Vancouver Community Sets Life-time Pension for Couple Who Saved Jews

A non-Jewish couple, credited with saving the lives of many Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War, was honored in special ceremonies here in which members of the Vancouver Jewish community expressed their gratitude for the wartime heroism by paying off the mortgage on the couple’s home and providing them with a $100-a-month lifetime pension.

The couple, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hulstein, emigrated to Canada after the Second World War. Mr. Hulstein, now 63, has been unable to work since the Nazis sent him to a concentration camp for his wartime efforts in the Dutch underground and in saving the lives of countless Jewish refugees.

For two years during the war the Hulstein’s home in Appledoorf, Holland, was a transfer point for Jewish refugees on their way to hiding places and for resistance workers sought by the Gestapo. One of the first things the couple did after joining the resistance in 1943 was to adopt a Jewish baby and pass him off as one of their own children until the end of the war.

At one point during the war, the entire Hulstein family was held at gunpoint during a Gestapo raid on their home and threatened with death unless they revealed information about hiding places of Jews and identities of resistance workers. The Hulsteins revealed nothing, but the Gestapo eventually succeeded in capturing 50 of the resistance workers who were sent to concentration camps along with Mr. Hulstein. He was released two months later when the Nazis realized the end of the war was approaching.

In ceremonies here, Bill Simmons, chairman of a special committee formed to raise money for the Hulsteins with the cooperation of the Canadian Jewish Congress, tore up the paid-off mortgage and announced the gift of the pension on behalf of the Vancouver Jewish community.

NEXT STORY