Binyamin Verbrugge (Meir Coen)

Binyamin was born in Rotterdam in 1914 from an ashkenazi father, Lois (Meijer) Coen, immigrant from Germany and a sepharadi mother, Kornelia Agatha (Smeer) Meir who immigrated from Belgium as a refugee.

Due to WW began, this Jewish royal family "purchased" a dutch surename Verbrugge to hide their Jewish identity.

However, Binyamin's mother Kornelia kept strict Jewish tradition eventhough she hid all judaicas in the family castle basement.

One day, Binyamin's friend secretly took Binyamin to a church, and Kornelia discovered it and strongly warned Binyamin not to step into Church and touch christianity. Kornelia told Binyamin "you know even jesus was an illegimate son of Maria who was raped by a roman soldier, therefore Jesus was blonde and had blue eyes, so dont deal with this group teaching"

Binyamin had a younger brother Yopie and sister Thea. They put their family name as Verbrugge(n).

By end 1929, The bomb was adressed to a school where Binyamin went in Rotterdam, and hearing abt the incident, his mom Kornelia step up the tower of the home and saw smokes at Binyamin's school. Kornelia fainted and fell down on the stairs and paralized. In fact, Binyamin and his brother and sister could escape fro the bomb and went home safely, but his mother was very shocked, and still blamed everything to Binyamin as the one who did not care . His mother refused to meet and talk with him.

in 1930, when Binyamin was 16 years old, he arranged to leave his house. He signed up himself to work for the queen for Nederlands(ch)-Indië. He was accepted as an administrative/clerk and intrepeter. and he was sent to Central Java, Indonesia, to continue for an administrative academy. Binyamin spoke German, Dutch, English, French and Italian

Binyamin was caught by Japanese soldiers in 1942, and sent to a camp somewhere near Hiroshima. After the Bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Binyamin was released by allied forces  in 1945 and sent to Philipina for 2 years rehabilitation. Then Binyamin joint back miltary and was posted in Tarakan, Borneo, then to Balikpapan Celebes.

Binyamin met a local lady from Menado, Juliana Louis Pangemanan with french mother Louis (protestant). Juliana worked as a restaurant waitress, she was a widow with 2 kids from her deceased british descendant husband who was beheaded by a japanese soldier, plus another baby girl who was born as the result of mass rape by japanese soldiers.

Binyamin accepted Julianna as is and married her. From the marriage they had 4 kids :

Julianna Verbrugge (my mom)

Kathy Betty Verbrugge

Gloria Suzanne Verbrugge (actress)

Dave Maramis Verbrugge (the actress Cornelia Agatha's father)

The pic was Binyamin and Julianna with their first baby girl Julianna Verbrugge (my mom)

The last info from rotterdam.

Binyamin's parents house was bombed by Nazi in 1939, Lois Coen, Binyamin's father was escaping to Belgium with his second son Yoppie. Kornelia agatha was hospitalized and had mental disorder. She passed away in hospital, while Thea was running and hidding.

Lois Coen was once seen in Belgium and then totally gone. Nothing left in rotterdam, except Thea finally got married with a dutch atheist, and Thea no longer believed in G-d. Thea became paranoid and avoided to tell the stories about her Jewish family to anybody.

Contributor :

Benjamin Meijer Verbrugge / Benny, the grandson who was directly baby named  (Binyamin)and had late britmillah by 13 years old with the ritual done by his own opa Binyamin Verbrugge. Opa said "am jewish, so all grandsons have to be circumsized according to the tradition".

When he was 32 years old, Benny was warned by his Opa Binyamin to leave Christianity in end 2003 1 year before Opan Binyamin passed away. Benny denouced Xtianity in 2007 after studying tanach in Christian seminary, and took Basic Judaism (Conservative) class in early 2011 after visiting Chabad in Nov 2010. He converted his wife and all family members in 2012, together with another indonesian ex Turkish-Dutch family, and he converted his 75 Indonesian members in early 2014

The contributor is The Chairman of The United Indonesian Jewish Community and Brit Beracha Congregation Indonesia since 2010 till now . He got his Jewish spiritual leader smicha on 01 Feb 2014, and had hisl rabbinic smicha/ordination by Rabbi Dr.  Chasidic Joseph  H. Gelberman Seminary in New York, July 2nd,  2015

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  • Yitzhak Manuputty

    Posted .

    B'H". :)
    Keren !!

  • Henri Baruch

    Posted .

    Absolute and The Amazing People

  • Laeonie

    Posted .

    I read the story and was shocked at how many similarities there were to stories I have heard of my own family history. I am trying to find information on my roots. My grandmother was born Anna Bertha Cohen in Bandung Indonesia in 1928. Her father was also called Benjamin and was taken into a concentration camp and executed along with her brother. I would like to find out as much information about my Cohen family before the Japanese invasion. Do you have any suggestions? Any chance there is some relationship? The children from her family were Elly, Miriam, Eduard, Hans and Anna.
    With much kindness,

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