Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Marion Pritchard, Dutch ‘Righteous Gentile,’ Dies at 96

— Marion Pritchard, a Dutch social work student who rescued Jews during World War II and killed a policeman who discovered a Jewish family she was sheltering, has died.

Pritchard died earlier this month from cerebral arteriosclerosis, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. She was 96.

Pritchard was said to have helped as many as 150 people, including by obtaining false identity documents, delivering food and supplies, and sheltering and finding hiding places for Jews who faced Nazi persecution.

In 1942, at 22, Pritchard felt compelled to resist the Nazis after seeing Germans rounding up Jewish children for deportation. She falsely declared herself to be the mother of Jewish babies in order to save the children — being unmarried, it was considered a “mission of disgrace” — and sheltering and taking care of  a Jewish man and his three young children for three years.

When the father and children were discovered by a Dutch policeman, she shot the officer in order to save the family.

After World War II, Pritchard worked as a United Nations social worker at displaced persons camps. She later moved to the United States with her American husband, former U.S. Army officer Anton Pritchard. In 2006, she moved to Washington, D.C, where she lived until her death.

In 1981, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem recognized her as a Righteous Among the Nations, an honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.