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Judith Degroot walks down a street in The Hague with friends holding her baby daughter, Elly.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 47565

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    Judith Degroot walks down a street in The Hague with friends holding her baby daughter, Elly.
    Judith Degroot walks down a street in The Hague with friends holding her baby daughter, Elly.

    Overview

    Caption
    Judith Degroot walks down a street in The Hague with friends holding her baby daughter, Elly.
    Date
    1931 - 1932
    Locale
    The Hague, [South Holland] The Netherlands
    Variant Locale
    Den Haag
    's Gravenhage
    Hague
    La Haye
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Elly Moses (nee van Leeuwen)

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Elly Moses (nee van Leeuwen)
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2004.309

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Elly Moses (born Elly Rachel van Leeuwen) is the daughter of Judith Degroot and Isaac van Leeuwen. She was born in on August 7, 1931 in The Hague where her family had lived for generations. Her father owned a bicycle and small appliance shop. Elly contracted polio in 1935 and had to remain at home for most of the time following her illness though she probably attended public school briefly. Her younger sister Rachel (Chellie) was born in 1936. In May 1940, the Germans invaded The Netherlands, and the following year, Isaac volunteered to go to Westerbork. He joined one of the first transports to the camp after believing a promise that in return, his family would remain unmolested. Elly never saw her father again. He was later deported and perished in Monowitz, otherwise known as Auschwitz III. Judith at first wanted to remain with her husband, but acquaintances in the underground convinced her to at least try to save her two children. In 1942 Judith placed her two daughters in hiding and spent the rest of the war working as a weapons courier for the Dutch resistance using false papers. Chellie, using the false name Loesje Frederiks was placed with a Catholic family in a small town in the provenance of Limburg, and Elly was taken to live with a lawyer. For three weeks he kept her locked in a closet and then she was brought to the farm run by a Dutch woman with her son with Down’s syndrome. This hiding place also did not work out so Elly was next brought to the home of a family in Middleburg, ironically who also had the last name of van Leeuwen. Another Jewish girl was also hiding there. One day the home was raided and the second older girl was rounded up. Elly was moved to a new hiding place and thought that Mr. van Leeuwen was shot and killed. However, he died March 9, 1944 after catching pneumonia from landing in an ice-cold ditch during a car accident, caused by a German officer. Johannes and Katarina Maria den Hollander welcomed Elly into their home even though they had two young boys of their own, Cornelias Johannes (Cees) and Jan Jacob. Elly lived with them for a year and a half in Middleburg on Walcheren island. After some neighbors suspected that the den Hollanders were sheltering a Jewish child, they sent her to the home of a female children’s books author in Utrecht. Elly lived with her for three weeks until it was safe to return to the den Hollanders. The den Hollanders home was liberated in 1944, but Elly remained with them until all of Holland was free in May 1945. Judith learned the whereabouts of her daughters from the underground and came to pick them up. Judith forbade Elly to maintain any contact with the van Hollanders, and Elly never spoke or wrote to them again until 1990 when another child survivor told her how to get in touch. Judith supported her daughters by working as a prison warden for female collaborators. In 1950 Elly married Louis Moses, another child survivor and moved to Israel. They briefly lived in Chulia, a primarily Dutch kibbutz in northern Israel and then moved to Haifa. In 1956 they returned to Holland and the following February immigrated to the United States.
    Record last modified:
    2003-11-17 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1149741

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