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Oral history interview with Willem Coenraad Laros

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

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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.

Interviewee
Wilhelm C. Laros
Interviewer
Robert Buckley
Date
1991 February 01  (interview)
Language
Dutch
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:48:32
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508769