Hendrikus (Hein) Snapper worked in the municipal labor exchange in the Dutch village of Naaldwijk. Early on, he became aware of the persecution of Dutch Jews and he and his wife Martha decided to help Jews avoid deportation.
In 1942, he joined the Dutch underground and was put in contact with the de Hartog family, who had been among the last Dutch Jews to receive a deportation order and were desperately searching for a hiding place.
The Snappers, with six small children of their own, took in Rosa de Hartog and arranged hiding places for her husband, Levy (Leen), and their five children with friends and neighbors.
The Snapper family had previously taken in two Jews, an elderly woman and a 17-year-old, but neither could pass as their housekeeper so they had moved them on to other families.
De Hartog remained at the Snappers for the next three years. During that time six Nazi soldiers moved into the Snappers’ home. Martha convinced the soldiers to share some of their food with her family and that allowed her to also feed her “housekeeper,” never letting on that she was Jewish.
In May 1943, a massive deportation of Dutch men for forced labor in Germany began. Snapper used his position at the local labor exchange to destroy records, and to forge documents for the de Hartogs. The entire de Hartog family survived the Holocaust and were united after World War II.
Hendrikus Snapper died in 1979 and Martha Snapper in 1980. In 2006, Hendrikus and Martha Snapper were posthumously recognized as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jews.