Joop grew up in Elburg, the son of Hartog and Susanne de Lange, a respected Jewish couple. When the war broke out, Joop cannot continue his studies. He went into hiding, but was then discovered. Then he went to work in the Apeldoornsche Bosch, an institution for Jewish psychiatric patients. He soon fell in love with Jetty Hes. In late 1942, the first warnings of an impending doom reached them. In January 1943, the drama of the downfall of the Apeldoornsche Bosch played out. Joop married Jetty and they moved to Westerbork first, then to Sobibor. Willem van Dijk, born in 1947, lives in the beautiful fortified town of Elburg. He is a poet and has been active in an archaeological association. As a guide and storyteller, he is well versed in the history of his hometown. Several of his stories and poems focus on the Jewish past of Elburg.
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