There is a lot of rightful criticism about how the Dutch dealt with the Jews during WWII. A lot more could have been done, there is no question about that. But, it is easy to say these things in retrospect. If you are faced getting killed for a simple act of defiance , you might just think twice before you take action.
The noble thing is always to do the right thing, but the right thing can sometimes cost you your life.
However despite that there were men and women who looked past that, and even at risk of losing their own life they still did the noble thing and saved as many lives as they could.
The above picture is of Jaap (Jacobus) Musch, he and his brother set up a resistance group named NV(Nameless Partnership-It also is used in business as Company) Jaap Musch was a dedicated and religious man who came from a family of strictly Calvinist Christian in Amsterdam, When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, he worked as Lab technician. In July 1942 when he and his brother Gerardus saw what was happening to their Jewish neighbours they decided to take action and set up NV the group dedicated to helping Jewish children find hiding places. Not only nearby but all over the country, they had to journey sometimes to Friesland , at the Northwest to the Limburg in the south east of the Netherlands, it was especially in the south of Limburg where they managed to save the children, Often hiding in plain sight.
Jaap was captured in September 1944 and was executed. His brother Gerard was arrested on May 9,1944 in Amsterdam while in possession of five ration cards. He was tortured and sent to a concentration camp, but survived the war, and married Wilhelmina Vermeer another NV member who also had survived.
In total the group saved 231 children who all survived the war and the Holocaust.
Rather then write a lengthy essay on the group. I will be posting pictures of some members of the group and some children they have saved below. In this week of remembrances of Liberation and Victory, lets not forget the remember the oft forgotten heroes, the Nameless ones .
The group was awarded Righteous among the nations by Yad Vashem
Ida Groenewegen van Wijk member since 1943
Willem en Truus Vermeer members since 1943
Stella en Beccie Hamerslag, 2 sisters saved by NV
Leo Vogel, saved by the NV
Dick Groenewegen van Wijk, member of the NV since 1943
Marianne Braun, Jewish member of the NV , since 1943
Members and ‘hidden’ children saved by the NV in the garden of the Vermeer family, in Brunssum. Limburg the Netherlands.
Gerard Musch Co Founder of the NV group
Joop Woortman aka Theo de Bruin, co founder of the NV group
Semmy de Bruin, member of the NV group since 1943
Some of the saved children defiantly spelling out the letters NV in a field in 1943.
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