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  • Join the Resistance Category

    15th Oct

    Most airmen got rid of their flying boots after their aircraft crashed on occupied territory. They were much better quality than any foot gear available on the Continent by 1943 and so would have immediately given away an evading airman to an even minimally observant policeman. But very few (short) Belgian or French farmers had […]

    16th Sep

    Despite the impression you may have gotten from the movies, the Resistance involved a lot of mundane tasks that were far from exciting except for the ever present possibility of arrest, torture and deportation to the concentration camps. Take, for instance, the problem of housing downed Allied aviators who were trying to get to Spain […]

    27th Aug

    One of the more intriguing mysteries about escape lines is how the fugitives and the helpers found each other. After all, you could hardly look up “clandestine border crossing” in the yellow pages and make a reservation. There were a few places where Dutch-Paris helpers found fugitives and offered to help: the Dutch consulate in […]

    28th May

    This story doesn’t involve anyone from Dutch-Paris, but it illustrates the problems of researching the history of Dutch-Paris or any other Resistance organization.* During the war in the Basque country, in the western edge of the Pyrenees, there was a young woman of seventeen who worked as a secretary to the village mayor, who happened […]

    8th May

    A Courageous Woman

    There are times when I find myself almost overwhelmed by the courage and dedication of the men and women of Dutch-Paris and the Resistance. It happened today as I read the statement that a widowed French nurse born in 1893, gave to the British when she returned to Paris from Ravensbrück in 1945. In September […]

    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 […]

    28th Feb

    In August 1945, the Dutch ambassador in Paris received a letter from a man in The Hague who was looking for his son. The 21 year-old had left the Netherlands on 2 March 1942 intending to leave Occupied Europe to fight the Japanese (he had been born in the Netherlands Indies). He wrote his parents […]

    20th Nov

    It took a certain psychic fortitude and flexible attitude to survive as a rescuer.  Take just one story from a Dutch businessman who had been living outside Lyon since 1938 whom we’ll call Bernard.  He and some of his French friends in his village opened their homes to Dutch refugees, giving them shelter, buying them […]

    10th Nov

    Odd as it might seem, you could join the Resistance without meaning to or even realizing it. This was especially true for rescuers, who often felt that they were simply doing what needed to be done. This was the case for a Dutchman we’ll call Bernard whose resistance work developed so gradually and, in his […]

    11th Sep

    Some people are just plain helpful.  Take the case of a young Dutch woman we’ll call Catherine [born 1919].  Because she was working for the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Paris when the war started, she naturally became involved in the effort to help Dutch refugees in 1940.  But, as she later said, she soon […]