Arie Bestebreurtje

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Arie D. Bestebreurtje (1916-1983) was a highly decorated WWII veteran and a minister.

Early life and Military Decorations

Bestebreurtje joined the Dutch resistance movement in his mid-twenties before furthering his formal military training in England in order to better execute missions behind enemy lines.[1] Major Bestebreurtje’s awards included a Purple Heart, a French Croix de Guerre, and a British MBE.[2] Bestebreurtje was also a speed skater in his youth, and took any opportunity to ice skate that he could until his death in 1983.[1]

Time in Charlottesville

Instead of continuing his pre-war career in international law, Bestebreurtje moved to Virginia to become a minister. He served as minister at the First Presbyterian Church on Park Street from 1965-1981, and was beloved by his congregation.[3] He took a special interest in helping refugee families find homes in the community.

Frances Brand portrait

Bestebreurtje is one of several people commemorated by the late 20th-century artist Frances Brand as part of her Firsts series.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Capt. Arie D. Bestebreurtje, McKeway, Bill,, 1 February, 2017, retrieved 16 June, 2022.
  2. Web. Bestebreurtje, Arie Dirk "Harry", Traces of War, retrieved 16 June, 2022.
  3. Web. The History of the First Presbyterian Church Charlottesville, Virginia, Simpson, Robert E., Presbyterian Church (USA), 2011, retrieved 16 June, 2022.

External Links