The Dutch Woman Who Helped to Rescue Thousands of Jews during the Holocaust

Although recognized for her efforts by Yad Vashem in 1966, Geertruida Wijsmuller (who died in 1978 at the age of eighty-two) has received little attention elsewhere for her extraordinary efforts to save German and Dutch Jewish children from the Nazis. Cari Shane writes:

Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer, also known as Truus Wijsmuller (pronounced WEISS-muller) . . . saved as many as 10,000 children, mainly through the Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Europe to Great Britain and the lesser-known Dutch Kindertransport. The first known Kindertransport arrived in England from Berlin on December 2, [1938]. Wijsmuller was instrumental in organizing a second transport from Vienna, negotiating directly with Adolf Eichmann . . . to ensure the safe passage of 600 children.

Though she was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo, Wijsmuller continued helping members of the Jewish community throughout the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. She brought food, much-needed medicine, and forged documents to individuals held in camps and prisons across German-controlled territories, and she helped East European Jews flee to Palestine via Marseilles, France.

Read more at Smithsonian

More about: Dutch Jewry, Holocaust rescue, Kindertransport, Righteous Among the Nations

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy