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Gabrielle Weidner

Brussels, Belgium

Gabrielle was the second of four children born to Dutch parents. Her father was a minister in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. She grew up in Collonges, France, near the Swiss border, where her father served as a pastor. Gabrielle was baptized in the Seventh-Day Adventist faith at the age of 16. She attended secondary school in London, England.

1933-39: Gabrielle became increasingly active in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, eventually becoming the secretary at the French-Belgian Union of Seventh-Day Adventists headquarters in Paris. Her student travels in western Europe and her knowledge of foreign languages proved useful in her work. On September 3, 1939, two days after Germany invaded Poland, France declared war on Germany.

1940-44: German forces invaded France in May 1940, and Gabrielle fled to the south. After the armistice, Gabrielle returned to Paris and resumed working for the church. On Saturday, February 26, 1944, the Gestapo arrested her during 10 a.m. church services. Along with 140 other members of the "Dutch-Paris" network that helped Dutch Jews and political refugees, Gabrielle was implicated by a fellow member who was tortured. On August 24 Gabrielle was deported from the Fresnes Prison in Paris to the Ravensbrueck camp in Germany.

On February 17, 1945, Gabrielle died of malnutrition in Koenigsberg, a subcamp of Ravensbrueck, just days after being liberated by Soviet troops.

Johan was the eldest of four children born to Dutch parents. His father ...
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