Henrriette Voute- Righteous Gentile - Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School; 9th Grade English - Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

Izzy Kazin
Mr. Bruner
English 9th Grade
February 11, 2019
Henriette (Hetty) Voute
“Righteous Among the Nations,” a title given by Yad Vashem on behalf of the State of
Israel, identifies gentiles who had risked their lives saving Jews from Nazi persecution during the
Holocaust. Since 1953, Yad Vashem evaluates the cases of gentiles, and if an individual meets
the criteria, a commission elected by a justice of the Supreme Court of Israel awards the honor to
the gentiles deemed worthy (Yad Vashem). Since Henriette Voute compromised her life by
hiding, protecting, and nourishing many Dutch-Jewish children, the commission identifies her as
a “Righteous Gentile.”
When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, they displayed their supremacy to the Dutch by
deducting their belongings, isolating them from public life, banning them from their jobs, and
forcing them into death camps. After witnessing the bombing of Rotterdam, the Dutch ceased
their rebelling and surrendered to the Nazis when threatened with the same consequence. Once
the Dutch Jews realized the futility in revolting, they attempted to escape but failed due to the
country’s dense inhabitants, lack of open space or woods, and anti-Jewish measures. Scarcely
powerful, the Nazis managed to drive Queen Wilhelmina of Netherland out of her country in
1940, establishing a German civil administration and declaring the Netherlands under the
command of the SS (Geni). In addition to enforcing more restrictions, the German civil
administration stamped those who affiliated with the Jewish faith or who possessed Jewish roots
Kazin 2
with a large “J” or a yellow star (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Promptly after the
occupation, Nazis enacted anti-Semitic decrees, firing Jewish civil servants and registering
Jewish businesses and individual Jews themselves. Further displaying their power, the Nazi
regime assembled a Judenrat, the “Joodse Raad,” to administer orders of the SS regarding the
lives of the Dutch Jews. In 1942, although most of the Dutch Jews now suffered in concentration
camps in Germany and Poland, the remaining Dutch students and church circles in the
Netherlands formed privy rescue groups to help others avert the Nazis (Yad Vashem). These
groups gradually grew more popular as the circumstances grew harsher and as the Nazis’ wrath
began to worsen.
Henriette Voute’s early experiences and the environment in which she grew up
influenced both her uncommon opinion and her actions in World War II. Because of her fiercely
anti-Nazi family, Voute’s opinions derived mostly from nurture, along with the opinions of her
six older siblings. When the Nazi regime banned Jewish newspapers in the Netherlands to
eliminate censure against the Nazi party, two of Voute’s brothers founded The Bulletin, the first
secret Dutch resistance newspaper for spreading information to Jews via underground travel.
(Yad Vashem) While studying biology at Utrecht University, she began hearing stories
concerning the incre...

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