Jewish History Soundbites

Nathan Gutwirth & the Dutch Rescue Scheme

April 30, 2021

Nathan Gutwirth was a Dutch yeshiva student at the Telz Yeshiva in Lithuania when he was thrust onto the stage of history. He was someone at the right place, at the right time, who did the right thing. When the Second World War broke out, he sought a way for he and his fiancée to escape to one of the Dutch overseas possessions and away from the developing inferno.

Corresponding with the local Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk and the Dutch ambassador in Riga LPJ De Decker, the island of Curacao became a possible destination. Ultimately, this would seem to be a possible destination for non-Dutch citizens as well, and many were saved as a result.
He himself ended up in Indonesia, and was later interned by the Japanese. Following the war he immigrated to the United States before returning to Antwerp, where he lived out his remaining years.
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