is the Fransji Groenen Wagensfeld family page
Fransji is the
daughter of our cousin Danny and Anna Maria Groenen. The were friends when Danny
was with the Palmach in Holland in 1947. We are proud to have Fransji and her
family as part of our own family
The pages are presently being updated with input
Updated January 2012 New pictures of
the family Wagensfeld.
Laura Valins and brother Brian Coussin with Fransji and her daughter
Maaike when they all met in Israel
Maaike and Marc's daughter New daughter Jasmijn
Arie Husband of Franji
Son of Mirjam and
The first one (the dark girl) is our eldest daughter Mirjam, she is 34 years
old, her partner is Olaf and together
they have a son, Yannick, who is almost 3.
The girl next to her is our daughter Maaike, she is 32, her husband is Marc and
together they have a daughter,
Jasmijn, who is almost 2.
The man is my husband Arie, he is 80 years old (!!), but still very strong and
young of heart.
Then you will see Yannick, then Jasmijn, and last but not least it is me,
sitting next to Maaike who had just
given birth to Jasmijn. I am 63.
My mother (
Anna Maria Groenen)
was very happy for me that I finally discovered my father
(and of course his
family, especially because
he is not alive anymore) and she also was happy that I could meet the family.
The family tree of Danny Coussin
It was the end of
the Second World War and Danny who was inducted into the Jewish Brigade in
Israel and whose task it was to find Jewish children hidden from the clutches
of the Nazis by very brave Dutch people.
It was in Eindhoven that Danny had met fransje's mother and the rest as they say
Danny returned to Israel to join the Palmach and defend his country and where
fate played it's hand. Danny lost his life,Tommy and Esther lost their only son
and Fransjii lost her father and sadly for all, no one new of Fransjii's
Fransje later had made a decision to find her father and her story follows this
brief on how, many years later, a film producer was contacted by Fransje when he
was in Holland, making a film on the Jewish Brigade who had come there, to
search for the missing Jewish children.
He was approached by Fransje and given a photograph of Danny and when he
returned to Israel, searched the archives and he had found a niece of Tommy and
Esther and all were brought together.
this point, I should explain that Fransje has visited with Brian and Esther
Coussins in Israel along with Laura Valins nee Coussins. all who are Danny's
cousins and I am sure I speak for all of us when I say thank you for giving back
to us and with joy, a little of Danny and his family.
Here follows Franjii's Story:-Fransji was replying to Laura who had asked her
about her search fro her fathers family:
Wed, 9 Aug 2006
In your last mail
you were asking me some questions, which I am going to answer.
You asked me how my
mother feels about discovering my new family and my going to Israel.
Well, she is very
happy for me that I finally discovered my father (and of course his family,
especially because he is not alive anymore) and she also was happy that I
could meet the family.
But the period of
my search was rather painful to her.
When she discovered
that she was pregnant (she was only 20 years old, her mother died 3 years
before and she lived with her father and her eldest sister, after a stay of
8 years on a boardingschool where she finished her training and became a
teacher; she was 19 when she left).
In 1946 and
especially in the catholic south of Holland where they lived (Eindhoven), it
was a big shame to get pregnant and not being married. That's why her father
(my grandfather, who was a very nice and friendly man by the way) sent her
out of the house and she had to stay in The Hague in a strange family and
gave birth to me all alone in a hospital.
She was the
youngest child and she had 5 brothers and 6 sisters. Most of them were
married or had left the parental home, and knew nothing about her situation.
However, after my
birth she got help from one of her sisters and could stay in her house for a
few months, until the sister got pregnant from her third child. The house
was too small....
She went out
teaching, rented a room and I stayed for a while in a home.
When I was 1 years
old, she returned with me to her father, who was glad to see us and I stayed
with my grandfather and aunt Riek until I was 6 years old and then my mother
sent me to a boardingschool, where I finished the elementary school.
Only then, when I
went to the secundary school, my mother and I went living together.
When my mother was
40 and I was 19, she married a widower with 5 children, 4 sons and 1
We moved to their
house, in another place, and started a whole new life, which was not easy to
Four years ago my
stepfather died at the age of 88.
Now my mother lives
alone in a nice appartement and she is doing very well, besides her health
sometimes, but she is 80, you know.
Now you may
understand that the memory of that time is painful to her and actuaally, we
don't talk about it very much.
I started the
search, I wanted to find my father, I only asked her to identify the
pictures of Danny.
From one hand I
should like to share everything with her, but on the other hand I feel that