Saturday, April 02, 2005

Good Dutchmen

Well, women. They existed then, and they exist today.
Staring certain death straight in the face, the 18-year-old Dutch teen did not flinch. It was 1943 in Nazi-occupied Holland, with the Nazi deportation of Dutch Jews in full swing.

In a rural farm in the southern part of the country, Hilde van Straten-Duizer stood facing a group of German soldiers who were searching her mother's home for any Jews who were in hiding.

After completing a thorough search of the entire house, the teen knew where the ever-so-thorough- German soldiers would undoubtedly go next: the storage loft above the family barn.

What van Straten-Duizer also knew was among some bundles of hay in the storage loft was exactly where a 22 year old Jewish friend of the family was being sheltered, having recently escaped a Nazi deportation to a concentration camp.

With only seconds separating her whole family from certain death for giving refuge to a Jew, the country teen and her sister engaged the Germans in conversation, overtly flirting with them. Distracted by the clever ruse, the Germans would leave the house a quarter hour later without ever checking the storage area.
They existed then and they do today. Which is good news for the world in general, and the Jews in particular.

But they were always a minority. And the present-day friends of Jews belong to a shrinkin one at that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you okay?
Or just enjoying some time off?

3:23 PM  

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