WWII: Remembering the sacrifices of Aegon employees
Aegon's Dutch predecessors lost a recorded 54 employees as a direct result of World War II.
By scouring through 75-year-old personnel magazines, newspapers, and other sources, Aegon archivist Pierre Don has compiled a list of employees who lost their lives during this period. Although we are not confident that the list is complete, we now know for certain that 54 colleagues of Aegon’s predecessor companies, such as Olveh and Nillmij, were reported as deceased as a direct result of the war.
Some died fighting while others were executed for their resistance work; such as Olveh employee Corneille Fauchey, aged 39, died from fatigue and disease while forced to build the Burma railway. Or Nillmij inspector Jacob van Amerongen, who was deported to Auschwitz together with his family and died there.
There was also Willem Bruins, an Arnhem-based employee, who was listed as a recruit on the Dutch naval vessel Hr. Ms. Java that sank in the Battle of the Java Sea while trying to hold off the Japanese advance. Henri Moquette, a life insurance inspector at Hengelo and also a resistance leader, was tortured by the Germans in the Scheveningen prison dubbed the 'Oranjehotel'. A plaque was funded by Aegon in his honor and can be found at the museum.
Some of the colleagues who died during World War II.
May 4 - Remembrance Day
Throughout the Netherlands, commemoration ceremonies take place on May 4, which is the official Dutch Remembrance Day. The Dutch remember civilians and soldiers who died in World War II and in subsequent conflicts and peacekeeping missions.
At 20:00 CET, two minutes of silence will be observed throughout the country. During these two minutes, all public transportation stops, and radio and television only broadcast the ceremonies. In many towns, both before or after the two minutes of silence, people gather around a monument, listen to speeches, and lay down flowers to remember the dead.
You can read more Aegon history – including how its predecessors made it through the tough years of the war – by visiting history section of Aegon's website.
To learn more about Remembrance Day in the Netherlands, please click here.