Mr. Speaker, Tony Geldens was a Dutch boy when on May 10, 1940; the Nazis invaded and occupied the Netherlands. Persecution of the Jews began immediately by the occupiers. Jews were required to wear yellow stars of David on their clothing. Jews were shot, beat, and sent to concentration camps.
Tony and a few of his Boy Scout friends joined the Dutch resistance. Tony began a 4-year career of being the Robin Hood of the Netherlands. He would steal supplies and food from the Nazis and give them to local Jews and citizens, much to the risk of his own safety. He hid Jews and helped rescue American Allied pilots that had been shot down over the Netherlands. He would help the pilots through the Dutch underground and help get them safely to England.
Tony was arrest, beaten, and imprisoned numerous times by Nazis, only to escape. He was on trial by the Nazis when the Canadians liberated his hometown. Numerous Jews and Allied pilots lived because of Tony Geldens.
Tony moved to America in 1967, married Anna, had five kids, and finally became a U.S. citizen in 2000. He wore the American flag lapel pin every day of his life.
He was an architect and political and community activist. My very good and personal friend Tony Geldens died yesterday in Kingwood, Texas, at the age of 90. Tony will be missed deeply. He was quite an individual.