After the German invasion the Van Cleef family tried to escape to Switzerland, without success. It was also difficult to find a hiding address. Father, mother, and daughter Ronnie decided not to register and did not want to wear a star. From early 1942, Ronnie was a member of a resistance movement that forged personal identification cards and helped people find hiding addresses. The group was betrayed and Ronnie was arrested on 26 June 1944. She was taken to the prison barracks in Westerbork via the prison in Amsterdam. On 3 September 1944, she was deported on the last train that left for Auschwitz from the Netherlands.
Behind the mountains
I have seen the birds flying freely
and in my mind I flew with them
And for a second I am standing above the fence
Behind the mountains, until I hear the whistle
And I have to stand in the muster, stiff, unmoving.
Every day I see the sun go down
And in my mind I go down with her
Behind the mountains, in my fatherland
To which I yearn and where my mother's hand
Awaits my return, and pray for peace.
8 April 1945, Ronnie Goldstein - van Cleef