Introducing… *drum roll* Diet Eman!
Well the title says it all I suppose. Yes, my eminent person is Diet Eman the Christian Dutch rebel against Nazi occupation!
*Note: To my fellow quad mates and anyone else who may be reading this blog post. Deet Aman. Not Di-et Em-an. Just a clarification for all you people who are chuckling at a person named diet.
So who is this Diet and why do I think she is eminent? Well for many reasons but they won’t make sense until I tell you her story.
Diet Eman was twenty years old when the Nazis invaded Holland. Diet, you see, was very fiery, and refused to lie down and take orders from the invaders. She and her family kept their radio even when the Germans banned it, and every night listened to BBC for news of the war, praying that England would release them. At that time they were confident that the war would only last a year or so.
*Note: At that time BBC was the british broadcast for news. It did not air Dr. Who or Sherlock or any other of those British shows that people love to watch now a days.
When the Jews began to be persecuted, Diet refused to remain silent. She and her fiance, plus several other members of the Church, hid over sixty Jews in this place called The Veluwe, which was out in the countryside. Several Christian farmers were willing to hide them until everything blew over. She also organized many hiding places all over holland for both Jews, and young men who were attempting to escape drafting to work in the German factories.
Unfortunately, a few weeks later, a young man, after severe torture, gave away Diet’s parents’ phone number to the Gestapo. After that, the Gestapo turned up at her parents house random times during the day, trying to catch her there. Diet had to go on the run, using false names and fake ID papers. She never went to her parents house again for two years.
She was on the run for several months until one day she boarded a train with false identification papers up her blouse. She was under her third false name, as the Gestapo had found out about her second. As she was on the train, the Gestapo boarded as well and started checking everyones ID papers. Of course, Diet’s were fake so she waited anxiously for her turn. Finally it arrived. The Gestapo took her papers and examined them. Diet waited with baited breath.. She waited… and waited… As time went on dread filled her up; the Gestapo hadn’t taken nearly as long with any of the other people in the train. Coincidence? Nope. After a few more minutes, the Gestapo guards laughed at her card. “When did you get this?” They snickered. Diet gulped. Her worst fears had been realized. Though she spoke German fluently she had made a vow in a fit of anger when the Nazis first invaded Holland that she would never speak a word of their language until they were out of her country. “I don’t know what your talking about.” She replied in Dutch stubbornly. They showed her the card. The word ‘Nederlander’ was written on the card in black ink. Diet’s heart sank. On the card, it said that Diet had received the card in 1941. However, in 1940, the Germans had used purply blue in to write the ID cards; they hadn’t started using black ink till 1943. Diet was arrested at once, and was put on a bench guarded by the six Gestapo, two of which were always watching her. The false papers in her blouse felt very obvious, if they were found, Diet would be killed. She had to get rid of them. She prayed to God for thirty seconds to get rid of them, just thirty seconds. One of the guards had a plastic raincoat on, which was very rare in that time. The guard started boasting about it and proudly displayed it. All the guards turned to look and for a few seconds Diet was unguarded. Without wasting any time she chucked the false papers across the room. People dropped their papers all the time and they couldn’t have arrested the whole station.
After this, Diet was shuttled around from different prisons and eventually ended up in a concentration camp for most of the tail end of the war. Eventually her trial came. Nervous, she rehearsed her story and prayed to God that he would give her the words to say. She stood in front of several officers and answered questions without hesitation. She was at an advantage because, as they thought she spoke no German, she was given twice the amount of time to answer as she could wait until the translator repeated the question in Dutch before she answered. She pretended to be dull and stupid (She didn’t know that documents could be forged!) and the Nazis bought her story. She was released!
After her freedom, Diet didn’t be good then and keep her head down. No, she got right back out into the Resistance and rebelled against the Nazis. Then, the Canadians (I know! Woo woo! Go us!) liberated Holland in 1945. Diet was joyful! But she was also anxious for news about her fiance Hein.
SPOILER: He died.
Diet, unlike you probably when you read the above notice, was devastated. Seriously, devastated is too small of a word. Heart trampled, joy-sucked, punched in the gut, hollow might be closer to the mark. Hein had died in a cattle car after much suffering. Diet was angry with God, why if Hein had to die, why not a clean bullet instead? However, later, she began to receive letters from people who had been with him, saying that Hein had been a ‘light in the darkness’ and that he had comforted them in a time of great trial. They wrote that Hein had not fit their idea of Chritians; he had been a great friend and gave them hope, rather that being arrogant, stuck up and boring which was their idea of christianity. This helped Diet see that his death was not in vain, and, though the pain didn’t go away, she was able to bear it. Diet is still alive today, at the ripe age of 94.
*Note: So sorry for the wall of text I have a thing with details when I’m writing a story. Not much more I promise.
Why do I think this Diet is Eminent? Well I honestly just love her fire. She’s so spunky and doesn’t lie down and take the Nazi rules. She fights for her country. Seriously, like on the first day of Nazi occupation she knitted an orange sweater with blue and white flowers. (The Royal family’s colour and the national colours as well.) She wore it to the bank where she worked at in front of the long lines of German soldiers waiting to deposit money. Also, when the Nazis claimed several train cars all to themselves, (which they rarely used) Diet marched into one and ripped off the Nazi only sign on the front. Immediately the car filled with Dutch. She’s tough and doesn’t let the Nazis walk all over her. And she’s a Christian, and loves God, and has a fierce love for the Dutch people and does anything she can to protect those who are being victimized which I find also awesome. Honestly she’s awesome. She was brave and determined in one of the darkest times in our history and you can see how the dark times bring out the best and worst in people. You can see which one it was with Diet Eman.