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 the monastery. They soon became friends during the monk’s frequent visits, from which he never left empty-handed. The family gave the monk food, and the monk introduced the son of the family to a respectable Dutch girl, whom he married in 1943.

The monk also sent 18 young Dutch men whom he’d met in Paris to stay at the farm and lend a hand with the work until he could arrange for them to go south over the Pyrenees to Spain and on to England. The Germans never came to the farm on account of the Engelandvaarders even though the monk was arrested and brutally tortured.

But one day a pair of Germans from the railway police were hunting on the farmer’s land and asked to spend the night. The farmer gave them shelter, at the same time that he had seven Dutch resisters sitting in the barn. Along came a German inspection, demanding to know if there was anyone at the farm besides the family. The farmer said yes and took them to the two German hunters. The inspectors left with the railway policemen in tow, never to return.

And that’s how, in this one case at least, a tense situation that was getting steadily more desperate suddenly resolved itself without any effort on the part of the people in the most danger other than remaining calm.