Named after Joop Westerweel (1899-1944) the forest was planted in 1954 with the help of the Jewish National Fund.
Westerweel was a central figure in the underground movement of Jewish pioneers (Halutzim).
He and his friends bound their own fate with that of the Halutzim and founded a non-violent underground group in accordance with Joop’s views. His energy and great inspiration roused his friends to action.
They succeeded in bringing some 150 Halutzim from over the borders of Belgium and across the Pyrenees to Spain, while World War II was still raging, some 70 Halutzim arrived at the shores of Israel.
Around 400 out of 820 pioneers owed their survival to the activities of the Dutch Halutz Underground. Many members of the underground movement, Jews and gentiles sacrificed their lives in the struggle against the Nazis.
Joop Westerweel was captured and put to death at the Vught Concentration Camp in Holland on August 11, 1944. After his death, Westerweel was designated as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
The memorial stones in the forest commemorate all those activists, Jews and gentiles, who sacrificed their lives in order to rescue the Halutzim.