Part 5/5 During the war four cousins and two uncles went through concentration camps. They all survived but had to escape separately from Bosnia. How they got out is a thing never talked about in the family. Medina’s aunts and grandparents were released from the camps and put on a bus Zagreb. Medina’s mother is the only one who is willing to talk about the war when she asks about it. When more and more people arrived from Bosnia and the news picked up more and more stories, before that the family didn’t know what happened in their home country. “This was the hardest part about the war, getting to know about the concentrations camps, massacres and rape.” Medina’s mom told her. Her brother and father never talk about it. While Medina was growing up her parents never spoke about the war. They didn’t want their children to pick a side and judge people by their nationality just because somebody else did something bad. 📷: Chocolate House Every family has a story, welcome to ours. I was two when my parents fled Bosnia during the Yugoslavian War. As the youngest in the family, I had the privilege of not being aware of the events around me, at least - I do not remember them. I recall my first memories from the moment we reached safety - right in front of our apartment in Croatia. No one ever talked about what happened, and since I do not remember anything, I tend to feel I miss an important experience. Now, living far away from my family made me understand the sense of exile they felt. Belonging nor here, nor there is the in-between feeling that becomes my curiosity. This project is made in two parts. One is the children’s book Chocolate House & other stories, a collection of stories with accompanying photographs where I share my understanding of the war my family has been through. The film Chocolate House - The Story serves as a base and an introduction to the other stories.
Part 4/5 Before the war the family was living with Medina’s fathers’ parents. Medina’s mother used to be a teacher. During the war a man came to the house and wanted to kill Medina’s mother. He wanted to kill her because she had failed him for a class many years ago. Fortunately Medina and her family already left the country. He didn’t kill Medina’s grandparents he only wanted to kill her. This wasn’t the only time somebody came to Medina’s grandparents’ house. Before the war a ‘friend’ of Medina’s father went out drinking with her father. They came home late waking her mom. He demanded Medina’s mother to make coffee but he didn’t know Medina’s mother well enough to know she wasn’t somebody to mess around with. She told him to go to his own wife and tell her to make coffee at this hour. During the war he came back, armed, and stayed all night to get to know where her mom was. He told Medina’s grandparents that her father is a good man but about her mom he said: “let’s see who doesn’t want to make me coffee now?” During the war many people thought they had the right to kill everybody they wanted. 📷: Chocolate House Every family has a story, welcome to ours. I was two when my parents fled Bosnia during the Yugoslavian War. As the youngest in the family, I had the privilege of not being aware of the events around me, at least - I do not remember them. I recall my first memories from the moment we reached safety - right in front of our apartment in Croatia. No one ever talked about what happened, and since I do not remember anything, I tend to feel I miss an important experience. Now, living far away from my family made me understand the sense of exile they felt. Belonging nor here, nor there is the in-between feeling that becomes my curiosity. This project is made in two parts. One is the children’s book Chocolate House & other stories, a collection of stories with accompanying photographs where I share my understanding of the war my family has been through. The film Chocolate House - The Story serves as a base and an introduction to the other stories.
Part 3/5 To get out of Bosnia you needed papers. And Medina’s mother was preparing the papers for her parents the get to Zagreb. But to make sure nothing was going wrong Medina’s mother called with her aunt to get an update on when the papers need to be send. She couldn’t call her parents directly and had to use codes to communicate. One day somebody on the street told Medina’s mom that her mother was going to the post office every day waiting for the paper work. Grandma would walk to the post office and somebody would call out the names of people’s paper work arriving. Every time she walked back home she taught of throwing herself in front of a bus. But her husband was suffering from testicular cancer and wasn’t about to take care of himself. The thought of her sick husband and her kids and grandkids prevented her from doing it. Medina’s mother sent out the paper work straight away on a Tuesday. The papers were send to Switzerland and a friend took it to Bosnia. On the next Sunday Medina’s mother was cleaning the windows when the buzzer went off. She answered the front door phone and the only thing she remembers hearing was her mom saying: “it’s your mom”. She ran downstairs crying and saw her mother with blood on her jacket Medina’s grandparents had to walk for 27 kilometers to get to the house. Her grandfather wasn’t able to walk very well anymore so her grandmother had to help him. They fell down many times explaining the blood.
Part 2/5 When the family arrived in Belgrade they took the bus to Zagreb, Croatia, but the family was kicked out on the border of Hungary by Serbs. Medina and her brother were on her mom’s passport. Medina and her brother’s passport already expired at that time but luckily her mom had a friend that worked in police that could help prolonging their passports. Before even leaving Prijedor and later on Banja Luka, Medina’s mother had the passports back and they could all easily go towards Zagreb. Not until they were kicked out of that bus on the Hungarian border did Medina’s mother realized that her ‘friend’ betrayed her and instead of prolonging, she canceled the passports of Medina and her brother, making them lose all forms of identification. This meant that only her mother could cross the border. Her mom argued with the army telling them she couldn’t leave her kids. The army said she couldn’t prove that Medina and her brother were her kids anymore. She told them she had the birth certificates with her but they said: “either you get out or we send the whole bus back.” The family got out of the bus and were able to get a lift to the city they knew somebody who could help them. They wanted to smuggle Medina’s family over the border but her dad decided to turn himself in to the Serbian police, to prove that he had an exhibition in Switzerland. Her father travelled a lot as an artist and had many stamps in his passport. Due to his passport expiring he told the police he first had to go to Zagreb to get a new passport before going to Switzerland for his exhibition. They found a man from Zagreb that works in the Police department. To prove to the police that Medina’s father was an artist he had to draw portraits of the people at the police office on napkins. The next day they all obtained new passports and then they took the bus to Zagreb through Hungary and Slovenia. When the family arrived in Zagreb the Serbian army started bombing Medina’s home town. Being in a safe place Medina’s mom understood for the first time why people would kiss the ground. For the next two years Medina’s parents stayed in Zagreb to get the rest of the family out of Bosnia.
Part 1/5 I’d like you to meet Medina Resic. She was born in 1990 in the Bosnian part of Yugoslavia. The family had a vacation house in the Croatian part of Yugoslavia. When the family visited the vacation house for Medina’s cousin’s birthday the bombs started falling. The family packed up everything and left back home to Bosnia. When arriving home war also started in Bosnia. Medina's mom working as a financial director for a distribution center went to work. The front entrance was block by the military. One of the soldiers was an ex-student of her mom. He wanted to check her bag but Medina’s mom said “just let me go to work, I’m already late and people need to get their paycheck.” “open the bag, don’t make me do it” he snarled. She entered the building and found a machine gun on her desk. “We are looking out for you” the army said when she asked about the gun. She didn’t understand why she needed protection. The army told her the Serbian army was already clearing villages from all the Muslims. A friend of Medina’s mom told her that she and her family needed to get out of the country. Her mom didn’t see the danger at that time and didn’t want to leave. On 22th May 1992 they family decided to leave the country. They took a plane from Banja Luka, Bosnia to Belgrade, Serbia. Nobody was going back to Bosnia, so all planes arriving were empty. When the plane arrived that would take the family to Belgrade there was one passenger exiting the plane. It was Medina’s mothers’ classmate from primary school that needed to go back to Bosnia to hand in the keys of the house he sold. Later they found out that he was arrested, put in a concentration camp, tortured and killed.
Hi everybody, I'm also going to post stories about other wars from the past. Tonight I will start the story of @medinaresic Don't be afraid, I'm not stopping with #ww2 but I also want to post about other wars.
Yesterday at 20:00 everybody in the Netherlands was silent. Trains stopt, cars, even pizza delivery guys stopt and stood still to remember and honor the people who fought for our freedom. Today we celebrate our freedom. Many parties in many cities with live bands, artists and drinks.
Now @joodshistorischmuseum @joodscultureelkwartier @openjoodsehuizen Annetje Coppenhagen is telling about her youth in the Plantagebuurt. Is lives in Israël but thanks to the 21st century we are able to video call and hear her story.
Today it is the 4th of may. The whole world will be in the mood for #maythe4thbewithyou . But here in the Netherlands we have a completely different day. Today we remember everybody that was killed during war. It started as a special day to remember all the people killed in #ww2 (except for the Nazi's). Now I am on my way to Amsterdam for a very special event. It is possible to do a tour trough the city and visit many places where people will tell personal stories about what happen during World War Two with their family, friends or in the house where it is hosted in. At 13:00 I will be interview about my project One Roof, Five Generations and a War. At Also I will be posting allot today! Stay tuned.
Today the newspaper #hetparool published an article about this page. It is the 4 & 5 May special. On the 4th of May we honor and remember all victims of war and on the 5th of may we celebrate our freedom. This part in the newspaper (dutch only) is about this Instagram page and what I am trying to tell. #lestweforget It is also about my project One Roof, Five Generations and a War. Thanks for all your support! Without you this wouldn't have happend!
Today it's #kingsday in the Netherlands. We celebrate our king's birthday. During #ww2 birthday of the members of our royal house were also celebrated. People would buy Orange flowers and decorate monuments and city hotspots. The Nazi's were very stricked against it. They would take all the decorations down and take their revange on everybody they could catch. Many people were beating and or even taken to jail for a few days. Eventhough people found out what the consequences were they would do it evey year on all the birthdays of the royal house.
In de aanloop naar @openjoodsehuizen en huizen van verzet was er vandaag een kleine bijeenkomst met iedereen die zijn huis openstelt en iedereen die zal spreken. On 4&5 mei it will be possible to visit houses and other places that have something to do with the resistance during #ww2 and homes where Jews were able to hide. People will tell personal stories about what happend.
Hi guys! Sorry I haven't been posting for a while. I have been reading allot for new projects and stories. I will be posting some of the books I've been reading. This is a book about the resistance in Utrecht. Utrecht is a city mostly seen for it's collaboration with the Nazi's. For many years nobody knew about the resistance and the way it was structured. For example. The headquarter of the SD was next to the headquarter of the resistance. Hopefully my project about this beautiful city will be finished. In the meantime I will be posting other stories.
Hee everybody. Today I'm having an exhibition together with my dad. I will be showing my #ww2 project about the house I grew up in.
Today I was photographing. New story coming soon. This time not about #ww2. Stay tuned for this incredible story. #ww2untold
Part 4/4(2) For Hendrik Jan, I would very much like to thank him for opening up about his father’s story. He is a musician and found a way to put his thoughts and feelings into music. I highly recommend to check out is webpage www.krieg1916.nl to read his family’s stories and, more important, listen to his music. 📷: This is the booklet that comes with the LP ‘Krieg’
Part 4/4 Does Henk Vermeulen’s decision joining the Waffen-SS make him pure evil? I find this question hard to answer. What the Nazi’s did is wrong without a doubt. But how do we look at this in this day and age? This is what Hendrik Jan and I also talked about. For him this has been a confusing and sometimes difficult situation. His father was caring and supporting, but on the other hand he had a Nazi past. How does one deal with this? It was a weird situation for me as a grandchild of two resistance fighters. I have a story to be proud of. Hendrik Jan is almost forced to be ashamed about his. But in fact he isn’t. He tries to see things as they are without judging. I think it is important to tell both sides of the war, as the most important thing to tell and show is what war does to people. And not only to the people who experienced war but also what it does to the next generations. Whether we talk about the ‘good’ or the ‘bad’, war leaves a scar, physically and/or mentally, and this scar will be passed on to the next generations. How do we deal with this and how do we judge it? Many children whose parents collaborated with the Nazi’s were also seen as wrong. Some of them were bullied, beaten up, excluded from many things after the war just because of the decision their parents made. They had nothing to do with their parents’ actions, and in most cases they are ashamed of what their parents did. Some Nazi’s are responsible for the horrible things that happened. But not every Nazi was bad. Not everyone who collaborated or volunteered must be seen as pure evil. Most people didn’t even know what was going on in the camps and, like Hendrik Jan’s father, many weren’t even member of the National Socialist Party or the NSB, nor did all of them support theories of racial purity. In those days you had to make a decision between life and death. And collaborating with the Nazi’s sometimes meant life. With the knowledge we have today it is very easy to pick a side and say what you would have done. But back then it wasn’t that easy. My grandfather was never anti-German. “I wasn’t at war with Germany, I was at war with Hitler” he always said.
Part 3/4 In 2007 Hendrik Jan asked his father if he could request his wartime service records in Germany. For the first time his father became nervous about the Second World War. He was never shy to talk about his time with the Waffen-SS, but this time he seemed anxious that Hendrik Jan would find other things. Hendrik Jan didn’t find out anything new, but he got ‘proof’ and more details about his father’s acts during the War. His father wasn’t part of an Einsatzkommando nor had he anything to do with the concentration camps; he was just one of the many (young) soldiers that fought on the eastern front. When the War was over Hendrik Jan’s father got arrested and was sentenced to jail. After his release he was in addition excluded for two years from many things like education. This didn’t stop him from becoming an internist. 📷: This is the album Hendrik Jan made. It contains 17 tracks, combining German World War One poetry and original contemporary music. The design of the case is outstanding. It contains a booklet with the lyrics, credits, liner notes in German language and information about his family during World War One
Part 2/4 But why did Hendrik Jan’s father join the Waffen-SS? His high school classmates don’t recall Henk Vermeulen being a supporter of National Socialism. He was against Communism and this may have been a main reason for him to join the Waffen-SS. Also, Henk Vermeulen looked up to Hitler. Being left alone in the Netherlands from the age of 14 he saw Hitler as a role model. “Hitler was a great man” Hendrik Jan heard his father say sometimes. But there was more to it. Hendrik Jan’s grandmother was German. A few years before Hitler’s troops invaded the Netherlands, the Vermeulen family visited their German family in Bad Honnef. There they saw Nazi’s flags in the streets and relatives in Nazi uniforms. They looked handsome and powerful. German roots, being against Communism, being away from his parents and a family that had anti-American sentiments probably contributed to Henk Vermeulen’s fateful decision. Hendrik Jan’s aunt said that his father furthermore thought that his parents would see his service for Germany as a positive thing, which proved to be a wrong assumption. 📷: In the picture you see Hendrik Jan and his father at the beach. If you look at his father’s right arm you see a round scar. This is from a bullet that went through his arm at the eastern front. On his left inner elbow you see another scar, caused by a grenade splitter
Part 1/4 I’d like to introduce you to Hendrik Jan Vermeulen. Hendrik Jan’s story is different from the previous stories I have been posting on this account. Hendrik Jan is the son of a Dutch Waffen-SS volunteer. His father joined the Waffen-SS in 1943 and fought on the eastern front. I have to be honest and say that I was a bit nervous to meet Hendrik Jan. although I met many people whose parents or grandparents joined the resistance I had never met someone whose father collaborated with the Nazi’s. The story of my grandparents is something to be proud of, and I enjoy telling others about it when the Second World War comes up. But how does somebody like Hendrik Jan look at his father’s role during the Second World War? I must say the visit was very pleasant. Hendrik Jan was very open and didn’t feel attacked by any of the questions I asked. He first told about his father, Henk Vermeulen, who stayed in the Netherlands to attend the ‘HBS’ (a certain level of high school) when his parents moved to Curacao in 1939. Henk stayed in a foster home because he was only 14 years old at the time. After finishing high school in late 1942 he volunteered for the Waffen-SS and became a machine gunner in the Panzer Grenadier Regiment Germania of the Wiking Divisie, the 5th SS armored division. In June 1943 Henk Vermeulen arrived at the front near Poltava, nowadays Ukraine. After retreating across the Dnepr River, Wehrmacht troops undertook several unsuccessful attacks on a Russian bridgehead. Then it was Wiking’s turn, led by SS Captain Hans Dorr’s emergency reserve unit. Hendrik Jan’s father was a member of this group. It was recorded at his post-war trial that he took part in a “large attack” in October 1943. On the second of October the ‘assault group Dorr’ was quickly cut of and overwhelmed by the Russians. Reinforcements didn’t arrive until that evening and by then only 11 men were able to keep on fighting. Henk Vermeulen was put on a hospital train back to Germany. Being not too seriously wounded he had to stay on the train until he was put in a hospital in the north of Germany. There he recovered from his wounds and dysentery. Early 1944 he returned to the Netherlands
This is the first page of the book 'omdat hun hart sprak' by Bert Jan Flim. It is THE reason why I became interested in WW2. Hetty Vôute a resistance fighter I posted earlier about gave this book to my dad in secret. When she was visiting my grandmother she gave it to my dad and said pass the story on to your kids.(she also wrote it in the book) If my grandmother would have known she probably force my dad to get rid of the book. My dad @chrisvankoeverden tought my sister's and me as much as he could about the Second World War. When I started to do the research about my grandparents he gave me the book and the message from Hetty made me realize that the story needs to be told in order to prevent history repeating it self.
During the second world war the river Waal was a border between the liberated and occupied part of the Netherlands. The Dutch resistance under the cover of darkness would do their utmost to bring as many people as possible over the river to the liberated south. This image is shot in Tiel. The Inundatiekanaal joins the River th Waal. Because of the current it made it easier for the resistance fighter to cross to th liberated part. This all happend during pitch black nights without a moon so nobody was seen.
Part 5/5 The role my grandfather played in the crossings, I talked earlier about, was big. He would pick up allies from van Hattum in Asch or from Toon Beijnen in Beusichem. Then they would stay in the family home and later be brought to Tiel. One day a couple of Nazi’s entered the house unannounced through a side door in the house. My great grandmother was able to stop them and demanded the Nazi’s to follow her. She walked around the house to the front door and said “I you want to get inside my home you ring the doorbell first!” Because of this action the allied pilots could hide themselves in the trapdoor in the living room. My grandfather’s sister Cristien would put a rug on top of the trapdoor and stand on it in her underwear. She would pretend to clean herself from louse. When the Nazi’s wanted to check the room they saw her and they apologized for interrupting her and left right away. It is said that the Nazi’s feared diseases. It was a very close call. If one of the pilot’s whole have sneezed or coughed everybody would have been arrested and the house would probably be burned down to the ground. Because my great grandmother and my grandfather’s sister Cristien where so brave and acted so quickly nobody was hurt and the pilots were able to get to safety a few days later. This is one of many examples how dangerous life was back then. 📷 : This is the trapdoor in the livingroom. It is still there.
Part 4/5 My grandfather was also able to tip Johannes van Zanten off over 105,000 stamps and 700 empty identity cards in the Tilburg city hall. Two days later van Zanten ensured their removal from the city hall. From 1942 to 1944 grandfather worked outside of the Betuwe but he still remained in contact with many people. In 1944 he began to work there again, he played an important role in helping the allies to cross the Waal, known as “the crossings’. When the chamber of commerce in Utrecht was invaded with the disastrous result that nearly all the leaders of the resistance in the area were arrested grandfather became the chief intelligence officer. Grandfather worked during the war together with J.M. Fentener van Vlissingen, he was unfortunately also arrested during the chamber of commerce raid. Grandfather ensured his family would not go hungry after his arrest. Two months before the liberation grandfather and another resistance member went armed to the commander of the ‘sprengcommando’, they demanded that the Germans stop with their plans to destroy the Pegus buildings, grandfather argued the Germans had lost the war and that if the commander helped him he’d be rewarded. The commander said he needed no reward he wouldn’t destroy the buildings to help maintain the Dutch German relationship. 📷: That's me in the picture. I used this image because my grandparents stories continue to live on in me. If I stop telling their story it will vanish in time
Part 3/5 From 1943 grandfather held a permanent position with the ‘Raad van Verzet’ and became battalion commander for 600 men in 1944. As battalion commander my grandfather was responsible for 2 large campaigns, the destruction of the most important bunker in Utrecht and the prevention of the destruction of Utrecht. When the war almost came to an end my grandfather led the negotiations with the leader of the Sprengcommando about saving Utrecht and its factory’s. This is what he wrote about it: “It was probably one of the most productive conversations I had during my whole resistance career. We cut to the chase immediately. The war is over for you, and when you understand this we can come to an agreement. I asked Herr Macumenius three times with an angry look. He wanted to talk and in fact it became a pleasant exchange of words. After a long period of negotiation we came to the following agreement: M will take apart the machines, if he didn’t someone else would come and do this. Once they’ve been disassembled he would note exactly where the machines especially Pegus where stored. This would then enable the skilled workmen to reassemble the machines within 3 to 6 weeks. And your reward? I asked, you understand I can offer you something? I am doing this for both our sakes, in the hope that it leads to a friendly future between our people. What struck me most was that this German “gentleman” didn’t want anything.” 📷: My grandfather
Part 2/5 In the first few years of the war my grandfather gathered intelligence for the resistance group ‘The Laagwater’. This group was responsible for intelligence gathering on the airfield in Deelen, (allowing the airfield to be bombed by the allies), Soesterberg and the Rotterdam harbour. My grandfather worked with multiple resistance groups including ‘Vrij Nederland’. Every week various members of the groups would meet with him in Buren. My grandfather also provided shelter to resistance members in his house after they had assassinated identified dangerous targets at the start of the war. Grandfather set up the route known as ‘Route A’ between the Netherlands and Switzerland. He also had a transceiver in the house passing on relevant information about German movements to England. This information was gathered by resistance workers including my ‘Aunt’ Hetty and Olga Hudig on the coast by Noordwijk. In the same month my grandfather set up ‘route A’ he was arrested by the ‘sicherheitspolizei’ they had found a book with his name in it at a known resistance address. Just before his arrest with the police in the room he gave a dress to his sister Christien to hang up. My grandfather had picked up the dress in Utrecht and there were microfilms sewn into the dress with information on German movements. After 7 long weeks in prison with sometimes up to 12 hours of interrogation he was freed after 10,000 gulders were paid and various food supplies given. Grandfathers’ father had paid for the supplies and provided the finances. Grandfather upon release left Buren and travelled to Hilversum and Bussum were he worked with various spy groups for example ‘group Albrecht’and worked for the illegal newspaper Trouw writing articles and working on distribution.
Part 1/5 This is the story of my grandfather. My father always told my sister's and me about #ww2 He wanted us to know about the war and cherish our freedom. In the German invasion of May 1940 my grandfather fought in Rotterdam. Before that he was station in Schalkwijk and Wijk bij Duurstede. After Rotterdam was bombed and destroyed most soldiers wanted to lay down their arms but my grandfather pushed them to fight on. They built a fortress in Capelle aan de Ijsel but when the capitulation was signed the fighting stopped. My Grandfather tried in vain to travel to England from Scheveningen and Ijmuiden. Shortly after the capitulation my grandfather tried to gather arms in a building in Culemborg but was captured by the Germans. My grandfather pretended to be ill and was so convincing that he was released after a few hours. 📷: My father.
5000 followers! Can't believe it. Thank you all so much for the support!! 🎉
Part 9/9 Meanwhile the family’s life went on. The hunger winter started. It was not only very cold but there was very little food. The oldest son of the family, Frits, started to do courier work for the resistance. He worked for Jo de Jager (my grandfather’s alias) who was a friend of the family. In the last few months Pamela Fentener van Vlissingen was arrested and the four children had to live by themselves. My grandfather and other resistance workers made sure they had food and were not left alone. After the war Frits Fentener van Vlissingen received a badge from the ‘Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten’ for his help to the resistance. He was only 11 years old.
Part 8/9 The reason Jan Fentener van Vlissingen wasn’t killed was because he was accused of financing an attack on Hitler. He was brought to the prison in Scheveningen, again, and given the death penalty. For some reason they never killed him. It could be that his name played a big role and his family connections were used to try everything to save him. Prince Bernhard and his father wrote letters about the situation and Prince Bernhard was able to negotiate with the Nazi’s. If the allies would release their spy that was caught in Scotland then the Nazi’s would release Jan Fentener van Vlissingen. Because of this agreement he had to stay in jail till the end of the war. All others in the prison were released because the allies were coming closer. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen didn’t know about this agreement and when a Nazi came in and brought him a cup of coffee he was convinced that this was his prelude of his execution. The Nazi’s did have one more attempt to kill him when they moved him to The Hague. They handcuffed him and put him in a car. They stopped somewhere along the journey and told him he could take a sanitary stop. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen refused to do so and that was a very wise decision. He later heard they wanted to shoot him ‘on the run’. Later he heard that the trade deal with the German spy was denied by Montgomery. He said: “He is not worth a general.” It was never clear why he wasn’t killed. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen wrote: “apparently von Ribbentrop and Himmler had something to do with keeping me alive.” 📷: John Fentener van Vlissingen
Part 7/9 In October 1944 the German Razzia’s started on men between 18 and 50 years. Many men had to go into hiding but some were caught and arrested. Ubels, Jan Fentener van Vlissingen’s adjutant was also caught. In early November 1944 Jan and his wife celebrated their 12,5 wedding anniversary with a select group in a safe house behind the Dom. They were happy and felt safe. But this didn’t last long. On the 22th of November the Sicherheitsdienst invaded the Chamber of Commerce in Utrecht during a big meeting with all the leaders of the resistance from Utrecht and the Betuwe. My grandfather was supposed to be in there but didn’t trust the situation so never attended. This decision saved his life because the Sicherheitsdienst arrested 15 from the 17 people attending the meeting. The other two attending the meeting fled upstairs instead of going down to the basement with the others. They stayed on top of a closet were they could hide for a couple of days. All 15 where tortured in a way nobody could imagine. One died of his injuries and 12 others were killed by a firing squad. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen and Cor Been survived. These arrests meant that all the top level of the resistance of Utrecht were caught. The Sicherheitsdienst that had arrested this group was from Amersfoort and luckily didn’t know much about the group. Even though the torturing was barbaric nobody started talking. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen wrote about this in a letter to his parents; “I’m in possession of a great gift, with every beating I received my jaws got tighter.”
Part 6/9 Jan Fentener van Vlissingen became more and more active in the resistance and he started to use more and more hiding places. He stayed at Mr Voûtes house on the Kromme Nieuwegracht, at Mrs. Boellaards in De Bilt, at Mr. Molenaars on Lange Viestraat, at Mrs. Vermeulen on Frans Halsstraat and in an abbendond house in the Herengracht. All the addresses were in Utrecht. At one point the Nazi’s put a price on his head of 10.000 gulden which was a lot of money and so the resistance forged an identity card with the name Van der Weyden. In 1944 Jan Fentener van Vlissingen was appointed town commander of Utrecht. His pseudonym was ‘van Wigge’. He worked very close with the group of K.D. Baas, G.C. Bosscha, D. Bosselaar, H.A. Bosshardt, J.H.W. van Koeverden, L. Maagdenburg and C. Onvlee. These groups focused on preserving important objects in and around the city of Utrecht, like the postoffice, Pegus (Power Supply Company) and the gas plant. In September 1944 a resistance group including my grandfather robbed the Dutch railways safe and took 3 million guldens. The money was put into the Nationaal Steunfonds. 📷: A reunion from multiple resistance groups in 1970. 10th from the left is J.M. Fentener van Vlissingen. On the far right is my grandfather Jo van Koeverden.
Part 5/9 From this moment on Jan Fentener van Vlissingen become even more active for the resistance. He became chairman of the ‘Vakgroep Kolen’ who were responsible for distribution. The secretary ordered them to create forged stamps and papers, somebody else was specialized in forging signatures to create convincing papers to prevent people from the Arbeitseinsatz. He financed several illegal papers and help with the distribution of it. He helped with save hiding places for people that were on the wanted list and provided food, stamps, fuel and forged identity cards. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen was also active with the creation of the National Steunfonds, which was the financer of the Dutch resistance. The Boy Ruys-fonds was also created with the help of Jan Fentener van Vlissingen to support families who had lost family members shot by the German firing squad. Next to this he also helped by picking up the drops made by the allies and made sure the allied pilots that had to jump out of their planes were brought to safety. When the allies got to the south of the Netherlands and the Dutch railways wanted to strike to make the Nazi’s lives harder, so money was need to pay the people who had lost their income. Walraven van Hall approached Jan van Vlissingen for help. Jan van Vlissingen collected more than 900.000 gulden. Everybody that lent him money would get a Russian Bond he found in the attic as proof of the loan. 📷: Resistance Memorial Cross.
Part 4/9 Jan Fentener van Vlissingen had been in the army and quickly joined the resistance group “Orde Dienst’ also known as the OD. Jan van Vlissingen and Pim Boellaard joined the together. The OD was created to maintain order when the Nazi’s where defeated. They believed this would be within a year and were convinced a communist resistance group would try to begin a revolution. The communist resistance party was a very well structured group operating from the start of the war. The liberation didn’t come very soon and so the OD started to do more. This led to the group being banned the Nazi’s. When a meeting of the OD was spied on a few members of the OD including Jan Fentener van Vlissingen were arrested and brought to prison in Schevenigen. After interrogation by Wachtmeister Blatgerste, Sturmführer Uhörlein and Untersturmführur Jocke ,Jan Fentener van Vlissingen was able to prove he wasn’t at the meeting because he was in bed with measles and insisting he’d had nothing to do with the OD, he was released. The majority of the arrested group from the OD were executed by the Nazi’s. In the image you see the pin of Jan from the NBS.
Part 3/9 “From the very begin my friend Lodi Voûte started to create an illegal paper, the distribution of this paper was very hard and dangerous. For us it was very important to be able to go around and gather information about the Nazi’s after the eight o’clock curfew. Therefore we joined the air protection and obtained a pass to be able to go around at night without being stopped.” Jan van Vlissingen wrote. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen returned back to the SHV. In 1942 he became full member of the managing board and was directly involved in all the affairs of the company. But during the war Jan Fentener van Vlissingen was also a very busy member of the Dutch resistance. “Sometimes my father came home at night via the neighbour’s roof. The family Voûte lived next door. After the war we found out that my father was in hiding on a farm in the Betuwe.” said John Fentener van Vlissingen. At home during the war nobody spoke about their father’s whereabouts. He was gone and the less they knew the safer it was. John also remembers Nazi’s coming inside their home and asking him where his father was. As a treat the Nazi’s would offer him candy to trick him in to talking about his father’s hiding place. He quickly learned to eat the candy first and then tell the Nazi’s he had no clue where his father was. Which he really didn’t. Pamela Fentener van Vlissingen, John’s mother, had a very hard time during the war. She was English and had to raise her children. Her husband was barely home and living next to the Nazi’s didn’t make life much easier. This must have been very difficult for her. In the family home two radio’s where hidden. One radio in the chimney and one in the sandpit in the backyard. With the radios the family could listen to the BBC.
Part 2/9 Within the Fentener van Vlissingen’s family an uncomfortable situation arose. The family had been doing business with the Germans for many years dating back to at least 1896. They worked with the Germans day in and day out. From one day to another the Germans became the enemy. During the war the SHV stayed in business which created more friction. The SHV was able to keep their employees in the Netherlands preventing them from forced labor in German. Also the SHV ‘hired’ resistance workers and payed them as employees. This allowed these resistance workers to continue with their resistance work and still feed their family. There was however a downside to this. The SHV was sometimes seen as a ‘bad’ company because they would do business with Nazi Germany. Nobody knew about the resistance of Jan Fentener van Vlissingen and therefore did not know about what the SHV was doing for the resistance. How could a company keep working with the Nazi’s? Why didn’t they refuse to do business with the Nazi’s? Quite simple, because the SHV kept their business running many lives were saved and a lot of money was able to go into the resistance. You could say that Nazi money helped finance the resistance. We also should not forget the men and women being saved from Arbeitseinsatz because the SHV didn’t shut down. This must have been a hard decision to make. Keep your business running and risk your reputation as Nazi collaborators or shut down and risk the lives of many innocent men and women. The image is a part of the letter J.M. Fentener van Vlissingen wrote to my grandmother after my grandfather passed away.
Part 1/9 I’d like to introduce you to John Fentener van Vlissingen. One of Jan and Pamela Fentener van Vlissingen’s four children. John Fentener van Vlissingen was born in 1939 and grew up in Utrecht. During the war the family lived next to a German officer. John remembers eating the half eaten apple’s the Germans would throw over the fence. He also recalls a resistance worker dressed up as an electrician entering the German’s mess and creating a powerline from the German’s to the family home providing them from free electricity throughout the war. Johns father Jan Fentener van Vlissingen was the Secretary of the Executive Board of the family company SHV. The company was the leader in Dutch coal and had acquired exclusivity in the Netherlands for trading in German coal from the Westfalen area. Before the war and at the beginning of the war SHV was in thriving business. Until the first of May 1940 Germany had a high demand of coal. When Nazi Germany attacked the Netherlands everything changed. Jan Fentener van Vlissingen had to go to war and was stationed at the Grebbeberg. After the capitulation J.M. Fentener van Vlissingen became prisoner of war and was in jail for a couple of weeks. In June 1940 he was released.
Part 1/1 I’d like you to meet Rinske Former. This story is about her grandparents from her father’s side of the family. In 1944 when the city of Arnhem was evacuated because of the battle of Arnhem rinske’s grandmother living in Arnhem was also forced to evacuate. But her father forgot in all his hurry to get out about hiding some valuable things. He need to go back but was unable to. Rinske’s grandmother went instead. She had to be very careful and make sure not to be seen. If the German forces would have seen her she probably would have been shot or taken to a concentration camp. Even though it was extremely dangerous she did go back to Arnhem and retrieved the important objects. Nobody in the family knows what these objects were. When going back to the family home the German did break in and plunder the house. The cabinet that Rinske’s grandmother had to empty was found with a hole where the lock had been. The shape of this hole was like the back of a rifle. During the war Rinske’s grandmother worked for the postal service in the Netherlands. One day a new postman from Ede come to Arnhem because there was a shortage. He was very in to her but she didn’t really like him. Apparently he did something right because she married him. After the war there was a commision that had to judge which postmen had collaborated with the Nazi’s. In this commission Rinske’s grandmother had a position. Rinske’s grandfather also had to go thourgh this commission to prove that he didn’t collaborate with the Nazi’s. Luckily he didn’t and his girlfriend knew. Not all Nazi collaborators where caught and the other way around.
Part 5/5 Rienk Kuipers was an active resistance man. But he never wanted to be a hero. In fact, if he survived the war he probably was even more unknown. He did what he did because he was against the Nazi regime and the Nazi ideology and wanted to do something against it. He was not the only one. He was not the only one in the resistance and not the only one the Nazi’s killed. In Neuengamme more than 55.000 people died. Rienk Kuipers was one of them. There are therefore more than 55.000 stories of Neuengamme whom did not survive the war. In the whole province of Friesland more than 300 resistance workers died again Rienk Kuipers was just one of them. In Friesland 20 ministers died due to the Nazi’s. The story of Rienk Kuipers is not unique. This story is one of the many stories of somebody fighting against the Nazi’s.
Part 4/5 Kuipers opened up his rectory for a group of resistance workers to have meetings. He helped gather safe places for people in hiding and played a big role in the Schoolresistance. During the Nazi occupation the Nazi’s saw it as an important task to reeducate children and teach them the Nazi ideology. Many books had to be destroyed and allot of chapters needed to be removed from the books. Also the Nazi’s forced pro-nazi teachers in to the educational system and tried to kick out as many teachers known to be against the Nazi’s. These teachers kept on teaching but because the government payed for it these teachers lost their income. The Schoolresistance had a network of important people. Therefore they were able to create fights between Nazi officials in the Ministry of Education. Because of these fights created by the Schoolresistance teachers needed to be fired never were.
Part 3/5 Rienk Kuipers was a minister and therefore a known figure in his community. Because of this he knew many people allowing him to help in the resistance against Nazi Germany. Kuipers was also member of many resistance groups such as ‘Schoolverzet, LO and the illegal ARP and Rienk Kuipers was also a man that would give advice to the resistance. Every now and then a resistance worker would visite him. He also travelled through the country to pick up Jews and help them to find a safe hiding place. He would not just drop people of but also visit to make sure everything was alright.
Part 2/5 He was brought to prison in Leeuwarden and later to the ‘Scholtenshuis’ in Groningen also known as ‘antechamber of hell’. A notorious jail where the Nazi’s brutally tortured resistance workers. On the 14th of March Rienk Kuipers was brought to concentration camp Neuengamme on the last transport from the Netherlands to the camp. When the allies came closer the camp was closed and Rienk Kuipers was brought to the harbor of Lübeck, put on a ship and taken off again. Survivors have told the family Rienk Kuipers was very sick and died of the treatments of the Nazi’s.
Part 1/5 I’d like you to meet Tiny Kuipers-Vermij. She is one of Rienk Kuipers (born 1905 The Hague. Deceased 1945 somewhere in Lübeck’s harbor) eight children who was a minister of the church in Wanswerd a/d Streek (now called Burdaard) in the Netherlands. As a young girl Tiny remembers her father as a loving man working hard to help everybody in his community. On Sunday the 4th of February 1945 Rienk Kuipers was taken by the Nazi’s. During the midday service the Nazi’s surrounded the church. The organist Ebeltje Kalma, who sat higher in the church, was able to see the Nazi’s. She warned Rienk Kuipers and Kuipers warned in a hidden message what was going on. Some people in hiding went up a small ladder to get to safety but forgot to pull it up. When the service was over the Nazi’s did a search and found the ladder and the people up there. Rienk Kuipers and some others were taken to Marrum. Everybody was released except for Rienk Kuipers. On Monday morning Christien, Rienk Kuiper’s wife traveled to Marrum to see her husband and bring him some clothes. Rienk Kuipers whispered in his wife’s ear that some documents needed to be removed from his rectory. She removed it in the afternoon just in time because the ‘Sicherheitsdienst’ did a search. Another resistance man (the father of Jo van der Laan) also went in to remove some things. They also did a search in the family’s home.
This is the church Jo van der Laan was in when the Nazi's surrounded it and arrested Rienk Kuipers. His story I will post next. Jo van der Laan didn't get arrested because he got through the security check. But the Nazi's said later that Jo was one of the people they also had to arrest. Stay tuned for story of Rienk Kuiper's.
Part 4/4 “One time I was sitting in the tram to Drachten. I had letter to deliver for the resistance. And well I was young so I tried to flirt with the girls in the tram that just came from school. I winked to one of them I found very pretty. To my amazement she winked back. She told me she just had her exams. She didn’t want to talk about it. Later I found out she got an A+ for every exam. I asked her if she wanted to go biking someday. We did and of course I planned the bike trip in a way that I would see what the Nazi’s where building near Leeuwarden Airport. I think she like me as much as I like her because in 1950 we got married. She was never active as a resistance worker but she did gather intelligence that I could use. She also had contact’s that helped me to get a key of the safe in a distribution center.” “After the war I worked as an inspector for a paint company. I had to go to houses and check if the paint was still good. One time I rang the doorbell of a house and a woman opened. Her first reaction was: “My god, Jo, what are you doing here?” It was a Jewish family that was in hiding in our home during the war. My father was a painter and I obtain all my diplomas but I never became a painter. I do draw and paint a lot but not as a profession.” Jo van der Laan showed me his paintings and I was amazed about the beauty of them. He showed me one painting in particular. It was a beautiful landscape with a naked woman in it. I asked who the woman was and he answered: “yes, she was so beautiful. We had a wonderful marriage. She pasted away 4 years ago and I miss her so much, every day.”
Part 3/4 “I could pass security checks quite easy. I had first class forged papers and I had a forged document stating that I was a controller of meat. My ‘job’ was to check butchers and farmers if they had the right papers for their cattle. I had absolutely no knowledge about cattle. But it was a document from The Hague and the Nazi’s therefore believed I was important. They always let me through quite easily. “Another time we were going to raid the town hall of Ternaard. The weather was horrible. I think it is still in the history books as one of the worst weather conditions in the history. We went through the backyard of the house next to the town hall. There was a window with six small parts. I cut out the bottom right part. As I did the glass fell and made a very loud noise. We got what we wanted and escaped by car. On the road we got stuck in a cable, I was not sure if it was a power cable of some sort of telephone cable. Without thinking we cut the cable. As I think back it was very dangerous. But well we got out. Later we heard that the janitor living next door was a sleep with his wife. She was awakened by the sound. Her husband woke up and told her nothing was going on. Probably the wind he told her.” How did you get a car I asked? “Well at first we stole it from the doctor. He was okay with that but he needed a car in case of emergency. So we went to the local car shop and made a deal that if we had the doctor’s car the doctor could borrow one of his cars in case of emergency. With that car we also delivered 7000 newspapers of Trouw. A big part we dropped in Assen. Some of it in Dokkum and what was left over we took to our village.” Jo van der Laan was in the church during the service. Because Jo had forged papers which were very convincing Jo was not arrested. Later Jo heard that the Nazi’s had said regretting letting him go. “It was a big mistake to let that guy go. We had to arrest anybody it should have been him.” The image is of the document Jo used to get through security checks
Part 2/4 “My friends and I barely talked about what we did. Sometimes somebody would say I can get in on of the distribution centers. Many weeks later we would obtain a duplicate of the key of the safe. I had to be very careful with it and bring it back the same day.” “Another time we obtained a key of the military police in Dokkum. Some resistance workers were in jail there. We would climb over the brick wall. When doing that my revolver fell out of my front pocket and fell on the ground making a lot of noise. I thought this is it. We’ll get caught. But the policeman in service was a good Dutchman and didn’t raise alarm. In fact he already loosened all the jail door bolts.” “I travelled a lot by train, picking up people in need of a safe place. I was very clear in my approach. Never would I sit with the people I was helping because that would be too dangerous. If there was a passport check I told them to trust there forged identity cards. Some would argue about his way of working and would tell them I didn’t have to help them. I work in this way, take it or leave it.” This seems harsh in some way but because of this strict way of working Jo was able to help many and stay out of Nazi hands. Nobody was ever arrested when travelling with Jo. “You got to know the conductors working in the train. One time I was traveling with a package and the conductor sat next to me. He said:” I know you have package for the resistance and there is a very strict search by the Nazi’s. Give me the package.” He took the package to the front of the train. Talked to the train driver and left the package with him. When I arrived in Leeuwarden the conductor gave me the package. “
Part 1/4 I’d like you to meet Jo van der Laan also known as ‘Jo de Rover’ (or Jo the Robber). He was born in 1921 in Burdaard in Friesland. “Good times” is what Jo kept on saying. Hearing that for the first time from a man whom was very active and important for the resistance was kind of strange. Jo was a member of the ‘Knokploegen’. His main activities were spying on any German activities, bringing import information through the country, helping Jews to safe hiding places and raiding distribution centers. Asking him why he was in the resistance he answered: “I think I was just a good Dutchman”. He doesn’t remember making the decision to work in the resistance. “I just rolled in to it. First you would help one person to safety and later you would help 5. Then I was asked by the ‘Knokploeg’ to help with a raid to steal ration coupons for the distribution center. You just did what you had to do.” His parents were not as active in the resistance as he was but his father gathered safe places for people in hiding. His mother helped with the same but even more active. She took care of some people in hiding in her home and helped many students from Delft. “I had to bring letters destined for Delftzijl. In Delftzijl shippers would take the letters to see and use a secret message to alert allied ships. The letters would then be brought to England. These Letters contained important information about the German defenses and other Nazi movements. I never knew the details about what was in it but I know what it was about.”
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History is the foundation for our present and future. In the present we need to learn from the past to build a beter future. Knowing what happend in the past is therefore very important to grow in my opinion. Not really a #ww2 post but there will be lots of new stories next week.
This is bookshop Bijleveld in Utrecht. It was owned by Mr. Bommeljé. Together with police officer Mr. van Roosmalen he staged a burglary of his typewriter. Because of this ‘burglary’ he was allowed to buy a new typewriter. This typewriter was used by and used for the resistance.
During #ww2 all the food that came from the trees was used. There was a lot of hunger. Because of the trees providing food it is a family tradition to plant some trees. This is a walnut tree I planted with my father. Not that we need the walnut's for food but to remember that times were different and to never take food, freedom and any other kind of luxury for granted.
This is Janskerkhof. Every Saturday there is a flower market. During #ww2 people would by orange flowers. The reason was to show that they were loyal to the royal house and to piss of the Nazi's.
This is Oude Gracht 230A. During #ww2 the apartment above 'Maison Liana' (now toyshop Joker) was the central point for courier's to pick up and deliver messages for the resistance. It was also a meeting point for the LO (national orginazation that help refugees)
This is Mariahoek 7 in Utrecht. Rut Matthijsen a sophomore chemistry student was asked by one of the members of the ‘Kindercomité’ to use his home as a meeting room for the committee and join their resistance group. He joined right away and he went out to search for more meeting places. He was sure it would look suspicious if there would be many random people entering his home. The Nazi’s would definitely come looking for any illegal activities. Because Rut Matthijsen thought ahead it didn’t happen.
During the second world war the river Waal was a border between the liberated and occupied part of the Netherlands. The Dutch resistance under the cover of darkness would do their utmost to bring as many people as possible over the river to the liberated south.
During the second world war the river Waal was a border between the liberated and occupied part of the Netherlands. The Dutch resistance under the cover of darkness would do their utmost to bring as many people as possible over the river to the liberated south.
Part 2/2 After the war my grandmother’s mother became very ill. My grandmother had to walk to the hospital with her sister to pick up the laundry. They had to wash it at home. Being 9 years old and having to walk 8km with a big bag of laundry wasn’t easy. And to make it worse her mother passed away. This meant that my grandmother had to take over the household with her sisters. The sisters also had to nurture their 6 months old sister. During the war my grandmother never remembers being hungry. But after the war life was harsh. The whole family hard to work their butts off to make a living. My grandmother told me once that the years after the war were much worse. One day a woman rang the doorbell and asking for her mother. Telling the woman that she had passed away she was devastated. She told my grandmother that because of her mother she was still alive. The woman came to their home to talk my grandmother’s mother for giving shelter and food. A couple of years ago I gave my grandmother a book called ‘Betuwe in stelling’ by Victor Laurentius. It is about ww2 in a specific area in the Netherlands and my grandparents grew up in this area (my parents, my sisters and me as well, and may generations of my family). My grandmother was shocked about what all happened in the Betuwe. She couldn’t read more than a couple of pages per day because she would burst in to tears while reading. Recognizing so many names and places but never realizing how hard life was in the Betuwe. Every time I visit her she brings up the book and emotionally tells me how grateful she is with the book.
This is my grandmother from my mother’s side of the family. She was only 4 when the war began. She doesn’t have much memories of the war. Just like my grandfather she grew up in a very small town called Meteren. My grandmother grew up in a big family of 10. During the war there was always enough food. During the German invasion the Nazi’s where stationed in a part of the house my grandmother grew up in. She was too young to understand what was going on and having a father whom wasn’t very pro nor anti-German she was allowed to sit with the young soldiers. She remembers sitting on the lap of one of the Nazi’s. “I remember them being very friendly, giving me something of their food and playing games. One morning I woke up and they were all gone. A few years later the same happened but only with Allied soldiers.” During the war the family was able to have a normal life. Sometimes they would watch the Nazi’s use their anti-aircraft guns but most of the time it was just normal life. Only food and house hold products got more and more scarce.
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Part 2/2 My grandfather also believes his neighbors had something to do with the resistance. “There were many people coming and going we didn’t know.” While the war continued my grandfather grew older and seeing more of the danger. He remembers going home with his father when somebody told them there was a group of young SS walking around. The person told them this group of SS would beat up everybody they saw. He and his father walk through the dens farmland with apple trees. My grandfather described it as “exciting” not knowing what would happen if they were caught. “When the Allies come closer and the Nazi’s had to use their anti-aircraft guns we would go and look. They would shoot up in the sky and we had a couple of seconds to hide somewhere before the shells came down. It was fun to watch and very impressive to see.” He also told a story of his neighbor who was around the same age as he was. “This boy would catch cats and skin them. Them he would sell them as hare to the Nazis stationed in Geldermalsen. He became a trader because he was, even during the war, always selling stuff. ” I think this is also an important story about the Second World War. It didn’t only consist of good and bad and wrong and right. There were also people just living their lives not knowing what was going on. Today it is very easy to say “I would do this” or “I would do that” but back then it wasn’t that simple. Not all stories are heroic or cruel-evil. Some stories are just stories and they need to be told as well.
Part 1/2 This is my grandfather, my mother’s father. He experienced the Second World War completely different than my grandfather from my father’s side of the family. See my previous post to read that story. My grandfather was a kid (11) when the Germans invaded the Netherlands. He lived in a very small village called Geldermalsen. Living next to a baker and a butcher the family never experienced hunger. “As a kid the Nazis looked very impressive. Nice clothes, healthy and strong. We would go to the train station and help them carrying stuff for money.” My grandfather told me he didn’t have a bad war memory. “We didn’t have to go to school. We could play all day. It was safe and we had enough food.” When I first heard my grandfather talk about the war is was a little bit shock knowing my other grandparents story. I asked him if he knew what happened in this horrible war.” Of course I know it now but during the war I didn't. We didn’t have newspapers, television didn't exist yet. We weren't allowed to listen to the radio and I wasn't allowed to go to another village. A village 10 km away seemed as far as New York. Therefore we had no idea what was going one.” When the war ended and the stories of what happened reached my grandfather he was shocked. How could humans do this to other humans?
In this picture u see on the right my grandmother. The lady on the left is Hetty Voûte. They worked together in the resistance. The upcoming days I will be telling her story because I think she deserves more credit.
This is the letter my grandmother got from the Embassy of the United States of America. As you can see they believed the letter was going to a men. dear sir
Certificate my grandfather received from France.
Another image I shot at my parents place. Allot of generations have been in it. It was also used during #ww2
This is the third and last tree that is left in my parents yard. During #ww2 it provided my family, the resistance and the refugees from food. It saved many from horrible diseases and possible death.
This is a picture of my Great-grandparents. They were also active in the resistance but in a different role than my grandparents. My great grandmother made sure all the refugees got food and there ie one story about how she handled the Nazi's. One day a couple of Nazi's walked inside the house through one of the side-doors. But inside there where allot of refugees and also Allied pilots. So my great grandmother had to buy some time. What is did was incredable. She told the Germans to follow her outside. She walked to the front door and said that if they wanted to get inside they had to ring the door bell first! While my great grandmother kept them outside the Allied pilots were, as quickly as they could, going under the floor. My grandfathers sister would then stand on top of the trap door and pretend to be checking her self for louse. The German's came in and saw her and immediately went away. My great grandfathers role is very unknown. We do know he had good contacts with the OrtsKommandant. In that way he was able to buy people out of jail. We believe he was not as active like my grandfather but was more of an coordinator within the resistance. He was also in politics and he had an import role preventing the Germans breaking the dykes and flooding the Betuwe.
Part 3/3 of my grandmothers #ww2 story... In the picture we bring her coffin to the church for her funeral. She past away in 2006 and barely talked about her role in the Dutch resistance. Only after her death I found out how important she was. ..... Grandfather had many contacts with the resistance and that was a great help to the ‘Kinder Comite’. Grandmother was arrested one time, there was a raid on the Renier family, and grandmother was told that it wasn’t safe to go to there but she went anyway. She was arrested immediately. She was able to escape via a drainpipe. The families with Jewish children needed to have extra help in the form of food stamps, money, clothing etc. Grandmother and the other workers in the ‘Kinder comite’ helped deliver the necessary goods to the families and checked how everything was. Every worker managed a department and Grandmother was responsible for ‘department O’. In the student resistance it was decided that each student club should have a representative inside the Dutch resistance committee without the knowledge of the other members. In the UVSV the representative was Micky Verloop and later grandmother took up the position.
Part 2/3 of my grandmothers war story... From left to right: Hetty Voûte Olga Hudig Micky Verloop C. de Vos van Steenwijk C. E. Giltay In the picture you see the board of the UVSV from 1940-1941. My grandmother is the second from the left. My grandmother and Hetty were asked in 1940 to join the board of the UVSV by Miki Verloop. Grandmother became the secretary and Hetty the vice-secretary. Miki Verloop also played a role as courier for my grandfather. Grandmothers sisters To and Britta were also resistance members. To worked for the ‘kinder comite’ and was a courier for grandfather. Britta was hiding 5 Jewish children in her house. In 1943 Hetty was arrested in Utrecht Central station. She convinced the officers to let her make a phone call saying it was her birthday and people were waiting on her, however she called her brother and asked him to warn grandmother and the others. Grandmother warned others such as Jan Meulenbelt and Ger Kempe. However, they were not able to stop the arrest of Gisela Wieberdink-Sohnlein. Grandmother went in search of ‘Aunty Jo’ as she had heard she had connections with the Germans and could perhaps buy their freedom. She found out that Aunty Jo was my grandfather after a long search; unfortunately he wasn’t able to free Hetty or Gisela. They’d been charged with murder and helping the Jews. Grandmother decided from then to work from Buren.
My grandmother's war story 1/3... The photo was taken at a wedding during #ww2 This is the resistance group she work with. She is the 5th from the left From the start of the war grandmother helped Jewish children to go into hiding along with others including her friend Hetty Voute. From 1942 they worked together with the Utrechts Kinder Comite. At the start of the war Hetty was introduced to my grandfather via her youngest brother. She worked together with my grandmother to gather intelligence about German movements on the coast in Noordwijk. This information was given to grandfather who sent this to England via the transceiver in his house in Buren, grandmother didn’t know it was grandfather she just knew the information was given to ‘Aunty Jo’.
7 December, 1941
Another one of the false id-cards my grandfather used during #ww2 Because he was wanted he had to use this in order to get past security checks, and so on.
This is my grandmothers forged idcard she used to get around. probably she got this after she got arrested and escaped.
This is the flower market in Utrecht. During #ww2 people would by orange flower to show respect to the Royal House. The Nazi's didn't like it at all. It was on of the simplest way of resistance that brought the Dutch closer together. But don't be fooled. This image was shot in 2016. I used an old technique to make you think about the past and the present.
Monument of the 54 agents who died because of the Engelandspiel. It says: They jumped into death for our freedom
During the Second Worldwar the river Waal was a border between the liberated and occupied part of the Netherlands. The Dutch resistance under the cover of darkness would do their utmost to bring as many people as possible over the river to the liberated south.
I was keen with the questions I asked to find out if they were traitors. This is another quote from a line-crosser. It was very dangerous to do and many people died.
I was thrilled to see the secret trap door still on the floor after all these years This letter was send by Brigadier M.D.K. Dauncey to my father after he visited my parents house. Dauncey was shot down by the Nazi's but was able to flee. In the previous images you see the trap door. Dauncey was one of the allies hiding in their.
This is a close up from the trapdoor in the previous picture. It shows all the layers of wood my ancestors pit on top of each other. #ww2 #worldwar2 #hiding #freedom #ww2untold #uk #usa #british #canadian #ww2history #ww2dailyhistory #wwii #wwiihistory #wood #floor #untold #allies #nazi #fight
This is the trap door that the allies used to hide from the Nazi's. My parents put a new floor in the living room but made sure that the trap door would still open.
One of the false id-cards my grandfather used during #ww2 Because he was wanted he had to use this in order to get past security checks, and so on.
My sister and me with my grandmother back in 2009. My grandmother never talked about her work in the resistance. Only after her death(2006) I got interested in ww2 and discovered last year her important role, saving Jewish kids, snuggling wapens and may other things.
One of the trees that kept my family and their friends alive during the hungry war. Also the resistance was fed from this tree.
This is the house I grew up in. Build by my great-great-grandfather. It played an important role in #ww2 . It was a house where refugees could hide, Allies could hide and my grandfather commanded the resistance from.
In these cooking pots my great-grandmother would cook food for the refugees and Allied pilots who where hiding from the Nazi's
Quote of a resistance man who did so called 'line-crossings'. They would bring allies and information to the liberated part of the Netherlands
Another shot from my series 'Schimmenrijk'. During the second world war the river Waal was a border between the liberated and occupied part of the Netherlands. The Dutch resistance under the cover of darkness would do their utmost to bring as many people as possible over the river to the liberated south.
After many years these jars with fruits are still sitting in my parents basement. They were made by my grandmother and were never thrown away.
These are extra roof tiles that come with the build of the house back in 1911. They are now stored in the same place refugees would hide during WW2. Every now and then my father has to put a new one on the roof after a storm. One day they will run out...
This is one of the places where my family kept there food during #ww2. These crates are now used by my parents to dry walnuts and ofter kind of food.
This is the monument of Leen Papo. He was one of the few brave man that crossed the river the Waal bringing #ww2 . He brought information an Allied soldiers to the liberated part of the Netherlands but ALWAYS returned to the occupied part to help fight against the Nazies.
In this picture you can see all the layers my ancestor put on top of each other during the past 100+ years. This is also the entrance to the hidden space the allies hid during #ww2 #wwii #ww2untold #worldwar2 #history #floor #hiding #allied #dutch #netherlands #resistance #verzet #wood
This trapdoor in the ground was a life saver during #ww2 . When the Nazies knocked on the door the Allied soldiers would quickly go under the floor. My grandfathers sister would be standing on top of it pretending she was combing her hair looking for louse. #wwii #ww2untold #worldwar2 #history #interior
One of the many doors that made my parents house in to a maze during WW2. The house had many rooms making it hard for the Nazis to search for people. My great-grandmother would show the rooms in a specific order to the Nazis creating time for the Allies to go under the floor and the refugees to go up to the attic. They doors are now stored in the attic. #ww2 #wwii #worldwar2 #ww2untold #history #door #attic #hiding #allied #allies #interior #story
This is were the stove used to be. In this place my great-grandmother cooked food voor the Allies in hiding & refugees. #ww2 #wwii #worldwar2 #ww2untold #history #kitchen #food #stove
Another document I found from my grandfather. The name on it matches with his false id-card that he used during the war. On the other side of the document it says that he was traveling with a false id-card at that moment. #ww2 #history #worldwar2 #wwii #ww2untold #document
Books are in! From 2 till 7 July you can see my work about the house I grew up in and the role it played during the second world war. #exhibition #ww2 #wwii #worldwar2 #history #photobook
This is one of the many book cases that were stored in the basement of the house I grew up in. No books but machine guns came out when they were opend. My grandfather got rit of them after the war but forgot about one. When he died my father took over the house and found this case. The case he kept the guns not ofcourse. #ww2 #wwii #ww2untold #worldwar2 #history