Two Holocaust survivors brutally beaten in Amsterdam

Attackers called Shmuel and Diana Blog ‘dirty Jews’; beating left them wheelchair-bound and cost Shmuel his sight

A Holocaust survivor shows his prisoner number tattooed on his arm. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A Holocaust survivor shows his prisoner number tattooed on his arm. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Dutch police are investigating the brutal beating of an elderly Amsterdam Jewish couple.

Diana Blog, 86, and her husband of 56 years Shmuel, 87, are both Holocaust survivors. Diana has scars from being attacked by Auschwitz guard dogs.

The August 4 attack left Shmuel blind and with a broken thigh bone, and Diana suffering from “extreme pains,” according to the news site Ynet.

Both have been in a rehabilitation center in the month since the attack, and are now confined to wheelchairs.

According to the Blogs, the two male attackers dressed in black knocked loudly on their door and claimed to be police officers. When Shmuel opened the door, the men charged in, pointing guns and hitting and kicking the elderly couple as they demanded their jewelry and other valuables. At one point, they tied them up and began ripping jewelry off Diana’s body.

“They called us ‘dirty Jews’ and said: ‘You don’t need your jewelry anymore. You’ve been wearing it for too long. Now it’s all ours,'” Diana recalled, according to Ynet.

“They wanted to chop off my finger because the rings didn’t come off fast enough,” Diana said.

Police have publicized descriptions of the attackers, but no suspects have yet been apprehended.

The Blogs’ son Emmanuel publicized photos of his wounded parents and offered a 10,000 euro reward for information leading to the attackers’ capture. The figure has since grown by a few thousand euros as Dutch citizens shocked by the attack added their own money to the reward pool.

In a statement, the Dutch Embassy in Israel told Ynet, “This is a shocking incident, a brutal robbery that extremely affected the victims. Dutch police is handling this case with the utmost seriousness, and is investigating it. No suspects have been apprehended yet, so it’s difficult to make unequivocal statements about the motives.

“In general, it’s important to emphasize that everyone should feel safe in the Netherlands. We will not tolerate any incident of discrimination and anti-Semitism. The Dutch foreign minister recently issued a statement before his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he expressed concern about the rising wave of anti-Semitism in Europe.

“It affects Jewish communities first of all, but affects all of our lives, too. Fighting anti-Semitism is part of protecting the fundamental values of liberty and security for all. The Dutch government’s position has remained clear: We will not tolerate anti-Semitism in our society.”

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