Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Diaries of Love and War

David Damen, Roosendaal, Holland

In a hideout apartment in Brussels, as the Nazi noose tightened around his family, 16-year-old Moshe Flinker Hy”d wrote and wrote. Moshe’s diary was discovered after the war by his surviving siblings and published in several languages. But that wasn’t the end of the story. There was another diary belonging to a little Dutch girl, and 70 years later, the sleepy town in Holland witnessed the reunion of the remaining Flinker sisters and that little girl whose family saved them.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roosendaal’s main shopping boulevard is deserted on this Sunday afternoon, but the hall behind the Zeelandia café is packed with a crowd so diverse it’s hard to believe they’re all attending the same event.

Gentiles with shaved heads sitting along bearded Jews, children with peyos blending with a group of local youngsters — it feels like one big family reunion.

A local Dutch band plays Dayeinu and “Siman Tov U’Mazel Tov”; passionate addresses are delivered; and then the master of ceremonies invites Mrs. Corry (Cocky) Meuldijk-Raats to the stage. An elderly woman rises from the audience, and then two other women of around the same age follow suit; the three embrace lovingly, as the crowd applauds to whistles and a standing ovation. Rebecca, Leah, and Cocky are dogged by the constant flashing of media cameras, as the photographers don’t want to miss a moment of the drama unfolding before their eyes.

After 70 years, they had come full circle. The Flinker sisters had returned to the home of their saviors, reuniting for a day in the place where a frightened, fugitive family was taken in and protected. And now Cocky, the sole surviving member of her own heroic family, would be receiving the Righteous Among the Nations award on behalf of her parents — to the applause and heartfelt blessings of this otherwise sleepy border town.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you