‘It is amazing to share my Bar Mitzvah with all of you. But now, I want to tell you about a special boy who never had the chance to become bar mitzvah. He was called Samuel and had his birthday in December just like I do.
Samuel Swaab was born in December 1933 in Amsterdam. He was murdered by the Nazis in April 1943. He was just 9 years old.
If he had lived he would have been exactly one year older than my Grandpa Ronnie, who will be 80 this month. Samuel never grew old enough to have a Bar Mitzvah, get a job, get married, and have children or grandchildren. Nearly all his family were killed during the holocaust; his three sisters, his parents, his grandparents and most of his many uncles, aunts and cousins. His name was given to me by the Yad Vashem Twinning Project to keep his memory alive.
Today I am wearing one of their memorial pins as a tribute to him. As part of the preparation for my Bar Mitzvah, I have researched Samuel’s family and his life. A special thank you to my Auntie Naomi for helping me out during her trip to Amsterdam this summer. Learning about Samuel has helped me understand a little about the Holocaust and has made me realise how lucky I am to be able to celebrate my Bar Mitzvah today…….’