Bert Barenholz was born on November 25th 1931 in Cottbus, Germany. Father Barenholz owned a textile-store. In the beginning of 1932 the family left for Berlin and a year later they fled to Holland for the upcoming Nazi-regime. First they arrived in Roosendaal and four years later they moved to The Hague, where a brother was born. Also after the German invasion the family Barenholz tried to continue their lives as normal as possible, but in March 1943 the family went into hiding in Voorburg. Ten months later the Germans were searching the house, knowing Jews were hiding there, but they left without finding them. Soon after they returned and during this second search for hiding places they fired their guns. One of the bullets hit the twelve-year-old Bert in the back and together with his parents the Germans took him away. Also his little brother, who was hiding with another family, was taken away. They whole family was send to Westerbork in January 1944, and two months later they were deported to Bergen Belsen. Soon after their arrival Bert got typhoid fever. The family Barenholz did survive Bergen Belsen. Also they were on the ‘Lost Transport’*, the train that wondered for 13 days through the collapsing ‘Third Reich’. In Trobitz Bert got spot-typhus and he doesn't remember anything of this period. In June 1945 the family returned to Holland where they tried to pick up their life from before the war. Bert continued his school-education. In 1946 the family moved to Roosendaal, where father Barenholz expanded his textile-company. After high school Bert went to study medicine in Amsterdam, but after a year he stopped and left for Israel, where he stayed half a year. Finally he went to Toronto in Canada to study accountancy. In 1957 Bert returned to Holland and started his career in the textile-company of his parents. Soon after he met Esther, who came from Israel on a family-visit. They married in 1959. Together they got 3 children. In 1984 the marriage ended. Esther had already returned to Israel. Bert is still living in Roosendaal. His two sons live in Israel and he also has two grandchildren there. His daughter lives in Amsterdam for the moment.

Shirley Barenholz was born on March 1st 1965 in Roosendaal. Together with her two older brothers she grew up in a non-Jewish environment. At home the Jewish tradition was 'freely' kept and every week a teacher from Rotterdam came to teach them Torah and Hebrew. After high school Shirley studied 'History of Society' at the University of Rotterdam for one year, before she started her three year study at the Academy of Journalism in Tilburg. After graduation in 1987 she spent four months in San Francisco, and then went to Israel to orientate herself for half a year on life and work as a journalist there. But at the end of 1988 she returned to Holland. For now she stopped her journalistic activities and started to work in the family-business. She worked herself up to Head-Purchasing and Internal-Sales. But journalism stayed in the back of her mind and she started an evening-course in photography. After three-and-a-half years she decided to leave the family-business and focused herself completely on a career as a photojournalist. She made three photo reportages: in a Palestinian refugee-camp on the Westbank, in the old neighborhood Nve Zedek in Tel Aviv and with the Bedouins in the Sinai-dessert. With this portfolio she went to New York and knocked on the door of Magnum-photographer Burt Glinn. She got her desired internship with this veteran. January 1993 Shirley moved to New York and also started to take workshops at the International Center of Photography. Slowly she got her first assignments in New York and from Holland. She also started a long-term project with the Community Affairs Policing in Harlem. In 1995 Shirley returned to Holland to set base in Amsterdam and to develop her international activities as a freelance photojournalist. In April 1995 she made her first big photo-reportage of the memorial-trip of the ‘Lost Transport’. During this trip the idea for this book was born. For almost three years she worked on this project.
[From: ‘Kinderen van de Hoop’/’Children of Hope’, 1998].

Update 2013:
Bert (z”l) 25/11/1931 - 28/3/2012. Bert passed away last year. He is grandfather of two grandchildren.

Shirley still lives in Amsterdam. Besides her work as photojournalist and photographer, she now also makes documentaries and reportages for television and radio.


* ‘The Lost Transport’: In the chaos just before the liberation of the concentration 
   camp Bergen-Belsen, the Germans hastily evacuated three trains filled with starved
   and sick Jews to an unknown destination. One of these trains with 2500 Jews
   wandered for thirteen through the collapsing Third Reich, before this ‘Lost Transport’
met its Russian liberators in Tröbitz. In the West they didn’t know about this transport,
   and it took months before repatriation began.
   [From: ‘Kinderen van de
 Hoop’/’Children of Hope’, 1998].