Join Stephen Fry as he unveils the secret resistance of Willem Arondeus and Frieda Belinfante in WWII, tonight on SBS.
During World War II’s German occupation of the Netherlands, Willem Arondeus, a talented painter, and Frieda Belinfante, a renowned cellist, leveraged their creative abilities to craft forged identity documents. These efforts were pivotal in rescuing thousands of Jewish individuals from the horrors of concentration camps.
Achieving this was especially challenging given the Dutch identity card system’s complexity, considered the most advanced globally at that time. Additionally, the Nazis had implemented a stringent measure to curb forgery attempts: for every identity card issued, a replica was stored at the Amsterdam Central Records Office.
Understanding the gravity of the situation, Willem decided to act. He assembled a diverse group of artists and orchestrated a bold mission to obliterate the Central Records Office, aiming to eliminate the forged card duplicates.
Their operation was guided by a crucial ethical principle: to ensure no individuals were harmed, underlining their moral stance with the conviction, “We are not like them.”
Stephen Fry embarks on an emotionally charged exploration in Amsterdam to unearth the reasons behind the obscurity of this remarkable narrative until now.