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Dutch Woman Sentenced for Kidnapping Jewish Child Gets Pardon

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Queen Juliana was disclosed today to have pardoned Elizabeth van Moors, a Catholic foster mother of Anneke Beekman, after she served four months of a six-month sentence for kidnapping the Jewish child. The 61-year-old Catholic woman was one of four sisters to whom Anneke’s Jewish parents entrusted their child before their deportation to a Nazi death camp in 1943. She was pardoned as a result of Anneke’s intervention.

Dutch Jews opened a fight after the war to regain Anneke which was refused by the Moors sisters because they planned to raise the child as a Catholic despite her father’s last plea that if he did not return, he wanted his daughter to be raised as a Jew. While the Amsterdam Jewish Children’s Welfare Committee was seeking to obtain custody of the child, the sisters had Anneke baptized.

After a Dutch court officially turned the child over to the committee, officers at the committee went to to a Catholic home in Pilversum where Elizabeth and Gertrude Moors lived with the child, but they had fled, taking Anneke with them. They remained in hiding with Anneke for 12 years.

In 1956 a Dutch court sentenced Elizabeth Moors to six months’ imprisonment in absentia. Gertrude Moors served a three-month sentence but the girl remained hidden. Last December Anneke Beekman, now 21, returned to Holland, professing her complete loyalty to the four sisters.

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