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Johan Van Hulst
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    (January 28, 1911-March 22, 2018)
    Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Teacher and politician
    During World War II, was principal of the Reformed Teacher Training College in Amsterdam
    College was next door to a day care center where the Nazi authorities placed Jewish children before sending them to concentration camps
    Collaborated with Walter Süskind, an administrator in the deportation system, and Henriette Pimentel, head of the day care center, to rescue children before they could be deported
    Süskind would falsify arrival records, claiming, for example, that 50 children had been sent to the day care center instead of 60
    The children left off the records would be passed over a hedge separating the center from the college
    Van Hulst would hide the children in the college until they could be smuggled out by the Dutch Resistance to long-term hiding places
    Named Righteous Among the Nations by the state of Israel (1972)
    Member of the Dutch Senate (1956-81)
    Member of the European Parliament (1961-68)
    He noted, ‘Everyone understood that if 30 children were brought, we could not save 30 children. We had to make a choice, and one of the most horrible things was to make a choice.’
    He said, ‘I only think about what I have not been able to do, about those thousands of children that I could not save.’
    He was married to Anna Donker for 62 years.
    He was part of a rescue operation that kept at least 600 Jewish children from being sent to concentration camps.
    He had to go into hiding during the last weeks of the war, having been warned that the Nazis were coming to arrest him only minutes before they arrived.
    During a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister told him, ‘We say: those who save one life saves a universe. You saved hundreds of universes. I want to thank you in the name of the Jewish people, but also in the name of humanity’
    The Amsterdam Holocaust Museum now stands at the site of his former college.

Credit: C. Fishel

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