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  • Routes Category

    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 […]

    25th Nov

    A Long Trip to Switzerland

    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 […]

    3rd Sep

    Dutch-Paris Sites in Lyon

    Before Dutch-Paris existed, John Weidner started his Resistance work by helping Dutch Jews who made their own way to Lyon. Weidner and a French friend owned a textile shop there on the rue du Griffon. He himself had to abandon that shop in September 1943 when the Gestapo came calling for him there. But Dutch […]

    30th Apr

    In the last post I mentioned that the Armée Secrète (Secret Army) around St-Gaudens, France, policed passages over the Pyrenees in their region. This is how they did it. In March 1943 it came to the attention of the captain of the local AS that the number of fugitives trying to walk to Spain was […]

    27th Mar

    Safety Amongst the Other Passengers

    As I remarked in the previous post, Dutch-Paris relied on trains and trams to get around western Europe. The smaller and more local a train was, the less likely it was to be controlled. Of course those smaller milk trains were ridden by the locals day in and day out as they went to work […]

    17th Mar

    Local Trains were Safer

    From the perspective of the twenty-first century, especially in America, we tend to forget how important the railways were during the Second World War. We remember them in the horrific image of cattle cars rolling toward Auschwitz or as targets for bombing runs. But we forget that everyone relied on them every day. By the […]

    15th Nov

    Convoys of evaders walking over the Pyrenees to Spain worked on the same principle as convoys of ships crossing the Atlantic: it was safer to take one large group than many smaller groups. So Dutch, French, Belgian and Polish men wanting to join the Allied armies and downed aviators crossed in large groups of up […]

    5th Oct

    Smugglers, or Pilots?

    One hundred and twelve Allied airmen made it to Spain and on to England courtesy of Dutch-Paris, but they didn’t all join the escape line at the same point or even travel with their own crews. If, say, a B-24 Liberator bomber were attacked somewhere over Germany while on a bombing run, the pilot may […]

    26th Sep

    More Security Meant More Evasion

    Now that we’ve got the Eurozone and you don’t even have to exchange money let alone show your passport when moving from one western European country to another, it’s easy to forget that the German Occupation didn’t introduce fortified borders in Europe. Certainly they created a few new ones such as the Demarcation Line in […]

    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 […]