On April 19, 1943 at 10 p.m. the 20th train convoy departed the Dossin barracks (Kazerne Dossin) in Mechelen (Belgium) with 40 cattle cars crammed with 1631 Jewish men, women and children for Auschwitz (Poland). The in Belgium captured Jews were over 90% ‘foreigners’ (with no Belgian nationality) who either when war broke out or (many) years earlier had fled from mainly Eastern Europe, Germany and Holland to Belgium. Half an hour after the departure of this transport XX three young Belgians from Brussels, Youra Livschitz, Jean Franklemon and Robert Maistriau stopped the train between Boortmeerbeek and Haacht, opened one of the cars and liberated 17 prisoners. Later before the train reaches the German border over 200 other prisoners decide to attempt to escape and also jump out of the cars. In total 236 people were able to escape, but 26 were shot and killed trying to escape.
This 20th transport arrived at Auschwitz on April 22 with 1395 deportees. Only approximately 151 of those on board survived this and later death camps. This was the only documented attack on a death train during the Shoah.

Transport XX to Auschwitz – Entire Film Link at: https://youtu.be/xAiwRyMiSEg

During the Shoah, the Nazis, in their quest for the final solution of the Jewish question, utilized thousands of trains from Germany and the occupied countries to transport 3,000,000 Jews to the concentration and death camps.

This is the little known, true story of a most remarkable and heroic rescue attempt which occurred on April 19, 1943, the first night of Passover, at the same time that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began, some 720 miles away.

On that night, Transport XX departed Mechelen, Belgium at 10 p.m. with 1631 Jewish men, women and children for AuschwitzII-Birkenau. Half an hour later, it was stopped by three young Belgians armed with only 1 pistol, pliers and a hurricane lamp.

This was the only documented attack on a death train during the Shoah.

https://michelvanderburg.com/2013/08/28/richard-bloom-speaking-at-the-premiere-of-the-film-transport-xx-to-auschwitz/

Richard Bloom addressing the audience at Cinema Paradiso in Florida at the Fort Lauderdale premiere of "Transport XX to Auschwitz".

USA. Florida. October 27, 2012. Richard Bloom (director) speaking at the premiere of the film “Transport XX to Auschwitz” at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival at the Cinema Paradiso. In the audience also director Karen Lynne Bloom (bottom left in picture). Image Reference: BUM10006V02 (michelvanderburg.com)

Meet Up Simon Gronowski, Karen & Richard Bloom

https://michelvanderburg.com/2021/05/11/meet-up-simon-gronowski-karen-richard-bloom-20210511/

Simon Gronowski  standing beside a cattle car.

© Michel van der Burg – All Rights Reserved
(www.michelvanderburg.com)
Frame from video
Simon Gronowski photos and documents captured on video by Michel van der Burg – Brussels, Jan 16th, 2012


The weekly Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt (Yiddish: דער בּלאַט‎) published on (May 25, ‘18) a 6 pages long article on the 75th anniversary in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium, of the ‘only rescue action against a transport to Auschwitz’ (צודי75יָאר איינציגע רעטונג ַאקציע קעגן “אוישוויץ טרַאנספָּארט”) – the 20th transport.

The three Belgian heroes Youra Livschitz , Robert Maistriau, and Jean Franklemon liberated 17 people during an attack on the cattle car train ‘Transport XX’ – crammed with 1631 Jewish passengers, heading for Auschwitz – and another more than 200 others jumped out also. Portaits in the wind filmed following the 75th anniversary in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium.

https://michelvanderburg.com/2018/05/28/youra-livschitz-robert-maistriau-jean-franklemon/

Transport XX Track 1943-2013

Speech mayor Michel Baert followed by the song ‘I am not at war’ performed by solidarity choir KONTRARIE at the 20th commemoration of Transport XX on 21 April 2013 in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium.

Theme this 20th commemoration : “In the track of Transport XX after 70 years”. Dutch: 20e herdenking – “In het spoor van Transport XX na 70 jaar”. Commemoration of the attack and escapes from Transport XX to Auschwitz.

The three young Brussels’ heroes Youra Livschitz , Robert Maistriau, and Jean Franklemon liberated 17 people during an attack on the cattle car train ‘Transport XX’ , the night of April 19th 1943 – crammed with 1631 Jewish passengers, heading for Auschwitz – over 200 others jumped and escaped that night in Belgium too.

https://michelvanderburg.com/2021/04/21/transport-xx-track-1943-2013-20210421/

April 19, 1943 Attack | 20210419 | 1-memo•com
The 78th anniversary of the unique rescue action against a transport to Auschwitz (צודי78יָאר איינציגע רעטונג ַאקציע קעגן “אוישוויץ טרַאנספָּארט”) – the 20th transport near Boortmeerbeek in Belgium.

Filmed in Boortmeerbeek, 2011 – reflection in passing train of the portraits of the people that jumped from Transport XX. Sound captured later in 2011 in Holland.

https://michelvanderburg.com/2021/04/19/april-19-1943-attack-20210419/

https://michelvanderburg.com/2016/04/27/sculptors-monument-transport-xx/

Sculptor’s Monument Transport XX

Sculptor Koenraad Tinel looks at the corten steel work of Etienne Desmet – the Transport XX monument in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium, during the commemoration April 27, 2014. Both Belgian visual artists were born in Ghent.

The sculpture commemorates the heroic attack in Boortmeerbeek April 19, 1943 on the deportation train ‘Transport XX’ – a cattle car train crammed with 1631 Jewish passengers, heading for Auschwitz – by three young men from Brussels – Youra Livschitz, Robert Maistriau and Jean Franklemon – who succeeded in opening one of the cars and liberate 17 people.

https://michelvanderburg.com/2020/05/11/regine-krochmal-tribute/

Régine Krochmal ~ May 11, 2012 tribute to a courageous resistance fighter.
Régine Krochmal, who in 1943 courageously escaped from the 20th train from Mechelen to Auschwitz, died May 11, 2012 in Brussels.
That day I made and published a short compilation of images of Régine that I had filmed a year earlier at the Transport XX commemoration in Boortmeerbeek May 15, 2011. ( https://youtu.be/L0Q76tNOLFA 
Today May 11, 2020 – 8 years later – I made this remake with improved sound , image , a larger format, and an additional ‘thank you’ from Régine.

Credits
Régine Krochmal
Thanks to friends in Boortmeerbeek.
Remake of May 11, 2012 film ‘Régine Krochmal – a tribute’ filmed May 15, 2011 at the Transport XX commemoration in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium.
Music : Last Post by trumpet player Freddy Verschuren.
Film : Régine Krochmal (20200511 – 20200512) Michel van der Burg | michelvanderburg.com | miracles.media

Speech  (translated from dutch)

Never forget that nothing is so powerful as life!
Life gives us gifts continually:
our heart to love – our soul to find true joy – and our conscience to increase our joy, by flexibility of our heart.
Each of us should let his inner wealth flourish.
Like Robert Maistriau, Youra Livschitz and Jean Franklemon have done.
For which we are grateful to them, to this day.

Merci…

Robert Maistriau’s memorabilia – Yad Vashem medal, pistol, small version lantern of Robert Maistriau in Kazerne Dossin,  Mechelen , Belgium , August 18, 2016.

https://michelvanderburg.com/2020/05/12/boortmeerbeek-station/

Boortmeerbeek Station ~ Transport XX commemoration May 15, 2011 in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium

https://michelvanderburg.com/2020/06/11/transport-xx-face-face-2012-edition/

Transport XX face 
A video impression filmed February 2009 , of the confrontation of passers-by with the TRANSPORT XX installation in Brussels, that presented photographic portraits of 1,200 of the 1,631 Jewish prisoners deported with the 20th train convoy to Auschwitz in 1943.
The TRANSPORT XX installation in Brussels was organised from 27 January to 15 March 2009 by the Belvue Museum in collaboration with the JMDR / Kazerne Dossin. The photographic portraits were displayed outside in the Royal park in Brussels (opposite the Royal Palace).

On April 19, 1943 at 10 p.m. the 20th train convoy departed the Dossin barracks (Kazerne Dossin) in Mechelen (Belgium) with 40 cattle cars crammed with 1631 Jewish men, women and children for Auschwitz (Poland). The in Belgium captured Jews were over 90% ‘foreigners’ (with no Belgian nationality) who either when war broke out or (many) years earlier had fled from mainly Eastern Europe, Germany and Holland to Belgium. Half an hour after the departure of this transport XX three young Belgians from Brussels, Youra Livschitz, Jean Franklemon and Robert Maistriau stopped the train between Boortmeerbeek and Haacht, opened one of the cars and liberated 17 prisoners. Later before the train reaches the German border over 200 other prisoners decide to attempt to escape and also jump out of the cars. In total 236 people were able to escape, but 26 were shot and killed trying to escape.
This 20th transport arrived at Auschwitz on April 22 with 1395 deportees. Only approximately 151 of those on board survived this and later death camps. This was the only documented attack on a death train during the Shoah.

 

https://michelvanderburg.com/2019/01/16/en-route-transport-xx-stop-kuttekoven/

En Route Transport XX Stop Kuttekoven


Short clip 7 years ago during reportage Jan 16 , 2012 – en route the former track of Transport XX to Auschwitz , looking for the actual site Simon Gronowski jumped from that death train , a moment before the train stopped near that little town of Kuttekoven , Belgium – together with Simon Gronowski and our friends : partisan Max De Vries who then had just turned 98 years old

https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/

Viviane & Simon ~ 75 Years After Escape Transport XX to Auschwitz


Viviane and Simon Gronowski meet for the first time in Los Angeles, April 2018 , after they both escaped 75 years ago in the night of April 19th 1943 from that fast moving death train Transport XX to Auschwitz – Simon at the time an 11-year-old boy pushed from the train by his mother Chana , and Viviane still in the womb of her 3-months pregnant mother Isabella.

Today 75 years ago Viviane (meaning ‘full of life’) was born in Brussels – 6 months after she had escaped death that night in April 1943 – thanks to the courage of her pregnant mother Isabella Weinreb , when Isabella jumped in Belgium from that cattle car of Transport XX heading for Auschwitz. She today celebrates her 75th birthday in Los Angeles.

When Simon Gronowski , from Brussels , was visiting LA in April this year – to tell his story and reunite with his childhood friend Alice Weit – Viviane fortunately was able to meet Simon , together with her girls – (grand)daughters – for the first time.

Photo – Simon with Viviane and her girls – thanks to Sébastien De Nys / Viviane
Film ① memo 20181030 ~ Viviane & Simon ~ Michel van der Burg | michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com | miracles.media

More on Viviane’s story here in “Escape from Transport XX – to be born 6 months later – Viviane’s story” : https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/

A recent finding on the man – Elias Gnazik – saving Isabella and Viviane published April 19th , 2018 , including a film on the dutch book presentation ( Simone Korkus’ dutch book “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle” ) – here online : https://michelvanderburg.com/2018/04/19/full-of-life-escape-from-transport-xx/

https://michelvanderburg.com/2019/06/30/sims-bbq-woody-allen-simon-gronowski-the-eddy-davis-new-orleans-jazz-band/

Simon & Woody’s Swing

Sim’s BBQ ~ Woody Allen , Simon Gronowski & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band


Swinging Saturday night June 22th when Woody Allen invites the Brussels Jazzman – and a holocaust survivor – Simon Gronowski to play with Woody and his band in Brussels Bozar theater in front of some 2200 people … after playing “Ole Miss” here Sim once again now with “Struttin with some Barbeque”.
Simon Gronowski was only 11 years old when he jumped from the XXth death train to Auschwitz were his mother and sister were murdered. After the war, an orphan, Jazz helped Sim (his artist name from early postwar times) find his way – watch his story in the documentary film “Transport XX to Auschwitz” – full film online here http://bit.ly/1fqFdOb
Another clip from Sim the Jazzman and Woody last week in ‘Simon & Woody’s Swing’ , here https://youtu.be/qGAs2YRxK-o , and yesterday this one https://youtu.be/oslTbWAEZN0
Note please , that I had not planned at all to record an entire song during the show – just some seconds sometime at the start , the end or whenever possible of Simon with Woody, just a scene together with applause perhaps , for use in the non-profit educational documentary ‘Miracles’ on Simon’s life that I am making – so , that’s why the camera wasn’t always pointing to the performance, and I had to edit and cut away lengthy applause (sorry) – but these are magical moments I like to share all right away. I initially had even thought of just using an iphone – keeping a low profile – luckily I used that excellent small camera , the Sony a7s2 , with a small external mic that worked OK except with that loud applause 😉
Here the whole song for Simon, his family, Woody, the Eddy Davis Band and fans. Wow , what a flow!
Woody Allen , Simon Gronowski & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band, Saturday night June 22, 2019 at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels , Belgium.
Many thanks to Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band | BOZAR | Greenhouse Talent. Film Sim’s BBQ (20190630) Michel van der Burg | Miracles.Media

https://michelvanderburg.com/2019/06/23/simon-woodys-swing/

Screening "Transport XX to Auschwitz " April 2, 2014  with guest speaker Richard Bloom in Temple Anshei Shalom Delray's Vibrant Synagogue of the Future Florida , US (Image ref BUM10046V01) http://www.templeansheishalom.org/upcomingevents.html

 

Screening “Transport XX to Auschwitz ” April 2, 2014 with guest speaker Richard Bloom in Temple Anshei Shalom – Delray’s Vibrant Synagogue of the Future – Florida , US (Image ref BUM10046V01)


AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

http://www.auschwitz.org/en/

 

Requests to view the entire film should be directed torbloom40@aol.com