Philip Pach Speyer

Philip Pach Speyer is a Holocaust Survivor who did not endure a life in concentration, labor, or death camps, as did three quarters of the Jewish population in the Netherlands who perished during the Second World War. During Adolf Hitler’s leadership of the Third Reich in World War II, the Nazi Party began persecuting and segregating Jews in an effort to fulfill Hitler’s “Final Solution,” which was to rid Europe and beyond of its Jewish population. Philip Speyer was one of the children who avoided the camps by becoming a “hidden child,” when a “righteous non-Jewish family” took him in during the war years, risking their own lives to save him. Following the war, he was reunited with his mother, while the majority of his blood relatives died, including his father. Philip has been fortunate to have survived and lived a long and fulfilling life. Presently, Philip has devoted his time to sharing his story and experiences as a child during the Holocaust.

The Takeover

Philip Pach was born May 30, 1940 in occupied Amsterdam. While his mother Mina took care of him, his father Leendert worked as a tailor, designing dresses and suits. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands on May 10 (20 days before Philip’s birth),…

Survival

After being hidden for several days in the coal bin, a group of students from an underground network were able to pick Philip up and move him through several other safe locations before taking him to his final destination in Utrecht, a city about…

Given a Chance

The Kindjes Haven employed local girls from the neighborhood to work as assistants, and one of those girls was Jannie Spier. Jannie was sixteen years old at the time and ended up taking Philip home with the intention of asking her widowed mother,…

Liberation

In May 1945, the Canadians liberated the Netherlands from Nazi Germany. Philip was asleep in his foster home while there were guns firing and much yelling and screaming while the people of Utrecht were celebrating the news of the liberation. One…

Back at Home

When Philip and his mother returned to Amsterdam, it had only been a short time since the liberation of the Netherlands. Food and other supplies were rationed. Jewish people who survived and returned to Amsterdam had lost most if not all of their…

Post World War II

Elkan Speyer had family who had managed to escape from the Netherlands to the United States in the late 1930’s before the German occupation. They were willing to help sponsor Mina, Elkan, Philip and Regina with their move to the U.S. The United…

The Future

Philip Pach Speyer met his wife Michele Speyer in 1991, and they moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993. Philip has two daughters Jodyne and Jill, as well as two grandsons, Matthew and Andrew. Philip retired in 1997. Over the years Philip had lost…