A couple of weeks ago brought the passing of Rabbi Nardus Groen, the grandfather of a close friend of mine. Having met Rabbi Groen a couple of times in Florida, I briefly knew him as a kind man who was very generous to his family and friends. It wasn’t until his funeral a little over a week ago that I learned just how heroic of a man he truly was.
Originally from The Netherlands, Rabbi Groen was one of the few Jewish people who learned how to operate a gun in the beginning of World War Two, fearing the advancement of the German Army. Unfortunately, there were many members of the Dutch Jewish community who disagreed with this, and criticized Rabbi Groen for his actions. As the threat of the German army began to spread, Rabbi Groen joined the Dutch Underground, a group of men and women who did what they could to help save their fellow countrymen during the war.
In 1940, the Germans began to persecute Jews living in the Netherlands, ultimately killing around 75% of the Jewish population. One day, Rabbi Groen was responsible for guarding the Jewish Hospital, which was lucky enough to have evacuated the patients, but still had a large amount of Jewish nurses who hadn’t had a chance to escape. Upon hearing that a group of Nazi soldiers were approaching the hospital to either kill or capture the Jews, Rabbi Groen ushered the nurses into a small room, donned a Red Cross armband, and stood outside the room to greet the soldiers. When they asked who was in the room, Rabbi Groen calmly responded that he was guarding a group of nurses, each of whom had the highly contagious and deadly Scarlet Fever. Fearing the germs more than hating the Jews, the Germans fled the hospital and the nurses were saved.
For Rabbi Groen, not only did he save the lives of a large group of Jewish nurses, but he also saved the life of his future wife Sipora. Rabbi Groen and Sipora went on to live a wonderful life together for 63 years, and had several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I know this isn’t a domain name related story, but with the permission of my friend Justin Groen, I wanted to share it with visitors to my blog.