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A War Story by Nico Hamme

This website is an idea from my younger daughter Rosan. I often spoke with her about all those people who helped us to survive the war in Belgium. She saw my collection of pictures, drawings and documentation, listened to my many memories of those days. “Make a website about it” she said one day “your collection lends itself very well to it”.

Meanwhile we have made so much progress today, on October 19, 2008, that soon the launch is to be expected, hopefully on October 25, 2008. That’s the date that the Feldgendarmerie raided into the castle. An overview of those who helped us and to whom we owe a lot of thanks will follow:

I start with Mau Stoppelman, a friend of my father’s. Early July 1942 he suggested my fathert to escape with his and our family and try to get to Switzerland together. It became very frightening in the Netherlands with all those calls for the camps and haste was necessary. My three-year-older brother had been arrested a year before in a raid and deported to Mauthausen. Six months later we received the message that he had died, that was aweful.

Uncle Mau, as I called him, knew someone who could take us across the Belgian border. That would be possible three days later. My father did not want to wait that long and knew someone who could take us across the border through Baerle Nassau on the next day. Unfortunately I do not remember his name but he accompanied us up to the border. There two Dutch farmers took us through the fields across the border, where we were received hospitably by Belgian farmers.

We had gone into hiding in Belgium. About his period on the occasion of the congress for survivors of the shoa in 1995 I wrote my story which is added to this website. In this it’s described which people helped us. These are Maurice Bolle, Madame Barrez of the villa in Ukkel, because of him we met the fantastic Meddens family, Eugene Cougnet, Madame de Wit, she hired out three floors of her house, Mr. Neven and many others in the background. Of all those brave people Eugene Cougnet is the one who impressed me most. He was a unique person. He resisted as far back as in the Great War. I hope that this website will be watched and read with interest. I am pleased to answer any questions about certain people or subjects. My name is Nico Hamme, my e-mail address is nicohamme-c@telfort.nl.