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Oral history interview with Klaas De Vries and Maria De Vries

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1992.A.0124.13 | RG Number: RG-50.028.0013

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    Oral history interview with Klaas De Vries and Maria De Vries


    Interview Summary
    Klaas de Vries (born in 1919 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Maria de Vries (born in Waddinxveen, the Netherlands in 1912) discuss how Klaas came in contact with the Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) in 1930 when he and his family moved to Rotterdam, the Netherlands; how he and Maria became JW and by 1933 they were involved in Bible education work; getting married in 1937; how a German named Winkler ran the Rotterdam branch; working as pioneers on a ship in northern Holland; working on the ship in Groningen, the Netherlands when the Germans invaded; going into hiding; changing the name of the boat from the Light Bearer to Corey; how Klaus was arrested while bringing literature to another JW in mid-1940; how Maria fled the boat and was not found by the Gestapo; Klaas’s interrogation and being beaten; how Klaas was sent to a jail in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands and then transferred to Sachsenhausen; his experience having a religious discussion with a Jew on his way to the camp and being put in a labor camp, where they made bricks and 50 people died a day; how he got back to the main camp by hiding under a load of dead bodies; being hospitalized and becoming the butler for a German officer, to whom he read the Bible every Sunday; how he was sent to work on a ship and preached to other inmates and the German guards; how he was almost hanged for helping a hurt man; going on the death march with the other JWs; being liberated; his return to Rotterdam and assignment in Dordrecht, the Netherlands; Maria’s arrest and four month isolated imprisonment in a jail; how she was interrogated and beaten; her deportation to Ravensbrück; being beaten on her first day there; the conditions she experienced; how she was outspoken and received many beatings; dancing and crying upon liberation; how she went to a hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden; and being reunited with Klaas.
    Klaas de Vries
    Maria de Vries
    Robert Buckley
    interview:  1990 September 03

    Physical Details

    2 videocassettes (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

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    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Oral History Branch, in cooperation with Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc. produced the interview with Klaas & Maria De Vries on September 3, 1990.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 07:59:22
    This page:

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