- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Schoffelen Rada
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.
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- No restrictions on access
- Conditions on Use
- No restrictions on use
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- The ration coupon was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017 by Esther Schoffelen Rada.
- Record last modified:
- 2022-07-28 18:16:33
- This page:
Also in Esther Rada collection
Collection illustrating the experiences of Jan Marie Schoffelen who was born July 14, 1921 in Heerlen, Netherlands and worked along with his wife Ingrid Koke-Schoffelen during WWII as a Dutch resister in Sittard, Netherlands and surrounding areas. Jan's account is included and identifies their work mainly responsible for "transporting, hiding, and freeing" allied pilots shot down and in the area of Sittard. As an active resister, Jan was arrested, released and followed by the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging [NSB], Dutch collaborators, as well as Germans. Eventually, he went into hiding and then on false papers to continue his work. Included, but not limited to, are Jan and Ingrid's original identity papers, 1930s-1940s, blank ration coupons, forms, pre-stamped, letter from him in Maastricht prison.
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.