“This year I will be a very good boy, and I will never cry”. – Rafael Dasberg, age 8.

Rafael Dasberg, along with his 3 siblings, prepared Rosh Hashanah greeting cards for their parents while all were incarcerated in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Tragically, the parents Rabbi Simon Dasberg, his wife Isabella along with son Rafael, perished in the camp.

Rabbi Simon Dasberg and his wife Isabella lived in the Netherlands with their four children – Fanny (Zipporah), Dina, Samuel and Rafael. The Dasbergs were deported to Westerbork and from there to Bergen-Belsen. In preparation for Rosh Hashanah 1944, the Dasberg children made Rosh Hashanna greeting cards in Bergen-Belsen. They drew the symbols of the holiday – the Shofar (ram’s horn) and the apple dipped in honey, decorated the cards with bright colors, and wished their parents a better year than the one they had just lived through.

Rafael, the youngest, aged 8, wrote in Dutch: “This year I will be a very good boy, and I will never cry.”

The eldest daughter, Fanny (Zipporah) wrote: “We will have a happy and sweet New Year even without apple and honey”, and concluded with a prayer: “May peace come quickly in our days, and may we speedily return home with all the family. May you be inscribed for a good year.”

In the course of the year, conditions in Bergen-Belsen deteriorated, and Rabbi Simon Dasberg, Isabella and their youngest son Rafael perished. Fanny, Dina and Samuel survived, and immigrated to Eretz Israel after the war.

Fanny Stahl (Dasberg), on a Gathering the Fragments collection day at Yad Vashem, brought the Rosh Hashanah cards that she had preserved from Bergen-Belsen, and allowed them to be photographed for Yad Vashem’s Archives.

View Yad Vashem’s full online exhibition featuring Rosh Hashanah cards and artifacts from before, during and after the Holocaust.

holocaust rosh hashanah jewish new year