Nederlands Exposition in Auschwitz Resistance

Religious resistance

The churches were shocked when it became clear that Jews were being deported. Ten Dutch religious denominations jointly sent a protest telegram to the German authorities. The intention was to read this telegram out loud in the churches. A public conflict was the last thing the Germans wanted. In order to meet the concern of the churches regarding Christian Jews, it was decided that this group would temporarily be exempt from deportation. However, reading the telegram out loud in the churches was forbidden. Nevertheless, it was read in the Catholic churches and several Protestant churches.

The protest telegram
Personal story: Edith Stein

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  1. Bert Poels, standing left in the photo, came from a family with seven children. He was a milkman in the village America in the southern part of the Netherlands. During the war his father’s farm became a refuge for escaped French prisoners of war, Jews, and from the spring of 1942, for British pilots. At first, the Germans did not realise what was going on at the farm, but that changed when two French prisoners of war were arrested at the Belgian border. One of them had Poel’s address on him. During the next raid no evidence was found. But in July 1944, the Sicherheitsdienst raided again. Bert Poels managed to escape, but his father died on the spot from a heart attack. Two brothers were taken away, but released later. The Poels family and their assistants helped more than 35 pilots.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  2. Hiding place in the attic of the Poels family where people hid when there was danger.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  3. The indication of foot and mouth disease on a farm where people were hiding was sufficient in keeping the Germans off the property.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  4. Jews in hiding at the farm of the Poels family.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  5. A group of Allied pilots at the Poels’ farm.
    With local assistance, the pilots escaped to England via Belgium.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  6. This print of the Madonna as patroness of people in hiding was often sold in the Catholic southern part of the Netherlands. The revenues were donated to the resistance.
    VMA Collection, Amsterdam
jew in the netherlands
german invasion
going into hiding
sinti and roma
dutch people in auschwitz
guest book
active resistance
illegal press
religious resistance