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  • Security Category

    18th Apr

    In 1939 a Catholic family from the Tilburg region left the Netherlands to buy a farm about 24 km outside of Paris. In 1940 they met a Dutch monk living in a monastery in Paris who had walked the 4 km from the nearest metro station to see if he could find some food for […]

    29th Mar

    The Courier’s Demeanor

    Every time a resistance courier escorted a fugitive to a new place, the courier put his or her life at the risk of the fugitive’s ability to follow directions, act discretely and avoid being caught. How did they do that? We get a glimpse of it from a eulogy that a former Engelandvaarder, whom we’ll […]

    19th Mar

    You Needed a Lot of Papers

    For those of you who don’t like to carry your driver’s license around on the odd chance that you’ll get in a car accident, consider this. If one of the various German police surrounded the street you were walking down in Occupied Europe and caught you without your identity documents, or didn’t trust those documents, […]

    8th Feb

    Muddling Through

    Very few resisters were professional spies or criminals, so they had to figure out how to forge papers, evade the police, and smuggle people and goods as they went along. Sometimes they did this by diving down into the underworld and finding a criminal to mentor them. Sometimes they found a professional spy to give […]

    29th Jan

    During the war, the Occupation authorities rearranged the social and political units of western Europe into individual boxes then threw up barbed wire barricades and a wall of regulations and police authorities to keep people and information from going from one box to another. It wasn’t impossible to get out of, say, the Netherlands and […]

    9th Jan

    The End of an Evasion Service

    There was an evasion service (service d’évasion) that took convoys of 10 to 15 Dutchmen, Belgians, Frenchmen and Allied aviators from Toulouse to Spain every week from November 1942 to December 1943. They smuggled 400 people over the Pyrenees to Spain without mishap until it all ended because of one jumpy Belgian. On the 19th […]

    21st Oct

    Good Luck for the Germans

    The German security services had many ways of uncovering their opponents in the Resistance. Some of their organizations were, in fact, highly professional and adept at counter-espionage in its many manifestations. Some of them relied on brute force. But they, like resisters, also sometimes benefited from sheer luck. We can take Dutch-Paris operations in Brussels […]

    11th Oct

    Wartime Management Woes

    Like all organizations, resistance networks were faced with occasional turnovers in their management positions, although not always for the usual reasons. Take the Committee affiliated with Dutch-Paris in Brussels. It began in the spring of 1942 as the work of three men: a Dutch (Protestant) pastor we’ll call the Dominee, a Dutch (Jewish) businessman we’ll […]

    12th Aug

    To say that the political prisoners whom the Nazis deported to Germany, such as dozens of men and women who belonged to Dutch-Paris, disappeared into the maw of the concentration camps is true but not necessarily accurate.  Prisoners had wildly different itineraries and were often shuttled about from one camp to another.  And although all […]

    2nd Aug

    It’s not hard to come up with a long list of hazards involved in rescuing fugitives from the Nazis.  The Germans themselves and their collaborators in all their many manifestations take the top of the list, followed by the usual problems of living in a warzone, such as bombardments.   Sometimes, however, the fugitives’ fear put […]