born in Amsterdam on March 12th 1946 teacher
received a Royal Distinction, Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
I was born in Amsterdam on March 12th 1946, in social democratic family. I’m married and we have two sons.
After studying Dutch as a second language at the University of Amsterdam, I obtained my teacher’s certificate. After a period of teaching Dutch as a second language, I completed a degree in non profit management at the University of Tilburg. In those days school were always male and there was a movement in Holland to get more female directors. The government financed this university course and all my fellow students would eventually lead a non-profit organization.
I became director of the Amsterdam school for Adult Education. We developed a study program for higher vocational education Dutch as a second language and for years I advised the Minister of Education (requested and unrequested). The government decided to reorganize the adult education in regional education centres. I went to Israel with a few colleagues’ for a study tour to see how Israel organised the adult education and Hebrew as second language. We wrote a report for the minister and had Regionale Opleidingscentra in Holland ever since.
I retired 14 years ago.
So, how did I come to know about Ravensbrück? The mother of my friend, Stien Spier, was a former prisoner, and secretary of the Dutch committee. I always wondered about the women fighting in the resistance during a time when women were supposed to ‘follow’ their husband.
The first time I met the members of the IRK was in Amsterdam. I helped organise the meeting, I think it was in 1991. That’s when I became a member of the Dutch Committee.
In 2003 I took over from Stien Spier, and became the secretary of the Dutch committee. Greet Roodveldt was the new president. The first time I attended the meeting of the IRK was in Lidice. A few years later Greet and I organized the meeting of the IRK in The Hague, and we started workshops in Ravensbrück for junior teachers, together with Ravensbrück and Westerbork. We also arranged excursions to Ravensbrück and Berlin for teenage students. In the meantime we organized the yearly commemoration in April at the Ravensbrück Monument in Amsterdam, always followed by a reunion and luncheon. The survivors told their stories in several schools and I was a member of different advise groups. In the meantime Greet Roodveldt became the treasurer of the IRK and I became the second treasurer. In 2017 the day after the IRK-meeting in Kladno, Greet Roodtveldt died. I couldn’t attend the meeting after suffering a heart attack. This meant the end of attending the IRK meetings for me and Greet. Until that year, I’d been the treasurer of the IRK and president and secretary of the Dutch committee. It was too much!
In 2018, with the help of social media, I asked the former junior teachers and some students if they wanted to continue the Dutch Committee. That same year they started to take over, and in 2019 the ‘old’ members (me: Joke van Dijk-Bording, Joke de Graaf en Marit Broekman) withdrew.
In November 2019 I received a Royal Distinction, Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Joke van Dijk-Bording, april 2020