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Commemorative medal issued to a Dutch resistance leader

Object | Accession Number: 1990.23.240.8

Commemorative medal, one of six, 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. Stichting 1940-1945 was a foundation 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, in his own home and with other resistance members. He also provided false identities and food coupons. He was arrested by the Gestapo on January 21, 1944. He was jailed, often in solitary confinement, and was tortured and starved. He gave up no information and was released for lack of evidence after nine months, and continued his resistance work. After Piet passed away in 1978, his medals were given to Felix and Flory Van Beek, a Jewish couple that Piet and Dina hid, so the Van Beeks could donate them to a Jewish museum. Piet found Flora crying on the street and convinced her to go into hiding 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.

Date
1940 May-1945 May  (commemoration)
Geography
issue : Netherlands
Language
Dutch
Classification
Military Insignia
Category
Medals
Object Type
Medals, Dutch (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Felix and Flory Van Beek and their Estate
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:22:38
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn3186