Bertha and Klaas Crum
As the deportation of the Jews of Holland gathered momentum in the autumn of 1942, the Cohen Paraira family of four fled their house in Scheveningen, near the Hague, and looked for a place to hide.
The father, David, and the son Bob (subsequently Avraham) found refuge on a large farm belonging to the Crum family, who lived in the village of Rhenen, near Arnhem.
The mother, Menucha, and the daughter, Alice (subsequently Elisheva) were hidden in the home of the Kooistra family in Utrecht, who were later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
As the Cohen Parairas were missing each other so badly, it was decided in the spring of 1943 that Menucha and Alice would join David and Bob, and they would all hide together in the Crum family home. The Crums also prepared an additional hiding place on the farm, in case of sudden house searches.
The concealment was carried out with the utmost secrecy to avoid betrayal. The Cohen Parairas didn‘t leave the house the entire time, and the Crum’s nine-year-old son, Cor, also knew that he was forbidden to speak to anyone about the people hiding in his home. Even the young man who used to come to the farm on holidays from his work on the Atlantikwall didn’t know about the Jewish family hiding in the house.
Cor especially enjoyed the Jewish family’s sojourn in his house: Alice taught him to play the accordion, Bob told him stories, and David drew him pictures, to pass the time.
The Cohen Parairas hid at the Crums for about a year and a half, during which time the Crums made sure they had everything they needed.
When the Allies bombed the area near Arnhem in September 1944, the Crums were instructed to leave the house. They arranged for the Cohen Parairas to move back in with the Kooistra family, where they stayed until the liberation in May 1945.
After the war, the Cohen Parairas immigrated to Eretz Israel, and lost touch with the Crums. In October 2005, Cor Crum’s daughter contacted the Righteous Among the Nations department at Yad Vashem, and asked them to locate the Cohen Parairas. The department’s Holland expert, Mrs. Nannie Beekman, succeeded in finding them, and putting the two families in touch. Since contact has been renewed, Elisheva and Cor have been telling their story in schools in Holland and Germany.
At their meeting on 22 October 2006, the members of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem reached the decision to award the title of Righteous Among the Nations to Bertha and Klaas Crum.
The ceremony at Yad Vashem was attended by the Crum’s son Cor, and survivors Elisheva and Avraham.