EHRI Document Blog: Left Behind – A Belgian Project Opening up Little Known Holocaust Histories as Well as New Tools

EHRI Document Blog Left Behind
Thursday, 28 October, 2021

In the latest EHRI Document Blog, Veerle Vanden Daelen en Dorien Styven from Kazerne Dossin in Belgium tell the story of the innovative project Left Behind.

This project started with Ms. Gaby Morris searching for answers on the fate of her family, deported from Belgium during the Holocaust. This endeavor led her to Kazerne Dossin as her family members were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from the SS-Sammellager Mecheln in 1942. Micro-historical research further revealed the obligatory slave labour in Organisation Todt labour camps in Northern France to which Ms. Morris’s grandfather had been forced, together with over 2,250 Jewish men from Belgium, including 1,624 fellow-Antwerpians. Without any direct documents from the family itself, it became clear that Ms. Morris’ grandmother was left behind in Antwerp with the youngest children in a most vulnerable situation. Hundreds of other Jewish families from Antwerp found themselves in the same position and little was known about their fate.

With the Left Behind project Kazerne Dossin’s research team aims to advance knowledge on this little known aspect of Holocaust history in Belgium and seeks to explore the combination of micro, macro and spatial analysis, incorporating personal stories, analysis of large datasets and analysis of time and space elements on interactive maps into one research project. As such, Left Behind wishes to visualize its findings for both academics and a wide audience. The results of the project will be presented late 2021.

Read this EHRI Document Blog

Image: Meshulem Adler alias Fried, his wife Blima Kepesova, and their youngest children Mesel and Pepi: deported grandparents, uncle and aunt of project initiator Ms. Gaby Morris. (source: File 1586017 and 7408326 of the Belgian Aliens Police – digitised by Kazerne Dossin; Morris family archive).