Cornelis van Dam

Geslacht: Man
Vader: Adrianus Johannes van Dam
Moeder: Cecelia van den Berg
Geboren: 27 Juni 1891 Overshie
Overleden: 13 Feb 1966 Epe
Beroep: ingenieur
Aantekeningen: Last Name: Dam van
First Name: Cornelis
Date of Birth: 27/06/1891
Date of death: 13/02/1966
Rescuer's fate: survived
Gender: Male
Place during the war: Voorburg, Zuidholland, The Netherlands
Rescue Place: Voorburg, Zuidholland, The Netherlands
Rescue mode: Hiding
File number: File from the Collection of the Righteous Among the Nations Department (M.31.2/11068)
In the course of 1942, Gerard Boomer*, a teacher at the Christian school in Voorburg (prov. South-Holland) where Anna van Dam was a student, and actively involved in trying to help Jews, came to Anna's mother, Maria van Dam, with a request. As Maria had only one Jewish grandfather, he could use her identity card without the infamous "J" that marked Jews, for a 'full Jew' to 'downgrade' his Jewish identity and thus evade deportation. Maria agreed and subsequently went to the population registry, maintaining she had lost hers. This was the beginning of the van Dam family's involvement with the rescue of Jews.
On April 7, 1943 Maria and her husband, Cornelis, were approached by Corrie Bastiaans*, on the request of her friend Edith Häusler (later, Feldmann) asking them whether they would be willing to take in Walter Baer, born in 1924. Edith had gotten to know Walter when both found themselves in a Jewish children's home in Arnhem in the late thirties. Walter had fled Germany as a 14-year-old boy, without his parents, after Kristallnacht in November 1938. Even though the van Dams had four teenage children of their own, one a little older than Walter, they agreed to take the risk. The eldest son was eligible for the Arbeitseinsatz but went into hiding instead -- initially with the Boomers, but when his whereabouts became known to the authorities, he went to an uncle, the reverend Abraham Hijmans*.
Walter was treated as yet another van Dam family member. In spite of the fact that Gerard Boomer* had arranged for a false identity card for him in the name of Nico Kuijsten, Walter stayed out of sight. As a German speaker, he had difficulty in pronouncing his false name, so the risk of detection and betrayal was great. Since he could also not attend school, he used Anna van Dam's school books, in order to keep up with his studies at their house, and sometimes even helping her with physics.
Walter stayed with the van Dams in hiding also during the Hungerwinter of 1944-1945, where in the western part of the Netherlands there was no supply of food, nor was there any gas or electricity. The van Dams ate flower bulbs to survive.
Also Edith's sister Elfriede (later, Shulamith Lurie) stayed with the van Dams for some days, taken there by Gerard Boomer, as were a number of other Jews.
Walter stayed on until the liberation of the town in May 1945. After the war, he also stayed for a while and was helped by the van Dams to prepare for his university studies.
When Cornelis van Dam passed away in 1966, Walter Baer was one of the signatories as a family member on his death announcement.
On May 9, 2007, Yad Vashem recognized Cornelis van Dam and Maria Adriana Hijmans-van Dam as Righteous Among the Nations.

Gezin 1

Huwelijkspartner: Maria Adriana Hijmans geb. 18 Juli 1889 overl. 13 Jan 1969
Huwelijk: 17 Sept 1919 Koudekerke