In November 1943, John Weidner escorted the Dutch consular official who acted as the chief of the Paris section of Dutch-Paris to Switzerland.  We’ll call him Felix.  Felix was important enough that he got the VIP treatment, meaning that he travelled by himself rather than in a group and was personally accompanied all the way into Switzerland with the connivance of the Swiss authorities.

The two resisters took a train from Paris to Annecy and then another train to Chambery.  That’s hardly the direct route between Annecy and Geneva, but it was the one favored by Dutch-Paris, suggesting that it was the only one available or the safest one at the time.  Weidner spoke to an old man on the platform at Chambery then led Felix to a small shop.  They went in the front, stopped in a small room for a snack and disappeared out the back door.  In the meantime the old man arranged a Red Cross ambulance.  Felix sat in front next to the driver and Weidner lay down in the back with several microfilms hidden beneath him, ready to show all the signs of acute appendicitis.

When they came to the customs border 5,000m before the international border, the guard waved them through to the nearest hospital in St-Julien.  They left the ambulance in a certain place and strolled along the streets of the French border town until a bicyclist threw a letter at Weidner’s feet.   The message said that if the cyclist, who was the local police inspector, came back with his hat on crooked the coast was clear at the border.  He duly pedaled back with his cap awry and the Dutchmen ducked down a side street.

Without talking, the two heaved their bags and jackets over the 3 m high barbed wire; Weidner held it up so Felix could crawl through below it and then followed himself.  All this had to be done in a minimum of time because the barricade ran along a busy road.  They jumped over a small stream and dashed through the vineyard that the war had turned into a no-man’s land because the Germans shot anyone they saw there.  The Dutchmen crawled under the Swiss barbed wire and ran to a Swiss border post.  They were informed, however, that that border post was strictly for exits.

So they had to make another anxious dash a further 500 m to the border post for entrances.  Once there everything was very cordially and efficiently arranged because, as far as Felix could see, John Weidner belonged to the Swiss intelligence service.