Marion P.

A Dutch rescuer explains her decision to help

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Excerpts copyright © Yale University Library, 1996.

Marion P. was born in 1920 in Amsterdam, Holland. Her father was a judge. She spent time in Britain, since her mother was English. She notes the Dutch tradition of offering refuge to victims of religious persecution and the arrival of many Jewish refugees as Hitler rose to power. Although not Jewish, her father was disappointed that the Dutch government did not make it easier for Jewish refugees from Europe to enter Holland. She describes the German invasion on May 10, 1940, which was a magnificent spring day, contrasting with the events taking place. As anti-Jewish laws were gradually implemented, she encouraged her Jewish friends to go into hiding, although no one imagined the "final solution." She describes the event that led her to begin actively hiding Jews.

"When I was on my way to classes at the school of social work, and I saw a truck being loaded with Jewish children from a Jewish home. I mentioned earlier about these two Dutch women, and there were others who brought Jewish children to Holland. This was one of the small group homes. These children ranged in age from about two to ten. And the way those Germans treated those children, again, on a sunny day like today--at nine o'clock in the morning, you're on your way to work and you see, on the sidewalk, adult males laughing and joking around while they're picking up small children by their arms, their legs, their hair, and throwing them in a truck--it helps you believe that they could do anything at all. There were two women who attacked the Germans, tried to stop them, and they were thrown on the truck too. And that was when I decided to become, more active, shall we say."

Marion P., often risking her own life, saved many Jews in Holland. She has been designated one of the "Righteous among the Nations" by Yad Vashem. After the war, she worked as a social worker in displaced persons camps. She married an American GI who was an administrator at a displaced persons camp. Marion P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-754). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library. The length of the complete testimony is 1 hour, 56 minutes. A catalog record is available for this testimony in Orbis, the Yale University Library online public access catalog. Please see the Catalog and research guide section of this site for more information. A second interview (HVT-1097) and an interview with Marion and Anton P. (her husband) together (HVT-1099) are also available. Excerpts from this testimony are available in Parallel Paths, an edited program available for loan to schools and community groups.