Mies Boissevain-van Lennep

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Adrienne Minette (Mies) Boissevain-van Lennep (September 21, 1896 – February 18, 1965) was a Dutch Resistance figure.

World War 2[edit]

During the Second World War, Boissevain-van Lennep became involved in the reception of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and also in bringing Jewish children to safety. Through the Society for Women's Interests and Equal Citizenship (Vereeniging voor Vrouwenbelangen en Gelijk Staatsburgerschap - VVGS) she knew Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer, who had been involved in rescuing Jewish children from Germany in 1933.

The house where the Boissevain family had moved at the end of 1939 gradually became an important centre of resistance and sabotage activities. Jews and other people were hidden there. Disguises, false identities and plans for bombing attacks and similar activities were prepared; the basement of the house was an arsenal of weapons and explosives. Her two eldest sons, Jan Karel Boissevain and Gideon Willem Boissevain were members of a group known as "CS-6".

The war brought loss and misery for Mies Boissevain-van Lennep. Her two eldest sons, Janka and Gi, were executed by the Nazis in 1943, her husband Jan spent more than three years in concentration camps (Amersfoort, Herzogenbusch/Camp Vught, and Sachsenhausen), and died in Buchenwald; her third son Frans was imprisoned in the concentration camps at Dachau and Herzogenbusch, but survived. She herself survived internment at Herzogenbusch and at Ravensbrück, she was nearly sent to the gas chambers three times. At the end of April 1945, she became ill and weighed only 33 kg. She was evacuated by the Red Cross to Sweden. She returned to the Netherlands a few months later.

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