Author Leesha Rose, a teenaged Holocaust resistance fighting girl, passed away in Jerusalem this week.
Leesha Rose was known for her book entitled The Tulips are Red (Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1978), telling her story as a Jewish girl who joined the Dutch Resistance during World War II. It also tells much about the hardships of Jewish life in Holland under Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1945. A teenager when the war broke out, she later played an important role in the Resistance Movement.
She was awarded the Resistance Medal by the Dutch Government in 1983, in recognition of her Resistance activities. A year later, she also received the Yad Vashem Medal in recognition of her dedicated service.
Leesha Rose, nee Bornstijn, was the widow of Rabbi Dr. Isaac B. Rose, who served as a Jewish chaplain for the Allied forces in the Canadian army. He later helped set up a Jewish center in Amsterdam that served Allied soldiers and Jewish survivors returning from the camps or from their hiding places during the war. The couple is survived by their son Dr. Yaacov Rose and daughter Rochelle Rose.
Quotes from The Tulips are Red:
"The Resistance Movement became more aggressive and more dangerous to the Germans with each day. The Nazis were able to keep themselves well informed of the many activities of the Resistance and about its Underground news setup and distribution of papers by using informers and quislings… The Germans feared the Underground Resistance groups and did everything in their power to crush them. They extracted whatever information they could by torturing and eventually killing captured members of the illegal Underground Resistance Movement.
"The most spectacular act of resistance was executed when the Dutch government-in-exile, in a broadcast from London, ordered all railroad personnel to go on strike in order to hinder movements of the German army. On the following day all railway traffic came to a halt. This strike was an extraordinary and sensational act of moral defiance on the part of the Dutch railroad men and it gained the admiration of each Dutch citizen. The underground took care of the strikers financially and arranged for their leaders to go into hiding. The Germans were furious at the strike and threatened to starve the population by seizing all trucks and barges and placing an embargo on food transportation from east to west in the Netherlands. Nevertheless the strike of the railroad men continued…
“Every day we heard stories about parents, relatives, neighbors, and friends being torn from their homes for deportation, leaving behind all their worldly possessions – all that they had worked and strived for during their productive lives. People of the highest standing – educators, artists, leaders in business, young and old, rich and poor – were being reduced to helpless creatures and treated like dirt. Young people, even children, who had not begun to taste life, whose future was still before them, were being subjected with malicious sadism to the cruelest abuse and suffering. Before long the rounding up of people for deportation became the order of the day. We stopped asking why, we stopped crying, we tried to protect ourselves from the scenes of constant pain by simulating nonchalance.”
Leesha Rose was buried in Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot on Monday.