POW LETTERS: To Gertrude van Lier, from Joseph Terraubella at Stalag VB 19

Front of a letter from Joseph Ferraubella at Stalag VB 19 to Gertrude van Hier in 1942.

Front of a letter from Joseph Ferraubella at Stalag VB 19 to Gertrude van Hier in 1942.

Back of a letter from Joseph Ferraubella at Stalag VB 19 to Gertrude van Hier in 1942.

Back of a letter from Joseph Ferraubella at Stalag VB 19 to Gertrude van Hier in 1942.

This letter was in a box of my great-grandmother’s things and it stood out to me for obvious reasons. Turns out, one beautiful thing did make it out of the war -this painted rose by Joseph Terraubella. I don’t even know how painting materials make it into a prisoner of war camp.

Anyhow, I would really like to know more about Joseph and Gertrude, who I am guessing was a friend or relative of my great-grandmother’s. I’ve scoured the Internet with no luck. My great-grandmother, Helena de Wit, also lived in Utrecht, a fact which lends itself to my theory that they were friends or relatives.

UPDATE: After reading through Anje’s comments below (thank goodness she can read cursive better than I can), I remembered this newspaper clipping I also found in a box that originally belonged to my great-grandmother:

Newspaper clipping about Gertrude "Truus" van Lier.

Newspaper clipping about Gertrude “Truus” van Lier.

As Anje notes, van Lier, a CS-6 Dutch Resistance fighter, was executed Oct. 27, 1943, at a POW camp. She was 22 years old. Please see Anje’s comments below for links to webpages about her.

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7 comments on “POW LETTERS: To Gertrude van Lier, from Joseph Terraubella at Stalag VB 19

  1. Geertruida (Truus) van Lier (not Hier) was the daughter of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. She was a resistance fighter and member of the CS-6 group. Her mother Derkje Willemina Wensink was taken hostage because of her activities and died in Ravensbrück. She lived at Prins Hendriklaan 48 in Utrecht. A photo of her can be found on the “Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands” (http://www.joodsmonument.nl/person/560967?lang=en).
    She died at Oranienburg POW camp near berlin) on October 27 1943, only 22 years old…..

  2. The last name of Joseph is Terraubella, not Ferraubella.
    His name can be found in the Google book “La guerre et la captivité, 1939-1945: textes, photos et dessins d’anciens prisonniers de guerre”.
    Amicale des stalags :V:+05+B-XA B C (France).

    If you search the internet on “J. Terraubella” you’ll also find this name mentioned in some french “journaux des combattants” : http://www.journaux-collection.com/rechercheav.php

  3. Thank you, Anje! I updated the original post with correct spellings and a newspaper clipping about Truus that my great-grandmother kept. …It’s probably too blurry to read, unfortunately. I need to get my scanner up and running.

  4. The newspaper clipping is from the paper “Utrechts Nieuwsblad” February 6 1948.
    Is is an article in honour of Truus and describes the liquidation of chief of police in Utrecht G.J. Kerlen. She was responsible for this liquidation on September 3 1943 in front of his house in Utrecht. A reward of 10.000 guilders was issued, Truus fled to to the town Haarlem and was captured there on September 14 1943.
    The whole story, including the newsclipping you placed on this blog and a picture of Kerlen can be found here: http://utrechtschnieuwsblad.nl/post/22384125708/utrecht-was-in-de-tweede-wereldoorlog-de-stad-van

    • Oh my gosh. The last few lines in that post are terrible. What a time to live in. A found a couple more clips, one I think about Truus being arrested and one maybe about some fellow resistance fighters. I’ll try to post them this weekend.

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