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Righteous Among the Nations from Holland To Be Honored at Ceremony in Yad Vashem Tomorrow

30 March 2005

A ceremony honoring two Dutch women, Gijsbertje Duizer and her daughter Hilde van Straten-Duizer, as Righteous Among the Nations will be held at Yad Vashem tomorrow, March 31, 2005 at 11:30am. The two women hid Joop van Straten in their family farm in Asperen, Holland, (as well as his cousin Daniel Hess until the Nazis captured him on his way to Amsterdam.) After the war Hilde and Joop got married, moved to Israel and settled in Ramat Chen. Gijsbertje Duizer passed away in 1968 and will be honored posthumously. Hilde still lives in Ramat Chen and is nearing the age of 80 and will attend the ceremony tomorrow. Her husband Joop passed away in 1988. The two awards will be received by Hilde and her sister Cor Duizer, on behalf of their late mother.

The ceremony will be conducted in Hebrew and Dutch. The program is as follows:

11:30 Presentation of the awards and medals in the Yad Vashem Auditorium

12:30 Unveiling of names in the Garden of the Righteous

Background Information:

Until the deportations of Dutch Jewry, Joop van Straten worked in a factory, and at age 22 was arrested for deportation to a concentration camp. He escaped from the Police Station and fled to the Duizer family, whom he knew. Gijsbertje and her daughter Hilde, who ran the farm, immediately hid him. Most of the time Joop did not go outside except for a short walk in the evenings, and occasionally he helped out with work on the farm. Shortly after his arrival, the Germans imposed a curfew on the village and conducted searches from house to house in order to find Jews who were hiding. Joop’s hiding place was among some bundles of hay in a kind of storage loft above the barn. The Germans conducted a thorough search in the entire house and eventually intended to go up into the storage loft over the barn. It was clear that Joop would be found. Under the initiative of the young Hilde, a few girls began to distract the Germans by engaging them in conversation. The tactic worked and after a quarter of an hour of suspense, the German left without checking the storage area where Joop was hiding. During the raid, Joop’s parents, together with five other Jews hiding in a farm in a nearby village, were captured. They were murdered in Auschwitz.

Joop remained with his rescuers until the end of the war. After the war, Hilde decided to learn about Judaism, converted and married him. A few years later the couple moved to Israel.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 11:30 in the Auditorium, and is open to the Press.

More information about the Righteous Among the Nations program is available at

http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/index.asp