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  • Join the Resistance Category

    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. […]

    28th May

    A German reader, a relative of one of the Dutch-Paris station chiefs, asked me an interesting question about the last post. You may remember the story of a young Dutchman we’ll call Ad who lived in France. He started out by allowing the rain to ruin shipments of linen destined for a factory that worked […]

    14th May

    Strategic Incompetence

    Many resisters started out small. They did what they could to harass the enemy with the opportunities available to them. As the war went on, their opportunities may have increased and they may have came into contact with like-minded people. Perhaps they even crossed paths with a Resistance group. Take the story of a young […]

    15th Jan

    Circumstances often played a capricious role in how an individual came to join the Resistance and where in the Resistance he or she ended up. Take, for example, the story of a young Dutchman (born 1918) whom we’ll call Bob. Bob began the war as a student at the engineering school in Delft until the […]

    5th Jan

    A Self-Appointed Spy

    This is the story of a French man, born in 1898, who created an intelligence network specializing in information about German troop movements and the location of the launching sites for V1 and V2 rockets. He wasn’t involved with Dutch-Paris, although the two networks had people in common. Our man had been wounded and gassed […]

    26th Dec

    One day in December 1943 a 21 year-old woman whom we’ll call Marie-France received a visit from her downstairs neighbor who worked at the nearby train station – the gare du nord – and whom we’ll call Dodo. He introduced her to another middle-aged man he called Felix, who was the Paris chief for Dutch-Paris. […]