Salomon Kleerekoper was one of the few Jewish diamond workers who survived the war and resumed their old trade in 1945. Only at age 74 did Salomon retire, after a very long career in the trade and with the Union.
Content in “Life stories”
Louis Gans was born on 29 November 1871 as the son of Mozes Meijer Gans and Louisa Gans Polak. At the time of his birth, the family lived at 108 II (front) Rapenburgerstraat. His father was a diamond setter, and Louis became a diamond cleaver. Louis was named Levie at birth and is registered under that name with the Algemene Nederlandse Diamantbewerkersbond [General Diamond Workers’ Union of the Netherlands] (ANDB), although he went by the name of Louis and was known as such in the union as well.
Jan van Zutphen was born in Utrecht on 7 October 1863 and grew up in Kattenburg, a working-class neighbourhood in Amsterdam. After primary school he became an apprentice carpenter and attended night school classes in projection drawing, Dutch, and history.
In December 1895 Betje and Sophie attended a public meeting of the ANDB together. That meeting was convened to convince diamond workers who were not yet organized to join the trade union. Rose cutters were among the group addressed.
Henri Polak was born on 22 February 1868 as the son of diamond polisher and jeweller Moses Polak and Marianna Smit. He was involved in the political and social life of his day for half a century. Highly influential as chairman of the Algemene Nederlandse Diamantbewerkersbond [General Diamond Workers’ Union of the Netherlands] (ANDB), he held this office for over 45 years.
Antoine and Simon Tokatlian were brothers born at the end of the nineteenth century in Istanbul in present-day Turkey, within the area known as the Ottoman Empire until 1918. As Armenians, the Tokatlians experienced increasing hostility in Turkey.
Suze Frank was born on 17 June 1907 as the daughter of Samuel Frank and Sara Lopes Cardozo. Her father Samuel was a brilliant-polishers’ assistant and her mother Sara also a diamond worker, until she married.
Catharina (Cato) Godefroi was born in Amsterdam on 24 May 1892. She trained as a brilliant cutter, joined the Algemene Nederlandse Diamantbewerkersbond [General Diamond Workers’ Union of the Netherlands, ANDB], and was active in the Union.
Ger (actual name Gerard) Schmook was born in the Antwerp boarding house ‘De drij kauwen’ on 17 August 1898. When he was four years old, his father died of tuberculosis. He grew up with his grandparents in Mortsel.
Romi Goldmuntz was born in Cracow (Galicia), then part of Austria, on 8 July 1882. He was one of eight children. When he was two, his parents moved the family to Antwerp.
The man that made the Algemene Diamantbewerkersbond van België [General Diamond Workers’ Association of Belgium] (ADB) a strong organization, Pierre-Louis (nickname Louis or Lodewijk) Van Berckelaer was born in Antwerp on 15 May 1872.
The Algemene Diamantbewerkersbond van België [General Diamond Workers’ Association of Belgium] (ADB) was one of the first Belgian trade unions where communists gained some measure of influence. Israël ‘Piet’ Akkerman, the leader of that communist movement within ADB, was born in Antwerp on 22 June 1913 as the second son of East-European Jewish migrants.