Righteous unto the nations

Over het leven van Erica Moen-Deen

Over het leven van Erica Moen-Deen


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<strong>Righteous</strong> <strong>unto</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Nations<br />

Yad Vashem יד ושם<br />

Erica Moen-Deen

Co-authors:<br />

The following are acknowledged as contributing towards this booklet:<br />

Anne Dunkelgrun<br />

Culture Assistant Embassy of Israel, The Hague, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Brita Falk<br />

for van Zutphen family, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Carolien van Thiel-Keers<br />

for <strong>the</strong> Keers family, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Elly Bos-Visser<br />

for Christina Sophia Visser-Keers and Petrus Visser, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Erica Moen-Deen, Australia<br />

Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld<br />

for Hendrik and Mina Grootemarsink, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Ingrid Falk-Van Schalm<br />

for van Zutphen family, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Martin Moen<br />

for Moen and Deen family, Australia<br />

Wolter Arinus Keers<br />

for Keers family, The Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Yad Vashem<br />

for <strong>the</strong> State of Israel<br />

Contact details for Martin Moen<br />

Email: martin.moen1@bigpond.com<br />

Address: 35 Collins Street, Yokine, Western Australia, 6060<br />

Mobile: +61 407 991 732<br />

Note: Re Dutch Translation. The author has attempted to translate <strong>the</strong> Dutch text in<br />

keeping with <strong>the</strong> spirit it was written.<br />

PAGE 2<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

“Whosoever saves<br />

a single life: saves an<br />

entire universe”<br />

(Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5)<br />

This booklet celebrates <strong>the</strong> ceremony<br />

recognizing those who risked <strong>the</strong>ir lives<br />

to save o<strong>the</strong>rs. In particular to honour:<br />

Cornelis and Maria Keers-Bokhorst<br />

Piet and Stien Visser-Keers<br />

Jan and Gon Keers-Jonker<br />

Hendrik and Mina Grootemarsink-Schuurman<br />

Dinnie and Jan van Zutphen-Greger<br />

who are now known as,<br />

“<strong>Righteous</strong> Unto <strong>the</strong> Nations”<br />

Ceremony at <strong>the</strong> home of<br />

Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht,<br />

Amsterdam, <strong>the</strong> Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands, on behalf of <strong>the</strong><br />

Department of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Righteous</strong> Yad Vashem, State of Israel<br />

10 December 2013, 7 Tevet 5774<br />

PAGE 3<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.



“I am very pleased that we have been able to formally recognise some special people who took<br />

care of me during those dark years. While it is a shame that I am physically incapable of<br />

attending this important ceremony, I am encouraged and thankful for <strong>the</strong> effort my family has<br />

made to represent me and <strong>the</strong> Deen family. It is also important to me that my siblings Harold<br />

and Rebecca, who died so tragically, be remembered as part of this ceremony.<br />

My family and I wish you all <strong>the</strong> best from Australia.”<br />

Erica Moen-Deen<br />

PAGE 4<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Message from<br />

Martin Moen<br />

In 1940 <strong>the</strong> German army invaded Holland. As restrictions against <strong>the</strong> Jewish people<br />

increased, those sympa<strong>the</strong>tic to <strong>the</strong>ir plight put toge<strong>the</strong>r elaborate plans to resist <strong>the</strong><br />

intent of <strong>the</strong> Nazi regime. Research shows that some Dutch citizens were caught between<br />

supporting <strong>the</strong> Germans and <strong>the</strong> extreme right Dutch party, <strong>the</strong> Nationaal-Socialistische<br />

Beweging (NSB), or joining <strong>the</strong> Dutch underground resistance. Wolter Keers (son of<br />

Cornelis and Maria Keers) believes that “on <strong>the</strong> one hand, <strong>the</strong> collaborators were encouraged,<br />

through reasons of personal safety, position and money, to betray Jews and on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand<br />

<strong>the</strong> Dutch Resistance helped, through food, drink, esteem and money, <strong>the</strong> rescuers to hide Jewish<br />

people. However this appears to be true for a minority of <strong>the</strong> Dutch people. An estimated 2% choose<br />

to join <strong>the</strong> underground resistance and unofficial figures suggest that 10%, at <strong>the</strong> most, joining <strong>the</strong><br />

NSB. By and large most of <strong>the</strong> Dutch people did not choose to join ei<strong>the</strong>r group.”<br />

My mo<strong>the</strong>r was a 16 year old girl when <strong>the</strong> war broke out in Holland. She was <strong>the</strong> child of<br />

Mr and Mrs Levie and Marianna Deen, who lived at Nieuwe Brug Restaurant and Hotel,<br />

Oud Loosdrecht, <strong>the</strong> Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands. Her parents and siblings Sonja, Rebecca, Lou, Ellen<br />

and Harold were taken by <strong>the</strong> Dutch Underground and hidden in various locations around<br />

Holland. Unfortunately Harold and Rebecca were betrayed by <strong>the</strong> NSB and perished on <strong>the</strong><br />

same day at Sobibor Concentration Camp in 1944.<br />

In 1949 my mo<strong>the</strong>r and I travelled by boat from Holland to Fremantle, Western Australia to<br />

join my fa<strong>the</strong>r, Klaas Moen. He had recently acquired a farm in Bedfordale, an outer settlement<br />

of Perth, Western Australia. The farm life that followed was tough, yet rewarding and had a<br />

profound influence on my life. My siblings, Louise and Peter, followed shortly <strong>the</strong>reafter.<br />

Finding out what happened to my mo<strong>the</strong>r and her family was a journey of discovery that<br />

started 40 years later in 1990 when I visited my birthplace, Loosdrecht. My fa<strong>the</strong>r’s sisterin-law<br />

showed me a limestone war memorial, which exists to this day, with <strong>the</strong> names of a<br />

number of war victims including that of Rebecca and Harold Deen. Until that time I was<br />

unaware of what had happened to Dutch Jewry in Holland.<br />

PAGE 5<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

The commonly held belief was “that <strong>the</strong> Dutch were good to <strong>the</strong> Jews”. But I found, contrary<br />

to that view. For it was <strong>the</strong> local government authorities, collaborators and <strong>the</strong> forced<br />

actions of <strong>the</strong> Joodsche Raad (Jewish Council) in Amsterdam who had directly or indirectly<br />

facilitated <strong>the</strong> destruction of 8 out of 10 of Holland’s Jewish citizens. While this represented<br />

<strong>the</strong> worst case of genocide in all of Western Europe, <strong>the</strong> Dutch people far exceeded <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

European neighbour’s efforts when it came to protecting its Jewish citizens.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> case of my mo<strong>the</strong>r’s family, it was <strong>the</strong> Protestant Christians who followed <strong>the</strong> teachings of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir bible that (Jews were <strong>the</strong> chosen people and must be protected) and took a lead. At <strong>the</strong> risk<br />

of certain death, <strong>the</strong>y facilitated arrangements to locate, transport, hide, comfort and feed many<br />

Jewish people.<br />

I have been fortunate enough to meet <strong>the</strong> relatives of those that saved my mo<strong>the</strong>r’s life. I<br />

make special mention of Wolter Keers who on <strong>the</strong> 17 May 2012 facilitated an opportunity for<br />

Ruth (my wife) and I to visit <strong>the</strong> places in Holland where my mo<strong>the</strong>r was hidden and to speak<br />

with representatives of those being recognised by Yad Vashem at this ceremony.<br />

At Lemeleveld farm I saw <strong>the</strong> location where my mo<strong>the</strong>r had hidden, to escape capture<br />

under a small straw bale “cubby”. After our walk around <strong>the</strong> farm we were very fortunate to<br />

enjoy a lunch hosted by Geerhard and Hanneke Kleinlugtebeld. That experience, 70 years<br />

after my mo<strong>the</strong>r’s escape from certain death, allowed me to join toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> pieces of<br />

information ga<strong>the</strong>red over <strong>the</strong> past 20 years, formalise nomi<strong>nations</strong> and ultimately attend<br />

today’s ceremony with my family.<br />

I acknowledge <strong>the</strong> work of Steven Spielberg who founded <strong>the</strong> “Survivors of <strong>the</strong> Shoah Visual<br />

History Foundation”. In 1996 that organisation visited Perth, Western Australia and recorded<br />

my mo<strong>the</strong>r’s story.<br />

Recognising Cornelis and Maria Keers, Piet and Stien Visser, Jan and Gon Keers, Hendrik<br />

and Mina Grootemarsink, Dinnie and Jan van Zutphen as “<strong>Righteous</strong> Unto <strong>the</strong> Nations”<br />

brings some closure to my family. It provides me with significant comfort that <strong>the</strong> deaths of<br />

my Aunty Rebecca and Uncle Harold will never go unnoticed.<br />

Erica and Klaas Moen prospered in Australia and <strong>the</strong> family has grown from 3 children to<br />

4 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren and with ano<strong>the</strong>r 2 on <strong>the</strong> way. This new life<br />

is testament to those who saved Erica and confirms <strong>the</strong> statement echoed in <strong>the</strong> opening<br />

words of this booklet “whosoever saves a single life: saves an entire universe”.<br />

Martin Moen<br />

PAGE 6<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Yad Vashem and “<strong>Righteous</strong><br />

Among <strong>the</strong> Nations”<br />

“And so we must know <strong>the</strong>se good people who<br />

helped Jews during <strong>the</strong> Holocaust. We must<br />

learn from <strong>the</strong>m, and in gratitude and hope, we<br />

must remember <strong>the</strong>m.” (Elie Wiesel)<br />

“Yad Vashem” (meaning <strong>the</strong> hand of g-d)<br />

is an institute in Jerusalem, Israel, devoted<br />

to honouring <strong>the</strong> memory of <strong>the</strong> European<br />

Jews who were murdered during <strong>the</strong> Second<br />

World War. It is also a research center<br />

where <strong>the</strong> focus is on studying, documenting<br />

and archiving this human catastrophe<br />

known as <strong>the</strong> Shoah or <strong>the</strong> Holocaust.<br />

A very important task and a mitzvah (a<br />

Jewish religious duty or obligation) is to<br />

honour those who, out of humanitarian<br />

motives, put <strong>the</strong>ir wellbeing and those of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir families at risk to protect and save<br />

<strong>the</strong> lives of <strong>the</strong>ir Jewish fellow citizens.<br />

The Jewish people confer upon <strong>the</strong>se true<br />

heroes <strong>the</strong> highest honour to be bestowed<br />

in <strong>the</strong> State of Israel.<br />

During this solemn ceremony, <strong>the</strong>y will<br />

be given <strong>the</strong> title of “<strong>Righteous</strong> Among <strong>the</strong><br />

Nations” and <strong>the</strong>ir representatives will be<br />

presented with a certificate of honour and<br />

a medal. Their names are now inscribed on<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Wall of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Righteous</strong>” in <strong>the</strong> gardens<br />

at Yad Vashem, Israel. So far 24,500 people,<br />

including 5,250 Dutch citizens, have<br />

received this award<br />

The medal of honour presented to <strong>the</strong><br />

“<strong>Righteous</strong>” was designed specifically for<br />

Yad Vashem by <strong>the</strong> Jerusalem artist, Nathan<br />

Karp. He has symbolically expressed on <strong>the</strong><br />

medal <strong>the</strong> words from <strong>the</strong> Talmud (a central<br />

text of Rabbinic Judaism), “He who saves a<br />

single life has saved all of humanity.”<br />

The medal, below, shows two hands<br />

holding a lifeline of barbed wire giving <strong>the</strong><br />

impression of appearing from nowhere.<br />

The globe of <strong>the</strong> Earth gives strength and<br />

symbolizes <strong>the</strong> concept that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Righteous</strong><br />

have safeguarded not only <strong>the</strong> world’s<br />

existence but also our belief in humanity.<br />

PAGE 7<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

this ceremony<br />

and <strong>the</strong> families<br />

who protected Erica<br />

The chain of events appears to be <strong>the</strong> following:<br />

a. Jan van Zutphen used his resources to link in with <strong>the</strong> activities of <strong>the</strong> Dutch resistance.<br />

Prior to <strong>the</strong> war he had an association with Minister Keers. Minister Keers established a rescue<br />

network of people, including his siblings, to facilitate <strong>the</strong> escape of Jews and Allied airman;<br />

b. Hans Sittig was a close friend of <strong>the</strong> Deen family, especially Erica, and also associated with<br />

Minister Keers and his underground activities. He transported Erica to Minister Cornelis<br />

Keers house in Lemelerveld and spent up to 12 months <strong>the</strong>re assisting with resistance<br />

activities;<br />

c. Minister Cornelis Keers arranged and transported Erica to Hendrik and Mina<br />

Grootemarsink’s farm in Lemelerveld; and<br />

d. It is assumed that, toge<strong>the</strong>r with <strong>the</strong> help of this network, Minister Cornelis Keers<br />

arranged <strong>the</strong> remaining transport and hiding places until liberation, including that<br />

provided by Piet and Stien Visser- Keers and Jan and Gon Keers-Jonker.<br />

The Dates and Places of Erica’s Rescue (Prepared by Wolter Keers)<br />

Period Stayed or Hidden by, Address Town in Holland Comment and remarks<br />

Until end of 1942 Family Deen Home Hotel De Nieuwe Brug Oude Loosdrecht<br />

End of 1942 David de Leeuw Unknown Hilversum Stayed one night<br />

End of 1942 Friends of parents Unknown Hilversum<br />

End of 1942<br />

1943<br />

End of 1943<br />

1944<br />

Immediately after<br />

Liberation<br />

Minister Cornelis<br />

and Maria Keers-<br />

Bokhorst<br />

Hendrik and Mina<br />

Grootemarsink<br />

Minister Piet and<br />

Stien Visser-Keers<br />

Jan and Gon Keers-<br />

Jonker<br />

Pastone Lemelerveld<br />

Vicarage Lemelerveld<br />

Blikman-Kikkertweg<br />

2, 8185<br />

Zonnebloemweg 8<br />

Lemelerveld 8151 PJ<br />

Vicarage Apeldoorn<br />

Loolaan 18, Apeldoorn<br />

7135 & Koning<br />

Lodewijklaan 13,<br />

Apeldoorn 7314 AR<br />

Kloosterdijk 42 (now<br />

renumbered to 150)<br />

Lemelerveld<br />

Lemelerveld<br />

Apeldoorn<br />

Sibculo<br />

Jan van Zutphen Loosdrechtseweg 50 Hilversum<br />

Stayed in hiding for<br />

a few weeks<br />

Stayed toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

with Hans Sittig for<br />

a few days<br />

Stayed in hiding for<br />

9 months<br />

Stayed in hiding for<br />

several months<br />

Stayed here until<br />

Liberation May 1945<br />

Erica returned to<br />

where her mo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

had been hidden<br />

during <strong>the</strong> war<br />

PAGE 8<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

OUR<br />

“<strong>Righteous</strong><br />

Among <strong>the</strong><br />


The Keers Family<br />

Members of <strong>the</strong> Keers family were brave<br />

individuals who risked <strong>the</strong>ir lives to save<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs. They were devout Protestants,<br />

many of <strong>the</strong>m Ministers, who actively<br />

participated, as a support network, in<br />

conjunction with <strong>the</strong> Dutch underground.<br />

They rescued Jews and allied airman shot<br />

down during <strong>the</strong> German invasion of<br />

Holland. These devout Protestants have<br />

not sought recognition for <strong>the</strong>ir brave<br />

deeds. They do, however give permission<br />

for o<strong>the</strong>rs to tell <strong>the</strong> incredible story of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir bravery.<br />

Minister Cornelis Keers and<br />

Marie Keers Bokhorst:<br />

During March 1944, Cornelis and Maria<br />

changed communities and moved to<br />

Assen. In August 1944, <strong>the</strong> Germans<br />

declared Cornelis as “wanted” for anti-<br />

German activities and were intent on<br />

capturing him. This forced Cornelis,<br />

Maria and <strong>the</strong>ir children (shown in this<br />

photograph) into hiding, firstly at <strong>the</strong><br />

home of Maria’s parents in Loosdrecht,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>n to a small farm in Lemelerveld.<br />

After <strong>the</strong> war, <strong>the</strong>y returned to Assen. (Wil<br />

van Rood, a Jewess, who had been staying<br />

with <strong>the</strong>m at that time found ano<strong>the</strong>r, hiding<br />

address in Lemelerveld.)<br />

The Keers had 5 children:<br />

Cornelis Keers was born November 22,<br />

1907 in Hilversum, Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands. His<br />

occupation was a Minister in <strong>the</strong> Dutch<br />

Protestant Church firstly from 1936 in<br />

Lemelerveld, <strong>the</strong>n o<strong>the</strong>r places including<br />

Assen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam until<br />

he retired to Epe in 1972. He died <strong>the</strong>re<br />

on 7 April 1990. Cornelis Keers married<br />

Maria Bokhorst in 1936. She was a<br />

teacher at primary school before <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

marriage.<br />

Minister Cornelis Keers and his wife are<br />

recognized for:<br />

• Carolien Keers born 12 January 1938 in<br />

Lemelerveld; (Middle)<br />

• Lourens Cornelis Keers born 12 June<br />

1941 in Lemelerveld (Right)<br />

• Henk Keers born 15 December 1942 in<br />

Lemelerveld; (Left)<br />

• Cornelis Keers born 30 April 1944 in<br />

Assen; and,<br />

• Wolter Arinus Keers born 19 December<br />

1946 in Assen.<br />

• The time <strong>the</strong>y sheltered Erica at <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

house,<br />

• The transport of Erica to Lemele Farm<br />

with <strong>the</strong> Grootemarsink’s, and<br />

• His intervention at <strong>the</strong> farm when<br />

Erica had to declare her presence to <strong>the</strong><br />

Germans during <strong>the</strong> brief capture of<br />

her rescuer Hendrik Grootemarsink.<br />

PAGE 10<br />

Cornelis and Maria Keers and pre-war family<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Minister Piet Visser and Stien Visser-Keers:<br />

Piet and Stien Visser hid Erica for several<br />

months in late 1943. They provided her with<br />

shelter, food and friendship.<br />

Their address at that time was Loolaan<br />

18, Apeldoorn, next to <strong>the</strong> “Grote Kerk”<br />

(Big Church). This building has since been<br />

demolished.<br />

Erica was also sheltered at Koning<br />

Lodewijklaan13, Apeldoorn. This house was<br />

demolished to make way for 2 new houses.<br />

Jan Keers and Gon Keers-Jonker:<br />

In late 1943 Erica moved to Sibculo and<br />

stayed with Jan and Gon until liberation<br />

in 1945. Jan was a teacher and lay preacher<br />

at <strong>the</strong> local School. This couple offered<br />

Erica shelter, food and warm family<br />

friendship. The photo shows <strong>the</strong> window,<br />

at roof level, that was Erica’s room during<br />

hiding. Sibculo is only 6 kilometres from<br />

<strong>the</strong> German border.<br />

Koning Lodewijklaan 13 Apeldoorn 1944<br />

Loolaan 18 Apeldoorn 1943<br />

Sibculo School 1960 at 150 Kloosterdijk. This modified building still exists.<br />

PAGE 11<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

An Unusual Relationship<br />

For <strong>the</strong> duration of <strong>the</strong> war, Cornelis and<br />

Maria Keers sheltered, a Jewess named Wil<br />

van Rood. She was a childhood friend of<br />

Maria and assisted her by looking after <strong>the</strong><br />

young family and in particular <strong>the</strong>ir 2-yearold<br />

child Lourens Cornelis Keers. Wil was<br />

affectionately referred to by <strong>the</strong> family<br />

as Tante (Aunty) Wil. Interestingly, Erica<br />

briefly met Wil while hiding <strong>the</strong>re. Wil<br />

gave her a serviette ring, which Erica kept<br />

with her during <strong>the</strong> War. She gave this ring<br />

to her son Martin in early June 2012 after<br />

his return from Holland and his visit to <strong>the</strong><br />

places where Erica was hidden.<br />

Wolter Keers Initiative 2012<br />

On 17 May 2012 Wolter Keers facilitated an opportunity for Martin and Ruth Moen to<br />

visit various places in Holland and speak to people who represent some of <strong>the</strong> Yad Vashem<br />

nominees mentioned in this booklet. Wolter Keers is <strong>the</strong> son of Minister Cornelis and<br />

Maria Keers. His initiative on <strong>the</strong> Moen’s visit to Holland in 2012 demonstrates that <strong>the</strong><br />

humanitarian principles shown by his parents continue to this day.<br />

PAGE 12<br />

Wolter Keers and Martin Moen 2012<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

How does <strong>the</strong> keers family<br />

feel about <strong>the</strong> ceremony?<br />

Wolter Arinus Keers (youngest child of<br />

Cornelis & Maria Keers)<br />

“Mijn ouders, Cor en Rie Keers-Bokhorst,<br />

hebben vanuit een christelijke overtuiging<br />

gedurende hun hele leven altijd veel aandacht<br />

gehad voor de medemens en de mensen in nood.<br />

Daar waar hun inzicht, visie, aandacht of<br />

daadwerkelijke hulp gewenst was, gevraagd<br />

werd of gewoon nodig was, stonden zij altijd<br />

klaar voor degene, die hulp nodig had.Dit<br />

vonden zij een gewone taak van ieder mens.<br />

In oorlogstijd gold dit des te harder, met<br />

name voor hen, die een veilig onderdak<br />

zochten of nodig hadden. Zij waren in die<br />

tijd aktief in het verzet en hielpen velen<br />

aan een veilige verblijfplaats. Voor deze<br />

inzet hebben beide ouders destijds het<br />

Verzetsherdenkingskruis ontvangen.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> war, <strong>the</strong>ir beliefs were<br />

far more difficult to practice,<br />

especially to protect those who<br />

were looking for a safe place to<br />

shelter from certain death. They were very<br />

active in <strong>the</strong> Dutch underground resistance<br />

movement and helped many people find<br />

a safe haven to hide. For <strong>the</strong>ir efforts<br />

<strong>the</strong>y were recognised and awarded <strong>the</strong><br />

“Resistance Memorial Cross”, shown here.<br />

So, today in awarding my parents with <strong>the</strong><br />

additional honour of “<strong>Righteous</strong> Among <strong>the</strong><br />

Nations” fur<strong>the</strong>r demonstrates recognition<br />

of <strong>the</strong>ir commitment to support and save<br />

people in need and will forever inspire<br />

people visiting Yad Vashem, Israel.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> youngest son of Cor Keers and Rie<br />

Keers-Bokhorst, I am pleased that my<br />

parents have been recognised in this way.”<br />

Nu de Eretitel Rechtvaardige onder de Volkeren<br />

aan hen wordt toegekend, wordt een voor iedereen<br />

altijd zichtbare waardering voor hun inzet<br />

aangebracht in het Yad Vashem park in Israël.<br />

Als jongste zoon van Cor Keers en Rie Keers –<br />

Bokhorst ben ik blij met deze waardering voor<br />

mijn ouders.”<br />

Translation<br />

“My parents, Cor and Rie Keers-Bokhorst,<br />

were devout and practising Christians who<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong>ir lives devoted <strong>the</strong>ir time<br />

and effort to serve <strong>the</strong> needs of o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

Regardless of whatever insight, vision,<br />

consideration or actual help was needed of<br />

requested, <strong>the</strong>y were always ready to assist<br />

those who required help. They believed this<br />

to be <strong>the</strong> fundamental responsibility of all<br />

mankind.<br />

Carolien van Thiel - Keers (eldest child of<br />

Cornelis & Marie Keers)<br />

De Yad Vashem onderscheiding voor mijn<br />

ouders, Cornelis Keers en Maria BokhorstToen<br />

ik het bericht ontving dat aan mijn ouders<br />

de Yad Vashem onderscheiding zou worden<br />

toegekend, was ik ontroerd. Omdat Erica Deen<br />

en haar familie zich hebben ingespannen voor<br />

een groepje redders van Joden. Door hun actie<br />

van nu wordt de gewetensvolle houding en<br />

de moed van Erica’s redders na 70 jaar weer<br />

actueel. Nog steeds is zo’n houding onmisbaar<br />

bij het redden en ondersteunen van vervolgden.<br />

De staat Israel onderstreept dat door deze Yad<br />

Vashem-toekenningen.<br />

Erica heb ik destijds in Lemelerveld natuurlijk<br />

niet ontmoet. Een meisje van 5 was ik toen.<br />

PAGE 13<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Ik mocht niet weten wie zij was en waar zij<br />

zich verborgen hield. Na de bevrijding heeft<br />

mijn moeder mij wel veel over haar verteld en<br />

tot in lengte van dagen heeft moeder mij op<br />

de hoogte gehouden van Erica’s wel en wee in<br />

Australië. Daarom hoort Erica ook een beetje<br />

bij onze familie.<br />

Mijn hartelijke groet aan de familie Moen-Deen<br />

Translation<br />

“I was very touched when I heard that <strong>the</strong><br />

Yad Vashem recognition would be bestowed<br />

upon my parents. Especially that Erica Deen<br />

and her family had gone to so much trouble<br />

for those who had rescued Jewish people.<br />

Through <strong>the</strong>ir actions <strong>the</strong> conscientious<br />

attitude and courage of Erica’s rescuers<br />

becomes relevant again after seventy years.<br />

Such an attitude is essential today to rescue<br />

and support those suffering from persecution.<br />

The State of Israel reinforces that message<br />

through <strong>the</strong> Yad Vashem Awards.<br />

Of course, I never met Erica during that<br />

time in Lemelerveld. I was just five years<br />

old <strong>the</strong>n. I wasn’t allowed to know who<br />

she was or where she was hidden. After<br />

<strong>the</strong> Liberation my mo<strong>the</strong>r told me a great<br />

deal about her and for many years kept<br />

me informed of how Erica was doing in<br />

Australia. In that sense, Erica has always<br />

been part of our family.<br />

My kindest regards to <strong>the</strong> Moen-Deen Family.”<br />

Elly Bos Visser (daughter of and Minister<br />

Piet and Stien Visser-Keers)<br />

I was very surprised when I read that Erica<br />

Moen-Deen had nominated my parents<br />

Christina Sophia (Stein) Visser Keers and<br />

Petrus (Piet) Visser, vicar af <strong>the</strong> Reformed<br />

Church, from Apeldoorn. It is fantastic and<br />

touching that this will be recognised now.<br />

After World War II it was almost not done to<br />

talk about persons in hiding . It was not an<br />

issue. The general feeling that hiding people<br />

was what you do when you are asked to do<br />

so. Looking back, at this time, I realise how<br />

much courage one must have to do so.<br />

When <strong>the</strong> war began <strong>the</strong>re were already two<br />

children in our family. Jan was 8 and Laura<br />

was 6 years old. They were told, and think<br />

about this, “don’t ever tell any one” ”, and<br />

my family kept <strong>the</strong>ir word!<br />

I was <strong>the</strong> 3rd child born in 1942 and we were<br />

hiding people with <strong>the</strong> family. Hetty Schaap<br />

was 14 years old and one of <strong>the</strong>m. She stayed<br />

during <strong>the</strong> war and after that time because<br />

her parents did not come back from <strong>the</strong><br />

extermination camp.<br />

I was born in Apeldoorn, at Loolaan 18, just<br />

next to <strong>the</strong> Grote Kerk (<strong>the</strong> Great Church).<br />

Under <strong>the</strong> church was a big cellar and a lot<br />

of people safely hidden <strong>the</strong>re. Our house<br />

had 18 rooms and was claimed by <strong>the</strong><br />

Germans for <strong>the</strong>re operations. We moved to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Koning Lodewijklaan. The old lady who<br />

lived <strong>the</strong>re was forced to leave <strong>the</strong> house.<br />

My Mo<strong>the</strong>r, Sophia (Stien), used a carrier<br />

cycle to try to get some food and milk from<br />

<strong>the</strong> farmers in <strong>the</strong> neighbourhood.<br />

My bro<strong>the</strong>r Jan died three years ago. Till <strong>the</strong><br />

very end he still had nightmares about <strong>the</strong> war<br />

especially about <strong>the</strong> great secret of <strong>the</strong> people<br />

in hiding. He dreamt everytime that my<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r, Piet, would be shot , just like Reverend<br />

Borgers <strong>the</strong> fa<strong>the</strong>r of one of his friends.<br />

I am proud of my parents who were so brave<br />

in World War II. I am grateful that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

survivied <strong>the</strong> War. It is a very special event<br />

that our parents, so many years later, are<br />

honoured. It is a pity, that <strong>the</strong>y are not here<br />

anymore, but I believe and I am sure that<br />

somehow <strong>the</strong>y will see us all here toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

and see what is happening here!”<br />

PAGE 14<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

The Grootemarsink Family<br />

Hendrik and Willemina (Mina)<br />

Grootemarsink were devout Protestants<br />

whose farm “Genista” at Lemelveld,<br />

country Holland served as a hiding place<br />

for a number of Jews. The flatness and<br />

sparse tree cover of <strong>the</strong> land meant that<br />

<strong>the</strong> Germans and <strong>the</strong> NSB frequently<br />

discovered Jews hidden in <strong>the</strong> country side.<br />

Lemele and Lemelerveld were no exception<br />

and several hidden Jews were discovered<br />

<strong>the</strong>re. Fortunately, Erica was not discovered<br />

and is able to recall her story.<br />

The Grootemarsink family has not sought<br />

recognition for <strong>the</strong>ir brave deeds. They<br />

do however give permission for o<strong>the</strong>rs to<br />

tell <strong>the</strong>ir unforgettable story of how <strong>the</strong>y<br />

risked <strong>the</strong>ir lives and certain death at <strong>the</strong><br />

hands of <strong>the</strong> Nazi invaders.<br />

Hendrik was born 31 January 1906 in Lemele<br />

and died 30 January 1987. Mina was born<br />

16 January 1911 in Lemele and died 1 June<br />

1992 in Lemelerveld. They married on <strong>the</strong><br />

24 May 1933. In 1940 <strong>the</strong>y worked toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

to establish a farm at Lemelerveld, Holland.<br />

Hendrik and Mina were childless and<br />

adopted Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld who still<br />

lives on <strong>the</strong> farm.<br />

Hendrik and Mina provided shelter and<br />

food to Erica for between 9 to 12 months.<br />

She hid in <strong>the</strong> attic of <strong>the</strong> farmhouse. Her<br />

time <strong>the</strong>re ended abruptly during a raid<br />

staged on <strong>the</strong> afternoon of Sunday 27<br />

June 1943. A few days later, after hiding<br />

in <strong>the</strong> fields opposite <strong>the</strong> farm, she left for<br />

Apeldoorn.<br />

Hendrik and Mina Grootemarsink circa 1970 Hendrik and Mina Grootemarsink at <strong>the</strong>ir wedding 1933<br />

PAGE 15<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld reports “There were<br />

significant risks for people who hid Jews and<br />

Allied Airman. When discovered, <strong>the</strong>y were sent<br />

to hard labour camps and subject to difficult<br />

and hard circumstances that could result in<br />

death. Moreover, <strong>the</strong>y risked execution and<br />

more, as many of <strong>the</strong>se people were involved in<br />

<strong>the</strong> resistance. Hendrik was also caught on his<br />

farm during a razzia (raid) when <strong>the</strong> Germans<br />

discovered clo<strong>the</strong>s with <strong>the</strong> Jewish Star (Star<br />

of David) at his farm. He was, as luck would<br />

have it, released shortly after. The Germans<br />

had found a fur<strong>the</strong>r 15 Jews that were hidden<br />

nearby. As <strong>the</strong>y could not fit all <strong>the</strong> Jewish<br />

prisoners into <strong>the</strong> truck, <strong>the</strong>y released Hendrik.”<br />

Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld reports that after<br />

<strong>the</strong> war “The relations between Erica and <strong>the</strong><br />

family Grootemarsink was very good, which<br />

can be concluded from all <strong>the</strong> letters from<br />

Australia. In e-mails too, which I still get from<br />

Erica, she indicates a very good contact with <strong>the</strong><br />

family Grootemarsink. After <strong>the</strong> war, <strong>the</strong> family<br />

Grootemarsink also had good contacts with all<br />

<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hidden persons”<br />

Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld was told, “That only<br />

a few people were aware of Erica’s stay at <strong>the</strong><br />

farm and <strong>the</strong>y knew very well what risks were<br />

involved for hiding persons, when caught. The<br />

fewer people who knew about <strong>the</strong> hiding, <strong>the</strong><br />

smaller <strong>the</strong> chance of betrayal. Neighbours 100<br />

meters behind <strong>the</strong> farm hid people as well and<br />

no one mentioned it to o<strong>the</strong>rs.”<br />

Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld<br />

PAGE 16<br />

Photo taken 1985 with Erica and <strong>the</strong> Grootemarsink’s at <strong>the</strong>ir farm in Lemele.<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

The following was provided as fur<strong>the</strong>r<br />

evidence to Yad Vashem in connection to<br />

<strong>the</strong> nominee.<br />

The translation of this article, by Martin<br />

Moen, is based on writings contained in<br />

Stichting ‘t Lemels Arfgoed (Historical<br />

Society Lemele) dated December 2008.<br />

“Hendrik Grootemarsink was an elder of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Protestant Church in Lemele who’s<br />

Minister was Dominee Hendrikus Berkhof.<br />

Berkhof sought addresses for placing Jews<br />

in hiding and came by Hendrik and Mina<br />

Grootermarsink who were willing to use<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir house to hide people on <strong>the</strong> run.<br />

Dominee Cornelis Keers arranged for Erica<br />

to be hidden here. It was considered a safe<br />

place behind <strong>the</strong> hill. The contrary appears<br />

to have been <strong>the</strong> case as around Sunday<br />

midday late June 1943 a white covered<br />

truck was dispatched complete with Guards<br />

called Kontroll Kommando, or KK - Control<br />

Commando, from Work Procurement Camp<br />

Erika in <strong>the</strong> town of Ommen. (This camp was<br />

designated mostly for Dutchmen convicted<br />

of black market trade or resistance to <strong>the</strong><br />

occupational authorities). The entire house<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Grootermarsink’s was searched trying<br />

to find Jews. Hendrik and Mina were forced<br />

at gunpoint to have <strong>the</strong>ir backs against <strong>the</strong><br />

wall as <strong>the</strong> search progressed. Erica had<br />

hidden herself in a small straw shelter and<br />

was not discovered. Ano<strong>the</strong>r Jewish girl who<br />

was <strong>the</strong>re fled and was never seen again<br />

and presumed captured. Hendrik and Mina<br />

had an anxious time that Sunday midday.<br />

Hendrik was taken in <strong>the</strong> vehicle but was<br />

later set free. At a local house in <strong>the</strong> area<br />

some 15-20 Jews had been hiding <strong>the</strong>re for<br />

some time and were found and transported<br />

away. The same day a raid was made on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Geezenhuisje to <strong>the</strong> Grefeldijk where <strong>the</strong><br />

family Bergman lived. The Jews hiding <strong>the</strong>re<br />

were forewarned and escaped.”<br />

“Hendrik and Mina also assisted children<br />

suffering from a shortage of food from an<br />

Amsterdam foundation. In 1941 came Guurt<br />

Schouten and later in 1943 Piet Schouten.<br />

Nellie Boven and Annie also stayed <strong>the</strong>re.”<br />

How does <strong>the</strong> family feel<br />

about <strong>the</strong> ceremony?<br />

Geerhard Kleinlugtebeld<br />

“Wij vinden dit een hele fijne herkenning voor<br />

Hendrik en Mina Grootemarsink voor hun<br />

inzet met gevaar voor hun eigen leven mensen<br />

te helpen die in levensgevaar zijn. Wel vinden<br />

wij het jammer dat het postuum is, en dat het<br />

zelf niet meemaken de herkenning voor hun<br />

aandeel hier in. Ik weet zeker dat hun dit<br />

geweldig mooi gevonden hadden.”<br />

“We feel this is great recognition of Henry<br />

and Mina Grootemarsink and for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

commitment, risking <strong>the</strong>ir own lives, to help<br />

people who were in mortal danger. It is<br />

unfortunate that <strong>the</strong>y are not alive to witness<br />

for <strong>the</strong>mselves this special event as we are<br />

sure <strong>the</strong>y would have found it a significant<br />

occasion.”<br />

PAGE 17<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

The Van Zutphen Family<br />

Jan and his wife Dinnie had a personal<br />

association with <strong>the</strong> Deen family especially<br />

Marianna and Levie (Lou) Deen. They<br />

were good friends before and after <strong>the</strong> War.<br />

It was <strong>the</strong> strength of this friendship that<br />

undoubtedly facilitated <strong>the</strong> hiding and<br />

eventual return of many of <strong>the</strong> Deen family.<br />

From anecdotal information, and confirmed<br />

by Erica, Jan van Zutphen facilitated <strong>the</strong> link<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Dutch underground by association<br />

with <strong>the</strong> Keers Family and subsequent rescue<br />

arrangements.<br />

Bernardina (Dinnie) van Zutphen<br />

Oom Jan van Zutphen<br />

Johannes Andries van Zutphen was<br />

born in Utrecht on 7 October 1863 and<br />

died in Hilversum on 7 June 1958. On<br />

10 February 1887, he married Emmetje<br />

Lamme with whom he had two daughters<br />

and two sons.<br />

Emmetje passed away from Tuberculosis<br />

(TB) on <strong>the</strong> 1st May 1911, and he remarried<br />

on 17 December 1919 to Bernardina<br />

(Dinnie) Johanna Greger and <strong>the</strong>y had a<br />

daughter and a son.<br />

Dinnie and Jan van Zutphen on <strong>the</strong> occasion of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir 60th wedding anniversary that was attended<br />

by Queen of <strong>the</strong> Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

Before, during and after <strong>the</strong> War<br />

Jan van Zutphen’s family lived at 50<br />

Loosdrechtseweg, Hilversum.<br />

Early in July 1942 papers to report to German<br />

Work camps (extermination camps) were<br />

issued to <strong>the</strong> Deen family. Four out of six of<br />

Levie and Marianna Deen’s children were<br />

issued papers to report to Amsterdam and<br />

<strong>the</strong>n transport to Germany via Westerbork.<br />

PAGE 18<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Jan Van Zutphen’s family and friends<br />

realised a terrible fate awaited <strong>the</strong>ir Jewish<br />

friends and were instrumental in finding<br />

a way to hide <strong>the</strong> various members of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Deen family. Jan, who was especially<br />

fond of Marianna, took a significant risk<br />

by hiding her in his house in Hilversum<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> War.<br />

After <strong>the</strong> Nazi defeat and at <strong>the</strong> time<br />

of <strong>the</strong> liberation, Erica remembers an<br />

incident when she discovered her mo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

in <strong>the</strong> protection of Jan van Zutphen<br />

and his family at <strong>the</strong>ir house in 50<br />

Loosdrechtseweg, Hilversum.<br />

Erica recalls “The following happened when<br />

I was reunited with my mo<strong>the</strong>r. I had just<br />

returned from hiding at Sibculo and wanted<br />

to find out what had happened to everyone. I<br />

went immediately to our friends house, that<br />

of Oom Jan in Hilversum and discovered my<br />

mo<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>re in a very anxious state.<br />

She had not realized that this family had<br />

saved her from certain death at <strong>the</strong> risk of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own personal safety”.<br />

In writing to Erica, on <strong>the</strong> 8 February 1996,<br />

Dinnie van de Gouwe-van Zutphen, daughter<br />

of Jan van Zutphen, wrote from Haren with<br />

<strong>the</strong> following. “Marianna was not wearing a<br />

“Star of David” as o<strong>the</strong>rwise a random visit by<br />

<strong>the</strong> Nazi’s would have spotted her. I know that<br />

we got real scared once when a few Germans<br />

stopped at <strong>the</strong> house in Hilversum. Our family<br />

thought that we had been betrayed. Marianna<br />

fled into <strong>the</strong> kitchen and <strong>the</strong>n to <strong>the</strong> basement,<br />

which is exactly where <strong>the</strong> soldiers had to go.<br />

My parents had <strong>the</strong>ir own water pump in<br />

<strong>the</strong> basement, and it is that what <strong>the</strong>y came<br />

to control. They were not looking for Jews in<br />

hiding and <strong>the</strong>y just ignored Marianna. They<br />

may have realised that she was Jewish, but<br />

nothing fur<strong>the</strong>r happened. They ei<strong>the</strong>r had no<br />

idea or were good Germans.”<br />

Bernardina (Dinnie) van der Gouwe-van Zutphen daughter of Jan<br />

and Dinnie van Zutphen (1920–2013).<br />

PAGE 19<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

How does <strong>the</strong> family feel<br />

about <strong>the</strong> ceremony?<br />

Ingrid Falk-Van Schalm (granddaughter<br />

of Jan and Dinnie van Zutphen)<br />

“Soms in de geschiedenis leeft er op aarde een<br />

geweldig mens, een held. Mijn grootvader,<br />

Jan A. van Zutphen was zo’n uniek persoon<br />

gedurende zijn hele leven. Zijn motto was “de<br />

sterken voor de zwakken”.<br />

Hij streed voor de noodlijdende mens; niet alleen<br />

als oprichter van Zonnestraal, een sanatorium<br />

gespecialiseerd in tuberculose-bestrijding, maar<br />

ook in de oorlog toen hij zijn Joodse vrienden liet<br />

onderduiken in zijn eigen huis, met de hulp van<br />

zijn moedige vrouw, Bernardina-Johanna Van<br />

Zutphen-Greger.<br />

Mede door hun heldenmoed konden zes mensen<br />

van de Familie Deen gered worden en de oorlog<br />

overleven.<br />

Mijn familie is trots op mijn grootvader en<br />

grootmoeder en we zijn dankbaar dat ze op 10<br />

december 2013 geëerd zullen worden.”<br />

“Sometimes in <strong>the</strong> history of mankind lives a<br />

great man, a hero. My grandfa<strong>the</strong>r, Jan A. van<br />

Zutphen was such a unique person throughout<br />

his life. His motto was “<strong>the</strong> strong for <strong>the</strong> weak.”<br />

He fought for <strong>the</strong> needy, not only as <strong>the</strong> founder<br />

of Zonnestraal, a sanatorium specializing in<br />

tuberculosis control, but also in <strong>the</strong> war when he<br />

hid his Jewish friend in his own home with <strong>the</strong><br />

help of his brave wife, Bernardina-Johanna Van<br />

Zutphen-Greger.<br />

Through his heroism six members of <strong>the</strong> Family<br />

Deen were saved and lived to survive <strong>the</strong> war.<br />

My family is very proud of my grandfa<strong>the</strong>r and<br />

grandmo<strong>the</strong>r and are grateful that <strong>the</strong>y will be<br />

“Honoured” on December 10, 2013.”<br />

PAGE 20<br />

Jan van Zutphen’s motto at <strong>the</strong> entrance to Zonnestraal, Loosdrecht<br />

“ De Sterken voor de Zwakken” which is interpreted to mean “<strong>the</strong><br />

strong (humanitarian, materially, or spiritually) in society caring and<br />

protecting those who are weak, vulnerable or less fortunate”.<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Erica Moen-Deen’s Story<br />

Extract of Oral History by Erica Moen-Deen recorded in 1996 by Louise Hoffman et al.<br />

“In May 1940 <strong>the</strong> Germans invaded Holland<br />

and I was <strong>the</strong>n fifteen and a half years<br />

old. For about a year <strong>the</strong>re were no radical<br />

changes in our lives.<br />

Gradually and slowly <strong>the</strong> pressure began to<br />

come. We had to register and to have a “J” on<br />

our identity cards. A little later we all had to<br />

wear <strong>the</strong> yellow star on our outer clothing to<br />

separate and distinguish us from o<strong>the</strong>r people.<br />

When I was seventeen, <strong>the</strong> Germans came<br />

to <strong>the</strong> high school and <strong>the</strong> officer in charge<br />

said “All Jews out”. I was <strong>the</strong> only member<br />

of my family in high school at <strong>the</strong> time and I<br />

can still remember <strong>the</strong> fear I felt on that day.<br />

(One sister had left school, my older bro<strong>the</strong>r<br />

was studying engineering at university and<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r sister had left school and was doing<br />

a mo<strong>the</strong>r craft course. My younger bro<strong>the</strong>r<br />

and sister were still at primary school in <strong>the</strong><br />

village.)<br />

During 1942 <strong>the</strong> restrictions began in earnest.<br />

Our bicycles and radios were confiscated, we<br />

were forbidden to talk with neighbours and<br />

we could not mix with o<strong>the</strong>r people. I could<br />

not go anywhere so I stayed at home and<br />

taught my younger bro<strong>the</strong>r and sister, for now<br />

no Jews were allowed in school. I became<br />

increasingly afraid.<br />

known him since <strong>the</strong> age of 15. He was one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> first to be captured and wrote to me<br />

from Camp Westerbork. (Records shows he<br />

was born Amsterdam on 19 November 1923<br />

and died somewhere in Middle-Europe on 31<br />

March 1944). His occupation was an Office<br />

clerk. He reached <strong>the</strong> age of 20. His fa<strong>the</strong>r<br />

was Jacobus de Leeuw, born in Amsterdam,<br />

9 August 1897 and also died Middle-Europe<br />

on <strong>the</strong> same day <strong>the</strong> 31 March 1944. He was<br />

a meat wholesale dealer and reached <strong>the</strong> age<br />

of 46.<br />

Towards <strong>the</strong> end of 1942, <strong>the</strong> four eldest<br />

children in our family received letters from<br />

<strong>the</strong> German authorities, to say that we had to<br />

report to Westerbork. We were still unaware<br />

of what was happening to <strong>the</strong> Jews in Europe<br />

and my fa<strong>the</strong>r was a very open and trusting<br />

man, he felt that “nothing would happen to<br />

us, for we had done nothing wrong”. How<br />

wrong he was.<br />

In Loosdrecht <strong>the</strong>re was a youth hostel, which<br />

prepared Jewish youth to go to Palestine.<br />

Many of <strong>the</strong> young people <strong>the</strong>re had been<br />

sent from Germany and Austria for safety and<br />

training. When <strong>the</strong> restrictions began, <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

chances for a new life disappeared.<br />

I had a boyfriend who lived in Hilversum<br />

and his name was David de Leeuw. I had<br />

Erica Moen-Deen taken 12 June 1942<br />

PAGE 21<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

At <strong>the</strong> same time <strong>the</strong> Jews were already being<br />

herded toge<strong>the</strong>r in Hilversum and sent to<br />

Amsterdam. David arrived on our doorstep,<br />

very afraid and upset. The Germans had<br />

taken his parents and his bro<strong>the</strong>r and he had<br />

escaped by hiding under a bed. He asked me<br />

to go with him to Hilversum, where he had<br />

non-Jewish friends who would hide us for<br />

<strong>the</strong> time being. I thought that we would be<br />

in hiding for a few days, and would <strong>the</strong>n be<br />

able to return home. I just packed up a few<br />

overnight things and we left, without any real<br />

farewells. Little did I know that I would not<br />

see any of my family again until <strong>the</strong> war was<br />

over. David and I removed <strong>the</strong> yellow stars<br />

from our coats, and walked from Loosdrecht<br />

to Hilversum. We stayed <strong>the</strong> night with two<br />

ladies, but in <strong>the</strong> morning <strong>the</strong>y became afraid<br />

of <strong>the</strong> danger <strong>the</strong>y would face if <strong>the</strong>y were<br />

found to be hiding Jews and <strong>the</strong>y became<br />

hysterical and said - “You must leave - it is<br />

not safe for us or for you”. David and I were<br />

<strong>the</strong>n separated and <strong>the</strong> Dutch underground<br />

took me to friends of my parents in Hilversum<br />

and I was hidden <strong>the</strong>re for a few weeks.<br />

Unfortunately, <strong>the</strong> baker from Loosdrecht was<br />

delivering bread to <strong>the</strong> house one day and he<br />

caught sight of me. Our friends <strong>the</strong>n decided<br />

that it was unsafe for me to remain <strong>the</strong>re and<br />

I had to move on. It was all very confusing<br />

and frightening for me. I had lived at home<br />

all my life and was now alone and literally ‘on<br />

<strong>the</strong> run’.<br />

From <strong>the</strong> time I first went into hiding, I was<br />

given a new name and false papers. I was<br />

now known as Henny van der Linden. Henny<br />

was a real person who lived on <strong>the</strong> west coast<br />

of Holland and was required to move inland<br />

as part of <strong>the</strong> invasion strategy. This was<br />

<strong>the</strong> pretence for why Henny was in <strong>the</strong> part<br />

of Holland that I was hiding in. I never had<br />

reason to use <strong>the</strong> papers as I was in hiding<br />

most of <strong>the</strong> time. I understand that <strong>the</strong> Dutch<br />

Underground obtained <strong>the</strong> papers for me.<br />

The town of Hilversum is almost in <strong>the</strong> middle<br />

of Holland. From <strong>the</strong>re <strong>the</strong> underground<br />

forces took me to a town called Lemele, which<br />

was to <strong>the</strong> east, and close to <strong>the</strong> German<br />

border. My escort was a blonde and fair in<br />

appearance and <strong>the</strong>refore much safer to get<br />

around by car. In those days a blond person<br />

equated to being an Arian and <strong>the</strong>refore not<br />

Jewish. Jewish people were easily recognised<br />

and identified by <strong>the</strong>ir dark features. My<br />

escort was a Jewish man, Hans Sittig, and<br />

he took me by car to <strong>the</strong> house of a Minister<br />

of Religion, Cornelis Keers. Here I remained<br />

for a few days until a place was found for me<br />

on a farm. The minister and his wife were<br />

wonderful loving people. Before Maria Keers-<br />

Bokhorst death on 1 January 2009, I wrote to<br />

her many times.<br />

Hans Sittig 1912-2008<br />

After a short stay in Lemele, <strong>the</strong> Minister<br />

Cornelis Keers, took me to a farm in <strong>the</strong><br />

district of Overijssel and I remained <strong>the</strong>re for<br />

almost a year. (Overijssel is a province of <strong>the</strong><br />

Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands; Lemele, Lemelerveld, Ommen<br />

PAGE 22<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

are places in this province. The home of<br />

Minister Cornelis Keers was in Lemelerveld,<br />

that of Hendrik and Mina Grootemarsink in<br />

Lemelerveld.) My hiding place was in a little<br />

attic in <strong>the</strong> ceiling. The farm was very isolated,<br />

and some of <strong>the</strong> time I was free in <strong>the</strong> house,<br />

for we could see people approaching from quite<br />

a long way away. The farmer and his wife<br />

were a lovely childless couple and we became<br />

very fond of each o<strong>the</strong>r. When I visited <strong>the</strong>m<br />

after <strong>the</strong> war, in 1985, <strong>the</strong> farmer said to me “I<br />

would have liked to adopt you”. I was given my<br />

food in <strong>the</strong> attic and when anyone came to <strong>the</strong><br />

house I had to go upstairs and hide. Towards<br />

<strong>the</strong> end of my stay on <strong>the</strong> farm, ano<strong>the</strong>r Jewish<br />

girl came to stay with me.<br />

I had a feeling that I should have a safer place<br />

to hide, in case <strong>the</strong> Nazis came to search <strong>the</strong><br />

house. The farmer allowed me to make a little<br />

hiding place with bales of fresh hay behind<br />

a farm shed. It was really uncanny, for <strong>the</strong><br />

week I made my hiding place <strong>the</strong> Nazis came.<br />

The o<strong>the</strong>r girl escaped on a bicycle, but was<br />

caught and never seen again. I saw <strong>the</strong> big<br />

truck approaching from <strong>the</strong> distance, with its<br />

white hood, and I was terrified. I hid in my<br />

little shelter of fresh hay while <strong>the</strong>y searched<br />

everywhere. They even shot through <strong>the</strong> hay<br />

and missed me. They tried to flush me out<br />

using bayonets when <strong>the</strong>y suspected Jews<br />

hiding <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

In searching <strong>the</strong> house, <strong>the</strong>y found a coat<br />

<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r girl had left behind, with <strong>the</strong> mark<br />

where <strong>the</strong> Star of David had been sewn. So<br />

<strong>the</strong>y took <strong>the</strong> farmer away and left a message<br />

with his wife. I had to give myself up to <strong>the</strong><br />

Germans before 6pm that day in order to<br />

have <strong>the</strong> farmer released. The Minister knew<br />

that this meant certain death for me and told<br />

me to hide in <strong>the</strong> fields. Luckily, although<br />

Hendrik was captured, only a short distance<br />

down <strong>the</strong> road 15 Jews had been discovered<br />

in a farmhouse. The Germans loaded <strong>the</strong>m<br />

onto <strong>the</strong> same truck and found that <strong>the</strong>re<br />

was insufficient room and promptly released<br />

Hendrik on <strong>the</strong> condition that <strong>the</strong> owner of <strong>the</strong><br />

jacket had to present herself to Camp Erika, a<br />

local internment camp.<br />

I can remember that it was raining. I was<br />

crazed with fear and hid in <strong>the</strong> fields between<br />

<strong>the</strong> high wheat. Of course I could no longer<br />

return to <strong>the</strong> farm, for now it was under<br />

surveillance by <strong>the</strong> Dutch Nazi’s, who worked<br />

in close collaboration with <strong>the</strong> Germans. In<br />

<strong>the</strong> two days when I hid among <strong>the</strong> wheat<br />

in <strong>the</strong> rain, I was so terrified that even<br />

“<strong>the</strong> shapes of <strong>the</strong> white cows in <strong>the</strong> fields<br />

frightened me.” They were connected in my<br />

mind with <strong>the</strong> white hood of <strong>the</strong> Nazis’ truck<br />

and I was hysterical with fear.<br />

Place where Erica constructed “her “hideaway”<br />

with fresh straw. Photo Taken 2012<br />

Identical wheat field opposite Lemelerveld Field in<br />

which Erica hid for several days. Photo taken 2012.<br />

PAGE 23<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Lemelerveld Farm with Hendrik and Mina Grootemarsink in front (right) of Lemelerveld Farm circa 1940<br />

Lemelerveld Farm 2012 House named “Genista”.<br />

I stayed at <strong>the</strong> farm for a few more days under<br />

enormous pressure and anxiety and was <strong>the</strong>n<br />

moved to ano<strong>the</strong>r hiding address.<br />

The bro<strong>the</strong>r-in-law of <strong>the</strong> Minister who had<br />

placed me on <strong>the</strong> first farm was also a Minister<br />

(Piet Visser) and a member of <strong>the</strong> Resistance.<br />

Under cover of darkness, I was taken to his home<br />

in Apeldoorn and ano<strong>the</strong>r hiding place was<br />

found for me.<br />

This time I was hidden with Piet and Stien<br />

Visser- Keers at Loolaan 18, in <strong>the</strong> town of<br />

Apeldoorn - in ano<strong>the</strong>r tiny attic. The house was<br />

next door to <strong>the</strong> church and on three occasions,<br />

when house searches took place, I had to be<br />

hidden in <strong>the</strong> vaults below <strong>the</strong> church. Each<br />

time I had to remain <strong>the</strong>re for more than a day<br />

and it was a horrible experience. The vaults<br />

were only about a half-meter high and I had to<br />

crouch or lie, while <strong>the</strong> rats crawled around, and<br />

sometimes over me. The air was close and it was<br />

damp and difficult to brea<strong>the</strong>.<br />

Lemelerveld Farm after <strong>the</strong> War<br />

I remained with this family for some months,<br />

until <strong>the</strong> searches became more frequent.<br />

In fact, soon after I left, <strong>the</strong> Nazis came<br />

to search <strong>the</strong> house and <strong>the</strong>y searched <strong>the</strong><br />

vaults where I had been hidden, looking for<br />

valuables, which <strong>the</strong>y believed may have been<br />

stored <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

A bro<strong>the</strong>r of <strong>the</strong> Minister (Jan Keers) from<br />

Lemele lived in a small town nearby, called<br />

Sibculo. He was also a lay preacher and<br />

a rescuer of Jewish people. To travel from<br />

Apeldoorn to Sibculo, I was dressed as a<br />

nurse and <strong>the</strong>n hidden in <strong>the</strong> home of <strong>the</strong><br />

minister, who had four little boys. Again I<br />

was hidden in an attic and I helped to look<br />

after <strong>the</strong> children. The children did not know<br />

that I was Jewish and I remained with this<br />

family until <strong>the</strong> liberation, in May 1945.<br />

PAGE 24<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

My first thoughts <strong>the</strong>n were for my family,<br />

for I did not know what had happened to<br />

any of <strong>the</strong>m. My home in Loosdrecht was<br />

to <strong>the</strong> southwest of Sibculo and on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

side of <strong>the</strong> river Ijssel. We were not allowed<br />

to travel, for <strong>the</strong> authorities were afraid of<br />

an outbreak of disease in <strong>the</strong> country - <strong>the</strong><br />

Germans had tried to starve <strong>the</strong> Dutch people<br />

into submission and people were weak and<br />

undernourished.<br />

Although it was forbidden, I was determined<br />

to go, and I decided that if I had to swim<br />

across <strong>the</strong> river some 200 meters wide, I<br />

would do so. I was intercepted by a Canadian<br />

soldier, who tried to stop me and who also<br />

took me into <strong>the</strong> woods and wanted to harm<br />

me. I begged him to let me go and he <strong>the</strong>n<br />

took me over <strong>the</strong> river in a truck and released<br />

me unharmed to <strong>the</strong> home of Jan van Zutphen<br />

in Hilversum.<br />

When I returned from <strong>the</strong>re to Loosdrecht,<br />

I found that someone else had taken over<br />

and was living in our home De Nieuwe Brug<br />

Restaurant. As <strong>the</strong> first person in <strong>the</strong> family<br />

to return, I had to go to <strong>the</strong> Town Council and<br />

ask for somewhere to live, I was penniless. Jan<br />

van Zutphen again assisted us by arranging<br />

for <strong>the</strong> family to resettle at <strong>the</strong> De Nieuwe<br />

Brug Restaurant.<br />

Ijssel River Photo taken 2012<br />

Then I discovered what had happened to my<br />

family. My fa<strong>the</strong>r had refused to hide at<br />

first, but both he and my mo<strong>the</strong>r were hidden<br />

separately and survived <strong>the</strong> war. They were so<br />

well known, loved and respected, that people<br />

wanted to look after <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

My eldest sister, Sonja, was hidden and helped<br />

rescue American airmen. She was picked up<br />

with <strong>the</strong> Americans, who were shot in front<br />

of her by <strong>the</strong> Nazi’s. On discovering her<br />

Jewishness, she was taken to Westerbork and<br />

survived - but that is ano<strong>the</strong>r story.<br />

My older bro<strong>the</strong>r and <strong>the</strong> sister both perished<br />

at <strong>the</strong> hands of <strong>the</strong> Nazis. My younger sister<br />

was hidden between <strong>the</strong> rafters of a house<br />

with twelve o<strong>the</strong>r people.<br />

My younger bro<strong>the</strong>r was also hidden and<br />

survived, but he was deeply traumatized by his<br />

experiences. His escape is also ano<strong>the</strong>r story<br />

that he has declined to discuss.<br />

De Nieuwe Brug Restaurant where Erica and her family<br />

lived prior to <strong>the</strong> war and re-occupied after <strong>the</strong> war.<br />

Erica’s son, Martin Moen, was born here in 1949<br />

De Nieuwe Brug Restaurant renamed<br />

Bar-bistro ‘t Bruggetje Photo taken 2012<br />

<br />

PAGE 25<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

The family was gradually reunited. I went<br />

to work in <strong>the</strong> house where my mo<strong>the</strong>r had<br />

been hidden. This was in <strong>the</strong> home of a wellknown<br />

Dutchman - Jan van Zutphen.<br />

The following happened when I was reunited<br />

with my mo<strong>the</strong>r. I had just returned from<br />

hiding and wanted to find out what had<br />

happened to everyone. I went immediately<br />

to our friend’s house that of Oom Jan van<br />

Zutphen in Hilversum (see below) and<br />

discovered my mo<strong>the</strong>r in a very anxious state.<br />

I don’t believe my mo<strong>the</strong>r realised that this<br />

family had saved her from certain death at<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own personal safety. My mo<strong>the</strong>r wanted<br />

to leave immediately but <strong>the</strong>re were problems<br />

because her rescuers wanted her to stay on<br />

because “after all <strong>the</strong>y had saved her life”. I<br />

offered to do <strong>the</strong> cleaning and took my mo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

to find o<strong>the</strong>r accommodation.”<br />

Erica shortly after <strong>the</strong> War 1945<br />

50 Loosdrechtseweg, Hilversum, Photo taken from Google Maps 2012<br />

The house of Jan van Zutphen and family where Marianna Deen was hidden<br />

during <strong>the</strong> war and where <strong>the</strong> Canadian’s left Erica shortly after <strong>the</strong> war.<br />

For Erica travels and hiding places during <strong>the</strong> War (see <strong>the</strong> Map on page 30)<br />

PAGE 26<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Remembering Harold<br />

and Rebecca Deen<br />

In April 1942 Jewish citizens were ordered<br />

to wear “The Jewish Star” and in late May<br />

1942 <strong>the</strong>re was a complete ban on travelling.<br />

The laws tightened and in June Jews<br />

were required to surrender <strong>the</strong>ir bicycles.<br />

The Nazi’s were increasingly active and<br />

Amsterdam became <strong>the</strong> central area for<br />

marshalling Dutch Jewish citizens. At this<br />

time <strong>the</strong> trade unions conducted a general<br />

strike fur<strong>the</strong>r angering <strong>the</strong> Nazi’s.<br />

Harold Deen 11 February 1923 to 16 July 1943<br />

In early 1940 Harold Deen was a civil<br />

engineering student at <strong>the</strong> Middelbare<br />

Technical School (MTS) in Haarlem, The<br />

Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands. Daily he commuted over<br />

100 kilometres. He planned to complete<br />

a 3-year course in civil engineering (first<br />

and third year were academic and second<br />

year fieldwork)<br />

To assist Harold <strong>the</strong> school adjusted <strong>the</strong><br />

education program so that <strong>the</strong> academic<br />

requirements were completed first. They/he<br />

reasoned that it would be best to complete<br />

<strong>the</strong> academic studies should <strong>the</strong> Germans<br />

increase restrictions on <strong>the</strong> Jewish people.<br />

In May 1941 Jewish people were not<br />

permitted to travel or move house<br />

without a permit issued from <strong>the</strong> Jewish<br />

Council, Amsterdam. In January 1942<br />

<strong>the</strong> Nazi’s, through <strong>the</strong> Jewish Council,<br />

demanded <strong>the</strong> Jewish people who had<br />

not come forward for transportation do<br />

so immediately.<br />

Jewish Star <strong>the</strong> “Star of David”<br />

These activities made it increasingly dangerous<br />

for Harold to travel to Haarlem. His<br />

younger sister, Erica, vividly remembers how<br />

she and her family feared daily for his safety.<br />

In July 1942, Levie Deen received papers<br />

demanding that 4 of his 6 children present<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves for forced labour in Germany.<br />

Erica remembers <strong>the</strong> family ga<strong>the</strong>red in <strong>the</strong><br />

main bedroom and her fa<strong>the</strong>r saying <strong>the</strong>y<br />

“had done nothing wrong” and should do as<br />

<strong>the</strong> Germans requested.<br />

PAGE 27<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

from Kamp Westerbork, and died toge<strong>the</strong>r at<br />

Sobibor Concentration Camp on 16 July 1943.<br />

War Memorial Loosdrecht, Holland<br />

Annual May-Day services are held at this<br />

war memorial in Loosdrecht Holland. The<br />

memorial includes <strong>the</strong> names of 23 German<br />

Jewish children, 9 resistance fighters<br />

executed by <strong>the</strong> Germans in Loosdrecht,<br />

a Pastor and 3 Jewish teenagers Rebecca<br />

Louise Deen, Harold Deen and L Polak.<br />

Rebecca Louise Deen 27 July 1926 to 16 July 1943<br />

However Harold and Rebecca disagreed,<br />

sensing what <strong>the</strong> Germans planned.<br />

Hurriedly <strong>the</strong>y left by bicycle to find a place<br />

where <strong>the</strong>y could hide. Eventually <strong>the</strong>y<br />

found refuge at a farm in Haarlemmermeer.<br />

Not long after a farm hand, in retaliation for<br />

an unrelated disagreement with <strong>the</strong> farmer,<br />

informed <strong>the</strong> NSB that Harold and Rebecca<br />

were hiding on <strong>the</strong> farm. It is unknown<br />

what happened to <strong>the</strong> farmer or whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong><br />

farm hand was ever exposed for this actions.<br />

It is not clear what happened after <strong>the</strong>y<br />

were betrayed. However in correspondence<br />

written by Dinnie van Zutphen to Erica<br />

after <strong>the</strong> war, she mentions a “note” she<br />

received during <strong>the</strong> war from Harold and<br />

Rebecca advising, “We have packed our<br />

luggage and are in good spirits. Please send<br />

food parcels to Westerbork. We are being<br />

transported to Poland.”<br />

Martin Moen has visited <strong>the</strong> war memorial<br />

a number of times. He has reflected on<br />

<strong>the</strong> brutality of war and <strong>the</strong> loss of many<br />

of his mo<strong>the</strong>r’s extended family. His Opa,<br />

Levie Deen, lost 5 of his 8 siblings and his<br />

Oma, Marianna Deen-Jolis, lost 4 of her 5<br />

siblings. He has ensured <strong>the</strong>ir names and<br />

those of <strong>the</strong>ir children are permanently<br />

remembered at Yad Vashem, Israel.<br />

Interestingly, Martin was born, at <strong>the</strong> Nieuwe<br />

Brug Hotel and Restaurant, a few hundred<br />

meters from <strong>the</strong> war memorial. This place<br />

marked <strong>the</strong> commencement of his journey<br />

to determine what happened to his family.<br />

His son, Simon, was born on <strong>the</strong> same day<br />

and month as Harold, <strong>the</strong> 11 February. His<br />

daughter, Rebecca, is named after Rebecca<br />

Louise Deen as requested by her great<br />

grandmo<strong>the</strong>r mo<strong>the</strong>r Marianna Deen.<br />

Additionally Ruth Moen, Martin’s wife, was<br />

born <strong>the</strong> same day and month as Rebecca<br />

Louise Deen, <strong>the</strong> 27 July.<br />

Red Cross records show that Harold<br />

and Rebecca were transported to Kamp<br />

Westerbork, Holland, from No. 269<br />

Nieuwendijk, Amsterdam on <strong>the</strong> 6 July 1943<br />

and <strong>the</strong>m by cattle car to Poland on <strong>the</strong> 13<br />

July 1943. They were conveyed with 1988<br />

Jewish prisoners, <strong>the</strong> second last transport<br />

PAGE 28<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Limestone War Memorial<br />

PAGE 29<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Hoorn<br />

ilversu<br />

m<br />

Erica Deen’s travels and hiding places during <strong>the</strong> War<br />

Erica Deen’s travels and hiding places in Holland<br />

1942-1945 (total distance travelled ~400km<br />

Kamp Westerbork<br />

Ijssel River<br />

River<br />

Lemelerveld<br />

Sibculo<br />

German Border<br />

Hilversum<br />

Apeldoorn<br />

German Border<br />

PAGE 30<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.<br />


PAGE 32<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.<br />


Ceremony Speech<br />

from Martin Moen<br />

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.<br />

I am very pleased to be here today. Before we start with <strong>the</strong> ceremony, I would like to share with you<br />

my journey was has culminated in this important ceremony today.<br />

It has been a long journey ...and I am not talking about <strong>the</strong> 24 hours it took for my family to get here<br />

from Australia….ra<strong>the</strong>r, I am referring to <strong>the</strong> journey of discovery that started almost 24 years ago. It<br />

began in 1990 with finding <strong>the</strong> names of Erica’s siblings on a limestone war memorial in Loosdrecht<br />

…which was very unusual and to this day I am unable to find out why….<strong>the</strong> memorial is opposite <strong>the</strong><br />

building, previously <strong>the</strong> town<strong>the</strong> town hall, where my parents were married…<br />

The journey has been exciting and emotional. In <strong>the</strong> early days of my research, I vividly remember<br />

asking <strong>the</strong> Dutch Red Cross and <strong>the</strong> Jewish Historical Museum for information about mum’s family. I<br />

received information on where and when <strong>the</strong>y died. I spoke to my mum on several occasions sharing<br />

with her what I had discovered. Up <strong>unto</strong> <strong>the</strong>n, my mum simply did not know of what had happened<br />

to her family. No one talked about it. I discovered that Erica was and to this day is deeply traumatised<br />

about what happened during <strong>the</strong> war. …Gradually and notwithstanding my constant prodding she<br />

talked, with tears in her eyes, about her own experiences…initially to me. In <strong>the</strong> following years she<br />

has talked to schoolchildren and to Steven Spielberg’s representatives. Telling her story of survival has<br />

helped her cope but <strong>the</strong> pain endures and <strong>the</strong> memories continue to torment her.<br />

Since 1990, I have ga<strong>the</strong>red lots of information on my mum’s story and <strong>the</strong> righteous gentiles (non<br />

Jews) that saved her. I tried on a few occasions for Yad Vashem to recognise <strong>the</strong> families that hidden<br />

my mum during <strong>the</strong> war. However it wasn’t until May 2012 that I really made some progress when<br />

Wolter Keers (here today) suggested he take Ruth (my wife) and I to <strong>the</strong> places where Erica had hidden.<br />

This gesture was significant. I was able to join all <strong>the</strong> pieces toge<strong>the</strong>r and make a robust submission to<br />

Yad Vashem… which you all know was accepted. As you can imagine…I was very pleased that all <strong>the</strong><br />

nomi<strong>nations</strong> were recognised.<br />

Hatred and violence are not new phenomenon and while <strong>the</strong> horrors of WW2 will never be forgotten,<br />

we still witness atrocities around <strong>the</strong> world. The history and <strong>the</strong> birth of <strong>the</strong> State of Israel is where at<br />

least <strong>the</strong> Jewish people can feel some degree of safety from persecution…<strong>the</strong>y are surrounded by many<br />

obstacles and challenges, but yet <strong>the</strong>y prosper…and how! …. Yad Vashem (<strong>the</strong> hand of g-d) has set <strong>the</strong><br />

world benchmark for recognising people who will stand up for <strong>the</strong> persecuted and <strong>the</strong> vulnerable…in<br />

this case <strong>the</strong> Jewish people during WW2. What really sticks in my mind is why <strong>the</strong> Dutch far exceeded<br />

any o<strong>the</strong>r western power for protecting <strong>the</strong> Jewish people …why was this so?<br />

It his hard to comprehend that if it wasn’t for <strong>the</strong> actions of your families and risking <strong>the</strong>ir lives to<br />

save my mum…nei<strong>the</strong>r family, nor myself would be here today. As you can understand, words cannot<br />

explain my gratitude for your family’s actions.<br />

I want to also recognise Hans Sittig and his children who are here today. Their fa<strong>the</strong>r was instrumental<br />

in saving Erica. This was a man Erica describes as having blond features that were typically Arian or<br />

unJewish. Whilst this ceremony is about recognising non-Jews, it is important to also recognise Hans,<br />

who risked his life to save fellow Jews.<br />

The booklet that you have in front of you provides some of <strong>the</strong> history behind today’s event …this<br />

was also in <strong>the</strong> making over <strong>the</strong> past 24 years. Its finalisation came to life when so many of you here<br />

today submitted material to be included… The journey of discovery must continue… If any of you<br />

have fur<strong>the</strong>r material or know of someone who should be recognised please let me know. On page 12, I<br />

mention a serviette ring that was passed from Tante Wil to Erica …here it is…<br />

PAGE 34<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

Last, but not least, I acknowledge my fa<strong>the</strong>r, Klaas, who passed away, aged 91, in early November.<br />

He was an unsung hero for his Resistance efforts during <strong>the</strong> war. He provided significant comfort to<br />

Erica during those early years after <strong>the</strong> War as she tried to understand <strong>the</strong> trauma of losing her sister,<br />

bro<strong>the</strong>r and many o<strong>the</strong>r family members. Her fa<strong>the</strong>r and mo<strong>the</strong>r completely blotted out <strong>the</strong>ir loss and<br />

never spoke of it. In closing, thankyou to Yad Vashem, <strong>the</strong> Israeli Embassy, our host Anne and for<br />

this recognition and all of you for taking <strong>the</strong> time to attend. I am so pleased and honoured to have my<br />

family here today. It is a shame that Erica was unable to make <strong>the</strong> journey to Holland and attend this<br />

ceremony. She is thinking of us all and would be humbled to see you all here today.<br />

Thank you Frans and to Castrum Peregrini for making this magnificent institution available for this<br />

special ceremony.<br />

Simon and Rebecca Speech<br />

Rebecca Hi. My name is Rebecca Moen and this is my bro<strong>the</strong>r Simon. We are both grandchildren of<br />

Erica Moen. Being here today means a lot to us. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. In<br />

fact, it is a moment that will stay in our minds forever.<br />

Simon<br />

Many of my grandmo<strong>the</strong>r’s family survived <strong>the</strong> war and were hidden by brave families.<br />

Very sadly, my grandma’s bro<strong>the</strong>r and sister – Harold and Rebecca Deen, were killed at<br />

Sobibor Concentration Camp. I was named after Rebecca Deen and so her memory lives on.<br />

When our dad first mentioned this ceremony, we were very pleased. All of dad’s hard work<br />

had paid off. Recognition for <strong>the</strong> righteous people, who helped save our grandma, was<br />

finally happening. More importantly, <strong>the</strong> ceremony would provide some closure for our<br />

grandma Erica, and her amazing story of survival.<br />

Rebecca The more we started to think about it, it struck us that if it wasn’t for <strong>the</strong> actions of <strong>the</strong>se<br />

righteous people, represented by you …and <strong>the</strong> actions of Hans Sittig – my bro<strong>the</strong>r and I<br />

simply would not be here today.<br />

Simon<br />

We are very pleased that Annabel, my oldest child is able to be with us today. In <strong>the</strong> years to<br />

come when Annabel recalls today’s ceremony…we will explain to her and all of my children<br />

about <strong>the</strong> brave and good things done by a few righteous people during humanities darkest<br />

hour.<br />

Rebecca So when our dad asked us if we wanted to join him on this journey, <strong>the</strong>re was no<br />

hesitation…we had to come. Not only to show how <strong>the</strong> family has continued…and Erica’s<br />

legacy has lived on, but also to be here to support our wonderful dad. We have been blessed<br />

with <strong>the</strong> best parents anyone could ask for and we have a very close family as a result.<br />

Simon<br />

We are both exceptionally proud of our fa<strong>the</strong>r and his tireless work to make sure our<br />

grandma’s story is not forgotten and importantly that <strong>the</strong>re is due recognition for those<br />

families who saved her. Our dad has been such a significant role model and has shaped who<br />

we are today.<br />

Rebecca It is important that <strong>the</strong> atrocities of <strong>the</strong> holocaust are never forgotten. Yet, even to this day,<br />

humanity is still capable of terrible crimes. We must always stand up for what is right, just<br />

as your families did almost 70 years ago.<br />

Simon<br />

We are looking forward to meeting you after <strong>the</strong> ceremony. Thank you for joining us today.<br />

It means a lot to our family.<br />

We are both proud Jewish people and strong supporters of <strong>the</strong> State of Israel. Thank you to<br />

Yad Vashem for all your tireless work in recognition of righteous people.<br />

PAGE 35<br />

©2013 Edited and compiled by Martin Moen, Perth, Western Australia.

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