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Saved by "Aunt Grie"

Dutch village of Hazerswoude, where Grietje Bogaards (Righteous Among the Nations) saved the life of a young Jewish girl (Photo: wikicommons)

Grietje Bogaards

Life: 1899-1964

Why you should know her: Grietje Bogaards was a Dutch woman who saved the life of a Jewish girl during the Holocaust, who then became the mother of a member of The Fellowship's online community.

As the Nazis overtook the Netherlands in 1942, a Jewish couple named Abraham and Lea Rodrigues decided to go into hiding with their children, 12-year-old Henry and 11-year-old Elly. After being sheltered by a Dutch pharmacist, Abrahama and Lea placed Henry with the Ketel family and young Elly with Grietje Bogaards. Soon, the children's paretns were arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Despite the great danger to herself, Grietje, known by Elly as Tante Grie or Aunt Grie, cared for the girl as if she were her own. Elly went by the name Elly van Tol and was able to move around the village freely and attended the local school. Aunt Grie sheltered Elly until the war ended, and the two remained in touch until Aunt Grie passed away in 1964. Grietje Bogaards was named Righteous Among the Nations in 1987 for the selfless and loving act which saved young Elly Rodrigues.

Hetty C., the daughter of Elly, shares with us the following invaluable information:

After the war Grietje Bogaards was awarded guardianship of my mother and was foster grandmother to my siblings and me. She died in 1964 in Holland. I was honored to get to know her. Tante Grie, as we called her, was there when I was born and we also visited her in her village in Holland in 1958. She came to the USA twice after my parents and I emigrated from Holland in 1952.

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