Identifying who the participants were in an escape line can present problems for a researcher. Once in a while, however, something turns up which can be exceptionally useful. That is certainly so in the case of the following letter that Karst Smit wrote in 1945 about a reunion in Baarle-Nassau of persons who helped Allied airmen.
Letter dated 26 September 1945 from K.G. Smit, Paul Krugerlaan 23, The Hague to Captain Matthijs, Hotel Century, Antwerp
From Karst’s file at the Dutch Ministry of Defense
As discussed on 10 September 1945 at Baarle Nassau and for the purpose of holding a reunion in Baarle Nassau, I am listing below the names of individuals from the area of Baarle Nassau whom I know to have helped allied pilots.
1. Individuals from Baarle Nassau:
- Dr. Bloem, medical doctor in Baarle Nassau
- Sergeant Major Selten, Marechaussee barracks, Baarle Nassau (border)
- H. Niessen, Marechaussee barracks Baarle Nassau (village)
- O. Lippens, ditto
- van Diepstraten, Molenstraat, Baarle Nassau
- Senior Sergeant Major de Gier, current address St. Bernardstraat in Oudenbosch.
- G. Gulickx, Klokkestraat A. 287, Baarle Nassau
- Andre van Kuijk, City Hall, Baarle Nassau.
2. Individuals from Goirle
- Sergeant Major van Broekhoven, Marechaussee barracks in Goirle
- W. Buteijn, Tax Collector at Goirle (border)
- Harry Smits, Dorpstraat 1, Goirle
- D. Jonkers, 12504 Sgt. 40 F.S. Section, B.A.O.R.
- H. Meeuwissen, Marechaussee barracks, Goirle
3. Individuals from Hilvarenbeek:
- Jan and Harry Putters, Gelderstraat A. 4, Hilvarenbeek
- Theo Soontjes, City Hall, Hilvarenbeek
- Hans Naaykens, Koestraat in Hilvarenbeek
- Eugene v.d. Heijden, Diessenscheweg in Hilvarenbeek
- Petrus van Geel, dealer in straw in Hilvarenbeek
4. Individuals from Esbeek:
- Sergeant Major Backx, Marechaussee barracks, Esbeek
5. Individuals from Riel:
- A. v.d. Hout, Tilburgscheweg B. 141 A, Riel
- L. Verkaik, current address: Bureau B.B.O. (Netherlands Forces, Special Service), Koningslaan 1, Utrecht.
Below follow names of persons from Belgium whom I know to have helped pilots.
1. Individuals from Weelde:
- Maria Segers-Ooms, Groote Baan D.56, Weelde
- Luis Hermans, Hegge in Weelde
- Jeanne Willems, Overheide 30, Weelde
2. Individuals from Poppel:
- Yvonne de Jong-v.d. Abeelen, Café in Poppel
- Henri Raymakers, Groote Baan in Poppel
I enclose a listing from the Society of Ex Underground Workers in Breda and I agree with the persons mentioned therein. Finally, I can tell you that Dr. Bloem in Baarle Nassau has offered his house as a location of a possible reunion. I will deliver to you or send to you the promised particulars concerning the help given to pilots.
Yours very truly, etc., etc.