From September 1942, Joop Levy, together with his parents Philip and Elwine Levy-Meyer, went into hiding at the Ebbers family in Lintelo. First they slept in a room in the house, but later in a shelter above the stable. Son Jan Ebbers also slept there, because he refused to work for the Germans. Joop had no friends to play with there. He also was not allowed outside, which made him feel very bored.
On his eighth birthday in October 1943, Joop received a big surprise: a resistance courier brought him a beautiful wooden toy plane. It was made by his cousin Jonny Levy and the Russian pilot Alex Sidorov who were in hiding with the Geurink family in Lichtenvoorde. They had made the plane from an old toilet seat.
Three weeks before the liberation there was a dangerous situation: 70 German soldiers stayed on the farm for two weeks. At night they slept above Levy’s hideout. It ended well.
A year after the liberation, there was a liberation parade in Varsseveld, the village where Joop lived. Joop walked along, dressed as a pilot, with the plane proudly under his arm. Unfortunately he didn’t get a prize, but he didn’t enjoy it any less!
After years of ‘flying around’ past various museums in the country, Joop Levy’s plane finally landed in the Nationaal Onderduikmuseum in Aalten. In 2016, in the presence of Joop Levy and the descendants of Jonny and the Geurink family from Lichtenvoorde, the aircraft was officially handed over to the museum, where it was given a place in the collection.
Today, Joop Levy calls himself ‘a very lucky man’ and says: “A hero is someone who ventures his life while he asks nothing for it.”