Klaas and Hendrika van der Knoop

Netherlands

Hendrika van der Knoop Hendrika van der Knoop
Klaas van der KnoopKlaas van der Knoop
Survivor, Alexander (left) with Marian, the rescuers' daughterSurvivor, Alexander (left) with Marian, the rescuers' daughter

Klaas and Hendrika van der Knoop and the Dingsdag family lived in Amsterdam, Holland. Celine (subsequently Tsila) Dingsdag and Hendrika were close friends, and were both members of the socialist youth movement AJC.

When the deportation of the Jews of Holland began in the summer of 1942, Celine’s sister Marian and her husband Louis decided not to report for “labor in the East”, but instead to run away and find a place to hide. To make it easier for them to find a hiding place, Hendrika and Klaas van der Knoop agreed to take in their 3-year-old son, Alexander. Marian and Louis went into hiding, but were betrayed and caught, and deported to their deaths.

Hendrika and Klaas taught Alexander to introduce himself as a member of the van der Knoop family when meeting strangers. They even managed to register him as one of the family at the municipal residents’ registry.

Celine, who had joined an underground group, also found refuge at the van der Knoop’s and hid there at different times. Celine even used Hendrika’s identity card, switching the photos. The ID card enabled Celine to move around freely, and saved her life on many occasions.

During the war, Hendrika became pregnant, and moved to her parents’ house. Alex, Marian and Louis’s son, stayed at the van der Knoop’s under the supervision of his aunt Celine.

At all times, the van der Knoop’s home was open to Jews who needed a place to hide. After the war, Alex was transferred to the Jewish orphanage “Beit Dina” where he stayed until he immigrated to Eretz Israel with Celine in 1947.

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 posthumously to the late Klaas and Hendrika van der Knoop – van den Hove.

The ceremony at Yad Vashem was attended by the rescuers’ daughter, Marian Booden-van der Knoop, and the survivors Alexander Groenteman and Tsila/Celine Dingsdag.

 

This online story was made possible with the support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.