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Remembering Diet Eman: Dutch resistance hero, CRC member

Remembering Diet Eman: Dutch resistance hero, CRC member

Diet Eman, a Dutch resistance hero during World War II who was credited with saving hundreds of Jews, died Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Eman was a member of Seymour (Christian Reformed) Church in Grand Rapids, where a Celebration of Life service was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 8.  

In 1994, Eman co-authored a book with James Schaap about her experiences titled Things We Couldn’t Say. The Banner published excerpts from the book in a series of eight installments in November and December 1993, which are now available in PDF form online.

In 1995, she wrote an editorial for The Banner in a special 50-year-anniversary issue commemorating V-E Day. “Looking back on those years of terror,” she wrote, “we can only say, Thank God for the precious gift of freedom.”

Eman was born in the Netherlands and was part of the underground Dutch resistance after the Nazi invasion in 1940, according to an MLive article. She helped downed Allied pilots and provided forged ID cards and shelter for those targeted for extermination.

In a 2015 visit to Grand Rapids, Dutch King Willem-Alexander called Eman "one of our national heroes with the highest decoration of anybody in the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis.”

To learn more, read, “Diet Eman Praised for Her Courage,” from CRC Communications, about Eman’s funeral, her experiences and her lifelong connection with the Christian Reformed Church. 

—Banner staff

Eman’s notes, letters, and papers are located in Heritage Hall in Hekman Library at Calvin University. See the index here.

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