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War Diary of Jewish Kindergarten Teacher from Dordt discovered

Discussion in 'History of Holland and Belgium during World War I' started by MichaelBully, May 3, 2017.

  1. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

    Nov 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Brighton, UK
    Found this piece from Dutch language history website 'Historiek.net'

    Titled 'Personal diary of Jewish 'Onderduikster' from Dordt Found'

    Never quite sure if there's an exact English equivalent of 'Onderduikster'.( the feminine form of 'Onderduiker') literally 'those who dive below' but refers to the Dutch who went underground during occupation. Some were Jewish, others were risking persecution for a variety of reasons, and also to young men who into hiding to avoid being forced to work in Germany .

    My attempt to summarise the article in English:

    Corine Fonteijn was a Jewish kindergarten teacher born in 1913 who went underground with her mother on 3rd October 1942, working at a friend's laundry business, and hiding in the loft there for 31 months.

    In February 1943 Corine's sister Rosa, whilst pregnant, was interned with her husband at Westerbork concentration camp (which was in The Netherlands). Their child was born , but they were subsequently deported to Auschwitz and never returned.

    Corine and her mother did not venture out ....and her diary particularly noted whatever glimpses she had of the natural world, observed from the loft window, which seemed be of comfort to her. In her diary Corine stated that she would never again keep an animal in a cage as she now knew how it felt.

    The last few months in hiding were particularly harrowing for them, due to worsening food shortages and illness. But with the ending of the war Corine and her mother came out of hiding on 8th May 1945.

    Corine never married and had no descendants and died in 2013 at the age of 99. Her greatest achievement was being the founder of the 'Party For Animals'.

    The diary is now published as 'The Caged Animal- the War Diary of Corine Fonteijn ' . The original manuscript is at the Jewish History Museum in Amsterdam.

    Indringend dagboek gevonden van Joodse onderduikster in Dordt
  2. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2016
    Likes Received:
    In Nazi Germany 'those who dive below', usually Jews, were known as U-Boats.
    MichaelBully likes this.

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