Memory & Action
Published in

Memory & Action

Pride Month: Defying Nazi Persecution

(Left) Portrait of Willem Arondeus, the leader of a gay resistance group in Amsterdam. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marco Entrop; (Right) Portrait of Frieda Belinfante after her return to the Netherlands from a refugee camp in Switzerland. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Frieda Belinfante

It was a daring and dangerous mission. To try to protect the true identities of Jews and resistance fighters hiding behind false ID cards, members of a Dutch resistance group knew they had to destroy the originals. Dressed as policemen, they entered the Amsterdam Registry and set off explosions that burned 800,000 identity cards.

In this digital program commemorating Pride Month, learn about Frieda Belinfante, one of Europe’s first female conductors and a lesbian, and painter Willem Arondeus, a gay man and a leader of this group of artists turned resisters.

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