Among the events marking Yom HaShoah this year in Ottawa was a special reception, May 4, honouring the Makkinje family of Bussum, a suburb just east of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, for its efforts in sheltering the Veffer family from almost certain death during the Holocaust.
When the Nazi persecution of Dutch Jews intensified in 1942, flower shop owners Sara and Jonas Veffer, and their six young children, needed a place to hide.
Finding a place of refuge proved difficult, until Rachel, the second oldest of the Veffer children, eventually found them safe haven at her friend Annie Makkinje’s house in Bussum. Annie’s parents, Jetske and Gerrit Makkinje, agreed to hide all eight members of the Veffer family in their home. [Read more…]