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  • Money Category

    8th Dec

    It didn’t take long for the businessmen in Dutch-Paris to figure out that all their careful vigilance in getting the best possible exchange rates and diligence in raising donations from themselves and others could not pay for hiding people indefinitely or escorting other fugitives out of occupied territory. The black market food, rents, clandestine health […]

    24th Nov

    Family Banking in the Resistance

    The question of getting money across borders during the occupation that Weidner solved with postage stamps in the last blog post bedeviled other Dutch-Paris resisters and, indeed, the whole line. They came up with a number of arrangements that added up to a private, clandestine banking system that stretched from the Netherlands through Belgium and […]

    10th Nov

    Clandestine Money Orders

    The restrictions and shortages of living under German occupation during the Second World War brought out an impressive creativity among otherwise ordinary and law-abiding citizens. In fact, the whole story of how Dutch-Paris operated an escape line and rescued so many people could be seen as an exercise in creativity, but here’s a smaller, more […]

    23rd Jul

    In the previous post I talked about how cigarettes were used to buy things on the black market and bribes during the war. Although it looks like some Dutch-Paris couriers may have used cigarettes for petty bribery, for the most part Dutch-Paris relied on cash for both the black market and bribes. Dutch-Paris, of course, […]

    9th Jul

    The Cost of Cigarettes

    One of the items to show up on the expense reports of two of the Dutch-Paris couriers is “cigarettes.” For example, on 30 June 1944 a couriers spent 1,000 French francs on ten packets of cigarettes. On first glance, it’s hardly surprising that anyone smoked during the Second World War, let alone men traveling through […]

    25th Jun

    The Couriers’ Expense Reports

    Money was as critical for Resistance as it is for almost everything else. But for the most part resisters did not keep careful accounts of it. Most resisters did not have the time or the means or a safe way to keep accounts. After all, receipts and expense sheets could be used as incriminating evidence […]

    1st Sep

    Who Pays the Hero’s Debts?

    The war left Europe in a state of poverty, financial entanglements and confusion that often blighted survivor’s lives for years while being sorted out. Take, for instance, the case of a man we’ll call Junior.  In 1924, when he was five years old, his parents divorced.  He stayed with his mother in the Netherlands while […]

    26th Mar

    You needed a certain entrepreneurial spirit to start up and run an escape line during the war. There’s no need to elaborate on the risks involved, far worse than bankruptcy. And you had to believe in what you were doing. Illegal, clandestine activities under the Nazi occupation were not for the faint-hearted. You also needed […]

    5th Sep

    Although it would most probably be a serious misfortune to get involved with a corrupt police agent or civil servant today, it could have been a saving stroke of good luck during the second world war. On occasion, the corruption could be leveraged into escape. For instance, there was a young teacher who lived in […]

    6th Jul

    V-man or Con Man?

    On 23 November 1943, two plain clothes German policemen arrested a Dutch banker in the train station in Antwerp, Belgium. The banker sat in a prison in Belgium for three months without being interviewed, was then transferred to an internment camp in the Netherlands where he was interviewed in an almost gentlemanly manner and then […]