USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Sam's Biography

Sam Schryver

 

Sam Schryver was born in Amsterdam in 1922. Immediately after the Germans invaded, he joined the Dutch resistance; his main activities were providing other people with ration cards and assisting them in other ways. Sam had several close calls with the Nazis while in the resistance, on one occasion escaping from an interrogation. In 1943 he went to The Hague, where he, his sister, and another girl were in hiding until January 1945, when they were finally captured and sent to Westerbork. On April 11, 1945, after hearing artillery fire from the approaching Allies, Sam escaped from the camp and reached the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, where he convinced their commander, Jean Victor Allard, not to bombard the camp. After the war, Sam worked for a Jewish organization that was trying to reunite hidden children with their families. In 2000, he was knighted by the Queen of Holland for his part in saving the prisoners at Westerbork. He was a frequent speaker at the Florida Holocaust Museum and at local schools.  Sam Schryver passed away on January 13, 2013.