STAGE 3 - AMSTERDAM - The suffering of a people
What was Deventer like yesterday? Beautiful city and landscapes! But the journey goes on and now it is your turn to do the same as Etty when it was time for her to begin her university studies: she went to the capital of the Netherlands. Etty abandoned her family home and started to live in Amsterdam with greater autonomy, with her entrenched values.
We do not know a lot about her university years. She approached the Socialist Youth, but soon left it. Furthermore, she got her degree in Law and started to study Slavic languages. As a matter of fact, she earned a living teaching private Russian lessons and being the housekeeper of the house where she was living in, whose owner was the widower Han Wegerif. During the COVID19 pandemic people succeeded in convincing the City Council to protect this house, situated in Gabriel Metsu street, from demolition and to declare it a city monument. That’s why I will take you to see it on the taxi-Challenge.
But something changed in May 1940: the monarchy of the Netherlands fleed to England and the German troops occupied the Netherlands without putting up much resistance. Laws limiting the movements of Jews were being passed gradually, and they affected the Dutch girl, who could not continue studying at university, nor frequenting her usual public places.
Etty was not aware of what was coming to the Jewish people, as it happened with the majority of Europeans. In fact, until the war hadn’t ended, public opinion could not know for sure the meaning of a systematic extermination of a people. Evil had taken on a new scope.
In the Vatican, Pope Pius XII, who has unfairly been accused of an ambiguous and silent position, pulled every possible string to stop German forces to achieve their ghoulish objectives. As a matter of fact, he opened enclosed convents in the Vatican to take in Jewish population and many churches in German territory were considered as Vatican ground to protect the people. Jewish authorities would recognize his help. Pius XII grew up among offices and diplomacy, and he also knew Germany well. He was, for sure, a good qualified Pope to face a hideous situation.
Dear pilgrim, today is a very intense day, so… EUNTES!
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