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Holocaust Remembrance Day: A holocaust survivor's son shares his story

Posted at 5:54 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 19:54:44-04

April 21st is Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time of reflection for the thousands of lives lost during World War II.

Montanan Walter Deege said he was born in Netherlands, and his father and uncle died in a concentration camp in Germany.

Although he and his family are not Jewish, it was his father's involvement in the Underground, which was a part of the Dutch Resistance, that led his father to be sent to a concentration camp.

Deegre, said one of the last memories of seeing his father was in 1944, when his father came home from work for a quick lunch break.

His father worked for the Dutch government, in the prison system, and it was there where his father's involvement in the Underground got him in trouble with government officials.

“One night, six of them, raided the prison where he worked and helped two Jews young men in their twenties escape,” he said.

Deegre adds that lunch break was the last time, he saw his father.

Soon after his father helped the Jewish men from escape from the prison.

“One (Escaped Prisoner) was picked up the next day, told who had done it...And, my dad, I will never forget, my dad came home, for lunch, and he and my mother went into the other room and they were talking loudly, and they never talk loud, in my life, and they were like (makes sound of steaming) and my mother said, Tristo, which was his name. I think, you shouldn't go back to work, I think you need to go into hiding. He said, 'ah no problem'. That’s the last time, I saw him,” he said.

The underground was a group of people, mostly Dutch, who fought against the Nazi’s, the group a big part in the Dutch Resistance.

During the Dutch Resistance, the group resisted the German occupation in the Netherlands, saving thousands of Jewish lives.

Deege, believes that his father was taken to the Neuengamme concentration camp, which is located near Hamburg, Germany.

“When the war ended, the underground, came out of hiding. They wore an Orange mantra on the arm. I will never forget it, and they actually went out, and they knew who the German sympathizers were.”

“And, I remember, the one story, of this German SS Officer, from one the camps. What he did, is he shed his uniform, and put on civilian clothes and walked out. They recognized him, they grabbed him, (makes a gunshot reference.) and I saw them do it, they shot him, right there.”

“What happened in the war is inexcusable,” said Deege.

Hundreds of thousands of people were hidden and saved, due to the Dutch Resistance and those who were part of the Underground, according, to many historians, and literature produced during the 1940’s.