Dutch who hid Jews from Nazis honored as Righteous Gentiles

Schipper, now a resident of Santa Barbara, was joined on the stage at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel by the young mother she had saved, Leah Lopes Diaz Van den Brink, and her now middle-aged son, Wulfert.

Leah Van den Brink recalled one heart-stopping day, when the Schipper house — partially rented by a barber with a German clientele — was surrounded by a cordon of German and Dutch police, looking for a friend of the Schippers active in the anti-Nazi underground.

As the police approached the door where the Van den Brink family was hiding, Schipper yelled at them in the barking, shouting tone often employed by the Germans, "Goddamn, if you want to enter this room, go upstairs and ask your friend, the barber's, permission, because the room is full of his stuff."

The police were so astonished by the outburst that they left without searching the room.

Honored posthumously with the scroll and medal of Yad Vashem were Josef (Jupp) Herinx, who in 1943 found clandestine foster homes for Jewish children in his hometown of Kerkrade, Holland, and his mother, Theresa.

Present at the ceremony here were Theresa van Wortel of Costa Mesa, Jupp's daughter, and mother, Theresa's granddaughter.

The role of the Dutch people during the Holocaust is somewhat ambiguous, Fred Kort, president of the West Coast Friends of Yad Vashem, pointed out in his talk.

On the one hand, 75 percent of Dutch Jews perished during the Holocaust, the highest percentage in any country in Nazi-occupied Europe, except for Poland.

On the other hand, among the 18,000 Righteous Gentiles officially recognized by Yad Vashem, 4,000 are Dutch, by far the largest national contingent in Europe.