WWII Hero Who Saved Hundreds of Jewish Children Dies at 96

Dutch-Jewish children during WWII

Credit:Menno Huizinga/wikicommons

So many people stood up to evil during WWII. Each week we remember Gentile friends of the Jewish people who proved their friendship – often costing them their lives – during the Holocaust. But today, we also remember a Jewish woman who showed great heroism during this dark chapter of her people’s history. Our friends at JTA tell us about Betty Goudsmit-Oudkerk, a Dutch-Jewish rescuer who carried hundreds of Jewish children out of the clutches of the murderous Nazis as WWII raged:

Betty Goudsmit-Oudkerk, a Dutch-Jewish woman who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust, has died at the age of 96.

Goudsmit-Oudkerk, who died Sunday, was the last living member of the small team of rescuers who smuggled Jewish children to safety over several months from a Protestant religious seminary in Amsterdam, the Dutch Het Parool daily reported.

The seminary, which was run by the late Johan van Hulst, bordered on an internment facility that the Nazis set up for Jewish children opposite the Hollandsche Schouwburg concentration facility where their parents had been kept. At 17, Goudsmit-Oudkerk was allowed to care for the jailed children. With help from the director of the Hollandsche Schouwburg, Walter Süskind, she helped transfer hundreds of children to van Hulst and his team.

Goudsmit-Oudkerk had for decades declined to speak publicly over her role in the rescue operation.

Tags: Betty Goudsmit-Oudkerk History Holocaust JTA WWII

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