In November of 1943, the occupying German forces in the Netherlands raided a guest house. There they found a small Jewish child, three-year-old Miriam Dasberg, daughter of a rabbi. Miriam had been kept in hiding there, safe from the Nazis. But now that she had been found, the young girl was to be deported to the concentration camps, where she would surely be murdered.
However, another young person would be her savior. Seventeen-year-old Hein Korpershoek was already a member of the Dutch Resistance. Now he was volunteered by a friend to rescue the little Jewish girl.
Hein and his friend Wibo Florissen disguised themselves as members of the Secret Police and “kidnapped” young Miriam from the house where she was held. The two young men were frightened throughout the operation, but it ended in success when they handed Miriam off to the female Resistance member, Ans van Dam, who had volunteered Hein for the mission. Ans then hid the girl in another secret location. In two weeks, however, Ans was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. She survived and later made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel.
Hein continued his “illegal” activities against the Nazis, working with the Resistance’s press and also stealing identity cards to be used by Jews in hiding. For his heroic actions, Hein Korpershoek (seen in the above photograph, top right, meeting with Miriam, center, the young girl he once saved) was named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1987.Tags: Advocates and Allies