The world mourns the death of a "Righteous Among the Nations," a quiet man who saved children from certain death and risked his own life to do so.
Worl War II was a time that spawned monsters, and heroes. The Nazi system killed millions, sending Jewish people, Gypsies, intellectuals, and dissidents from every nation under their rule to death camps, in an unprecedented Holocaust.
In 1942 Johan van Hulst was the director of the Reformed Teacher Training College in Amsterdam. The Nazis placed young Jewish children, all under the age of 12, in a nursery school across the street from van Hulst's college before being deported to death camps, reported FaithFamilyAmerica.com on the 29th of March 2018.
van Hulst engendered an ingenious scheme for taking children out of the nursery school in laundry baskets and removing them to safety. It is this man who died on the 22nd of March 2018, and is mourned by thousands of people descended from the children he saved. He was 107 years old.
As the school director, he was responsible for drafting the lists of children, and he would always write down fewer children than SS Guards originally believed were at the school.
"Try to imagine 80, 90, perhaps 70 or 100 children standing there, and you have to decide which children to take with you... That was the most difficult day of my life."
Johan van Hulst, FaithFamilyAmerica.com, 29th of March 2018.
This would allow him to make these children 'disappear', smuggling them into houses around the city, pretending that they were their own children. In total it is estimated he saved at least 600 children.
In 1945, he was denounced by a colleague to the German occupation authorities and was forced to go into hiding.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu honored Van Hulst in 2012 during a visit to the Netherlands, thanking him and explaining that according to the Jewish beliefs saving a life equaled saving the Universe, and therefore, van Hulst had saved hundreds of Universes.
van Hulst was to confess that it was agonizing making the fateful choices as to who he would save, and who he would leave behind.
van Hulst would later serve his own country from 1956 until 1981 he was a member of the Dutch Senate. He would be a member of the European Parliment and play a key role in European politics.
He never allowed age to slow him down, and at the age of 95 he won the Corus Chess Tournament and won it again in 2010 at the age of 99.