b'WESTERN MARBLE ARCH SYNAGOGUEMarie married Barend Blik and they lived in Amsterdam.During the war Amelia, her daughter Marie and her son-in-law Barend Blik and their two young children were sent to the infamous Camp Westerbork. The camp had been set up by the Dutch government in 1939 first as a place for refugees from Nazism flooding into Holland, however when the Germans occupied Holland it became very different in natureand acted as a transit camp for Jews who were sent on to Auschwitz and Sobibor to almost certain death.A combination of survivor testimony and research has shown that Amelia was 67 year old when she arrived at Camp Westerbork on the 30th March 1943. A few months later on the 7th August 1943 her son-in-law Barend was also sent to Westerbork together with his newly pregnant wife Marie (Amelias daughter) and their two children who were aged four and six. Barend and Marie were allowed to stay in the same barrack under harsh conditions. It is likely that Barend would have worked as a forced labourer at the camp. A few weeks later on August 31st 1943 he was separated from the family, never to see them again and deported to Auschwitz. We know that he was eventually murdered there on the 31st March 1944.Oral family history claims that Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands who was in exile in London, tried to intercede unsuccessfully on the familys behalf.Marie remained at Camp Westerbork through the winter and on the 11th January 1944, on the same day as her mother Amelia, she was deported to Bergen Belsen with her small children. Amelia, now almost 70 years old lost her life on 7th March 1945 at Bergen Belsen when she was thrown out of the barracks and left to freeze to death in the snow.Other members of the extended Samson and Polack families died in Sobibor and other camps.Maries third child Milly was born on 9th April 1944 at the concentration camp, she barely stood a chance in such impossible conditions and died on the 18th March 1945. The camp was liberated less than a month later. However, the ordeal was not yet over for Marie. Marie and her two surviving children were amongst 2500 people packed onto one of three trains which left Bergen Belsen on April 10th 1945, its destination, Theresienstadt. Their transport was later described as the Lost Train. The journey was dangerous and the captives were barely fed or given any shelter from intense bombings. 600 people died en route and in the aftermath, mainly due to typhus and maltreatment. Eventually the German army simply gave up trying to complete the journey to Theresienstadt in the chaos that ensued at the end of the war. The train arrived in Trbitz in Germany twelve days later on April 22nd 1945 where its passengers were liberated by the Red Army.Somehow Marie and her two older children survived this ordeal and were liberated, they left for England via Paris in May 1945. The family story was recounted by one of Maries children for a recent BBC Holocaust Memorial Day programme, The Survivors. In memory of Amelia Polack Samson 1875-1945 & Barend Blik 1905-1944.32'