decided to send a ‘Well-wish-telegram’ back to Mr. Parser. Then the vice-chairman congratulated Dr. Lobstein with his 30 years function-jubilee, as well as the gentlemen Hulleman and Klomp, who from the beginning had been a part of the personnel of the Apeldoornsche Bosch. After some speeches the party started.
Before the intermission the nurses-choir ‘Always better’ sang under supervision of Mr. A.van Opstal and then the ‘Bosch-singers’ sang. In between, three short plays were performed. After the intermission followed a roaring show, in which a speaking suitcase, a Chinese, a porter from the Amsterdam railway-station and several instruments were brought to the stage. This show, named the ‘Shanghai-express’ was made by a member of the personnel and lasted for an hour and a half. Singing the closing-song ended the evening. It had been, according to the people present, a terrific evening.
j. The end
Precarious times arrived. There were worries about the outbreak of the Second World War outside the borders. About thirty German and Polish families settled in Apeldoorn in about 1938, because life in Nazi-Germany had been made impossible for Jews. Also in the Apeldoornsche Bosch one looked for safety. For the time being, one found rest there, but with a vague fear for what could come to the Netherlands as well and….which came. For a year already air-raid-precaution-exercises had been held. In each pavilion it was known, how to create a hiding-place. First-aid-posts had been prepared but they were not needed. After the first fright about the surprise-attack on May 10, 1940, life soon enough became quite normal again. The occupier was not really heard until in the beginning of 1942 the whole none-Jewish staff was dismissed. This did not mean a shortage of personnel, as quite a lot of Jewish personnel came, because people thought to be safe in the institution. In January 1943 the complete evacuation of the Apeldoornsche Bosch took place. The drama that occurred there, at the station in Apeldoorn and in Auschwitz, is described in many eye reports and books. Here it will suffice to cite the letter, which the Municipality of Apeldoorn received from the Commission of Control of the Jewish Association for nursing and care, department ‘Central Jewish Institution for the Insane in the Netherlands’, in Amsterdam:
“We feel obliged to inform you, that in the morning of January 22 last, the patients of ’The Apeldoornsche Bosch’, of the Sanatorium-departments ‘Rest- place’ and ‘Hannah’ and of the ‘Paedagogium Achisomog’ have been deported to a destination unknown to us. The nursing of patients on account of your community in the mentioned institutions has thus been ended on the mentioned date.”
It was signed on February 2, 1943 by Mr. G. Parser and A.J. Mendes Da Costa.
Sober and business-like. Eight hundred and sixty-nine patients and twenty five team-members, the children of ‘Achisomog’ and a number of Jewish citizens of Apeldoorn were deported on this 22nd of January 1943. Most of them did not return, they have been killed; may their souls be bound in the bundle of the Eternal Living.
The buildings of the Apeldoornsche Bosch were subject to large chaos. Immediately after the catastrophe lovers of culture smashed everything to atoms and stole as the ravens, while in addition the beautiful memory-plates in the halls were destroyed. It was later used for several purposes. The Germans made a hospital out of it and afterwards barracks. After the liberation the Canadians settled in the buildings.
But although many had perished, signs of life returned. On November 10, 1945 the Municipality-management of Apeldoorn received a letter with the following contents:
‘Hereby we have the honor to confirm, that a Commission is founded by our Management, which will have to look after all the concerns in Apeldoorn, our Association and its property.
In the Commission the following persons are seated:
Dr. J.Kat, Dr. I Cohen, And H. van Son. The secretariat will be represented by Mr. Ph. Fuldauer.’
For the Management of the Association Central
Jewish Institute of the Insane in the
Netherlands, signed by P.A. Vomberg (Secretary)
In 1947 the buildings of the Apeldoornsche Bosch were a reception-centre for Jewish children, who returned from the concentration camps, but whose parents had not survived. In January 1947 a petition was sent to the Ministry with the request to accept in the Netherlands 500 Jewish young refugees between 6 and 14 years, coming from East-European countries. The purpose was to let these children stay in Holland for three years and give them an education for emigration to Palestine. The Dutch government gave its permission and immediately a committee was formed “Foundation 500 Jewish children”. In this committee there was cooperation between members of the organization ‘Help for the child’, ‘Hachsherah and Alyah’ the foundation which was specially occupied with the emigration to Palestine. After long negotiations three pavilions were put to their disposal in the Apeldoornsche Bosch by the management of the Central Jewish Institute for the Insane. Because of the war and military occupation the pavilions were very much in need of repair. In September 1947 one building could house part of the children. In connection with education for these children, the Jewish community of Apeldoorn looked for a teacher. The idea of a predecessor together with Zutphen was dismissed.
To this group of 500 children also belonged FRITZI HUSS. She was born in 1935 in Falteceui (Rumania).Her father, Salomon Huss was murdered by the Nazi’s in a concentration-camp. Together with her 7 year old brother she came as a 12 year old in 1947 in Apeldoorn . She still keeps the wonderful reception there in her memory. All the children received new cloths and shoes. They were washed, their hair was cut and soon enough they became different children. Because she weighed but so little, Fritzi was sent to Norway to a health-resort. When she came back to Apeldoorn, she got to know a young nurse, with whom she still has contact: Mrs. Eva Kajser-Berczy in Oegstgeest. Until 1948 she stayed in Apeldoorn. Fritzi now lives with her husband ABRAHAM AYALON in Israel.
In 1951 the building-complex of the Apeldoornsche Bosch was sold to the company ‘s Heerenloo. Now there is a Christian institution for mentally weak ‘Groot-Schuylenburg”.
The Jewish association is named ‘Central Association for the Jewish Mental Healthcare’ and it has its institutions in the Sinai-centre in Amersfoort.
Based on Chapter VII-Het Apeldoornsche Bosch-pages 40-54 of the book:
S.Laansma-De Joodse Gemeente te Apeldoorn en Het Apeldoornsche Bosch
De Walburg Pers Zutphen, 1979
Editing and translation:Yael Ben-Lev, Trudi Asscher & Ben Noach
Final supervision of translation:Trudi Asscher
Besides the management, consisting of Dr. S. van Os, chairman, Dr. M.A. Mendes de Leon, vice-chairman, D. Lutomirski, treasurer, Mr. Ed. Lankhout, first secretary, Mr.G. Parser L.L.M., second secretary, M. Blumenau, Dr. A. Couvee, R.D. Ferares, G. Gompen, Dr. P.H. Kooperberg, Mr. M. de Pinto L.L.M., and Prof.. D. Simons L.L.M., were present the Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Th. Heemskerk L.L.M., the Mayor of Apeldoorn Mr. H.P.J. Tutein Nolthenius and the physician-director Dr. N.J. Lemei.
|Het Apeldoornsche Bosch / The Forest of Apeldoorn|
|Staff 1937 / Personeel 1937|
|Memorial / Monument|
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