Friday, September 13, 2019

Selma Van De Perre

Selma Van De Perre was just a young woman when World War II broke out in Europe. She remembers the day when her older brother came home with the news. “He came home on the 10th of May shouting ‘wake up, wake up! It’s war, it’s war!’” she remembered.
De Perre and her family were Jewish and as persecution against the Jews increased, De Perre knew it was no longer safe for them to stay where they were.
As others were being imprisoned, hauled off to concentration camps and killed, De Perre arranged for her family to go in hiding in the south of Holland, and eventually met a group of doctors working for the resistance. After spending time with many members of the resistance, She made a decision to stand up; she joined the fight against Nazi tyranny.
She started delivering illegal papers for the resistance and transported money used for the cause and to pay families which housed Jews hiding from persecution. 

The Nazis eventually caught De Perre. She was brought to the police station where she was interrogated for several days before being sent to a concentration camp.
De Perre did not stop resisting the Nazis even while she was imprisoned. De Perre said she intentionally assembled gas masks in such a way that they would come loose by the time they would be used.
From the Dutch camp, she was moved to the Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp in Germany, where she and her fellow prisoners were subject to cruelty and physical abuse.
“I didn’t want the Germans to be successful in having me dead,” she said. “I was in a very bad condition at times, but I survived.”
De Perre gives talks about the Holocaust at schools, companies, the military, etc.; considering it very important for her and other Holocaust survivors to speak out and tell their story to the coming generations.

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