After a few days of meetings at the Dutch embassy in Bern, the Swiss secret service escorted Weidner and Felix back to the French border.*  At a certain place the Swiss helped hold up the barbed wire so that Weidner, Felix and an unknown woman who apparently belonged to the Swiss Intelligence Service could crawl through the mud underneath it.   Once on the road, the woman took Felix’s arm so that they were strolling along like silent lovers.  Weidner sauntered in front of them until he suddenly ducked into a house, followed by the other two.  Soon after, the German border patrol roared past on motorcycles and trucks with their helmets on.

It appeared to be the home of the French police inspector who had helped Weidner and Felix get into Switzerland.  The inspector’s wife cleaned the mud off their clothes and gave them a warm cup of ersatz coffee, which, Felix later commented, was a sure sign that they were back in occupied France.

The rest of the journey was ordinary enough by the standards of the time that Felix didn’t bother to comment on it other than to say that they went by train to Lyon, where they spent the night with a Swiss pastor, and then took another train back to his hiding place outside Paris.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Felix got the VIP treatment at the Swiss border.  Most people who got to Switzerland with the help of Dutch-Paris had to run through the no-man’s land and under the Swiss barbed wire by themselves, after which they were instructed to turn themselves in to the first Swiss gendarme they met.  The Swiss strongly disapproved of the paid passeurs who showed fugitives the way over the border, so it was important to maintain the fiction that a Jewish family or other refugees had found their own way over the border.  Dutch-Paris arranged for their proteges to be on the list of people who would not be turned back at the border, so it was best to follow the legal procedures to become an official refugee in Switzerland.

Not nearly as many people left Switzerland illegally as entered it illegally, but some did.  Weidner and a couple of his lieutenants went in and out of the country regularly.  A certain officer of the Swiss intelligence service sometimes accompanied Weidner to the border to make sure the coast was clear for him to go over.  Dutch-Paris also helped some Dutchmen of military age get from Switzerland to Spain in order to join the Allied armies.  Some of these young men took the sealed trains that ran between Switzerland and Spain during the war, but others had to sneak over the border on foot, without, as far as I know, the knowledge of the Swiss.  It was one thing to let Jewish refugees into the country.  It was another thing altogether to violate neutrality by allowing (potential) soldiers to regain the battlefield.

*see the previous post for how they got into Switzerland.