In commemorating Bevrijdingsdag, Dutch Liberation Day, we do so in 2 ways. We do so on a large scale, realizing that today is the day set out to celebrate the freedom from the occupation of the Nazi regime, and we do so on a smaller scale, remembering those and the family of those that helped give freedom on a more specific, but no less significant scale. With that in mind I focus in this post on the family te Kiefte. In the book “Jew Face” much is told of the heroics of Lubertus & Geeske te Kiefte. When we first meet them in the book they had a young son Gerrit, and by the time the story is told they have a baby daughter named Aantje. Regretfully all four have passed from this earth. Gerrit, who was just a young boy during the second World War, died suddenly and tragically in 1968. Antje was taken by cancer early in 2010. Bertus te Kiefte lived to be 81 and left this earth in 1990, and Geeske te Kiefte died in 2003 at the age of 90. (Pictures:Left-Bertus and Geeske te Kiefte with son Gerrit in 1943: Right:Sipora Groen holding Aantje in 1945)
As stated so often, in so many ways and in so many places, the te Keiftes and their descendants have stayed close to the Groen family and their descendants. Both Gerrit and Aantje are survived by their spouses and offspring, and Bertus and Geeske have their one surviving daughter Nina with her husband Harm and their children. Harm honors the Normandy Veterans’ Association on his website http://nvafriends.nl/index.php?cid=11
Understanding the more personal stories of heroics helps us to relate to the enormity of the liberation. We thank all of those who made is possible.