Date modified 04 mrt 2016

The great depression

The story of our grandparents, who were confronted with economical uncertain times.

Henny never knew her Jewish grandparents, all others died in our childhood at respectable ages. Known or not, we hardly know anything about their lives, their world already differs that much from ours that it is hard to imagine us to stand in their shoes.

Rosalie and David Joël Trompetter on vacation in Switzerland
One of the rare pictures of Rosalie van Wijnbergen and her husband
David Joël Trompetter, taken on vacation in Switzerland.

Henny's grandparents

David Joël Trompetter was what you could call a self-made man. He was born in Beilen, but moved at young age to Hoogeveen. In Hoogeveen David Joël started a cloth manufactury together with his brother Herman. In 1917 he owned a clothes shop/house annex clothing storage at the Hoofdstraat in Hoogeveen. David Joël was a respected man, he was member of the board of the Israëlitische Gemeente and of the local Middenstandsbank. Hij invested most of his savings in mortgages, particularly in Berlin.
His wife Rosalie van Wijnbergen came from Schoonhoven. The family counted 4 children: Betty, Henny, Joël and Bram.
Betty and Henny left the house to start a life in Amsterdam, before the war. Joël was a student at the Hogere Textielschool in Enschedé, till the summer of 1941, since then Jewish students were no longer admitted.
In 1942 David Joël, Roselina, Joël and Bram, who were living in Hoogeveen, were arrested and transported to Westerbork. After a short period in the camp, they were transported to Nazi-Germany. None of them returned. You can find a short description of their fate at A shadow over mankind
Betty and Henny have been arrested separately and have survived the concentration camps.
You can find more information and pictures of them at the Jewish Monument.
Mary Stevens and Dominicus van der Harst, around 1914.

Mary Stevens and Dominicus van der Harst, around 1914.
We don't know much about Dominicus Petrus van der Harst and Mary Isabel Stevens. Dominicus was born in The Hague but moved to England to work as a hotel waiter. Whilst practising his job he probably met his future wife. They married in 1914 in London and moved to The Hague. In The Hague, Dominicus worked in Hotel Centraal. They had two children, Albert Henry and Elisabeth Francisca. For a long time they lived at Lindelaan 77 in Rijswijk.
With mother's family at the Brede Water between Rockanje and Oostvoorne

With the family of "big" grandpa and grandma at the Brede Water between Rockanje and Oostvoorne in 1962.
From left to right: cousin Thea with friend Peter, aunt Rien, grandma Marie and grandpa Gerrit van Geest, cousin Ruud with dog Asta, my mother Ria, uncle Frans met vrouw
aunt Adri, uncle Henk, hardly visible on the background my brother Frank and me, Hans, on the foreground.

Hans's grandparents

As a child I called my grandparent of my fathers side "small" grandma and grandpa, those of my mothers side "big" grandma and grandpa. Just because of the difference in length. The small lived in the Mackaystraat, the big in the Spiekmanstraat, both in Delft.
There were quite a number of differences between both pairs of grandparents. The small were raised as Protestants, the big as Catholics. My small grandparents were middle class, my big grandparents labour class. The small were keeping a canary, the big a dog as pet.
Both families were hardly on speaking terms, it is not exactly clear why, but the difference in class will probably have been the root cause for this. This gives us some idea of the spirit of the age. There were also quite some differences between both families. I didn't see my "small" family very often, I saw my complete "big" family almost every week-end.
Because my big grandparents were married as widow and widower and already had children from their previous marriage, their family was bigger than the one of my small grandparents. Besides, of my father's family, only my uncle lived in Delft, an aunt lived in Den Haag, another aunt in Gorssel, near Zutphen. We rarely met this last mentioned aunt, it was not common to travel such a distance frequently these days.
When I was little, both my steph-uncles from big grandma's side, my steph-aunt from big grandpa's side and my uncle (the last two still lived at home) all lived in Delft. All my aunts and uncles had children, except my steph-aunt and uncle, they were not married yet. I had a big family. Of all the grand children I was the youngest.
At my small grandparents place it was usually quiet, they both were sitting together in the living room most of the time. My grandpa liked to smoke a cigar, my grandma liked drinking tea and doing embroidery. My big grandparents often had visitors, my grandpa was often out with his dog, my grandma liked to knit and do crossword puzzles. Now and then my big grandparents joined us on our vacation trips, e.g. to Cadzand, Rockanje, Hellendoorn and Ugchelen. I can't remember to ever have done something similar with my small grandparents, except a rare visit to a restaurant.
I don't want to state here that my small grandparents didn't care about their grand children. Definitely not, they were always very polite and interested, but they were just not that close as my big grandparents were.
My grand father of mothers side, Gerrit van Geest, was about the most ideal grandpa you can wish. He was always cheerful, played with us, did everything with us. My memories about the frequent walks with him and his dog, the visits to his kitchen garden, the boat tour with the Spido in Rotterdam, riding his knee as a young child, all these memories are unforgettable. He was alway outside, unconsciously he has taught me to appreciate nature in the best imaginable way. He was always doing something with animals. He kept rabbits in a cage in the garden, he also was a fanatic angler, usually together with his steph-sons Jan and Frans Velden. By the way, he did eat these animals, the fish he caught and the rabbits. That was obvious, at the time.

WJ van den Bos in 1912
Willem Johannes van den Bos
at the time of his marriage in 1912.
EJ Knip in 1912
Elisabeth Jacoba Knip
at the time of her marriage in 1912.
Willem Johannes van den Bos was at young age a saddlemaker at the Beestenmarkt in Delft (now one of the nicest spots in Delft), a profession that disappeared on the disappearance of working horses from society.
My father told me that giving up the saddlemakery was a major setback in his life. Albeit he was helped by his family to start a grocery shop - at the Hof van Delftlaan in Delft - but he ran it without conviction.
It's also known that he was a member of the freemasons (see wikipedia), how active he was is unknown.
Elisabeth Jacoba Knip was his wife, she looks pretty on the photograph.

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