By Senators Billig, Baumgartner, Cleveland, Jayapal, Conway, Chase, Hasegawa, Liias, McCoy, Hargrove, Hatfield, Kohl-Welles, Keiser, Mullet, Pedersen, McAuliffe, Fraser, Nelson, Rolfes, Padden, Parlette, Dammeier, Brown, O'Ban, Becker, Fain, Rivers, Schoesler, Sheldon, Hewitt, Hill, Benton, Roach, Warnick, Dansel, and Darneille
WHEREAS, When she was only a teenager, Carla Oman Peperzak was a Jewish member of the Dutch Resistance during World War II who saved at least 40 people from Nazi persecution; and
WHEREAS, In 1940, Peperzak was 16 and living in Holland when the Nazi occupation started, the country which had the highest Jewish fatality rate of Western Europe in World War II; and
WHEREAS, Peperzak dedicated herself to protecting others, frequently and fearlessly placing her own life in danger; and
WHEREAS, Equipped with stolen German identification papers and a German nurse's uniform, Peperzak became active in the Resistance, forging identification papers, serving as a messenger for the underground movement, and helping publish a newsletter of Allied Forces' activities, all at perilous risk to her own safety; and
WHEREAS, During the course of her missions, Peperzak was stopped at least three times while in disguise, the first when she rescued her 2-year-old cousin who had been taken by the Nazis, and she escaped by using resourcefulness to distract German officers; and
WHEREAS, Peperzak became a United States citizen in 1958 and moved to Spokane in 2004; and
WHEREAS, Peperzak now speaks publicly and passionately about her experiences at schools in Eastern Washington and Idaho, and shares her story to educate the next generations and because there are few Holocaust survivors remaining;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate honor and recognize Carla Oman Peperzak as a selfless and brave hero, who saved the lives of many and is now using her experiences to speak to new generations and educate us all about our history and the human capacity to care for others while facing unimaginably difficult challenges.