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  • Stories Category

    5th Sep

    Although it would most probably be a serious misfortune to get involved with a corrupt police agent or civil servant today, it could have been a saving stroke of good luck during the second world war. On occasion, the corruption could be leveraged into escape. For instance, there was a young teacher who lived in […]

    26th Aug

    How to Find an Escapeline

    In July 1941 a young man we’ll call Frits (born 1918) left for England with a friend we’ll call Henk. They ran out of money in Valenciennes, France, and turned back to the Netherlands. In order to support himself and his widowed mother, Frits took a job with the CCD in The Hague as a […]

    16th Aug

    The Sticky Beaches of 1944

    Although Dutch-Paris was mostly in the business of rescuing people, the line did also convey information. For the most part, the information was gathered by other people skulking about the peripheries of German military installations, plying officers with wine or simply and boringly counting the number of trucks that drove by. The information, whether it […]

    26th Jun

    Just because dossiers on resisters are now available, doesn’t mean that the dossiers have more information than a name and date of birth (sometimes not even that). But sometimes you can piece together a portrait out of bits from different archives. Take the example of Dr. Dreyfus. I first came across the name in the […]

    1st Feb

    I was sitting in the Nationaal Archief in Den Haag reading through the telegrams exchanged between the Dutch Legation in Bern and the Dutch government-in-exile in London when the ever-helpful archivist sat down next to me.  He told me that a mutual acquaintance had called him to say that a certain LF had died. “Oh?”  […]

    17th Jan

    There were all sorts of ways to join the Resistance. For some, it was just another, more dynamic, way of hiding. Threatened with deportation to “the east” (i.e. the extermination camps) in 1942 like all other Jewish persons in the Netherlands, the “van Caneghem” family found a hiding place in July 1942. The parents, their daughter […]

    7th Jan

    At the risk of sounding prematurely crotchety I have to wonder if this isn’t too much to ask of a 24 year-old (my apologies to all recent college grads currently improving the world). I’ll tell you as much of the story as is in the file, which is regrettably sparse on background information. A certain […]

    17th Dec

    The Kindness of Strangers

    Let me tell you a story of kindness in a time of war, about a man whom we’ll call Colonel N. because all I know is that he was an officer in the Belgian Army, a veteran of the Great War of 1914-1918. After the Germans released him from the POW stalag where he’d been […]

    29th Nov

    You Needed Luck Too

    A friend of mine mentioned that the blog is very interesting but I’d neglected to write about how critical a role luck played in escaping Nazi Europe. He should know because he’s an Engelandvaarder who traveled from Amsterdam to Spain via Dutch-Paris. He now lives in Tasmania and has quite convinced me to move there […]

    6th Nov

    Following my last post about joining the Resistance, I’ll be offering a series of examples of how members of Dutch-Paris ended up in the Line. We’ll start with the chef de reseau himself,John Henry Weidner (1912-1994). Weidner’s father was a Dutch Seventh Day Adventist preacher who taught at the SDA college at Collonges sur Salève, […]