Dutch World War II anti-nazi returns Israeli medals because of Gaza war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Maurice and Netty Vanderpol, WWII Holocaust Survivors

21 May 2012

Dr. Maurice Vanderpol (b.1922) was born and raised in Amsterdam. In medical school when the Germans invaded and occupied Holland in 1940 and persecution and deportation of Dutch Jews began, Ries and his family spent two years in hiding until liberation on May 5th, 1945. After the War, he came to America, finished medical school and married Netty Swartz Vanderpol. He had a private practice as a psychiatrist and was a staff member at McLean Hospital for 35 years.

Netty Vanderpol (b. 1926) was born and raised in Amsterdam. During the German occupation of Holland she was forced to attend a school for Jewish children. One of her classmates was Anne Frank. In 1943 her father was imprisoned by the Nazis for assisted [sic; assisting] Allied pilots. Her father and family spent over a year in Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia. In February, 1945 her family was with a group of inmates from the camp that was the only exchange of Jews for German POWs. As a needlepoint artist Netty has exhibited widely. Beginning in 1984, for some years she dedicated the focus of her needlework pieces to the Holocaust and its affect on her life. She then branched out to other designs and themes. Ries and Netty are both very active with Facing History and Ourselves. They established the Walter Suskind Memorial Educational Fund, an outreach arts program at the Citi Center for the Performing Arts, in Boston. They live in Needham and Edgartown.

Listen to Maurice and Netty Vanderpol speak about their experiences in hiding in Amsterdam and in Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia.

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Dutch nonagenarian returns Righteous Among the Nations medal after six relatives killed in Gaza

Henk Zanoli, who helped save a Jewish child from deportation to concentration camps, said holding on to the medal would be an ‘insult to the family.’

By Amira Hass

A 91-year-old Dutch man who was declared a Righteous Among the Nations for saving a Jew during the German occupation on Thursday returned his medal and certificate because six of his relatives were killed by an Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip last month.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The victims are relatives of a niece of Zanoli. She married a man who was born in Gaza. His parents still lived there until July 20, when their house was bombarded by the Israeli Air Force. His mother, three brothers, a sister and a nephew of him lost their lives. Also someone who was with the family for a visit did not survive the attack.

Zanoli did not hesitate when he heard about the attack. He wrote a letter and sent to [Israeli] ambassador Daivon the honour ‘Righteous Among the Nations” back by courier. He sent the medal awarded to his mother as well. In the letter Zanoli wrote that it would be treason to his mother and to his family if he’d keep the medals.

“Shocking and tragic”

Zanoli and his mother hid Jewish boy Pinto from the nazis from 1943 to 1945. The father of the family had been deported two years earlier because he was openly against the nazis. He died in 1945 in Mauthausen concentration camp. A brother of Zanoli’s, who was in the resistance, was executed by the nazis.

It is not clear, according to Haaretz, why the house of Zanoli’s family was bombed. The newspaper has asked the Defense department if it was a target or that it was a mistake, but the armed forces would not react.

See also here. And here. And here.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need for Israel. Now He Is Its Critic

THE HAGUE — In 1943, Henk Zanoli took a dangerous train trip, slipping past Nazi guards and checkpoints to smuggle a Jewish boy from Amsterdam to the Dutch village of Eemnes. There, the Zanoli family, already under suspicion for resisting the Nazi occupation, hid the boy in their home for two years. The boy would be the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.

Seventy-one years later, on July 20, an Israeli airstrike flattened a house in the Gaza Strip, killing six of Mr. Zanoli’s relatives by marriage. His grandniece, a Dutch diplomat, is married to a Palestinian economist, Ismail Ziadah, who lost three brothers, a sister-in-law, a nephew and his father’s first wife in the attack. …

Mr. Zanoli said he could envision a situation in which he would take the medal back.

“The only way out of the quagmire the Jewish people of Israel have gotten themselves into is by granting all living under the control of the State of Israel the same political rights and social and economic rights and opportunities,” he wrote. “Although this will result in a state no longer exclusively Jewish it will be a state with a level of righteousness on the basis of which I could accept the title of ‘Righteous among the Nations’ you awarded to my mother and me.”

In that event, he concluded, “be sure to contact me or my descendants.”

Under a coalition of Israeli left-wing political parties and organizations, thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in the largest anti-war demonstration since the outbreak of violence in Gaza: here.

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4 thoughts on “Dutch World War II anti-nazi returns Israeli medals because of Gaza war

  1. Pingback: Dutch World War II anti-nazi returns Israeli medals because of Gaza war | The Socialist

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