Dutch Politician Who Saved Hundreds Of Children During Holocaust Dies At 107 by the Forward

Dutch Politician Who Saved Hundreds Of Children During Holocaust Dies At 107

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Johan van Hulst, a Dutch politician who saved hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust, has died at the age of 107.

Van Hulst and resistance activists smuggled the children to safety over several months. He was the director of a Protestant religious seminary in Amsterdam with a yard that bordered on the nursery section of a facility in which the Nazis and collaborators imprisoned Jews before their dispatch to concentration camps.

The late director, who died Thursday, hid in his school the children from the nursery of the Hollandsche Schouwburg, whom he and his helpers would hoist over the hedge that separated the two yards. From there, resistance activists and fighters would smuggle the children to safehouses, sometimes in laundry baskets and other times on bicycles, pretending that the children were their own.

Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in 1973 recognized Van Hulst as a Righteous Among the Nations – a title for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust.

In 1943, a Dutch Education Ministry official named Fieringa discovered several Jewish children at Van Hulst’s Hervormde Kweekschool and asked for the meaning of their presence there and whether they were Jewish. In a 2012 interview, Van Hulst recalled telling him after a long silence: “You don’t really expect me to answer that, do you?”

The grounds of the Hervormde Kweekschool currently houses the National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands. The joint wall carries a permanent exhibition in his honor.


Johan Van Hulst, Saved Children During Holocaust, Dies

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Dutch Politician Who Saved Hundreds Of Children During Holocaust Dies At 107

Thank you!

This article has been sent!