Dutch man and daugther who hid Jews during Holocaust honored
Yad Vashem posthumously honors Jan Willem Kamphuis and his daughter Klazenia Kamphuis-Vink from Holland who hid Jews from the Nazis.
Yad Vashem on Tuesday held a ceremony posthumously honoring Jan Willem Kamphuis and his daughter Klazenia Kamphuis-Vink from Holland as Righteous Among the Nations.
During World War II, the two hid a Jewish couple, Henny and Manfred Kurt Lowenstein, in their home and saved them from the Nazis.
The medal and certificate of honor were presented to Anthonie Vink, son of Klazenia Kamphuis-Vink and grandson of Jan Willem Kamphuis. The event took place in the presence of Supreme Court Justice (ret.) Jacob Turkel, Chairman of the Committee for the Designation of the Righteous, as well as Dr. James Lowenstein, son of Henny and Manfred Kurt Lowenstein, a representative of the Dutch Embassy in Israel, and family members and friends.
Henny Dünner was born in 1918 in the city of Cologne, Germany. Her father, Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Dünner, was the local rabbi.
Henny attended the local Jewish Yavne School until her studies were cut short when her parents decided to send her and her siblings to family living in Amsterdam. This was shortly after the rise to power of the Nazis, and Henny's parents felt that their children would be safer if they left Germany
In 1939, Henny's parents joined their children in Amsterdam. Henny decided to halt her studies in order to learn a trade; she trained to be a seamstress.
In the spring of 1943, Henny was arrested and taken to Hollandsche Schouwburg, the Jewish theater that served as an assembly point for Jews who had been arrested and were awaiting deportation. There, she told the authorities that she had experience caring for children and was transferred to the adjacent children's home, where she helped the children before their deportation.
Henny successfully escaped from the children's home together with her future husband, Manfred Kurt Loewenstein. Shortly thereafter, the two found a hiding place in the home of Jan Willem Kamphuis, a widower who lived together with his daughter, Klazenia, in Driebregen near the city of Utrecht.
Despite the danger, Jan Willem and Klazenia opened their home to Manfred and Henny. For eight months, the couple hid in a small room in the attic of the hous.
Although Henny and Manfred never dared venture outside except to hide out in the nearby forest when imminent danger loomed, the neighbors became suspicious of the Kamphuis home, and in February 1944, the situation became more dangerous, particularly because some of the neighbors were Dutch Nazi party members.
With the help of the local resistance, Henny and Manfred were taken to another hiding place, where they stayed through the end of the war. Shortly before their liberation, while still in hiding, Henny gave birth to their son, James.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Dünner and his wife had been arrested together with their children and deported to Bergen Belsen. Fortunately, the family was part of a prisoner exchange for German Templars from Mandatory Palestine and thus survived the war. One of Henny's sisters, Ruth Dünner, was sent to Auschwitz and murdered there.