A Dutch woman who used her wartime crèche in Amsterdam to help Jewish children escape deportation was awarded the Jewish Rescuers’ Citation at the Verzetsmuseum last Sunday.
The recognition for Henriëtte Pimentel, who saved hundreds of Jewish children during the Second World War, comes 78 years after her death at Auschwitz – the same camp she saved the children from being taken to.
Pimentel, who was Jewish, led a crèche opposite a theatre in Amsterdam where Jewish families had to wait before being transported to the death camp.
Up to 800 Jewish children, who were put up at the crèche while they waited, were hidden in boxes and baskets by crèche staff, often under the Nazis’ noses, and taken to safety.
The museum’s Marjo Nachtegaal said Pimental had been a childcare pioneer, who ruled that every child should have their own little chair and table with a vase of flowers on it.
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