Monday, November 5, 2007


Johtje Vos' husband, Aart, is no close relation. "Vos" is a common enough surname in "het Gooi," around Laren, where he was from. But still, her harrowing story is amazing for a fearful time in the last century. (My aunt Betsy van Ittersum-Vos, in close-by Zeist, did the same thing.)

New York Times
Mr. and Mrs. Vos resisted the notion that they had done something out of the ordinary. Interviewed for the 1992 book “Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust,” by Gay Block and Malka Drucker (Holmes & Meier), Mrs. Vos said, “I want to say right away that the words ‘hero’ and ‘righteous gentile’ are terribly misplaced.”

“I don’t feel righteous,” said Mrs. Vos, who, like her husband, was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, “and we are certainly not heroes, because we didn’t sit at the table when the misery started and say, ‘O.K., now we are going to risk our lives to save some people.’ ”

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