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Gys Jansen-Van Beek
Born March 31, 1919(1919-03-31) (age 100)
Angeren, Netherlands
Occupation Inventor
Spouse(s) Zwaantje Van Beek

Gys Jansen-Van Beek (born March 31, 1919) is a Dutch American inventor who as a member of the Dutch resistance during World War II helped rescue members of the Allied forces and is also recognized as an Aid Giver for helping Jews escaping the Holocaust.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Born March 31, 1919 in Angeren, the Netherlands, Van Beek grew up on a farm. He was a member of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.[1]

Activity During World War IIEdit

After Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 Van Beek was among many Dutch the Germans tried to recruit. He avoided the recruitment and eventually joined the Dutch resistance.[2] Using forged identity papers he was able to help civilians and downed Allied pilots escape the Netherlands. Among those he helped escape was a P-51 pilot from Wisconsin, Lieutenant Howard Edward Moebius.[3][4][5][2] For his efforts he earned decorations from the governments of Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States of America. In 1999 he was recognized as an Aid Giver by the Shoah Foundation[1] established by Steven Spielberg. "For his heroism and service to the United States of America during World War II" he was entered into the Congressional Record of July 24, 2012 by Idaho Congressman Raúl Labrador.[2]

Life After World War IIEdit

Van Beek emigrated to the United States in 1948 and in 1954 moved to Idaho with his wife Zwaantje, where they started a dairy farm. The farm went into foreclosure in 1984 and after years of legal proceedings with the Farmers Home Administration they were evicted in 1994.[6][7] In 1995 he invented a hatchet used by firefighters and rescue workers.[8][9] He continues inventing tools including the Trucker's Friend which he exclusively licenses to Innovation Factory. [10][11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony of Gys Jansen-Van Beek". USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. 1999-10-03. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "HONORING GYS JANSEN VAN BEEK -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 24, 2012)". 112th United States Congress. 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  3. JESSE GARZA (2006-05-23). "OBITUARY War rescue led to lifelong friendship". 
  4. Howard E. Moebius (1993). Valley of the Shadow: A Brief Story of a Visit to Holland During World War II. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  5. Merle C. Olmsted (1 January 1971). The Yoxford Boys: The 357th Fighter Group on Escort Over Europe and Russia. Aero Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8168-9766-7. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  6. Tim Woodward (1999-11-17). "LUNCH WITH TIM - Immigrant fights foreclosure 'on account of America'". 
  7. "47 F.3d 1177 Gys Jansen VAN BEEK Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America; Farmers Home Administration; Commodity Credit Corporation, Defendants-Appellees.". United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 1995-02-09. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  8. EP patent 0862511, BEEK GYS J VAN, "Fire fighter's hatchet", issued 1998-1-20 
  9. US Patent Application No. 20050172415 United States Patent Application 20050172415
  10. US application 7051390, Gys van Beek, "Multi-purpose tool", published 2006-5-30 
  11. "The Trucker's Friend - Innovation Factory". Innovation Factory. 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 

Other ResourcesEdit

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