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Schoffelen family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.245.1

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    Schoffelen family papers

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    The collection documents the experiences of Jan Marie Schoffelen and Ingrid Köke (later Ingrid Schoffelen) of Sittard, the Netherlands during World War II as members of the Dutch resistance. Included are false identification papers, forged documents and stamps, blank ration coupons and forms, and propaganda leaflets. Correspondence of Jan includes two letters written by him while imprisoned in Maastricht in 1940. Other material includes identification, education, immigration, and employment papers; a handwritten memoir by Jan describing his wartime experiences; photographs of Jan and Ingrid; clippings; family genealogy research; and a typewritten diary of Herman Hofte (relation unknown) describing his wartime experiences in Sittard.
    inclusive:  1937-2007
    bulk:  1940-1965
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Schoffelen Rada
    Collection Creator
    Schoffelen family
    Jan Marie Schoffelen (1921-2007) was born on 14 July 1921 in Heerlen, the Netherlands to Emile (1891-1982) and Sophia (née Custers, 1893-1954) Schoffelen. He had nine siblings: Jeanne (b. 1917), Joseph (1919-1990), Rudolph (b. 1920), Cecile (b. 1923), Henricus (b. 1924), Paul (b. 1925), Wilhelm (b. 1927), Alice (b. 1930), and Emile (1932-1994). Emile was a teacher and school principal and Sophia was the daughter of a wealthy businessman.

    Jan lived in Sittard, the Netherlands since the 1930s, and was a student when Germany occupied the Netherlands in May 1940. On 5 September 1940 Jan, along with three others, was accused of being a spy. He was arrested and sent to the prison in Maastricht. He was interrogated and kept in solitary confinement. Jan was released in November 1940 but remained under surveillance by the Germans and the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging or NSB). He went to Wageningen to attend school, but returned to Sittard in spring 1941 due to ongoing depression related to his imprisonment. He learned that he was still wanted by the Germans for other student activism activities he wasn’t involved with, and went into hiding for several months.

    After returning to Wageningen, he learned that the Germans demanded the students to sign an oath of allegiance, and that failure to sign would mean deportation to a labor camp. Jan and his brother Paul went into hiding. Paul remained in hiding for the duration of the war. Jan moved around, hiding with different relatives. He returned to Sittard where he met Reverend Pex and the Köke family, both of whom were involved in the Dutch Resistance. He became friends with Ingrid Köke, whom he would later marry. He obtained false identities from Reverend Pex, and got involved with resistance activities that included smuggling Jews and others from Germany into Limburg province, smuggling Allied pilots to Belgium, manufacturing forged food stamps and other documents, and helping get Dutch men out of labor camps in Germany.

    After the war, Jan worked with American and English security, and briefly became a member of the Special Police Force in Sittard. He then went to law school. He and Ingrid married in 1949, and immigrated to the United States in 1953. They had four children, Esther, Emilius, Michael, and Paul.

    Ingrid Schoffelen (born Ingrid Maria Josephine Köke, 1926-2009) was born on 13 February 1926 in Holthausen, Herne, Germany to Albert Ludwig Köke and Anna Francisca Mathilde Linde.

    Physical Details

    Dutch English German
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as two series: Series 1: Biographical material, 1937-2007; Series 2: Wartime documents, 1940-1944

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Esther Schoffelen Rada in 2017.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 12:20:36
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