Baby clothes made for hidden Jewish child during WWII donated to Yad Vashem

January 27, 2019 by Simmy Allen
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Arie Reinhold has donated baby clothes made and worn by him during the Holocaust to Yad Vashem. Included in this mini-collection is a series of letters written by the Dutch women who hid and cared for him during the Holocaust.

Arieh Reinhold and his parents Fanny and Moshe in 1942 before they entered hiding Yad-Vashem Artifacts Collection

Arie was born in 1942 to Mosche and Fanny Reinhold, German Jews who fled to the Netherlands in 1939 following the Kristallnacht Pogrom. There they joined a Zionist training program of the Chalutz (Pioneer) movement.

In 1942, as Fanny was about to give birth, she was transferred to a hospital in the city of Deventer near the Zionist training camp. In April 1943, Mosche and Fanny went into hiding assisted by a Dutchman named Piet Wildschut.

Their eight-month-old son Arie was transferred with the help of members of the Westerweil underground to the care of Thea Klein-Stopper who raised him until the end of the war. On occasion, Thea brought the baby to the Wildschut house where his parents could see him.

As the risk of raids and deportations increased, Mosche and Fanny Reinhold hid with the assistance of Wildschut in the area of an abandoned brick factory. During the day the couple hid on the cover of the air system in the chimney and at night they left the hiding place. During this time Mosche and Fanny would spin wool for the underground. Whenever possible, they would send some wool to Thea so she could knit clothes for their baby.

Yad Vashem recognized Piet Wildschut as Righteous Among the Nations in 1964.

Dr Haim Gertner, Director of Yad Vashem’s Archives Division and Fred Hillman Chair for Holocaust Documentation, spoke about the importance of the “Gathering the Fragments” rescue campaign which aims to collect Holocaust-era artefacts for posterity.

Baby sweater knitted by Thea Stopper for baby Arieh Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection

“Yad Vashem is in a race against time because many of these priceless artefacts are still kept in private homes and are under threat of disintegration,” said Dr Gertner. “Our goal is to conserve and catalogue all the artefacts we receive and make them accessible to enable the wider public to learn, through them, what happened to the Jews before, during and after the Holocaust.

“We want to teach the Holocaust not just as a historical event but as something people lived through. The process of collecting the items has also resulted in the documentation of the narratives that lie behind each one. The Nazis not only murdered the Jews, but they also wanted to wipe out their memories. We work to restore these memories, to honour the victims and to teach the coming generations about what happened.”

To date, the “Gathering the Fragments” project has seen over 250,000 items entrusted into Yad Vashem’s hands. All the information is archived and uploaded online so the public can access the stories and share them with others. All the objects donated by Arie Reinhold are stored in Yad Vashem’s Artifacts Collection.

Yad Vashem’s Gathering the Fragments campaign aims to collect Holocaust-era artefacts in order to preserve and share them in various way with the world in order that the Holocaust is never forgotten.



One Response to “Baby clothes made for hidden Jewish child during WWII donated to Yad Vashem”
  1. Frans Falk says:

    Piet (Petrus) Wildschut is my late father in law. I was married to his eldest doughter, who died in 2015. He is born nov 1903 and hé died 28 may 1970. As a member of the Westerweelgroep hé transfered at night regular Jews, members of the resistance, refugees and shotdown pilotes over the river IJssel.

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