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  • Security Category

    21st Mar

    Another element that made every aviator’s evasion, and indeed every clandestine journey across occupied Europe, different was the fact that the enemy were not robots. Of course the German army and police were professional enough to be predictable, but even they had off days. And their orders changed in ways that resisters could not foresee. […]

    21st Feb

    Why did so Many Escape?

    As I’ve mentioned before, there has been a fair amount of speculation about how the Germans found the convoy at the Col du Portet d’Aspet on the night of 5/6 February 1944. Theories have ranged from betrayal to the practical fact that 28 men make a lot of tracks in new fallen snow. But maybe […]

    15th Nov

    Here’s an interesting question that came up during the proof reading for the Dutch translation of the book. Before the days of commercial air travel and cheap long distance phone calls, let alone the internet, travel took time and involved a lot more surprises than it does today. You might set out for a foreign […]

    24th May

    By the end of 1943 there was no doubt in John Weidner’s mind or that of any of his colleagues in the leadership of Dutch-Paris that the German authorities were on their trail. And they had every reason to think that those same German police would be particularly persistent in hunting down resisters who helped […]

    10th May

    Suspicion was a Survival Skill

    As I mentioned in my last post, the German police, especially the counter-intelligence officers of the Abwehr, were very good at their jobs. One of the things that they were so good at was playing on the trusting natures of some resisters. They did this by hiring local men and women as agents provocateurs. These […]

    26th Apr

    How did the German police capture so many members of Dutch-Paris? The short answer is that they, especially the Abwehr (military intelligence), were very good at their jobs. And they had help from the Nazi policy of terror. Despite the round-up, Dutch-Paris counts as a great success story in the world of the resistance. But […]

    1st Mar

    Seventy-two years ago, on 28 February 1944, German police arrested a number of Dutch-Paris helpers in a well-organized sweep. Officers from the Abwehr (German military intelligence), Geheime Feldpolizei (secret military police) and Gestapo (secret state police) cooperated in the raids. One group invaded the Dutch-Paris safe house in Brussels at the same time that other […]

    19th Jan

    The second reason that Dutch-Paris hesitated to take Allied aviators until January 1944 was that the German authorities considered helping aviators to be a much more serious offense than helping civilians. Helping an Allied service man was, after all, aiding and abetting an enemy soldier, at least from their perspective. In addition, everyone in the […]

    23rd Jun

    Arrested but not Discovered

    The last post described how the Germans found more than they expected when they arrested a woman involved in Dutch-Paris. At least in the case of Dutch-Paris, however, it happened more often that the Germans never realized that they had arrested someone important. In March and June 1944, for example, German police arrested two young […]

    12th May

    Commonsense tells us that resisters worked in isolation. After all, they were up against the Gestapo. All too easily, the opposite of secrecy in the resister’s world became the torture chamber. So resisters used false names and safe houses. Many of them worked on a cell system in which they knew only the people most […]