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|Catalog No.||13641||Similar Items|
|Brief Description||Operatives of the Dutch underground, holding a meeting in Nunspeet.||Similar Items|
|Registry No.||08064||Similar Items|
|Donor||Elsberg Rafael||Similar Items|
|Period||During World War II||Similar Items|
|Date of event||1944||Similar Items|
|See linked items||The Westerweel Group collection - lists of names and testimonies|
|databank||Photo Archive||Similar Items|
Operatives of the Dutch underground, holding a meeting in Nunspeet in March 1944 to discuss, among other things, plans to liberate Joop Westerweel.
The Westerweel group began in 1941 when the "Werkdorp" (working village) in Wieringermeer, a Zionist hachshara (training camp), was liquidated and some of its members were sent to the Mauthausen camp.
In August 1942, when the order to report at the Loosdrecht Youth Aliyah House for forced labor in Germany was received, the directors, Menachem Pinkhof and Joachim - Schschu Simon, contacted Joop Westerweel, an educator and a known pacifist, for help. The HeHalutz movement members in Amsterdam, who were looking for ties with Dutchmen, also approached Westerweel and his friends, and he soon became the non – Jewish leader of the Zionist underground. He was caught at the Dutch – Belgian border in March 1944, and was executed in the Vught camp on 11 August 1944.
The group searched for ways out of the Netherlands, and contacted a Jewish resistance in France for that purpose. Some 70 members managed to cross the Pyrenees over to Spain and reached Mandate Palestine in 1944.
In all, the group was able to save the lives of 309 out of 387 members of Zionist youth movements in the Netherlands.
After the war, this group was given the name "Westerweel Groep".
For further information about the Westerweel group, see file 674 in the Holland Section of the GFH Archives. Close