(HISTORY) — In 1942 and 1943, Dutch educator Johan van Hulst arranged for the transport of some very precious cargo. It was passed over a hedge, hidden in basket and sacks, and then whisked out of Amsterdam by bicycle. The cargo wasn’t food or supplies: It was Jewish children, smuggled and saved by van Hulst and his colleagues during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
By the end of the war, van Hulst had helped spirit an estimated 600 Jewish children out of harm’s way. Now, his heroism is being remembered with news of his death in Amsterdam on March 22, 2018. He was 107.
A Christian, van Hulst became deputy principal of the Reformed Teachers’ Training College in Amsterdam in 1940, the year Germany invaded the Netherlands. Van Hulst helped turn the school into a site of anti-Nazi resistance and a shelter for Dutch teachers who refused to sign the oath of loyalty to Germany that soon became required of Dutch university students.
Advertisement - story continues below