This project is based on my findings of years of research on my grandfather.
Indeed he seemed to have died in Bergen-Belsen, but there's plenty speculation that he didn't. As a matter of fact, his Jewishness is even so debatable. All proof I found was, he was registered being a Catholic, married a Lutheran woman. Therefore they got married abroad in London. When they decided to move to the Netherlands I found him registered as a communist.
When I followed his trace throughout the camps he has been deported to, from Vught, Sachsenhausen, to Bergen-Belsen, he was called a Schutzhaftling. The reason for that was, that he had helped hiding a Jewish woman in their home.
After the war, my grandmother was desperately in need for money. She didn't have a husband and three children to take care off. I found plenty of correspondence that indicates, she tried long and hard to claim her husband was Jewish in the hope she would get some money out of it. Despite all her efforts, her claim has never been ratified.
And the open end to the story is a response to an ad my grandmother placed in the newspapers, just months after the war had finished. A certain gentlemen, owner of a tobacco shop in the Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, told her he saw her husband just a few days before the official deathdate report claimed to be. He described László as rather a healthy person. A bit of a contrast to the cause of death stating he died from typhus.
This response to the ad in the newspaper goes along with a famous guy called Joop Zwart. He was a communist during the war and did the administration in Bergen-Belsen. He also went on the same transport via Sachsenhausen to Bergen-Belsen as László did. Joop Zwart and a couple of more communists held close ties in the camp. Now Joop's trick was to save people in the camps by putting there names on the death list.
So...when you say Bergen-Belsen, the end of the life of my beloved grandfather???
Big questionmarks because this Joop Zwart was appointed to assemble all deaths registrations from the camps and inform the families back home. He did that for the Dutch Red Cross.
If he survived, why did he not came back home? Where did he go? To America maybe, to finally accept the offer to come and work for the Walt Disney studios? That was the opportunity he had to decline before the war…
Written by Dimitri Gazan, grandson, Tuesday 5 April 2014 Enkhuizen, The Netherlands