Main Characters

ds. Pieter Warmenhoven

Reverend Warmenhoven is the leader of the children's transport. Not only does he have to protect them, he also has to make sure they are put in suitable families.

Pieter Warmenhoven (1903 – 1964)

Reverend Warmenhoven

Tour leader of the children's transport is Pieter Warmenhoven, he was the 'Gereformeerde' minister in Reeuwijk during the war years.

He takes his task as leader of the congregation seriously: he regularly holds meetings at his home, after dark with resistance members, including the municipal secretary Van Leeuwen, who forges identity cards for people in hiding. The resistance newspaper is also being distributed from his home address.

The plan for the journey comes up spontaneously during a meeting with the other church leaders and dignitaries of the village, including the doctor. They worry about the health of a lot of children. There is hunger and sickness also because of the contaminated food that people resort to.

Officially (by the IKB) no help is offered in Reeuwijk, so they have to organize it themselves. The church leaders Rev. Warmenhoven (Reformed), Rev. de Lint (Dutch Reformed) and Pastor Schneiders, together with the town clerk and the local GP doctor Batelaan organize their own children's transport to Drenthe. There plenty of food is still available. Host families have not yet been found, but Reverend Warmenhoven hopes to find foster families on the spot using his church contacts.

As the main leader, Reverend Warmenhoven bears a great responsibility. He takes a leap in the dark, hoping God will bless the undertaking.

from an article in Dagblad van het Noorden)

The fact that over seventy years later more stories surface also has to do with her background, says Verhagen. The simple announcement that she is "the pastor's granddaughter" has opened doors to a lot of hearts. "That doesn't have much to do with my grandfather as a person, but with the stature that pastors have in the perception of these people. Dignitaries with authority.” Verhagen never knew her grandfather. He died of kidney failure at the age of 64.

“I was 1 year old at the time. But the stories about the children's transport have brought him to life. He has become human, with good qualities and lesser ones. My mother always spoke very fondly of him: a friendly, musical personality, sometimes telling a joke. But Grandpa also had a great sense of duty, and he took his calling as a minister extremely seriously; he was a good shepherd. "