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Toys in the Attic    |   Rescue

A bookend decorated with the colors of the Dutch flag and orange lions – symbols of the Dutch monarchy A bookend decorated with the colors of the Dutch flag and orange lions – symbols of the Dutch monarchy
Joachim-Max de Jonge, ca. 1944 Joachim-Max de Jonge, ca. 1944

A collection of wooden toys that 17-year-old Joachim-Max de Jonge crafted while in hiding with his family in the Netherlands during the war.
[Now on display in the Auditorium building]

Jakob de Jonge, his wife Jeanette, and their children Ruth, Heinrich and Joachim-Max, lived in Weener, Germany close to the border with Holland. Early during the Nazi regime, Jakob was imprisoned on false charges pressed against him by a Nazi sympathizer with whom he had previously had a business dispute. When he was released, but not allowed to remain in the vicinity, he and his family relocated and after Kristallnacht, they crossed the border into Leeuwarden in northern Holland.

In August 1942, the de Jonges received deportation orders and went underground. Ruth, the older daughter, joined the Dutch underground as a scout. Jakob, Jeanette, Heinrich and Joachim-Max were hidden in Ijlst in the home of the widow Nooitgedagt, whose late husband had been the director of a carpentry business. She had a workbench and tools taken up to the attic and the de Jonges, who were blessed with good technical abilities, made wooden toys, model planes and household items which were distributed among the hidden children in the area.

The de Jonge family survived the war and donated the workbench and wooden items that remained from the war to Yad Vashem.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection, Gift of Rosina de Jonge-Nathans, den Haag, the Netherlands & Jakob de Jonge, Solihull, UK

Joachim-Max de Jonge with his class during the war. Note the yellow stars on the Jewish students’ shirts. Max is in the fourth row from the front, third from the left Joachim-Max de Jonge with his class during the war. Note the yellow stars on the Jewish students’ shirts. Max is in the fourth row from the front, third from the left

The de Jonge family in hiding in the attic of the  Nooitgedagt home The de Jonge family in hiding in the attic of the Nooitgedagt home

The workshop in the attic. From the left: Jakob. Behind his left shoulder is the edge of the table now in the collection at Yad Vashem. Joachim-Max is holding the model plane The workshop in the attic. From the left: Jakob. Behind his left shoulder is the edge of the table now in the collection at Yad Vashem. Joachim-Max is holding the model plane

After liberation in 1945. The Nooitgedagt and de Jonge families with three additional Jewish hidden children After liberation in 1945. The Nooitgedagt and de Jonge families with three additional Jewish hidden children

The carpenter’s table that served the de Jonge family in the attic The carpenter’s table that served the de Jonge family in the attic

Lamp with a wooden back decorated with the lion – symbol of the Dutch monarchy Lamp with a wooden back decorated with the lion – symbol of the Dutch monarchy

Wooden truck and trailer Wooden truck and trailer

Ladder with mouse toy/game Ladder with mouse toy/game

Wooden Box with the orange lion Wooden Box with the orange lion

Cigarette and matches holder Cigarette and matches holder