My visit to


« My teddy bear was my only friend, my only childhood toy. »

Joseph Obstfeld

Joseph was born in Amsterdam in 1937 to a Polish family. With danger rising, the family decided to split up and entrust Joseph to a resistance network which could protect him. Joseph was only 5 years old when he was placed on a farm. Too young to make a good helper, Joseph was sent back to the resistance network. They found him a new hiding place with a couple Piet and Ali, whom he had to call "tonton" and "tata". Joseph was renamed Jopie and had to be as discreet as possible in the house so as not to be discovered. He had to hide for several hours in the basement or in a cupboard because the house was being used as a doctor's office, and many Germans came as patients. Joseph spent 3 years with the family. At the end of the war, his father came back for him but Joseph did not recognize him and initially refused to follow him. Joseph's new life was very difficult. He lived in a small apartment with his father and his mother who had come back from the Theresienstadt camp. Traumatized by the horrors they had endured, they had become strangers to Joseph.
Years later, Joseph moved to Israel. But he never broke his ties with Piet and Ali. In 1971, he brought them to Israel and had them recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

More info on Joseph Obstfeld