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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Grandmother, 90, finally reveals her astonishing past as Dutch resistance fighter who hid Jewish families from the Nazis

For seven decades she kept her story to herself. Then, on her 90th birthday, Grietje Scott decided to reveal all.
The frail pensioner, who has lived in Scotland since 1948, has finally told how she became a decorated WW2 hero who was part of an elite fighting force in the Dutch Resistance.
Mrs Scott dodged bullets, hid crucial supplies from the Nazis and helped hide fleeing Jewish families from the clutches of the feared Gestapo.

Despite being decorated by the Yad Vashem - Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust - Mrs Scott kept her heroism a secret.
That was until she celebrated her 90th with her family at the Homemount House care home in Largs, North Ayrshire, on January 12.
Now her son Andrew, 58, has written a 90-page book about his mother's war time experience called A Roll in the Snow.
It tells how the grandmother of three, known as 'Kieks', moved to Scotland after marrying Paisley man Archie Scott in 1948.
She said yesterday: 'I just did what I had to do. I wouldn't call myself a hero. It was a very difficult time, I couldn't talk about it for forty years.
'When the Jews arrived on our doorstep we thought the war would end in six months.
'Once they came we did our best to protect them, sharing our food and doing whatever we had to keep them and us safe.
Mrs Scott (left) pictured in Holland in the war years when she was in the Dutch resistance
Mrs Scott (left) pictured in Holland in the war years when she was in the Dutch resistance
'I'm just glad I could do something good.'
At the outbreak of war in 1939 Mrs Scott, nie Okma, was an 17-year-old woman living in the suburbs of The Hague in Holland, with her mother Truida, older sisters Truida, Ella, Trientje and Martha and brothers Willem, Ruurd and Douwe.
Mrs Scott's father Dirk, a magistrate, died before the war in an epidemic thought to be polio.
Mrs Scott's brother Willem, a member of the Resistance, built a secret room in the home to house house fleeing Jews to fool the Gestapo, who were hunting Jewish families to throw them in concentration camps.
Willem closed off a small room in the upstairs of the house and disguised the entrance with a mirror.
The family would use a downstairs buzzer if danger was nearby to sound the opening bars of Beetoven's fifth symphony.
Jientje Abraham, aged three, who Mrs Scott hid from the Gestapo during the war with other family members
Jientje Abraham, aged three, who Mrs Scott hid from the Gestapo during the war with other family members
War hero: Mrs Scott with her first born Andrew after the war in 1948 and mother Truida
War hero: Mrs Scott with her first born Andrew after the war in 1948 and mother Truida

Mrs Scott with husband Archie on their wedding day with page boy Derik Ineka and his sister Ineka as bridesmaid
Mrs Scott with husband Archie on their wedding day with page boy Derik Ineka and his sister Ineka as bridesmaid
The ingenious family also installed mirrors at right angles to the upstairs windows of the hidden room to allow the Jewish family to look out without being seen.
The first fugitives came in 1942 when Jewish couple, Solomon, known as 'Piet', and his wife Lien, came to live with them in their home.
The couple were later joined by their two-year-old son Abraham, renamed Jeintje to avoid suspicion, who had previously been looked after by neighbours until his parents were settled.
The family continued to shelter the refugees secretly, letting them live in one room on the house's second floor during the day.
They were later joined by a second couple brought by the nearby church, Joab and Geb Gardner, and in the summer of that year a Jewish man named Kurtle Levin, later renamed 'Chris', who scrambled through the house's upstairs window and took shelter.
The wedding party after Mrs Scott spent her youth in Holland as part of an elite fighting force in the Dutch Resistance, dodging bullets, hiding crucial supplies from the Nazis
The wedding party after Mrs Scott spent her youth in Holland as part of an elite fighting force in the Dutch Resistance, dodging bullets, hiding crucial supplies from the Nazis
The growing household were supported by the Resistance as Mrs Scott's mother worked as a courier and her brother Douwe as a forger, copying documents for escapees.
Andrew said: 'The Jewish families all took Christian pseudonyms so they could talk about them in public places without raising suspicious, because a few of them had very Jewish names.
'There were obviously tensions in the house as more and more people began to live there but they lived separately, taking different floors.
'It must have been difficult but they were all united against a common enemy.'
The extended family lived under one roof until 1943 when the Gestapo captured family friend Pete Van Brackel, who brought the second couple to the house.
The brave Resistance fighter held out from torture for 15 days before giving up his knowledge of the secret room.
He died a day later from his horrendous injuries.
The incident was followed by a midnight raid on the house but the cunning family outfoxed the officers with an elaborate story and their secret room.

1 comMENTS:

I think I am a descendant to Mrs. Scott.
My name is Judith Roy. My mother was born a Scott. My family tree is traced back to the same areas as she. She looks like my mother too! Or my mother looks like her. My mother has lost contact with all our family! She hasn't seen or heard from them since she was a small child! Please! Can u help me! I would like to speak to someone who can help me....
Thank you & God bless you!
Judith Lynn Roy
And my mother Judy May Scott

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