A Dutch couple posthumously received the highest honor for non-Jews from Israel's Holocaust memorial authority Thursday for their bravery in sheltering a Jewish family from the Nazis during World War II.
Hendrikus (Hein) and Martha Snapper were named "Righteous Among the Nations" at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial authority in Jerusalem.
The recognition is given to non-Jews who rescued Jews from the Nazis during the war, when 6 million Jews were killed. More than 21,000 have been honored since the designation was originated in 1963.
They were in their early forties with six children when the war reached the Netherlands in 1940. Hein Snapper, as a labor official in Naaldwijk, a town in the western part of the Netherlands, was confronted early on with the registration of Jews, the appropriation of Jewish property and the expulsion of Jewish children from public schools, Yad Vashem officials said.
In the summer of 1942, he became active in a local underground group and was put in contact with a Jewish family, Rosa and Levy (Leen) de Hartog. The de Hartogs had received a deportation notice and were frantically searching for a hiding place. The Snappers decided to open their home to Rosa de Hartog, whom they presented as their housekeeper. The Snappers also found hiding places for Leen and their five children, according to officials at Yad Vashem.