Tuesday, December 27, 2016

We remember Marion Pritchard (1920-2016)

As we look back at 2016, we are reminded that Marion Pritchard passed away last week.  She was one of those people who left an important mark:
In the spring of 1942, Ms. Pritchard was a social work student who had been imbued by her father, a judge, with a strong sense of outrage about the injustices perpetrated against the Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. 
One day, she recalled, as she was riding her bicycle to class, she saw Nazis at the children’s home “picking up the kids by an arm or a leg or by the hair” and throwing them into a truck.
“Well, I stopped my bike and looked,” she said in an oral history recorded in 1984 by the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. 
“Two other women coming down on the street got so furious, they attacked the German soldiers, and they just picked the women up and threw them in the truck after the kids.   “I just stood there,” she added. “I’m one of those people who sat there and watched it happen.”
To save and shelter Jews, Ms. Pritchard registered Jewish infants as her own children and found safe, non-Jewish homes for them. She helped feed Jews and get them ration cards. 
She secured false identification papers to help them avoid capture by the Nazis, and found medical care for children through a friendly pediatrician.
Sometimes her role was simply to be one in a line of rescuers who handed Jewish children to someone else, who would then lead them out of danger. 
By her estimate, she helped rescue 150 Jews.
We call people like Marion heroes, some of the real heroes of the 20th century.



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