Once again we have been so busy that there has been little time to post so I hope to fill in the blanks from home.
Yesterday was a day filled with uplifting stories and firsthand accounts that brings in the very important aspect of hope and the fact that many people DID help, and care. True, most people did not help the Jews but were it not for the righteous people that thought little of themselves and the consequences, people like Maude Dahme would not be here.
A film crew followed us yesterday as they were making a documentary for Netherlands about Maude.
We first visited a place I knew nothing about called "The Hidden Village" Amazing place in the woods in a town called Nunspeet. Hidden bunkers were built in an area of about 4 football fields. it had 9 bunkers and hid about 20 people in each bunker- not only Jews but several Allied forces who had downed pilots. Unfortunately 8 people lost their lives when Germans discovered one boy carrying water in the forest. He was smart and said that it was for lumberjacks and that if the Germans shot into the air the lumberjacks would pop up. They did, and it served as a warning to the hidden people who scattered. 8 were caught and forced to dig their own graves before being killed.
140,000 Jews lived in Holland, 107,000 were deported (75-80% murdered) about 24,000 hid and about 20,000 survived.
Canadian and American troops liberated Holland.
Maude was 7 and her sister 4 when their parents made the excruciating decision to place them with Christian strangers who said they would hide the girls. We visited the farm house where they were hidden and the closet where they slept. The people have passed, but the new owners allowed us to go through their home to see where Maude and her sister hid until they were recognized and had to move to another location which was Elberg, a lovely town that Maude said looks exactly as it idid when she was hidden there until liberation. We also visited the house which is now a church.
In Amsterdam the streets were filled with balloons, confetti, and thousands of people dressed up for Gay Pride Day! Boats on the canals were all decorated. It was a party all night long.
Today we will begin with a canal ride and visit to the Anne Frank House- a family also in hiding albeit a sad ending to their story.
Go to this link to read more about the Hidden Village www.verscholendorp.eu/index.php?option=com_content