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DAUGHTER OF A JEW-CATCHER


I recently read an article by a minister who had been invited to preach to a church Congregation in Holland. His visit coincided with the Dutch Day of Remembrance, held each year on the anniversary of Holland’s liberation from the Nazis. His talk was preceded by several readings by members of the congregation. One reading, by a teenage girl. was unforgettable. She had chosen to read a piece written by someone who had found a diary kept by their father during the war. Here it is (quote):


"22 February 1943, tonight, eight o’clock - a Jew hunt.

Together with G and D, I arrested 24 Jews in Weesperstraat in Amsterdam.


"12 March 1943, tonight, Jew hunt; very successful night I have arrested around 100 Jews in three weeks. This morning got home at 3.30am.


"This is what my father wrote in a small diary during World War 2. I was a baby in 1943. My father was a Nazi and received extra rations, like bread and cheese, for helping the Germans to find Jews who were hiding from them. For every Jew he arrested, he received 7.50 Guilders--three silver coins. People like him were called "Jew catchers." I don’t know whether my father knew that every Jew he handed over to the Germans would be gassed. He probably did.


"I have wondered a thousand times why he did that; betrayed Jews; I know my family was poor and we had no money. So my mother really needed the money he got from the Germans. My mother told me that my father believed in Hitler, because he promised the common people work, money and power. And when you are poor and have no work you believe words like these.


"After the war, my father was arrested, and put in prison for five years. I was nine when he was released. I have never been able to talk about the war with him. l am still ashamed of my father, and I had better not tell you my surname. I wish I had a father I could be proud of. I only hope people don’t judge me because of what my father did."


(From a sermon by David McNally, Father’s Day should be every day for a saved sinner, 6/18/2011)

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