Story of the Fork

Every year when I am in The Netherlands I visit Dirkje ( Ditte) Spronk.

My sister Rita and I were being hidden by Mr and Mrs Hendrik Spronk on their farm in Oldebroek. We arrived there in the summer of 1942.

In January 1944, Hendrik Spronk passed away. His wife could not run the farm by herself so a nephew, his wife and baby boy moved in with us.

This was Gerrit and Dirkje (Ditte) Spronk.

I was able five years ago to come in contact with Ditte again. I visited her every year. My last visit was this August 6 this year at a nursing home in Oldebroek where she has been a patient for the last two years.

She recognized me immediately and was so happy to see me. She asked me to go into the next room where I would find an envelope. Indeed there was an envelope with “Voor Maud” written on it.

I opened it up and there was a child’s fork with my name Maud engraved on the back. Ditte tells me that upon selling the farm recently they found this black little fork when they cleaned it up they discovered my name.

This little fork dates back to 1942 when my late mother gave it to me take with me in hiding. I was thrilled to receive this from her.

Later in the afternoon, that day, I ran into Ditte’s daughter- in- law. She ran over to me and gave a big hug. She tells me she had gone to visit her mother-in-law in the afternoon and how happy she was that I had stopped by earlier to see her. She told me that her mother-in-law, Ditte, said to her “Now I can die I have seen Maud”

On August 14th I received a notice that Ditte had passed away. She was 98 years old.

I am so very glad that I did see her. “May she Rest in Peace.”

Maud Dahme, born in the Netherlands, was one of the Dutch “hidden children,” survived the Holocaust, and came to the United States at the age of 14. She is a March of the Living Board Member, serves on the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Educations, and served on the State Board of Education from 1983–2007, including five years as president. A Holocaust Commission award is named in her honor, and she now devotes her time to Holocaust/Genocide education and guiding groups to Holocaust sites.