Dutch Righteous Among the Nations Ceremony Tomorrow
24 October 2007
Hendrikus (Hein) and Martha Snapper, Righteous Among the Nations from the Netherlands, will be posthumously honored at Yad Vashem on Thursday, October 25, 2007. A memorial ceremony will be held in the Hall of Remembrance at 12:45, followed by the recognition ceremony and the unveiling of the name of the Righteous in the Garden of the Righteous at 13:15. The ceremony will take place in English, in the presence of Holocaust survivors Truus de Hartog, of the Netherlands and Salomon de Hartog of Israel, siblings rescued by the Snappers, and five children of the rescuers: Jerry, Jan, Johan, Hans and Frank, of California and Kentucky in the United States.
Hendrikus (Hein) and Martha Snapper
Hein and Martha Snapper, lived with their six young children in Naaldwijk, a town in the western part of the Netherlands. Hein was in charge of the local labor exchange and Martha was a homemaker. Hein, in his position at the local labor exchange, was aware of the persecution of the Jews from an early stage. In the summer of 1942, Hein became active in a local underground group and he was put in contact with a Jewish family, Rosa and Levy (Leen) de Hartog, and their five children. The de Hartogs had received a deportation notice and they were desperately searching for a hiding place. The Snappers took in Rosa de Hartog and presented her as their housekeeper, meanwhile arranging hiding places for Leen and the children: Truus, Annie, Esther, Jacques and Salomon, in other locations. On various occasions Leen, Truus and Annie were even able to come surreptitiously to the Snapper home to spend some time with Rosa.
At risk to their own lives, the Snappers courageously sheltered Rosa, even during a period in 1944 when a number of German soldiers were billeted in the Snapper home. Rosa stayed on during this time, despite the grave danger to the Snappers and their children.
In May 1943, a massive recruitment began of Dutch men between the ages of 18 and 45 for forced labor in Germany. Taking advantage of his position at the labor exchange, Hein altered personal data in the municipal registry, providing false information and creating forged documents.
The Snappers protected Rosa throughout the war, and she remained undetected. The entire de Hartog family survived the war, and was reunited afterwards. After the war, Hein Snapper received special recognition from Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands for his activities in the resistance. In December 2006, Yad Vashem recognized the Snappers as Righteous Among the Nations. Hein and Martha Snapper have since passed away, as have Leen and Rosa de Hartog and three of their children.