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John Henry Weidner papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.619.1 | RG Number: RG-67.063M

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    Correspondence, speeches and writings, government documents, printed matter, audiovisual material and memorabilia, relating to an escape route through the Netherlands and France from Nazi-occupied Europe, for political refugees, Jews, and Allied servicemen, which was under the leadership of John Henry (Johan Hendrik) Weidner (1912-1994). The collection consists of microfilm copies of the originals, which are owned by the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University.
    inclusive:  1890-2010
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the John Henry Weidner Foundation, with the cooperation of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Collection Creator
    John H. Weidner
    John Henry Weidner (1912-1994) was born John Hendrik Weidner in Brussels on 22 October 1912, the son of Dutch parents who lived in Belgium and France, where Weidner's father served as a minister in the Seventh Day Adventist church. After the German occupation of Paris in June 1940, Weidner moved to Lyon, in the non-occupied (Vichy) part of the country, establishing a textile business there. Due to his religious convictions, he began helping Dutch citizens who were interned in camps near Lyon, but by 1942, expanded the scope of his work to begin helping refugees who had escaped from the Netherlands, Belgium, and German-occupied parts of France to find their way to the Swiss border, or to Spain. In this work, he helped political refugees, persecuted Jews, and later, Allied airmen who had been shot down over German-occupied territories, find their way to safety. The escape route, dubbed the "Dutch-Paris Line," was used by Weidner and over 300 people who worked with him, to rescue over 1,000 people, including over 800 Jews from the Netherlands. In 1955, Weidner immigrated to the United States, and in 1978 he was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. Weidner died in Monterey Park, California on 21 May 1994.

    Koreman, Megan. Gewone Helden: de Dutch-Paris ontsnappingslijn, 1942-1945. Amsterdam: Boom uitgevers, 2016 (ISBN 978 90 5875 5568) [The book will be available on 5 November 2016-see website:]

    Koreman, Megan. The Escape Line: How the Ordinary Heroes of Dutch-Paris Resisted the Nazi Occupation of Western Europe. Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Ford, Herbert. Flee the captor. Nashville : Southern Pub. Association, 1966

    Gerstner, Karl-Heinz, Sachlich, kritisch, optimistisch. Berlin: edition ost, 1999

    Physical Details

    English French Dutch
    52 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
    System of Arrangement
    Arranged in one series and ten subseries: Series 1. Alphabetical File, 1916-2007 (Box 1-36; Microfilm 1-51). Organized alphabetically.
    Subseries: 1. Subject file (A-D), 1935-1993 ; 2. Subject file (D-G): Decorations and awards, 1926-2006 ; 3. Subject file (F-H): Finances, history, resistance, 1941-1977; 4. Subject file (H-J): Holocaust and miscellaneous records, 1942-1994; 5. Subject file (J-K): Jewish affairs, 1942-1933 ; 6. Subject file (K-N), 1943-1993; 6. Subject file (N-R): Netherlands-societies and unions, 1944-1994; 7. Subject file (R-S): Resistance-conferences and associations, 1943-1994; 8. Subject file (S): Seventh Day Adventists-meetings, conferences and associations, 1943-1993; 9. Subject file (S-W): Sirhan Sirhan, articles and related stories; general speeches, various testimonies, theological matters, thank you letters, etc. 1890-1991; 10. Subject file (W-Z), including notes on religious subjects, 1923-1989.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing station. There are no additional access restrictions to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Fair use only. For copyright permissions, please contact The Weidner Foundation,

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Holder of Originals
    Hoover Institution Archives
    Source of acquisition is the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. Microfilm copies were created by the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University, and copies were transferred to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives in a cooperative agreement with the John Henry Weidner Foundation, 2015.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-24 13:41:38
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