Beads used by a Dutch Jewish girl in hiding

Beads used by a Dutch Jewish girl in hiding

These tiny black, white, gold, and clear glass beads were used by Rachel “Chelly” de Groot from November 1942 to April 1944 and recovered by her brother Louis after the war. Chelly used the beads to make handicrafts.

On November 16, 1942, Chelly, then 15, Louis, 13, and their parents Meijer and Sophia left Arnhem and went into hiding after the Dutch police warned them of a raid. Meijer and Sophia hid in Amsterdam while Chelly and Louis moved around to different locations. In summer or fall 1943, Chelly went to Amsterdam to live with her parents. In December, Louis was sent to Lemmer to live with the Onderweegs family.

In February 1944, Dirk Onderweegs offered to take Chelly to a safer hiding place. But on April 8, 1944, four days before Dirk was to return, Chelly and her parents were denounced and arrested. They were sent to Westerbork transit camp, then to Auschwitz. Chelly and Sophia were killed upon arrival in Auschwitz on May 22, 1944. Meijer was selected for a work detail and was killed later on September 30, 1944.

Louis remained in hiding with the Onderweegs until liberation in mid-April 1945.

Critical Thinking Questions

Why are artifacts like these beads important historical evidence?

Use the Museum's website and Collections to learn more about the experiences of children during the Holocuast.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Louis de Groot
View Archival Details

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.