Monument for the victims of the XXIth and XXIIth Jews transport in Langdorp (Aarschot).
The testimony of witness Rosa Luyten begins as follows: "On July 31, 1943, a train passed which slowed and came to a halt at the signal of the Opperstraat. It was ten o'clock and the weather was nice [Ö]. We heard shooting and we fled inside. After the train left, we went to take a look at the railway. Three people were dead there. "The sober story leaves little room for the intense emotions that must have been involved in the attempted escape of the Jews from the XXIst transport on their way to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. In total, eight Jews were able to escape. Four of them - a woman and three men - did not survive. The municipal clerk was unable to write down any names, only the number on the cardboard board they were carrying. The bodies were buried by the parish priest of Langdorp in the congregation of Langdorp, without ecclesiastical service, in unconsecrated ground.
The same witness also tells of four successful escapes, how injured people are cared for, given shelter and supposedly brought to safety by members of the resistance.
In this XXIst convoy, the 1,553 men, women and children were transported in the closed wagons, tightly packed, in an inhuman, breathtaking heat and stench. Only 22 men and 22 women from this convoy would survive Auschwitz.
The memorial monument
The memorial was unveiled on September 16, 2018. It consists of a sober hard stone slab against a chunk of iron sandstone, which was donated by the Norbertines of nearby Averbode.
The Bible quote from the book of Deuteronomy calls to remember. It refers to the Orthodox Jews who were deported. The other quote on the stone is from liberal Jew Isaac Jankel Rozenberg, one of the survivors of the XXIst transport. It is the desire to continue to stand up for the dignity of every person despite all the horrors.
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- Text: Jan Rymenams
- Photos: Jan Rymenams