Dutch Jewish resistance hero’s body identified 80 years after execution by Nazis

Dutch forensic investigators have identified the remains of a man executed by the Nazis in the Netherlands eight decades ago as that of a Jewish resistance hero after locating a cousin in Australia.

Bernard Luza, 39, was killed by a firing squad in 1943 after he and hundreds of other Jews were arrested following a raid on a factory in northern Amsterdam on Nov. 11, 1942. His body was discovered in 1945 in a grave with four others, buried at a shooting range near Schiphol Airport.

Two of the bodies were quickly identified, while a third was named in 2013. But the two others, including that of Luza, remained shrouded in mystery.

“Now, through the use of DNA technology employed in a relationship study, his [Luza’s] remains were finally identified,” said Geert Jonker, head of the Dutch Defense Ministry’s forensic unit specializing in identifying human remains.

A member of the Dutch Communist Party and the People’s Militia, Luza joined the resistance after the Germans invaded in May 1940.

“Seen as the leader of a resistance group, Luza was accused of distributing an illegal underground newspaper and calling on people to commit sabotage,” the Dutch Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Luza’s wife, Clara, and young daughter Eva were murdered in the Sobibor extermination camp. His father, Solomon, and five of his brothers and sisters also died in the Auschwitz and Sobibor death camps.


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