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Hanna Nadel, Holocaust Survivor, Hidden By Nazi Leader Leon Degrelle's Sister In Belgium

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HANNA NADIL
Fine study of Leon de Degrelle, chief of the Belgian Rexist party, making a speech at a huge Brussels gathering of fans, on July 11, 1938. (AP Photo) | AP

Hanna Nadel was 16 years old when she escaped the Nazis in Europe -- and according to a Belgian historian, the Holocaust survivor found refuge in a most unlikely place.

Jan Maes, a Belgian religion teacher, told the Flemish magazine Joods Actueel that Nadel, her mother and her niece were wandering around the capital of Brussels after a World War II raid when they were taken in by M. Cornet, the sister of one of Belgium's fiercest Nazi leaders, Leon Degrelle.

Joods Actueel explains that Nadel's mother noticed a sign on Cornet's door asking for help, and rang the bell. All three women were hired, with Nadel's mother as a cook and the two girls as housemaids. Nadel's family only later discovered later their employer's notorious relative.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Nadel's mother even occasionally cooked gefilte fish for the family's guests -- including many Belgian fascists -- "which the lady of the house advertised to her guests as 'oriental fish.'"

Degrelle, most famous for founding Rex, a Belgian fascist political movement with close ties to German's Nazi party and Italian fascists, first joined the Wehrmacht and later the Waffen SS, eventually fleeing to Spain after the war.

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Nazi leader's sister hid Jews near Brussels