At Parkland Fredericton’s Remembrance Day service, Gezina Scholten, with the help of fellow resident L. Col. Bob Lockhart, shared memories about her experiences in the Second World War. It is a touching story that reminds us of the importance of Remembrance Day.
Here is Gezina’s story.
I am a Canadian Citizen who was born and raised in Holland. Like many people in World War 2, our family survived the Nazi occupation.
It was a terrible time: food was severely rationed, curfews were enforced by cruel strangers, our newspapers and radio were censored. Young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 were forced to work for one year as labourers. But the Dutch people fought back by serving in the underground. In the Scholten family, my father spent time in two concentrations camps. My aunt Truus, who was a midwife, rescued two Jewish children and hid them in our home until they could be moved to safety. By the end of the war, more than 200,000 Dutch citizens died of war-related causes. More than 100,000 of them were Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, the most famous being Anne Frank. In 1945 the First Canadian Army played a major role in our final liberation. Thousands of Canadian soldiers were wounded or died while earning the enduring gratitude of the Dutch nation and the Scholten family.
I will never forget when the Canadian trucks came. I was 12 years old. I jumped up on the trucks with the other children to give eggs to the soldiers and receive the chocolate and cigarettes they gave us for our fathers.
We will remember them!