A remarkable video has just been unearthed today of a very special Doco with the well respected TV Journalist Jane Pauly, interviewing The Angel of Belsen. This introduces the incredible Sister Luba, a brave woman who, speaks here about her times in Bergen Belsen, discovering over 40 children in a barrack, in the middle of night. She tells her story of taking those children under her wing. The rest is history as we say.
Also we see Hetty and her brother Max Werkendam speak openly of their experiences as two, of those children, of The Children’s House of Belsen.
There’s been such a wonderful response to the story called Hetty’s Happiness seen on Seven on the Sunday Night Programme ending with Hetty’s inspiring words, as she finishes her talk at a Perth school to many spell bound students.
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Hetty was seen on Sunday Night channel 7 on a small segment called Hetty’s Secret To Happiness. Filmed in Amsterdam, Perth and Bergen Belsen in Germany, it aired tonight 15th November nationally on Seven. Some remarkable and completely restored black and white footage also was screened, showing Hetty as a 15 year old, on a swing, being playfully pushed by her brother Max. The film was taken after the liberation of Belsen and only just as Hetty was recovering from Typhus.
The footage comes from the archives of the Imperial War Museum London and was beautifully restored for the 70 years commemoration .
We have included the link below of the Sunday Night programme.
On a drizzly grey day in April this year 2015, when Kae and her family visited Bergen Belsen Kae was prepared to experience some gloom, yet after sitting through speeches and ceremonial plaque laying, given in German (which she didn’t understand) she found the entire day more than just a little draining, that is, until Hetty began chatting to her. With Hetty’s bubbly personality, she had added a bit brightness to Kae’s day. Kae later wrote about her meeting with Hetty – in her Pink Coat, on her own little blog.
The German President visited Bergen Belsen this 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp where there are many many mass graves left untouched with but a few headstones.
An acquaintance of Hetty’s a well known historian, and author himself of many books, Hans-Dieter Arntz, has written a book called The Last Elder of Bergen Belsen -Josef Weiss. Hans-Dieter also went to Belsen this year.
It seems The President of Germany Joachim Gauk, sent a letter to Hans-Dieter and added his very special greetings to the Family Verolme and Weiss – dated May 2015.
Speaking to Hetty of Hans- Dieter today , she said “He sent me a copy of the actual letter he received from the President of Germany, where the President sends his personal Greetings to Family Verolme and Weiss”.
Hetty said she was especially honored to have received words from two European Presidents during her tour in May. “I find it unbelievable” she said with excitement “that now a second President in Europe has done this”.
The first recognition came from The Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who opened the book Fair in Turin” she said. Hetty was a guest speaker there when President Mettarella gave Hetty an honorable mention in his opening speech, that day, 14th May 2015.
Hetty has been asked to say a few words at the opening of a book fair in Turin. She has enjoyed the last few days site seeing and visiting schools in Milan where she has given talks in English whilst it’s been directly translated into Italian for the students. Speaking from Milan today, Hetty said “Some had tears and their eyes full of emotion and the Teacher was also very moved”.
Tomorrow in Turin she’ll be interviewed on Italian radio and speaking at the Book Fair. The last radio broadcast on Dutch Radio on 4th May saw record internet sales for Hetty’s book. The interest continues in Italy.
These photos just in are just too precious not to share. If you know Hetty or have met her even once, you know that she has a very strong character and a deep desire to express herself on any subject she holds dear, whenever the occasion presents it’s self.
Here’s Hetty listening, seated at the table of guests at Begen Belsen last week and
here’s Hetty speaking to an official after the plaque ceremony.
and just to show her popularity even more…while she is away in Seville there’s been a full page spread in a Dutch Newspaper. And a lovely pic of Hetty after autographing a book for a fan. And here is Pam Werkendam, Hetty’s travel companion and sister in law.
Hetty was seen tonight on the 7.30 Perth addition 28th November 2014. For those who missed it and for all who find her story interesting please follow the link below to the ABC site. Some images are confronting but the entire segment is uplifting.
A lovely bit of news today from Laura Werkendam, Hetty’s cousin, who was thrilled to bits to see the new Dutch publication of The Childrens’ House of Belsen, re-titled “The Little Mother of Bergen Belsen” or “De kleine moeder van Bergen Belsen”. It was displayed in the front window and Laura expressed her pride that her Opa (grandfather) was mentioned in the book, in the very special story about a letter written in 1941 from a Concentration Camp to Hetty’s father, Maurice Werkendam.