Max Arian

Max Arian was born 16 March 1940, just seven weeks before the Germans came and occupied the Netherlands. Slowly they would isolate, deport and eventually kill the Jews of the Netherlands. The father of Max, Arnold Arian, fought the Germans and their allies with his friends from a boxing club. Eventually he was arrested, deported and killed in Auschwitz.
Max’ mother, Rebecca Arian-Witteboon, was taken by the Germans several times, but managed to escape. At last she was imprisoned in the Hollandsche Schouwburg and could not escape her fate, she thought. She managed to smuggle a brief note to her brother-in-law Nico de Klijn: ‘make the child disappear’. That was about Max. His uncle brought him to the crèche just opposite the Hollandsche Schouwburg, because from there he could easily be brought into hiding. Max was 3 years old and brought to the south of the Netherlands, Heerlen, with the family of Alex and Lies Micheels. He had a good time there until the end of the war, May 1945, when his mother would come to get him. His foster parents made no problems, although his foster sister Fien was crying the whole day. Also his grandmother Mietje Witteboon came there from the concentration camp Theresienstadt. The relationships kept wonderful till this day. A little bet-behind grandson of Alex and Lies was born two years ago and called Maxim. Max married Maartje, got three children and became a journalist with the political and cultural weekly De Groene Amsterdammer. He still writes occasionally for this paper, mostly about opera.
In 1990 he went to the first congress of hidden children in New York and took the initiative of such a congress in Amsterdam, in 1991. He was an active member of the Netherlands Auschwitz Comité. And he worked as good as possible for peace in the Middle East.
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