It wasn’t just their children whom resisters had to worry about: their entire families were in danger of German retribution. But the calculus of risk is different when it involves adults. Some chose to protect their parents by excluding them; others to involve them.

For instance, one young Dutchman went so far as to sign the German loyalty oath for university students in order not to bring any attention to his Jewish father. But he didn’t let it stop him from all sorts of illegal activities, including bringing people over the Dutch-Belgian border.

There were other families, however, who worked together in the good fight. In Brussels in particular, most of the well-established businessmen in the line had sons in their early twenties, in other words just the right age to be taken for compulsory labor or want to go to England to fight with the Allies. The fathers gave money to the cause or sheltered fugitives while the sons smuggled microfilms and downed Allied aviators.

Similarly, a young French woman who escorted aviators and other fugitives between Paris and Toulouse was arrested with her mother at the family home in June 1944. It seems that her parents were active in a different, French network and possibly also Dutch-Paris. They all survived the camps.

It did not always turn out so well. In 1943 the Gestapo arrested a man in Amsterdam for helping Jews. A few months later, they found his daughter in Paris, where she was working as a courier for Dutch-Paris. They made her watch unknown men being tortured. They subjected her to a water torture. And they told her that she alone could save her father: if she talked, they’d release him. She talked. They released her father but then promptly rearrested him and deported him to a concentration camp where he died. She herself survived Ravensbrück.

As a result of that woman’s revelations, the Germans arrested John Henry Weidner’s sister Gabrielle while she was at church and offered to release her in exchange for Weidner himself. Forced to choose between his sister and the entire network, he did not turn himself in. Gabrielle died in Ravensbrück, a fact which preyed on Weidner for the rest of his long life.