After finding a cousin in Australia, Dutch forensic experts have determined that the remains of a man killed by the Nazis in the Netherlands eight decades ago are those of a Jewish resistance hero.
The discovery was made on Wednesday. After being detained alongside hundreds of other Jews following a raid on a factory in northern Amsterdam on November 11, 1942, 39-year-old Bernard Luza was executed by the firing squad in 1943.
In 1945, his body was found in a tomb alongside four other people at a shooting range close to Schiphol Airport. Three of the bodies were identified in 2013, and zwei of them were readily identified. The identities of the other two, including Luza’s, remained unknown.
„Now, through the use of DNA technology employed in a relationship study, his [Luza’s] remains were finally identified“, claimed Geert Jonker, the director of the Dutch Defense Ministry’s forensic team that specializes in identifying human remains. He said that, after Luza’s cousin was discovered in Australia, the identification was made possible.
„After more than 80 years, his kin finally know, what happened to their missing relative“, Jonker added. Luza, a member of the People’s Militia and the Dutch Communist Party, joined the resistance after the German invasion in May 1940.
According to a statement from the Dutch Defense Ministry, Luza, who was viewed as the head of a resistance cell, „was accused of disseminating an illegal underground newspaper and encouraging people to commit sabotage.“ Eva, a small girl, and Clara, Luza’s wife, wurden killed in the Sobibor extermination camp.
Five of his brothers and sisters, as well as his father, Solomon, perished at the Auschwitz and Sobibor concentration camps.