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Margot DeWilde

Margot DeWilde

Jewish Holocaust Survivor

Born: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Heritage: Jewish

First of all, do not keep making difference between one and the other. We should stop blaming one another and making distinctions between one another. We should be more loving to each other.

Margot DeWilde

Jewish Holocaust Survivor

My name is Margot De Wilde. I was born July 18, 1921. I come from the Netherlands. I’ve been an immigrant three times. I had a brother, who was three and a half years younger than I. My parents moved to Holland when they saw the first signs of unrest in Germany.

I went to school in Holland. I was in the Girl Scouts and later in a Jewish group with young kids. Our life was fairly decent, though my parents didn’t have much money.

The situation in Germany became worse and worse. Hitler had declared that he didn’t want the Jews and made their lives impossible. He gave them a chance to move to another country but had to leave everything behind. Many people thought, “It isn’t going to be so bad. Let’s stay and wait and see.” Hitler used the money he collected from people who went out of Germany for building up his Army.

Hitler started going to other countries. The Nazis bombed Rotterdam, which is
a port city. They bombed it for two days and nights. They said, “If you don’t surrender we’ll bomb all of Holland!” After four days the people surrendered to the Fascists. Hitler made the German committee fulfill his demands by first registering the Dutch population with identification papers with a picture and a fingerprint on it. Everyone was registered by religion—an easy way of finding out who the Jewish people are. They put a big “J” for “Jew” on identification papers, so they would know where the Jewish people were when they wanted to have a raid to pick up them up. If you were Jewish, you were sent to a concentration camp in Poland.

I married a Jewish teacher. The Jews were no longer allowed to go to public school, so the Jewish teachers taught Jewish children. At this time they gave the order that Jews couldn’t have bicycles anymore. We had to even bring in our radios. We had to deliver all our worldly goods to the Nazis, including our bank accounts.

We had to go into hiding. It wasn’t safe. As a family, we went to the train station to catch a train out of Holland to Switzerland. They put us in a special compartment on an international train with another Jewish family. We were told that we had to get off the train in Cologne, Germany to get our visas and passports stamped. The moment we touched German ground we got arrested. Nine of us were sent to a Gestapo prison.

We were placed on a train inside a cattle wagon. There were no windows, no nothing in it. We were packed like sardines. When we finally got to Auschwitz the doors were opened. There was hollering and screaming. Mothers and children had to separate. Men had to be separated.

They had the young women step forward. We didn’t know why. They were doing some sort of experiments with us. They brought us all in as guinea pigs. We had to stand and be counted. We didn’t get counted by name, but by numbers. They had given us numbers when we came in the camp. My number was 47574. We got solid food twice a week. Too little to live on and too little to die.

The Nazis thought they could get rid of unwanted population by sterilizing the women. I like to talk to youngsters because they take the place of the children I could not have.

Notation: Download PDF

Honoring Margot DeWilde

We Should Love One Another

We should love one another
We should help one another
We should stop one another
From hurting each other
We should love one another
We should help one another right now
Back when I was so young
With my family I moved
From Germany to Holland
Back in World War II
They tried to kill all the Jews
The bombs did fly for two days
From the sky down upon Rotterdam
If you don’t surrender now
To Hitler’s command
We’ll bomb all of Holland
No bicycles, no radios
Everything we had Hitler owned
With a “J” For Jew on my papers
Out of hiding we had to go
To Switzerland through Cologne
The moment we touched German ground
The Gestapo took us away
In a cattle car packed like sardines
To Auschwitz on a train
All we had went down the drain
The children screamed
The mothers cried
Everyone had to separate
We had no names
Just numbers
Guinea pigs for the forces of hate
To little to live, to die, too late
The women were sterilized
So when the war was through
I could not have children of my own
That is why I like to talk to
Good children just like you

Music by Larry Long
Words by LARRY LONG with Mr. Rand’s 6th Grade Class of Cedar Manor School
(St. Louis Park, Minnesota)

© Larry Long 2005 / BMI