Jan Hoesman and Catharina Hoesman-Hubert

Jan Hoesman 1880-1956 and Catharina Hoesman-Hubert 1883-1967

The married couple in this photo, made by Hans Sibbelee in de First Aid Department of the hospital ‘Binnengasthuis’ where the  wounded were taken in.

© Hans Sibbelee, Nederlands Fotomuseum

On the list that was drawn up in the hospital, and which we have, it says:

C. Hoesman-Hubert, 61 jaar, Wilhelminastraat 88 2hs, fractuur femoris (hip fracture), fallen, polikliniek and we wondered if she is in this picture.

(Wilhelminastraat was during the war called different: Westergasthuisstraat)

After all publicity about 75 years freedom anniversary, we received a reaction from grandson Bernie of Australia. We asked him if he recognized his grandparents. 

On our TV we have station SBS which broadcasts international news. I watch the Dutch News from NOS Hilversum almost every day (to keep up my language). There was much coverage of the 75 years freedom anniversary. The events on the Dam were shown and the Snotneus Organ was featured.
As I am a musician, I Googled Snotneus and came upon your coverage of the event and photos of the casualties. What a great surprise to see my grandparents on the site. Yes, the couple in the photo are my grandparents.

My grandparents were present on the DAM on the 7th May 1945 when the panic occurred. My grandmother fell in the Kalverstraat and broke her hip. Grandad stood over her to protect her until calm was restored. I now live in Australia and only remember them from when I was a small child. At the time I was five years old and have very little memory of them. I do remember a farewell visit to their house the year we migrated to Australia in 1949.

The couple Hoesman-Hubert got 3 children: Jan, Catharina, and Poulus was the youngest.  Poulus married in 1931 to Rosa Lina Peelen and moved before and during the war to Rijswijk. They lived in Amsterdam for a short time and emigrated from there in 1947 to Venezuela. They returned to Amsterdam for two months in 1949 where they lived with her sister and husband. They then emigrated permanently to Australia with their children, Paula 1933-2019, Bernie *1940, and André 1942-2020. 

After the war we spent some time in Venezuela where dad worked for Royal Dutch Shell in the construction of an oil refinery at Punta Cardon. After briefly returning to Holland we migrated to Australia. Dad went first and we followed the following year. Dad became a builder, Paula worked at the local shop, André and I went to school while our mother was at home. We all thrived except mother. Her story is one of loneliness and isolation so far away from family without being able to speak English and with very poor communication. And so our story goes on.

Oma and Opa at home 9-2-1955.
Their 50th wedding anniversary. The Bargara photo on the cake was sent to them for the occasion and shows Myself, André, Dad and Mum, camping near the beach.


We know nothing further about my paternal grandparents’ family or history. By contrast we are in close contact with the family of my mother’s side. My mother’s parents (Peelen) died when she was a teenager, I believe her father was in the diamond trade. We knew her sister and know many of her descendants. We have visited them on several occasions and they are our Dutch Extended family. 
Through this correspondence our children are showing a real interest in their heritage and this is very rewarding.
Thank you very much for your interest. All the best, keep safe.

Bernie loved to have contact with his father’s relatives in the Netherlands. We succeeded to bring him in contact with his cousin Robert.
My father Jan was the oldest brother of Poulus. I’m unknown with the story that my grandmother got injured that day; only that my mother told my wife that she’s been walked over. I didn’t know my grandparents and see this picture for the first time. My parents also had plans to emigrate to his brother, but when my mother got ill, it was cancelled. 
Our son have been searching online for relatives in Australia, but the name Hoesman is very common.Amazing and very special to have contact this way.
Amazing and very special to have contact this way.

May 2020 – January 2021

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