August 14, 2012
Amsterdam to name bridge for WWII savior of 350 Jewish children
The City of Amsterdam will name one of its last remaining nameless bridges for Pieter Meerburg, who saved 350 Jewish children during the Holocaust.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan and other dignitaries are scheduled to christen bridge 234 the Pieter Meerburg Bridge on Sept. 2.
As a student in Amsterdam in 1942, Meerburg was in charge of a network that smuggled Jewish children to safe houses across the Netherlands. Meerburg died in 2010. The network was known as the Amsterdam Student Group.
One method used by the group to camouflage the Jewish identity of babies they rescued was by allowing foster parents to adopt them. Female couriers working for the group would pretend the babies were their own, telling authorities they wanted to give the babies away for adoption because they did not know the identity of the father.
Yad Vashem, Israel’s authority for Holocaust commemoration, recognized Meerburg as Righteous Among the Nations in 1974.
Bridge 234 is situated at the Hortusplantsoen, some 200 yards from the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Museum.