Searching for the Dutch-Paris Escape Line
The greatest number of Dutch-Paris agents to be arrested were arrested because the Abwehr, a Wehrmacht counter-espionage unit, was very successful at eliminating escape lines. They got their hands on a Dutch-Paris courier because collaborationist French police suspected her of black marketeering. They tortured a long list of names and addresses out of the courier and systematically arrested them all. They tortured those resisters to find more of their colleagues.
But a fair number of Dutch-Paris agents were arrested because of bad luck. Pierre from the previous two posts, for example, just happened to walk past a couple of German policemen who were looking for any excuse to arrest able bodied men to deport as laborers on a day when he had a faulty false ID.
A Dutch pastor in Brussels who belonged to Dutch-Paris was arrested because the wrong person overheard two indiscreet Dutchmen say his name. Fortunately the pastor was released three months later for lack of evidence, and possibly because of the outraged protests from the community.
A Jew whom Dutch-Paris was hiding in Brussels was arrested haphazardly in a street round-up. Out of fear and anxiety, he gave the address where he went to pick up false documents and money. Naturally, the Germans raided the Dutch-Paris HQ, but the resisters who were there at the time managed to get out the back window in time.
A young Dutch-Paris courier was rounded up with every other male on the streets of Annecy by the French paramilitary collaborationist Milice, but his false documents withstood scrutiny and he was eventually released.
The Milice in Toulouse arrested John Weidner himself and three of his colleagues because Weidner bore an uncanny resemblance to a local Communist who the Milice thought had shot some other collaborators. Luckily, Weidner and his companions all escaped.
Two Dutch-Paris couriers were arrested north of Lyon in July 1944 because their train broke down. To continue their journey, they shared a taxi with three seemingly respectable men but were stopped at a roadblock. When German soldiers searched the vehicle, they found cartridges on the floor. They accused all seven people in the taxi of being maquisards (partisans). The Dutchmen feared for their lives for several hours but eventually talked their way to freedom.
These examples do not prove the good luck of Dutch-Paris resisters so much as they illustrate how dangerous it was to be a civilian, especially a young male civilian, in western Europe in 1943 and 1944.