Petitie aan Yad Vashem

Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5)

To: Mrs. Irena Steinfeldt, Director,

Righteous Among the Nations Department,

Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority

Jerusalem, Israel.

cc:

Mr. Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel

Mr. Nathan Eitan, Director-General, Yad Vashem, Jersualem, Israel

Mrs. Nannie Beekman, Yad Vashem, Righteous Among the Nations Dept., Jerusalem, Israel

Mrs. Anne Dunkelgrun-Friedman, Embassy of Israel, The Hague, The Netherlands

21 April, 2009

Re: Appeal

We, the undersigned, highly respect the honor of a person being recognized by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among the Nations. From this perspective we would like to express our sincere and deep concern regarding the criteria presently used by Yad Vashem’s Commission for the Designation of the Righteous.

In this appeal we would like, as an example, to refer to two cases.

Case 1: the Hollebrands and Eggink families

The Award was applied for the families Hollebrands and Eggink who provided hiding for the three children (four, eight and ten years old) of the Sanders family. The Jewish parents were members of the “Vereeniging van Vrijzinnig Hervormden”, a liberal Christian denomination. The Award was denied. In an e-mail in this case to one of the undersigned, Dick Verkijk, you justify denying the Award by stating that the Yad Vashem Commission does not follow “the Nazi definition of the victim” and that it only pays “tribute to those who risked their lives to save Jews, not those who risked their lives for other purposes, such as saving other people who were victimized by the Nazi’s.” This allows only one interpretation: the Sanders children fall in the eyes of the Commission in the category “other victims”. In other words: the Hollebrands and Eggink families were not considered to have saved Jews. Consequently, they did not qualify to be recognized as a “Righteous Among the Nations”.

The fact that on September 10, 1943, the children died in the gas chamber of Auschwitz, apparently was less important to the Commission than the membership of their parents of a non-Jewish denomination. For the undersigned, the Commission’s discrimination between persecuted and murdered “Christian” Jews and “non-Christian” Jews is unacceptable. They shared the same fate and should be treated accordingly.

Case 2: Jean Michel Caubo

The Award was applied also for Jean M. Caubo. He was a member of the rescue network Dutch-Paris which saved the lives of over a thousand Dutch refugees, bringing them through many links from the Netherlands to Switzerland and Spain. About 800 of them were Jewish compatriots. Caubo was based in Paris and was responsible for guiding the refugees out of the Gare du Nord station into Paris, and providing food and shelter for their onward journey. In February 1944, he was arrested, sent to the “Nacht und Nebel-camp” Dautmergen where he died at the end of 1944.

The father and grandfather of one of the undersigned, Maarten Eliasar, were among those Jewish compatriots probably going through the hands of Mr. Caubo.

For many years the son/grandson has been trying in vain to get Mr. Caubo honored with the Yad Vashem Award. Although documents found in the files of the Dutch Ministry of Defense proved that Mr. Caubo helped Jewish compatriots while risking his life, the Commission concluded he did not qualify to be recognized because, and we quote, “[....] what is needed to Award the title of Righteous is to prove that a person acted with the purpose of rescuing Jews [....]. Mr. Caubo was acting as part of a network and [....] was helping the people that were sent to him, Jews and non-Jews alike.” The view of the Commission seems to imply that he only would have qualified if he would have refused aid to the non-Jewish refugees (members of the Dutch resistance and Allied pilots).

Also in this case, we find the Commission’s criterion unacceptable.

Conclusion

We urgently ask the Yad Vashem’s Commission for the Designation of the Righteous to reconsider its criteria. We quote the words spoken by Mr.Nathan Eitan when he was appointed Director-General (source: www.yadvashem.org, press release): “I feel a great obligation and responsibility alongside the challenge of helping to bring the organization into a new age.” We strongly believe that this new age also makes it necessary to review the criteria used by the organization. According to many of our compatriots, the Award has lost a great deal of its value. The only way to restore the integrity of the Award is a public statement of Yad Vashem that it considers all persecuted and murdered Jews equally, regardless whether they had a religion or not, and regardless what kind of religion they adhered to. Yad Vashem should also publicly declare that anybody who saved the lives of Jews qualifies regardless whether he or she also saved the lives of non-Jewish people.

We learned that some recipients of the Yad Vashem Award are so distressed about the Commission’s decisions that they are considering returning their Award. We strongly advised them not to do so but wait and see first what the result of this appeal will be.

We understand that the authorities of the organization need some time to reflect on our appeal, but we hope to hear from you very soon.

Sincerely yours,

Charles Boissevain (ch.boissevain@orange.nl),

Maarten Eliasar (eliaerssen@chello.nl),

Dick Verkijk (dverkijk@juno.com),

on behalf the undersigned (in alphabetical order):

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Although by sending our Appeal we only asked people to sign it, quite a few of them could not withstand to write also about their feelings related to the reasoning of the Commission's decisions. We have added a few of these comments as “Cries from the heart”, sent to all recipients of this appeal by separate mail and as attachment to this appeal.

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Abdu, Abdulaziz; Diemen; son-in-law of survivors by hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Abdu-de Vries, Sara; Diemen; daughter of survivors by hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Aerssen, Hans van; Amsterdam; relative of Holocaust victims and of survivor by hiding.

Aerssen, Wilhelmine van; Amsterdam; relative of Holocaust victims and of survivor by hiding.

Aliman-Tuender, Grada; Herzelya, Israel;

Amat, Patimah; Bussum; relative of Holocaust victim and survivors.

Ancona, Hedy d’; Amsterdam; former Minister of Health, Culture and Wellbeing (including war victims); former member of Senate and European Parliament; daughter of Holocaust victim.

Anstadt, Milo; Amsterdam; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Aschkenazy, Yehuda; Hilversum.

Aschkenazy-van Dam, Jacqueline; Hilversum.

Asser, Eli; Amsterdam; writer; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Bakker, Hanna; Purmerend; granddaughter of Holocaust victim.

Bar-Hamburger, Rachel; Israel.

Barzelay, Robert; Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Israel; son and cousin of Holocaust victims and survivors; relative of Constance Barzelay-Degenkamp, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Baracs, Karel; Amsterdam; son of Hester van Lennep, bearer Yad Vashem Award; relative of Holocaust and resistance victims.

Barend, Bert; Alphen aan den Rijn; survived together with parents in hiding with Mr. and Mrs. De Vries-Haga, bearers Yad Vashem award.

Barend, Frits; Amsterdam; son of survivors by hiding.

Baruch, Esti ben; kibbutz Revadim, Israel; daughter of survivor by hiding.

Baruch, Moshe ben; Ashkelon, Israel; survived in hiding.

Berman, Helen; Tel Mond, Israel; survived in hiding, liberated from camp Westerbork.

Berg, Edith van den; Delft; named after Edith Stein.

Bladel, Leonie van; Hilversum; member Board Jewish Humanitarian Fund; former Vice-President Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament.

Bleich, Anet; Amsterdam; writer and journalist; daughter of Holocaust survivors.

Bloemendaal, Wim; Bussum; relative of Holocaust victims.

Boissevain, Charles; Leidschendam; bearer Yad Vashem Award; initiator Holocaust victims memorial.

Bonn, Mirjam; Amsterdam; survived in hiding.

Boers, André; Zichron Yaacov, Israel; former President Dutch Zionist Federation; former Chairman of the European Zionist Labour Movement; grandson, nephew and cousin of Holocaust victims.

Boon-van Hall, Mary-Ann; Haarlem; daughter of bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Borghaerts, David; Amsterdam; grandson of survivor by hiding.

Borghaerts, Sarah; Amsterdam; granddaughter of survivor by hiding.

Bosch-Buitenkant, Hetty van den; Soest; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Bosma, Eva; Arnhem; relative of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Bouwman-Donkerbroek, Vera; Terschelling; granddaughter of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Braat, B.; Alphen aan den Rijn; survived in hiding with the Seubring family.

Braat, René; Amstelveen; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Brantes, Comte Guy de; Paris, France; relative of member French resistance.

Brantes, Comtesse Marina de; Paris, France; former President CARE International; relative of bearers Yad Vashem Award and members resistance.

Brinkhorst, Laurens Jan; Den Haag; former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Economic Affairs.

Brouwer, Yoka; Desert Hot Springs (California), U.S.A; survivor, relative of 25 Holocaust victims.

Bugel, Peter; Mizpe Ramon, Israel.

Buis, Hennie; Amsterdam; daughter of survivor; granddaughter of Holocaust victims.

Cleef, Alfred van; Amsterdam; son of survivor by hiding and of member Dutch resistance; grandson of Holocaust victims.

Cleeff, Eveline van; Amsterdam.

Cler, Anna de; Barendrecht; daughter of member Dutch resistance; relative of Holocaust survivors and victims.

Cohen, Robert; Kiryat Tivon, Israel; survived in hiding.

Cohen, Shimon S., Kiryat Ono, Israel; survived in hiding, together with parents and siblings; rescuers bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Cohen-Marcus, Fina; Kiryat Ono, Israel; survived in hiding, together with parents and siblings; rescuers bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Cohn-van West, Rosa; Jerusalem, Israel; survived in hiding, together with parents.

Costa, Andy da; Oegstgeest; surgeon.

Dam, Ferina van; Amsterdam; daughter of survivors by hiding.

Dolman, Dr. Dick; Amsterdam; former President of Parliament; former chairman Netherlands-Israel Society.

Donkerbroek, Nico; Terschelling; son-in-law of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award

Donkerbroek, Reinder; Terschelling; grandson of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Donkerbroek-Wiersma, Neanske; Terschelling; daughter of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Dufour, Raymond; Haarlem; son of Dufour-van Hall, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Ede van der Pals, Will; Oss; father murdered in camp Vught.

Eekeres, Cora van; Amsterdam; daughter of bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Ehrlich-Stibbe, Eveline; Amstelveen; daughter of concentration camp survivors.

Eliasar, Babs; Sneek; granddaughter of Holocaust victim; daughter of survivor through Dutch-Paris.

Eliasar, Gerard; Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel; grandson of Holocaust victim; son of survivor through Dutch-Paris.

Eliasar, Maarten; Amsterdam; grandson of Holocaust victim; son of survivor through Dutch-Paris; Advisory Board member, the John Henry Weidner Foundation for the Cultivation of the Altruistic Spirit.

Eliasar, Norma; Amsterdam; daughter of survivor by hiding; granddaughter of Holocaust victims.

Eliasar, Rob; Alphen aan den Rijn; son of survivor by hiding; grandson of Holocaust victims.

Eliasar, Ursula; Amsterdam; daughter of survivor by hiding; relative of Holocaust victims and a few survivors.

Engeland, Siline van; Eemnes; daughter of survivor trough hiding as well as survivor of three camps.

Feldman, Joanna; Amsterdam; daughter of survivors by hiding in Warsaw, Poland.

Flesschedrager, Benajmin; Rehovot, Israel; survived in hiding with the Bongers family, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Flesseman, Toetie; Abcoude; survivor together with family through hiding followed by escape to Switzerland.

Frank, Carel; London, U.K; survived Theresiënstadt; son of Holocaust victim.

Frank, H.; Givat Gen, Israel; survived in hiding with the late Mrs. B. Mens, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Frank, Steven; London, U.K; survived Theresienstadt; lectures in British schools about his wartime experiences.

Frank-Broeze; Anna; U.K; daughter of Cor Broeze, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Frijda, Alide; Aigne, France; survived in hiding.

Frijda, Jetteke; Amsterdam; survived in hiding; daughter of Holocaust victim.

Frijda, Prof. Dr. Nico H.; Amsterdam; Professor of Psychology, University of Amsterdam; survived in hiding.

Ganter, Dr. Kurt; Phippsburg (Maine), U.S.A; Executive Director, the John Henry Weidner Foundation for the Cultivation of the Altruistic Spirit.

Geron, Bernard S.; Beer-Shewa, Israel; survived in hiding with Dufour and van Hall families, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Gessel-van Dam, Mimi van; Amsterdam; survived in hiding.

Godschalk, Louis; Israel; survived in hiding; rescuers received a “plant a tree ceremony” at Yad Vashem and the honorary citizenship of the State of Israel.

Graaf, Maarten van der; Amsterdam; attorney.

Graaf, Roderick van der; Amsterdam.

Groen, Rosette; Eibergen; survived three camps and in hiding; daughter of Holocaust victims.

Grunfeld, Frans; Amsterdam; survived in hiding.

Grunfeld-Kahn, Margriet; Amsterdam; survived by hiding.

Grünfeld, Joyce; Amstelveen; survived in hiding within a family, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Gulden, Gerlof van; Amsterdam; grandson of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Gulden, Angelique van; Amsterdam; relative of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Gulden-Wiersma, Fetsje van; Amsterdam; daughter of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Haas, Micha de; Amsterdam; son of survivor by hiding.

Haas, Yvonne de; Amsterdam; survived in hiding; mother murdered in Auschwitz.

Habraken-van Hall, Marleen; Apeldoorn; daughter of Gijs van Hall, member Dutch resistance.

Hall, Deanna van; Amsterdam; daughter of Gijs van Hall, member Dutch resistance.

Hamburger, Dr. A.D.; Jerusalem, Israel; survived in hiding; survived Bergen-Belsen and Theresiënstadt as one of the “group unknown children” (Gruppe Unbekannte Kinder) in the last transport that left camp Westerbork on September 13, 1944.

Harvitt-Con, Lily; Chatham (New York), U.S.A; survived in hiding; saved by bearers of Yad Vashem Award; relative of Holocaust victims.

Heertje, Arnold; Naarden; Holocaust survivor.

Heijden, Maarten van der; Amsterdam; grandson of Holocaust victim; son of survivors by hiding.

Heil, Marilyn; Amsterdam; (grand)daughter of survivors by hiding; relative of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Hellmann, Paul; Rotterdam; survived in hiding, saved by bearer of Yad Vashem Award; relative of Holocaust victims.

Hijmans, Prof. Dr. Willy; Aerdenhout; Professor of Immunology, University of Leiden; member Dutch resistance and Dutch-Paris participant, involved in finding hiding places and assisting in arranging escape for fellow Jews to Switzerland.; brother of the late Lisel Hijmans, member Dutch resistance and survivor of Auschwitz and Ravensbrück.

Hovingh, G.C.; Zuidlaren; church historian; Reverend; author of biography about member Dutch resistance Johannes Post.

Hulst, Prof. Dr. Johan W. van; Amsterdam; Professor of Philosophy of Education, Free University Amsterdam; former Senator Dutch Parliament, 1956-1981; played an important role in saving 500 Jewish babies and children from the “Hollandsche Schouwburg”; bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Huyser, Henk; Aigne, France; official worker on Jewish-Christian relationship; relative of survivor by hiding.

Illés, Vera; Amsterdam; daughter of survivor of Budapest ghetto; granddaughter and relative of Holocaust victims; relative of survivor by hiding.

Israël, Erik; Hoofddorp; son of survivor by hiding.

Israël, Esther; Rotterdam; daughter of survivor by hiding.

Israël, Ronald L.; Veenendaal; survived in hiding with the Wiersma family, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Israël-van Amstel, Paula; Hoofddorp; daughter-in-law of survivor by hiding.

Israël-Melse, Jacoba; Veenendaal; spouse of survivor by hiding.

Jacobs, Sasha; Geldrop; son of survivors.

Kamp, Rolf; Amsterdam; son and grandson of Holocaust victims; survived in hiding.

Kann, Emilie; Amsterdam; daughter and granddaughter of bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Kats, Rozette; Amsterdam; survived in hiding; daughter, grandchild and relative of Holocaust victims; Board member, Stichting Sobibor (Sobibor Foundation).

Kaufmann, Susanne; Amsterdam; granddaughter of survivor by hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Kazin-Rosenbaum, Betty; Zichron Yaakov, Israel; survived in hiding with Hageman family, bearers Yad Vashem Award; daughter and sister of Holocaust victims.

Kimel, Prof. Sol; Haifa; Israel; Professor of Chemistry, the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, Haifa; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Kisch, Eldad, Ramat Hasharon, Israel; Holocaust survivor.

Kisch, Hanan J., Omer, Israel; Professor of Geology (emeritus), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva; survivor of concentration camps.

Kisch-Heringa, Gurit; Omer, Israel.

Kisch-Kroon, Annelien, Ramat Hasharon, Israel; spouse of Holocaust survivor; daughter of Kleys and Henriette Kroon-van Dijk, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Knijnenburg-Donkerbroek, Marijke; Terschelling; granddaughter of the late Doeke Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Knoop, Hans; Schilde (Belgium); journalist; Dutch Nazi hunter and author of book on Judenrat; survived as hidden child.

Kockx, Hannah; Amsterdam; daughter of survivor by hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Koekkoek, Joop; Krommenie; survivor; son of Holocaust victim.

Kremer, Robert; Amstelveen; survived in hiding (in Belgium).

Kremer-de Vries, Tilly; Amstelveen; survived in hiding.

Lamsma, Sierd; Den Helder; Reverend, Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN)

Langhout, E.T.; Damwoude; widow of Dutch-Paris participant.

Langhout, Marcella; Damwoude; daughter of Dutch-Paris participant. Advisory Board member, the John Henry Weidner Foundation for the Cultivation of the Altruistic Spirit.

Laus, Louis; Bloemendaal; lawyer; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims.

Leefsma, Henny; Amsterdam; survived in hiding; survived Auschwitz.

Leenen, Beja; Hilversum; daughter of survivor; granddaughter of Holocaust victims.

Lisser, J; Amsterdam; husband of L.M. Elion who survived in hiding.

Loskamp, Eva; Eemnes; relative of Holocaust victims; granddaughter of Loskamp family, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Loonstijn, Mirjam; Obdam; survived in hiding; relative of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Luidens-Oswald, Marion; Old Forge (New York), U.S.A.

Manheim, Jetje; Amsterdam; daughter of Holocaust survivor; Chairperson of Stichting Sobibor (Sobibor Foundation).

Maoz, Elly; Even Yehuda; Israel; survived Westerbork and Theresienstadt.

Marks, Bart; Sneek; grandson of survivor through Dutch-Paris.

Meijers, Avraham; Amsterdam; journalist; survived in hiding.

Minco, Michael; Amstelveen.

Mol, Tzvi Hans; Ashkelon, Israel; survived in hiding with the Rip family, bearers Yad Vashem Award.

Mulder, Etty; Sittard; daughter of the late Loes Mulder-van Marle, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Naftaniel, Ronny; Den Haag; Director, Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël (Center for Information and Documentation Israel) (CIDI).

Neter-Polak, Flory; Schellinkhout; Chairperson Verbond Belangenbehartiging Vervolgingsslachtoffers; survived in hiding; daughter of Holocaust survivors.

Nieuwland, Michael van; Antwerp, Belgium; relative of Holocaust victims.

Nihom, Harry; Netanya, Israel; survived in hiding.

Offermans, Joep; Sittard; son-in-law of the late Loes Mulder-van Marle, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Onyszkiewicz, Janusz; Brussels, Belgium - Warsaw, Poland; Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament; former spokesman Solidarity movement; former Minister of Defence, Poland (1992-1993 and 1997-2000).

Panhuis, Piet; Leeuwarden; son-in law of the late Griet Venema-Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Panhuis-Venema, Janny; Leeuwarden; daughter of the late Griet Venema-Wiersma, bearer Yad Vashem Award.

Peeters, Ankie; Wassenaar; playmate of the Sanders children who were their neighbours at the time.

Perath (voorheen Premsela), Ithamar; Harei Yehuda, Israel; relative of many Holocaust victims; translated several memoirs of survivors, today in Israel, who owe their lives to the help of non-Jewish Hollanders.

Permutti-de Wit, Henriëtte; Herzlya, Israel; daughter of Holocaust victim.

Peters van den Bergh, Vita; Zutphen; survived in hiding, as did her brothers, sister and parents.

Pieper, H.H.M; Amsterdam; relative of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Polak, Chaja; Amsterdam; writer; survived in hiding; daughter of Holocaust victim and Auschwitz-survivor.<

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