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Short Biography of Hester Walg

profielfoto Hester Prins-Walg

Hester, half of twins, is the firstborn of Eduard and Klaartje. On March 3, 1875, she and her sister Mietje were born in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel.

From Lekkerkerk to Rotterdam

Hester only lived in Ouderkerk for a short while, because a year and a half later, she and her parents, her twin sister and her little brother Jacob moved to the neighboring village Lekkerkerk.

advertentie overname winkel A.A. Blok naarEduard walg
In 1884 neemt Eduard Walg de winkel van zijn (inmiddels overleden) schoonvader Andries Abraham Blok over.

Lekkerkerk had a small Jewish community and a (house) synagogue and that was probably the reason for the move. In Lekkerkerk, Hester had 4 more brothers and sisters before the Walg family was complete.

The Walg family remained in Lekkerkerk for more then 11 years. Then, they left Lekkerkerk and went to live in Rotterdam. Eduard’s cheese and dairy form, which he inherited from his father-in-law, was flourishing. And in Rotterdam there were many more economic opportunities then in the countryside.

The first years in Rotterdam must have been undoubtedly difficult for Eduard. But after a few years of hard work he managed to establish a name for himself and opened his own store on the Schiedamsedijk. Hester, now an adult, gained her first work experience here; In her father’s kosher cheese and dairy shop.

The Prins family

On 19 March 1899 Hester married Meijer Prins. But before they could marry, there were some issues to be resolved. Meijer was officially a conscripted soldier (inactive reserve) at the time of the marriage and had to ask permission for his marriage.

Het jonge gezin Prins
The Prins family in 1905. Hester, Meijer, Eduard, Jacob and Samuel. A studio portrait by Héron photography on the Westewagenstraat in Rotterdam.
Source: Private collection of the Dreese family.

After the wedding, Hester moved in with Meijer, who ran his own dairy shop at the Kipstraat 42 in Rotterdam. They rent a tiny (front) room with kitchen there. It is clear that there were little financial resources those first years of their marriage. The couple seemed to be struggling to generate enough income from the dairyshop. More than a year after their marriage, Meijer put the store up for sale and started working as a labourer (most likely a dockworker). At that time Hester was just pregnant with their second child (first child was a stillborn) and from that time focused all of her energy on her growing family.

During the first decade of the twentiethth century Hester got five (living) children; Eduard, Jacob, Samuel, Aaron and Klaartje. Aaron was a child of concern. He appeared to have a mental disabbility/illness and is frequently admitted to the Israeli mental institution "Het Apeldoornsche Bosch" in his adolescent years.

Meijer is a kind of Jack of all trades master of none. He had a lot of different jobs and with every change of job, the family seemed to be moving. In the first 30 years of their marriage, the family moved ten times. All within Rotterdam. In 1934 Hester and Meijer move to The Hague. Most children are then "grown and gone". Only Aaron lived with his parents in The Hague for a short period.

The war period

Nederlandse Jodenster.
The Dutch Star of David, which Jewish peope had to wear as of may 1942. Source: Wikipedia

Then in August 1940, Worldwar II was ongoing for several months, Hester and Meijer moved to Amsterdam. They settled on the Lekstraat 36 (1st floor), on the edge of the “Rivierenbuurt” quarter. Only a few blocks away from their children Jacob and Klaartje. After a dramatic event, Eduard returned to live with his parents for a while. And Aaron was readmitted in "Het Apeldoornsche Bosch".

In Amsterdam the Prins family is confronted with the far-reaching anti-Jewish measures of the Nazi regime. The family is no longer allowed to go to the cinema, parks, zoos, etc. Ritual slaughter is prohibited and as a Jew it is no longer allowed to be a member of associations where non-Jews are also members. As of May 3, 1942, Jewish people are obliged to wear the "Star of David" on their clothings. Three weeks later it was ordained that all Jews had to transfer all their goods worth 250 guilders or more to the "Lipmann-Rosenthal bank"; a German looting bank with the aim of registering and collecting all Jewish property. In the course of 1942, the free movements of the Jewish people ,and therefore also of the Prins family, is increasingly restricted.

The end

Hester and Meijer move once more (whether or not mandatory). From the Lekstraat they move to the Louis Bothastraat no. 17, 2nd floor (now Albert Luthilistraat 17, II) in December 1942. On 14 or 15 May 1943, Hester and Meijer lock their front door for the very last time. They are deported and arrive on May 15, 1943 in the transit camp "Westerbork" in Hooghalen in Drenthe. Three days later they are put on the train. Destination: Sobibor extermination camp. On arrival all 2511 people on this train are gassed and cremated immediately. Hester and Meijer die on May 21, 1943.

Indexkaart van de Jodenraad Amsterdam Hester Walg
The indexcard of Hester Walg. The card was drawn up by the Jewish Council of Amsterdam.

*This version of the Biography is of temporary nature. As more data is found, this biography will be rewritten.

Source References

Stadsarchief Rotterdam:
Familycards 1880-1940
Familycards 1880-1940
The Hague Archive
Population register The Hague
Amsterdam Archive
Residence cards 1929-1989
Personal records 1939-1994
Arolsen Archive
Indexcards of the Jewish council Amsterdam

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