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Yom HaShoah - "The Conscience of a City" Virtual film screening April 5th - 11th, Panel Discussion April 8th

Thursday, April 8, 2021 26 Nisan 5781

8:00 PM - 9:30 PMZoom

As we commemorate Yom HaShoah this year, we are privileged to host the English premiere of an untold story of bravery and morality. “The Conscience of a City” recounts the actions of the citizens of the Germany-Netherlands border town Enschede under the direction of Pastor Leendert Overduin. Risking his own life, the lives of his relatives, and those of the community, he was able to build a full underground network to provide food, funds, and hiding places to many Jews across The Netherlands. Saving 1000 Jewish lives in the darkness of WWII, “The Conscience of a City” is a beacon of light and hope that can inspire generations to come.

Join us for an opportunity to discuss the history and the film on Thursday, April 8th at 8:00pm. We will hear first hand accounts from survivors, the film director, and Overduin’s family.

Film available: April 5th-11th 

Panelists (Click each name, below, to see full biography)


Herbert Zwartz

Joe%20Lovett%20headshot.jpgHerbert Zwartz was born in 1928 in Enschede. After studying textile engineering, Herbert worked in textile mills in Britain, France, and the United States (Atlanta). In 1952, he entered the family business (founded in 1835). Herbert lived “underground” for 2 years during the german occupation. He has 1 son, 3 daughters, 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.





Willy Berends

Joe%20Lovett%20headshot.jpgWilly Berends was born in 1964 in Enschede. He was the co-owner of a textile print company in Enschede from 1982-2007. From 2008 until today, he is the part time marketing and project manager for the local professional soccer team - FC Twente.Through this work, Willy became more involved and interested in developing documentaries and short films. He is the creator of a “The Conscience of a City,” and is committed to sharing this important story with the world.



Bert Woudstra

Bert Woudstra was born in 1932 in Enschede. He has 5 children of his own and another through marriage, 11 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. He was hidden in 13 different places during WWII with the help of Pastor Overduin. After the war and school, he went to work in the textile industry. In 1973, Bert began teaching college students, and was a Fulbright visitor here in Palo Alto. He is the founder and former president of the “Stichting Synagoge Enschede” (Enschede Synagogue Foundation),and  the past Governor of the Netherlands Kiwanis International District. Bert continues to lecture in the Netherlands and Germany about WWII on behalf of the former German Concentration Camp Westerbork in the Netherlands, teaching young people to think about discrimination, freedom, and war.



Ellen Koopmans

Ellen was born in 1959 in Enschede, and was baptized by Leendert Overduin. He was my mother’s uncle. She is a graduate from the Polytechnical School of Amsterdam as a technical engineer in clothing manufacture. In 1990, she married in the church in the town of Lonneker (chapel of love) where Overduin served as a reverend until the late sixties. She has 4 children. She was raised with the deep respect for all things, material and immaterial, that history has passed on to us, and she is proud to represent the Overduin family with the English premier of “The Conscience of a City.”

Please Note:  Kol Emeth will have virtual screening privileges for "The Conscience Of A City" for 7 days, Monday, April 5th through Sunday, April 11th.  Please note that the link to view the film will not be valid after 11:59pm PT on April 11th. 

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