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Stumbling Stone Rijksstraatweg 61

This small, brass memorial plaque (Stolperstein or stumbling stone) commemorates:

* Clara van Coevorden, born 1930, deported 1943 from Westerbork, murdered 1943 in Sobibor.

Clara van Coevorden was born blind in Groningen to Schoontje van Coevorden-van der Veen, a housewife, and Joël van Coevorden, a waiter. When she was 5 years old, she moved to Haren’s Annexe of the Institute for Education of the Blind. Then in 1941, at age 11, she moved back to her parents’ house in Groningen, but returned to the Annexe in Haren 6 weeks later. In 1942 during the raid of November 28, almost all Jews in Haren were taken to Westerbork, but Clara was skipped – as were other disabled and sick people.

Her father Joël was murdered in Central Europe on 28 February 1943.

Regarding Clara’s mother, there are conflicting stories about who Clara was deported with. Clara was first taken to Westerbork transit camp on 9 April 1943. One account is that she was taken with her mother to Westerbork and then deported with her to Sobibor, with both killed on the same day. Another account is that Clara was accompanied to Westerbork and Sobibor by a woman from Haren, Bella Barentz-de Jong, who was also murdered on that same day. Both accounts agree that Clara was murdered in the gas chambers on arrival at Sobibor on 16 April 1943. She was 12 years old.

No stolpersteine were seen for Clara’s parents. Stolpersteine for Bella Barentz-de Jong and her husband are at Oosterweg 46 in Haren.

"Stolpersteine" is an art project for Europe by Gunter Demnig to commemorate victims of National Socialism (Nazism). Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) are small, 10x10cm brass plaques placed in the pavement in front of the last voluntary residence of (mostly Jewish) victims who were murdered by the Nazis. Each plaque is engraved with the victim’s name, date of birth, and place (mostly a concentration camp) and date of death. By doing this, Gunter Demnig gives an individual memorial to each victim. One stone, one name, one person. He cites the Talmud: "A human being is forgotten only when his or her name is forgotten."

Borne was the first town in the Netherlands in which Stolpersteine were placed -- on 29 November 2007.

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