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  • Stories Category

    22nd Dec

    In 1944-45 my father lived on the eastern side of the river in Maastricht, not far from the railway station and the Bailey bridge that the US Army slung across the Maas for heavy artillery and troops on their way to Germany. He and all the other kids in the neighborhood had a lot to […]

    26th May

    Wartime Reputations

    In the last post I mentioned that different resistance groups sometimes crossed in a single person. This was especially true among what is sometimes called the humanitarian resistance, ie resisters who offered aid to fugitives and prisoners. The nature of that illegal work meant that a lot of people had to be involved to provide […]

    1st Apr

    In honor of the 70th anniversary of the “Great Escape” on March 24, I’ll tell you Dutch-Paris’s part of the story. If you’ve seen the old movie, you know that the “Great Escape” happened when several dozen Allied POW’s tunneled out of a maximum security fortress in Sagan. Only three of those men made it […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    25th Feb

    Fugitive Fakes own Death, Insanity

    Here’s one of the more dramatic stories of how an Engelandvaarder came into contact with Dutch-Paris. It concerns a Dutch man, whom we’ll call Bruno, who was already married with small children when the war started. Fairly early on, in 1941, he got a message that the Gestapo was on his trail for his Resistance […]

    5th Nov

    Evaders Jump Train

    Sixty-nine years ago, on 5 November 1943, an American B-17 bomber crashed in the Netherlands not far from the North Sea. The plane had gone down so quickly that the crew didn’t have time to bail out. A couple were killed on impact; others seriously injured. Dutch civilians including a doctor arrived at the scene […]

    17th Jul

    International Gossip

    In August 1942, the corporal in charge of the Swiss border post of Biaufond sent his superior a report that was so interesting it made its way to Bern within days. It’s important to know that the border crossing of Biaufond/La Rasse lies on the Franco-Swiss border east and slightly south of Besançon. Because that […]

    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 […]

    9th Mar

    Helping German Deserters in 1942

    Sometimes it seems like the whole of Europe was on the move during the Second World War. Most belonged to the obvious categories: soldiers, refugees from military actions or bombing, forced laborers, Jews. Resisters were also on the move, of course. They were a small minority, but their stories are surprisingly diverse. Take that of […]