Jan and Boukje Jeninga
The home of Jan and Boukje was one of several select houses of
refuge for Jewish children established by the Dutch Resistance.
Amsterdam was the gathering point for Jews before they were sent
to concentration camps. With parental approval and by various ruses,
children were separated from their families to be sheltered and
cared for in places such as the Jenninga household. It is difficult
to imagine the enormous amount of trust parents must have had to
give up their children under such circumstances and the pain suffered
by all upon separation.
One of the children sent to the Jeninga home was five-year-old
Stella Lenz-Barendse. In addition to Stella there was a teen-age
boy, a two-year-old girl and an infant. The remarkable thing about
this was that Jan and Boukje already had 10 children of their own.
Stella remained with the Jeninga family for four years after the
end of WWII. She then moved to the house of a family that had rescued
her sister. The other members of her family did not survive the
ordeal of the concentration camp.
Except for one son, all members of the Jeninga family immigrated
to the United States.