Monday, January 20, 2014

Sometimes you have to search to find out who you are!

By Bruce Eekma

My name is Bruce Eekma and I was born in the Netherlands in 1939 and immigrated to Calgary, Canada in 1958 at the age of nineteen. I met Margaret, who had emigrated as a young girl also from the Netherlands, a few years later and we were married in 1962. A year ago we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary with our two Sons, two Granddaughters and two Great-Grandchildren and lots of other Family and friends. We still live in Calgary where I have a full time job here at the Calgary Jewish Center as a Maintenance worker and Margaret keeps busy baby-sitting her Great-grandchildren. If we had known how great these Great-grandchildren are when we got married we would have had them first.

My proudest accomplishment was when I published my first book “A Daughter’s Search for her Father” a true story about what happened to Margaret’s biological Father. I wrote this book to help Margaret, who spent most of her life searching, understand what really happened to her Father whom nobody wanted to talk about. Margaret was born in Amsterdam on the 31 of August 1943 in the middle of World War II the result of a loving relationship between a young Dutch lady and a German man. Her Father being German, the enemy of the Dutch people, was the reason nobody wanted to talk about her birth. The shame of being a German baby was why we were only given small bits of information. Her Mother only gave us his name as Wilhelm Bauer and after that, she nor any other family members, were unwilling to talk about this subject anymore.

Then on a trip to Amsterdam in 2008 I was able to obtain Margaret’s original birth certificate which had some dates that really interested me so started to write this book. With the help of the computer, searching the internet, I was able to trace the Wilhelm Bauer family history and discovered that Margaret’s Grandfather Gustav Bauer became the 11th Chancellor of Germany in 1919. Then in 1933, the year the Nazi came in power, he was accused and arrested by Hitler for stealing 30,000,000 RM from the German people. However after a week in jail they had to release him from jail because there was not enough evidence to substantiate the claim. Because of these accusations the Bauer family decided to send their only son Wilhelm Bauer, now a successful German economist, to the Netherlands where he meets a beautiful Dutch girl, they fall in love and nine months later Margaret is born. Shortly after her birth, through jealousy, it was reported to the Nazi Authorities that Margaret’s father was a Jew and for him to have had a sexual relation with someone of the Aryan race was against the Nazi anti-Semitic law’s and punishable with death. So he is arrested and transported to Thereseinstadt concentration camp where his identity is stolen by Anton Burger the SS Camp Commander who after the war assumes Wilhelm Bauer’s name and lived out the rest of his life in Essen Germany a free man. Burger’s true identity wasn’t revealed until 1994, three years after his dead at age 80.         


  1. Wow! What a compelling story! It's so caring of you to help Margaret find out more about her family history.

  2. Love you Grandpa for doing this for Grandma! Xoxoxo