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  • False Documents Category

    21st Mar

    Another element that made every aviator’s evasion, and indeed every clandestine journey across occupied Europe, different was the fact that the enemy were not robots. Of course the German army and police were professional enough to be predictable, but even they had off days. And their orders changed in ways that resisters could not foresee. […]

    15th Nov

    Here’s an interesting question that came up during the proof reading for the Dutch translation of the book. Before the days of commercial air travel and cheap long distance phone calls, let alone the internet, travel took time and involved a lot more surprises than it does today. You might set out for a foreign […]

    28th Apr

    In early March 1944, Weidner asked one of his lieutenants, whom we’ll call Jacques, to take his sister from Paris to Switzerland. Because most of their Dutch-Paris colleagues in Paris had been arrested in the previous few days Jacques had to assume that the police had his description and that every address along the usual […]

    16th Sep

    In the last post I described how a teacher at the Seventh-day Adventist seminary in Collonges-sous-Salève used to ride his bicycle across the Franco-Swiss border to attend graduate class in Geneva. He often carried messages and documents across the border with him, usually without any trouble at all. There was one day, though, that he […]

    2nd Sep

    Here’s a reason to stay in school, even pursue a graduate degree, that you may not have thought about before. One of the links in the Dutch-Paris chain over the Franco-Swiss border was a group of resisters at the Seventh-day Adventist seminary above the village of Collonges-sous-Salève. Collonges sits right on the French side of […]

    19th Jul

    In the spring of 1944, not too many weeks before the Allies landed in Normandy, a Dutch secret agent and a Dutch priest left the Netherlands. The priest played a leading role in the Dutch social resistance that supported people hiding from the occupation authorities. The secret agent had parachuted into the country on a […]

    18th May

    Unlikely Passports

    One of the ways to get Jewish people out of German internment camps in western Europe before they were deported “to the east” was to arrange a South American passport for them through consulates in Switzerland. In May 1943 a Dutch Jewish friend of John Weidner’s who was a refugee in Geneva found out about […]

    28th Apr

    There was a young man we’ll call Ed (born 1923) who was flat out broke in 1942 and staying with a distant cousin of his mother’s who ran a restaurant in a small mountain town between Annecy and the Swiss border in Haute-Savoie (France). His hostess introduced him to a man in the hopes that […]

    12th Aug

    To say that the political prisoners whom the Nazis deported to Germany, such as dozens of men and women who belonged to Dutch-Paris, disappeared into the maw of the concentration camps is true but not necessarily accurate.  Prisoners had wildly different itineraries and were often shuttled about from one camp to another.  And although all […]

    2nd Aug

    It’s not hard to come up with a long list of hazards involved in rescuing fugitives from the Nazis.  The Germans themselves and their collaborators in all their many manifestations take the top of the list, followed by the usual problems of living in a warzone, such as bombardments.   Sometimes, however, the fugitives’ fear put […]