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January 2, 2022 3:06 pm
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Dutch Museum to Display Artifacts From Holocaust Hideout Where Jewish Life Flourished

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A monument to Dutch Jewish victims of the Holocaust at the site of the former Nazi camp Westerbork in the Netherlands. Photo: Wikimedia/public domain.

Artifacts from a hideout for Dutch Jews during the Holocaust will go on display this year at the Dutch Resistance Museum, memorializing a place where, hidden from the Nazis, a small group of Jews and their families fostered a miniature but vibrant Jewish life.

Many of the artifacts belonged to the family of Marianne “Janny” Brandes-Brilleslijper, a Dutch Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter, The Guardian reported.

Brandes-Brilleslijper refused to get a Jewish ID card when the Nazis conquered Holland, and soon began working as a courier for the resistance.

She, her husband Bob, and their children Robbie and Liselotte joined other families and refugees at a villa outside Amsterdam where they hid from the Nazis.

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Jewish culture flourished at the villa, with Yiddish songs, literature, and performances, as well as dancing and music.

The group was betrayed, however, in 1944, and the Jewish residents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp, where they met the famous diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank and her family. The Franks had also been in hiding in Holland and were betrayed to the Nazis.

Anne Frank did not survive the following death march and concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen. Brandes-Brilleslijper was one of the last people to see Anne and her sister alive.

Brandes-Brilleslijper did survive, and was later reunited with her family, who had been exempted from Nazi persecution because her husband Bob was not Jewish, leading their children to be spared as well.

However, her relatives Joseph, Fietje, and the young Jaap Brilleslijper were murdered in Auschwitz.

Filip Bloem, collection manager at the Resistance Museum, noted that three-quarters of Dutch Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, the highest percentage of any Western European nation.

“That is a factor why people thought that the Jewish resistance was next to non-existent,” he said. “But if you look more precisely, you see there were many Jews, thousands and thousands of Jews, in hiding.”

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