‘This is Your Life’ and Holocaust Memorial Day

That’s Ralph Edwards on the left hosting a 1961 live episode of the most popular television show at the time, “This is Your Life.” What do these people have to do with Galilee Green?

Holocaust memorial day in Israel is called Yom HaShoah veHaGevurah (Holocaust and Heroism Day)

In addition to commemorating the death of 6 million of our people, it also commemorates the Jewish heroes who rose up against the Nazi oppressors. This day is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

bussum houseIf you haven’t seen it yet, this is the story of my father’s family who along with the help of righteous gentiles heroically survived by hiding 3 years from the Nazis in Bussum Holland. Some of you are old enough to remember Ralph Edwards and “This Is Your Life” from the 1960s. This is the 55 year old episode to help you prepare for Yom HaShoah…

That’s Jonas and Sara Veffer seated on the couch. They are my grandparents. They and their six children survived WWII in Holland by hiding from the Nazi’s in a small bedroom in a private home in Bussum just outside Amsterdam.

The woman seated next to my grandmother is Annie Makkinje. As a teernager Annie gave up her bedroom so that the Veffer family of eight would have a place to live and hide.

Through a series of incredible miracles the entire family survived the war.

Nikki SterkenbergRecently another miracle happened. Annie’s granddaughter Nikki was on a Journalist’s Mission to Israel from Holland. Prior to her trip, she had discovered that I was living in Israel and was a grandson of Sara and Jonas Veffer.

“Coincidentally” her group was staying overnight at Kibbutz Degania, about 10 minutes away from us, and the place where we produce our Galilee Green Olive Oil. I am forever grateful to Nikki’s family for their heroic act during the war. Without them I wouldn’t be here to tell this story and there would be no Galilee Green.

So we had a very emotional “reunion” of our two families last night. Here’s a photo of Nikki. By the way, Nikki today is about the same age as her grandmother in the 1961 picture above… and I am about the same age as my grandparents were at the time.

If you’d like to watch the full episode of the show, here it is:

My grandmother wrote a book about her story during the war called “Hidden for a Thousand Days.” It was the inspiration for this TV episode of This is Your Life. If you are a Galilee Green Subscriber and would like an e-book version, contact me and I’ll send you a copy. If you are not yet a Galilee Green Subscriber, you can click here to subscribe.

‘This is Your Life’ and Holocaust Memorial Day

5 thoughts on “‘This is Your Life’ and Holocaust Memorial Day

  1. Dat was een fantastisch verhaal! Ik ben een vluchtelinge uit Indonesië, maar had het gemakkelijker dan Uw familie. Proost!

  2. I appreciate you folks posting this story. I enjoyed it very much. To Rabbi Shmuel Veffer, greetings. My father has an appreciation for you and your work. We are so glad your family is still among us today. To our friends Arnie and Nili, we remember fondly our stay with you, and to all of you, may your homes be filled with joy and peace, and may Hashem bless the work of your hands and establish it. We also pray for the peace of Yerushalayim and for the consolation of Yisrael.

  3. The story of your grandparents was amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. Stories about the holocaust fascinate me and especially those who defeated their enemies. So thankful this story ended well even though it was trying> I would like an ebook copy of your grandmother’s story, Hidden for a Thousand Days.

  4. Thank you for sharing such a precious story!!! My heart & prayers go out to you & all your family! Please know I love you all even though I am in America. Whatever help I can give that is my desire! Blessings & Shalom!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top