Stephen Fry: Willem and Frieda on SBS – During the occupation of the Netherlands in WW2, Willem Arondeus, a painter, and Frieda Belinfante, a cellist, used their artistic skills to forge identity cards that saved thousands of Jews from the death camps.
This was no mean task as, at the time, the Dutch had the most sophisticated identity card system in the world and, what’s more, the Nazis had a backup plan: each card they issued had a duplicate stored in the Amsterdam Central Records Office to prevent forgery.
Willem realised he had to take action and, with a rag-tag gang of fellow artists, he led a daring raid to blow up the Central Records Office and destroy the duplicate cards. There was only one proviso: no one could be harmed in the process because “We are not like them”.
Stephen Fry goes on a very personal journey to Amsterdam to discover why this incredible story has remained largely hidden to the present day.
Stephen Fry: Willem and Frieda on SBS and SBS on Demand – Premiere / Tuesday 13 February, 2024 at 8.30pm
TV Central SBS content HERE