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  • People Category

    2nd May

    It Really Mattered Who You Knew

    A friend was telling me about the “new networking” in which the important thing is not who you know but what they know about you. I can see how that might be true if you’re looking for a job in 2017, but it was certainly not true in the Resistance during the Second World War. […]

    24th Jan

    There’s no denying that the war was a hard time to be a mother.  My father’s memories of his mother during the war are of her crying in their kitchen in Maastricht because there was no food for the baby (him) and of telling his much older brother to keep his (illegal) rifle by the […]

    14th Apr

    Rumors of Betrayal and Resistance

    Rumors play a vital part in the life of any trapped community whether they are in the trenches of World War I or the resistance of World War II. My last post gave examples of rumors that explained the sweeping arrests in Dutch-Paris in the late winter of 1944. Rumors, however, played a role in […]

    10th Jun

    Dutch Refugees in Geneva

    During the Second World War the Dutch colony in Geneva grew substantially with the influx of refugees who arrived from the Netherlands through various routes, including Dutch-Paris. After the Swiss authorities allowed them into the country, the Dutch embassy in Bern took responsibility for them. It organized refugee camps in hotels for families, for example, […]

    27th May

    Hiding with the Belgian Maquis

    Dutch-Paris is known as an escape line, but as a matter of fact they helped many more people to hide from the Nazis than to escape from Nazi held territory. Neither task was easy, but you could make a good argument that hiding someone indefinitely was more difficult than smuggling that same person into Switzerland […]

    9th Dec

    Although the German army did its best to lock down Occupied Europe and control the movements of the population, there was a surprising amount of room for maneuver for those with the character to find it. Take, for instance, the story of a young Dutchman we’ll call Bob. When the Germans started rounding up Jews […]

    14th Oct

    Advice to Amateur Passeurs

    A small handful of the men and women who risked their lives in their early 20’s as part of Dutch-Paris returned to the crusade to preserve humanitarian values in their retirement. Fortunately, Europe was not once again under occupation. But they felt that young people did not understand what had happened in World War II […]

    6th Apr

    The Problem of Feeding Fugitives

    Finding food posed a constant problem for just about everyone in Europe during the Second World War, even more so for resisters who helped fugitives. Even if the fugitive had forged or stolen ration cards, the helper could not simply stand in line at the usual store and hand over more than the usual ration […]

    22nd Oct

    The Hundredth Anniversary of a Hero

    The leader of Dutch-Paris, John Henry Weidner, was born 100 years ago today on 22 October 1912, in the Belgian city of Gent.  As the son and grandson of ministers, Weidner was raised to know right from wrong.  When they lived in Switzerland in the 1920’s, for example, Papa Weidner didn’t want his four children […]

    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 […]