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Research project

Left behind

Left Behind: Little Known Histories on the Persecution of Antwerp’s Jewish Population

Between June 13 and September 12, 1942, over 2,250 Jewish men were deported from Belgium to Northern France as forced labourers for Organisation Todt (OT). This German company was responsible for large construction projects such as the Atlantic Wall: the Nazi defence line along the European coast.

At least 1,625 of the Jewish men taken from Belgium came from Antwerp. The Left Behind project brings to the fore their story, as well as the story of the families they left behind in Antwerp. Read more.

3 interactive maps invite you to explore their histories via personal accounts, images, documents and films.

  • Map 1 The first map introduces different general locations which play a role in this history. These places are mainly situated in Belgium and Northern France. Auschwitz-Birkenau, the destination of the majority of the deportation trains eventually taking the workers and their families to their deaths, is also included.
  • Map 2  A second map illustrates the fate of the families left behind in Antwerp. Based on a research sample of 628 of the 1,625 Jewish Organisation Todt workers from Antwerp, it visualizes the impact of racial persecution on 1,501 relatives who lived under the same roof.
  • Map 3 A third set of maps invites you to discover the itineraries of five families of Jewish Organisation Todt labourers from Antwerp. Each story is different, but all illustrate the horrendous impact of forced labour on these families.

Gaby’s story

This project started with Ms. Gaby Morris searching for answers on the fate of her family, deported from Belgium during the Holocaust.

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The project

The research team has implemented micro, macro and spatial analysis techniques, combining personal stories, analysis of large datasets and time and space elements into interactive maps.

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With thanks to

Kazerne Dossin could not have realised this project without the inspiration and support of Gaby and Howard Morris and many others.


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