119 Lives Unlived 08 July 2015 1 125
If there is one regret I have in making this documentary it is that I didn’t do it sooner. Karel can der Schaaf was Flip’s closest friend before the war broke out and like most young people at the time, Flip and Karel belonged to the AJC, the Socialist Youth Club. Karel was not Jewish which is why he was able to survive the war (although he went into hiding) and his wife, Sippy, told me he had spent many Friday night Shabbat dinners at Flip’s parents' house before the war. I meet Sippy at the Westerbork memorial – where all the Jews (including my family) were taken before being sent to death camps. At the camp I find the original letter of my grandfather’s sister Gretjie – she wrote from the camp to her two sons that she and her husband, my great uncle Edward, were okay and the boys needed to be strong. They did not survive.
Historian Lion Tokkie is with me when I meet Sippy and he explains what was the AJC. Sippy then recalls what she can about Flip from what what Karel told her. Karel died last year, aged 92 – if Flip had survived he would be 91 years-old today.
Watch Paula's film 119 Lives Unlived