This is the story of how a young Jewish man joined Dutch-Paris. We’ll call him Joe. He was born in Berlin in 1921 but moved to Amsterdam with his family in 1928. The Nazis revoked his German citizenship while he was learning the textile trade. He didn’t belong to a Resistance group in the Netherlands but he found ways of getting false papers and false work documents to people in need because of his position at a textile firm in Appeldoorn.

In June 1943 he crossed the Belgian border on his own and found himself a room in a small pension in Brussels which didn’t require him to register. The Dutch pastor in Brussels introduced him to another member of the Comité which was the Belgian branch of Dutch-Paris. At that same meeting, Joe met a Dutch Engelandvaarder who was looking for a place to stay. Joe offered him hospitality and in return the Engelandvaarder introduced him to a couple of passeurs on the Dutch/Belgian border near Maastricht. Joe did some liaison work for the Comité.

On 2 August 1943, Joe received a letter from his sister saying that she and her parents were in danger and needed to leave Amsterdam. Joe asked one of the passeurs to take him to Maastricht. Once there, on 4 August, he called family friends to tell his family to meet him at the train station the following morning. Sadly, his parents had been caught in a razzia [round-up] that very night. His sister (b. 1925), however, was staying with acquaintances in Saantpoort. She arrived in Maastricht the next day but her train was so late that they missed their rendez-vous with the passeur. That night, the pair swam across the River Maas to Belgium.

Joe found a place for his sister as a nurse at a children’s home in Belgium only to remove her a few weeks later when the director got too nosy. He then found a family that would take her in. The father of the family turned out to be an important member of one of the biggest Belgian Resistance organizations, the Front de l’Independence, which had leftist tendencies. Meanwhile, Joe had also managed to meet important figures in the royalist Resistance movement, the MNB. And he made contact with a group of Dutch officials in Maastricht who were busily passing people over the border into Belgium.

He made himself the liaison between Dutch-Paris and all these other Dutch and Belgian groups. By October 1943 he was escorting Allied airmen who’d landed in the Netherlands and been funneled down into Maastricht to the Comité in Brussels as well as bringing aviators who’d landed in eastern Belgium to Brussels. Sometimes he would take them as far as Paris on their journey to Spain via Dutch-Paris.

Like so many others, the Germans caught Joe in late February 1944. After the Allies liberated him from a Belgian prison in September 1944, Joe joined the civil affairs section of the British army as an interpreter. He applied for and was granted Dutch citizenship after the war.