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Oral history interview with Willem Coenraad Laros

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1992.A.0124.32 | RG Number: RG-50.028.0032

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    Oral history interview with Willem Coenraad Laros


    Interview Summary
    Willem Laros, born June 9, 1902 in Delft, Netherlands, describes his father, who was a stone mason; his education; working several jobs, including bicycle repair and porcelain manufacturing; getting married at age 24; Delft in 1933 and how the Dutch people were concerned about the rise of Hitler in Germany; the NSB Party; never being involved in a political party; being raised in the Reform Church; finding the Jehovah's Witnesses through one of his brothers in the mid-1930s; being baptized on April 15, 1934 in Brussels, Belgium; being active in preaching; the beginning of the war; being arrested by a Dutch policeman with one other person, Mr. Molerfeld, while his wife was out preaching; leaving his three year old daughter with a neighbor; being taken to the Hague, Netherlands and being interrogated; refusing to renounce his faith; being in jail for three months and transferred to Dusseldorf, Germany, where he stayed for one week; being sent to Hanover and Berlin, before arriving in Sachsenhausen concentration camp; other prisoners; being tested by doing physical exercises; writing letters home; the treatment of the J.W. prisoners; having Bible study in the camp; hangings and the punishment for prisoners who tried to escape; his various jobs in the camp; their clothing; roll calls; daily life in the camp; food rations; being sent to Flossenbürg concentration camp to pick fruit; the J.W. prisoners trying to comfort and strengthen each other; starting a Bible study with some Dutch and Belgian political prisoners; hiding his Bible; the death march and the baptism of 38 people in Mecklenberg when they heard about their coming liberation; conditions during the death march; spending a few nights in the forest until the Red Cross brought them some food; being discovered by the Canadian Army; the journey back to the Netherlands and spending a night in a castle near the city of Oman; arriving in Delft and seeing his daughter who was then eight years old; becoming a storekeeper in Delft; his wife, five children, and 18 grandchildren; and being an elder in their church.
    Wilhelm C. Laros
    Robert Buckley
    interview:  1991 February 01

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (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 Willem Coenraad Laros on February 1, 1991.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 07:59:28
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