I was sad to hear of the passing of the Dutch World War II hero Johan van Hulst, who died last week in Amsterdam at the age of 107. Mr. van Hulst was not a decorated soldier, but rather an educator who is credited with saving more than 600 Jewish children during the war. He is among the 5,595 Dutch citizens recognized by Yad Vashem for risking their own lives to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
Mr. van Hulst was known for his modest nature and a dedication to doing what was right. He was also a professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam; a Dutch Senator from 1956 to 1981 for CHU, which later became CDA; and an avid chess player. When he was 99, he won the annual chess tournament for former and current Parliamentarians.
Mr. van Hulst is truly an inspiration for how one person can make a real difference, even in the darkest of times.– Ambassador Peter Hoekstra