Hvordan har mit stakkels barn det?


  • René F. van Wijngaarden


Family historian René van Wijngaarden contributes with a story about one of the prominent Jewish families of the Danish West Indies.

Van Wijngaarden is a descendant of the Delvalle family, and the grandson of Hester van Daelen (1895-1965). Van Daelen is the Dutch translation of Del Valle/Delvalle, a family of Sephardic Jews, who settled in 17th century Amsterdam. Members of this family emigrated to the Caribbean to find their destination in Curaçao and St. Thomas in The West Indies. They also settled in Panama, were two presidents of the republic of Panamá, Max Delvalle and Eric Arturo Delvalle were members of this old Jewish family. One member of the Danish West Indies Delvalle clan, Deborah Viola Delvalle was mentally ill. She was sent by her parents, David Delvalle and Grace Cardoze to Denmark in 1905.

The Royal Library in Copenhagen holds extensive correspondence between the Delvalle family and Rabbi David Simonsen (1853-1932) in Copenhagen. The correspondence covers a period of 22 years and gives a perfect insight into the difficulties the family encounters to procure the necessary help and care for Deborah Viola Delvalle. It also shows how committed and devoted David Simonsen and his family were taking care of this young girl.

In the presence of members of the Delvalle family, Bent Lexner, Chief Rabbi of Denmark, unveiled the gravestone of Deborah Viola Delvalle in Vestre Mosaisk Begravelsesplads 81 years after her death. That completed her story.



van Wijngaarden, R. F. (2009). Hvordan har mit stakkels barn det?. Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk Kultur Og Forskning, 18(1). Hentet fra https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/103754