I am a great sports fan and even though I don’t support a particular team(bar the Dutch soccer team), I do watch all the major sporting events.
The Olympic games ,both summer and winter, are events I really enjoy watching, perhaps it’s because the Dutch generally do well in them. They are 13th in the all time standings for the summer Olympics and even higher for the winter games, which is not bad for a small country.
The Netherlands only hosted the summer games once, which was in 1928.In Amsterdam.
That year the Dutch won 19 medals, 6 Gold,9 Silver and 4 Bronze in individual and team sports.
Especially the Women’s gymnastic team did well. In the event of the ‘Women’s team all round’ the Gold medal was won.
Although most of these 12 young women were in their teen or early twenties,4 of them would not live to see the age of 40. This was not because of some rare disease or because of an accident.This was all because of hate.
These women were Jewish and, 4 of them died in concentration camps.Only 1 of these five survived.
Elka de Levie (November 21, 1905 – December 29, 1979),was the only Jewish team member to survive the Holocaust;
her team mates Anna Dresden-Polak, Jud Simons and Helena Nordheim were gassed in Sobibor, while Estella Agsteribbe was gassed in Auschwitz.
Not only were these women killed,their husbands and children suffered a similar fate.
On October 31, 1929 she married Andries Abraham Boas, with whom she had two daughters, but the couple were divorced on April 20, 1943. She and both her daughters survived the Second World War by going into hiding. Elka de Levie died in anonymity in Amsterdam on December 29, 1979
Estella “Stella” Agsteribbe (April 6, 1909 – September 17, 1943) was deported during World War II. She was murderedtogether with her husband Samuel Blits, their six-year-old daughter Nanny and their two-year-old son Alfred in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Judikje “Jud” Simons (20 August 1904 – 20 March 1943) She was born in The Hague and died in Sobibor extermination camp. She was deported and murdered together with her husband Bernard and their five-year-old daughter Sonja and their three-year-old son Leon
Helena “Lea” Nordheim (August 1, 1903 – July 2, 1943) Nordheim was born in Amsterdam and died in the Sobibor extermination camp. She was sent to Westerbork concentration camp in June 1943. Shortly after, Nordheim was deported to Sobibór where she was murdered, together with her husband Abraham and their ten-year-old daughter Rebbecca.
Anna “Ans” Dresden-Polak (née Anna Polak) (24 November 1906 – 23 July 1943) She was born in Amsterdam, and died in Sobibor extermination camp. From Westerbork concentration camp she was deported to Sobibór where she was murdered on 23 July 1943,together with her six-year-old daughter Eva. Her husband Barend Dresden was killed a few months later in 1944 in Auschwitz concentration camp.
Their coach Gerrit Kleerekoper who was also Jewish was also killed by the Nazis
Gerrit Kleerekoper (15 February 1897 – 2 July 1943) was a Jewish – Dutch gymnastics coach. He was married with two children and worked as a diamond cutter.
He led the Dutch women gymnastics team to win the gold medal at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Kleerekoper’s team scored 316.75 points, defeating Italy and the United Kingdom.
On 2 July 1943 Gerrit Kleerekoper, along with his wife Kaatje and their fourteen-year-old daughter Elisabeth, were murdered by the Nazis at the Sobibór extermination camp in German-occupied Poland. Their twenty-one-year-old son Leendert died of exhaustion in Auschwitz in July 1944.
Pierre Versteegh who was a Dutch horse rider who competed in the 1928 Summer Olympics and in the 1936 Summer Olympics.In the 1928 Summer Olympics he won the bronze medal in the team dressage with his horse His Excellence after finishing ninth in the individual dressage.Eight years later he finished fifth with the Dutch team in the team dressage and placed eighth in the individual dressage.
He was executed by firing squad on May the 3rd 1942 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He had been an officer in the Dutch army but after the Germans invaded the Netherlands, he resigned his post as Lieutenant-Colonel because his wife was Jewish. He then joined the resistance.