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Old 07-02-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
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A Life That Deserves to Be Remembered

I just came across this and felt that it merited a mention here in this forum:


Designer who rescued Jews in Nazi era dies

Jaap Penraat, an architect and industrial designer who helped 406 Jews sneak out of Nazi-occupied Netherlands and withstood torture to protect fellow members of the resistance, has died. He was 88.

Penraat died June 25 at his home in Catskill, N.Y., of esophageal cancer, said his daughter, Noelle Penraat.

Penraat was in his 20s when he began forging identity cards for Jews. He was arrested, imprisoned for several months and tortured, but refused to tell his captors anything.

After his release from prison, Penraat and other resistance members disguised Jews as construction workers hired to work on the defensive wall that Nazi forces were building along France's Atlantic Coast. He made 20 trips accompanying groups of refugees to Lille, France, where the Jews were met by the French underground and sent on to neutral Spain.

Speaking about his wartime experiences years later, Penraat said he had simply done what seemed necessary.

"You do these things because in your mind there is no other way of doing it," he told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2000.

Of the 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands before the Nazis invaded, only about 30,000 survived. Poland was the only nation that lost a larger percentage of its Jewish population.

After the war, Penraat became a noted designer in Amsterdam, then moved to the United States in 1958.

He is survived by three daughters, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


You do these things because in your mind there is no other way of doing it.

Such words of wisdom - and an urge to all of us to do the things that we know that we should do to make our world a better, more equitable and more peaceful place for EVERYONE.

I hope that you can agree.

Thank you, Jaap Penraat.

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Old 07-02-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
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Very cool!!!

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Old 07-02-2006, 08:44 PM   #3
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What a brave and sacrificial man! I wish this world were filled with people like him.
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Old 07-02-2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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Jamila, I'm surprised you haven't posted your thoughts on Warren Buffet's generous move last week.

Thanks for this WWII memorial though...there are fewer and fewer of those heroes left to remind us.

RIP Jaap Penraat.
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Old 07-03-2006, 12:14 AM   #5
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Great man indeed.
<a href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/angelaharlem/thPaul_Roos28.jpg target=_blank>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...aul_Roos28.jpg</a>
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