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  • Join the Resistance Category

    18th Apr

    As I’ve said before, the documents don’t explain why the men and women of Dutch-Paris joined the resistance. No one asked that question at the end of the war when the reports in the archives were written. In late 1944 Weidner did write in an official report that they risked their lives to help strangers […]

    27th Dec

    A Resister’s Parents

    I had the great honor of visiting with Joke Folmer a few weeks ago in Amsterdam. She is well known for having escorted hundreds of downed Allied aviators out of the Netherlands, some of whom she passed to Dutch-Paris. Among other things, I was interested to ask how she knew where to go when she […]

    13th Dec

    I’d like to share some of the discussion at the book launch symposium in Amsterdam last month. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything to write with, so this is not as detailed as I’d like. Professor Hans Blom began the discussion by reminding us all that a person needed both the desire to be a resister […]

    27th Oct

    The last post discussed why the vast majority of people who were “patriots in their hearts,” and so disposed towards the resistance, did not join it. Many surely feared the consequences if they were caught, which could reasonably be expected to include torture and deportation to the concentration camps. Others who may have been willing […]

    13th Oct

    One in Fifty

    The leader of Dutch-Paris, John Henry Weidner, wrote shortly after the war that for every 50 Dutch expatriates in France and Belgium during the war whom he knew to be patriots in their hearts, only one resisted. The other 49 did not collaborate. They probably even sympathized with the resistance and maybe turned a blind […]

    9th Jun

    Following on the last two posts about resisters belonging to more than one network, here’s another story from Dutch-Paris. This one did not turn out so well. There was a middle-aged widow in Paris, we’ll call her Anne, who opened her apartment to downed Allied aviators as part of Dutch-Paris. Some of these men stayed […]

    13th May

    During the Second World War, as always, there were people who were looking out only for themselves. They didn’t have any particular political ideals, but they intended to be where the money and the winners were. During most of the Occupation, that meant being where the Germans were. This didn’t require anything extreme like joining […]

    4th Feb

    How did a man who grew up in Oakland, California, come to be driving American aviators around the Pyrenees in 1944? This man, whom we’ll call Frisco because that’s what the aviators called him, was born in California in 1912, presumably to French immigrants. When he was 16 the family returned to their farm in […]

    11th Nov

    It’s easy enough to imagine the agonizing dilemma of a Jewish family or a resister who needed to find a passeur to Spain or Switzerland. Obviously, their first choice would be to go with a resistance line like Dutch-Paris, if only they could find one. Failing that, they would have to pay a passeur and […]

    1st Oct

    Although Allied governments certainly tried to organize and control “The Resistance”, especially the armed Resistance, it was a fundamentally grass-roots movement. You became a resister by taking action where you thought necessary and putting yourself at risk. That holds true for people who started resistance work because a friend or acquaintance asked them for help. […]