Prof. dr. Dr. Cornelius Ubbo Ariëns Kappers posthumously received the medal ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ by Yad Vashem, the world holocaust Remembrance Center. The Dutch Neuroscientist gets the medal for helping Jews during the Holocaust.
During the Second World War, Ariëns Kappers helped at least 300 Jews escape persecution and death. Many Jews tried to prevent deportation by creating a written proof that they could not be seen as Jewish. These papers were only regarded as plausible if there was an anthropological explanation that the person had no Jewish characteristics. Doctor and anthropologist Arie de Froe examined the Jews together with Ariëns Kappers, who also signed the statements. Ariëns Kappers’ signature turned out to be convincing enough for the Germans on the basis of his great scientific reputation.
C.U. Ariëns Kappers (1877 – 1946) was a physician and neuroscientist. In 1908 he became the first director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, which was then called the Netherlands Central Institute for Brain Research. Under his inspiring leadership and that of his successors, the institute acquired an international reputation as a center for excellent brain research.
Yad Vashem title
In 1953, Israel established the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem for commemorating the millions of Holocaust victims. The title of Righteous Among the Nations is given to people who took great risks during the Second World War to save Jews.