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Medal honoring soldiers killed during the invasion issued to a Dutch resistance leader

Object | Accession Number: 1990.23.240.3

Medal honoring soldiers who died in the May 1940 invasion, with shield and broken sword, awarded to Piet Brandsen by Stichting 1940-1945 for his bravery and resistance activities during the German occupation of the Netherlands from May 1940-May 1945. The six medals in the series honor the following: 1. For the soldiers who fell in the May 1940 invasion [this medal, 1990.23.240.3]; 2. For those who endured the bombardments and attacks (1990.23.240.3; 3. For victims of torture and betrayal (1990.23.240.3]; 4. For those who suffered in the concentration camps (1990.23.240.3; 5. For those who were imprisoned (1990.23.240.3; 6. For all of those who have been oppressed by tyranny (1990.23.240.3. Stichting 1940-1945 foundation was created during the war to provide aid to resistance members and their families. After Netherlands was invaded by Germany in May 1940, Piet and his wife Dina, devout Christians, joined the resistance. Piet helped many Jewish people go into hiding and provided false identities and food coupons. He was arrested by the Gestapo on January 21, 1944. He was jailed, often in solitary, and was tortured and starved. He gave up nothing and was released for lack of evidence after nine months. He resumed his resistance work. After Piet passed away in 1978, his medals were given to Felix and Flory Van Beek, a Jewish couple hidden by Piet and Dina, so the Van Beeks could donate them to a Jewish museum. In June 1942, Piet found Flora crying on the street and convinced her to come hide in his home. He found her boyfriend Felix and married the couple so they could live together in hiding. After Piet's arrest, they hid with Hank Hornsveld and family. The Netherlands was liberated in May 1945.

commemoration:  1940 May
commemoration:  1940-1945
issue: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Object Type
Medals, Dutch (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Felix and Flory Van Beek and their Estate
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:29:28
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