Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador Blog

Our interview team speak to Steven Frank BEM about his experiences during the Holocaust, particularly focusing on his time in Terezín. Steven was born in 1935 in Amsterdam, the middle child of three brothers. When war broke out, the family decided to remain in the Netherlands due to his father’s legal work.

Steven’s father joined the Dutch Resistance whilst at the same time working (reluctantly) for the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, forced to carry out Nazi orders. In 1942 he was betrayed and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was murdered in the gas chambers in 1943.

Three of Steven’s father’s legal friends petitioned the German authorities for clemency and although this was not granted for his father, they did allow his wife and three sons to be places on the ‘Barneveld list’, a group of prominent Dutch Jews who were held in a castle at Barneveld, rather than being deported to the East.

In March 1943, Steven, his mother and two brothers were taken to Barneveld and in September were sent to Westerbork transit camp. In 1944 they were sent to Terezín in Czechoslovakia where they survived and were liberated by the Red Army on 9th May 1945. After the war, the family came to Britain where they slowly began to rebuild their lives.