Report by Karst Smit, July 16, 1945, NARA File

Report by Karst Smit,

July 16, 1945, from his NARA File[1]

 REPORT about the underground activity during the German occupation of the named:

Smit, Karst, Gerrit, born in ‘s-Gravenhage on June 10, 1917,   profession: gendarme, residing in ‘s-Gravenhage, avenue Paul Kruger, 23.

1. Aid to Dutch Nationals Refusing to Work in Germany

Toward the end of 1941 I started to place Dutch nationals refusing to work in Germany with Flemish farmers.  Since at that time I wasn’t keeping track of any names or other information concerning the people I was helping, I find it impossible to name all those people. However here are a few names I remember:

            TINNEMEIJER, H. placed with farmer DE BRUIJN, Het Dun, Esbeek(N.Br.)[2]

            TINNEMEIJER, J.  same with farmer VAN EIJK, De Kieviet, Esbeek (N.Br.)[3]

            KUNST, J.              same with VAN OSTADE, Molenstraat, 126, Diessen

            JAN…………          same with farmer DIRK VAN LIER, Esbeek

            SMIT, R.                 same with farmer v. d. BIGGELAAR, De Koekoek,Esbeek.[4]

            HOOGENRAAD, M.E.  in Bosch [forest?] de Hertgang, Landgoed de Utrecht, Esbeek.[5]

            DE BIE, P.               same             same

2.  Aid to Escaped French POWs

In May 1942 I started to transfer from Holland to Belgium French prisoners who had escaped from German camps.  I was in touch with an organization in Twenthe, whose task was to provide them with shelter, food and clothing, after which they were transferred to Tilburg by CORNELIS BRASZ, residing at that time in Enschede, Haaksbergerstraat, 37.  I myself secured their transfer from Tilburg to Hilvarenbeek where they spent the night at Mr. Eugène VAN DER HEIJDEN’s, teacher, living in the town (sic) of Diessencheweg.[6]

In Hilvarenbeek, to facilitate the trips to Belgium, I had had a certain quantity of Belgian ID cards printed at Mr. NAAIJKENS’ who lived in that town.  I supplied those Frenchmen with Belgian ID cardS and Belgian money, and took them to Mr. JEAN KRAUSS, rue Vanderstichelen, 157.  Then they were taken by car to the French border through the good offices of the Belgian gendarmerie, to which they were entrusted by Mr. KRAUSS.

A few French prisoners were also handed over to me by the A.O.O.I.[7], H. DEWILDE, at that time district commander of the gendarmerie in Tilburg, currently platoon commander of the royal gendarmerie [marechaussees?] in Rotterdam.

In total I managed to help about 80 French prisoners across the border.  To accomplish that, I got assistance from:

            D. JONKERS,         then gendarme in Hilvarenbeek, currently working with a Canadian Field Security in Velde.

            H. MEEUWISSEN, then gendarme in Hilvarenbeek, present address unknown.

            F. DEPACTER,       then gendarme in Hilvarenbeek, killed during a bombardment in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

            C. KEURHORST,   then gendarme in Hilvarenbeek, probably shot at Haare, N. Br., Sept. 1944.

            B.H. BRASZ, business man, Plataanstraat, 32, Tilburg.

  1. Aid to Dutch Jews

During the German occupation, I helped about 150 Dutch Jews cross the Dutch-Belgian border. Those Jews were brought to me by the above-mentioned CORNELIS BRASZ who received them from Enschede or Amsterdam through the already mentioned EUGENE VAN DER HEIJDEN or the father of the latter, CORNELIS VAN DER HEIJDEN, both residing in Hilvarenbeek. I did not write down the name of those people. The ones I remember are:

            DRIES HOEK,    living then in Enschede, presently captain at the “Repatriation”,  last known address: camp of “repatriation” in Eisenach (Germ.)

            Fam. NIJKERK   Fr. v. Mierisstraat, 10, Amsterdam

            Mme KROL         Nassaukade 36, Rijswijk (Z. H.) [See also the Krol referred to on p. 4.]

            J. STAAL and his wife from Dordrecht.

Other names have been taken down by Mr. EUGENE VAN DER HEIJDEN, (Diessenscheweg, Hilvarenbeek), who will be able to provide more information.  My helpers with those transfers were the people cited in nr. 2.

In March 1943 I was transferred to the gendarmerie detachment in Baarle-Nassau and ever since my only activity had been to help Dutch people and shot-down Allied airmen cross the border.

  1. Aid to Dutch Citizens

During that time period I managed to help about 30 Dutch citizens cross the border, among whom:

            Mr. H.P. LINTHORST HOMAN, currently Lieutenant-Colonel at the M.G. in ‘s-Gravenhage.[8]

            Ir. A. AUSEMS, in Zaandam, current address unknown. In September or October 1943 I transferred that person to Brussels and in January 1944 she was parachuted over Holland again.[9]                   

            Ritm. PAHUD DE MORTANGES.[10]

            Lieutenant GRETER

            ERIK SCHIFF (son Director Vredestein-factory), Westeinde 3a, Voorburg, presently pilot R.A.F.[11]

            KAREL VAN ROSSUM, presently pilot R.A.F.

            GOVERT V.D. BOSCH, rue de Java, 48, ‘s-Gravenhage.[12]

            TRIP (son director Ned. Bank-Banque néerlandaise-)[13]

            VAN STOLK (son Abr. van Stolk’s Houthandel, Rotterdam)[14]

            ELSJE BOON, Rapenburg, 11, Leiden.[15]

            Mr. P. WIBBENS, presently secretary of the purging (purifying?) committe in Gröningen.

            KROL, Director R.M.I., Nassaukade 36, Rijswijk (Z.H.)[16]

            Mme N. [Nel or Petronella] VAN GELLICUM, avenue Brugmann, 422, Brussels. [17]                            

  Peter VAN DORMALEN from Udenhout, pseudonym in Belgium,

 “J. VERSTRAETE[N?]”, in Holland van Delft.

All those people were brought by me or would go referred by me to Mme E. CHABOT, rue Jules Lejeune, 4, Brussels.

My collaborators were:

            H. NIESSEN, then gendarme in Baarle-Nassau, currently detached to serve with the platoon of the royal gendarmerie, Hoochstraat 19 Rotterdam

            L. VERKAIK  then gendarme in Riel (N.Br.) , now serving “The Netherlands Forces Spécial Service (B.B.O.)” in Utrecht.[18]

            G. GERRITSEN  then marechaussee in Baarle-Nassau, executed in September 1944  in Breda.

            A. VAN GESTEL  then gendarme in Baarle-Nassau, executed in Breda in September 1944.

            Jeanne WILLEMS Overheide, 30, Weelde (Belgium).  That girl used to receive all the correspondence from Belgium and forward it to me in Baarle-Nassau.

            M.E. HOOGENRAAD  then Dutch Officer in hiding, now captain 4th Comp. 1st Bat.  6. R.I., Fred. Hendrikkaserne,  Vught. [19]

            B.H. BRASZ  businessman, Plataanstraat, 32, Tilburg.

5.  Distribution of Coupons to Families with Fathers in Hiding

At every period of distribution, the brigade of gendarmerie of Baarle-Nassau gave out distribution coupons to about 40 households where the father was hiding.  Those coupons were given to me by:

  1. The organization “FRITS”, section Breda, represented by Mr. COR V D HOOFT in Breda.
  • JACQUES DE WEERT pseudonym of GEMERT, son of a doctor in Zundert, for the time being still sick: in the vicinity of Hamburg.

Those coupons were distributed by:

  1. W.A. BUTEYN, customs agent in Baarle-Nassau, presently tax collector in Goirle (border)

       2.  H. NIESSEN, gendarme in Baarle-Nassau

        3.  L. VERKAIK, gendarme in Riel, presently B.B.O., Utrecht[20]

6. Aid to Allied Airmen

 From March to November 1945 I personally brought to Brussels 45 Allied airmen shot down over Holland. Those were taken or sent to me by:

1. WILLEM SCHMIDT, Blvd, 11, Zeist (probably executed in a German                                           concentration camp)

2. A resident from Hoogeveen (unknown)

3. A person pretending to be called VAN OOSTEN and who lived in Staphorst.

Usually I would pick up the airmen at the Tilburg station with NIESSEN, GERRITSEN, or VAN GESTEL (mentioned in nr. 4) and take them first to the barracks of the of Baarle-Nassau police station.  All that took place with the consent of the brigade commander Ch.C. DE CIER from Baarle-Nassau.  When I couldn’t take them directly to Brussels, I would hide them with some students from Wagen (Wagenische studenten)  [here he means the students from the Agricultural University of Wageningen] who were hiding in the forest “De Hertgang”, property “Of Utrecht” in Esbeek.  Those students would be warned by the marechaussees about the upcoming raids.

All the airmen were led by me to Mme E. CHABOT, already mentioned, and to Mr ERNEST VAN MORLEGHEM, superintendent of police in Ixelles, Brussels, rue Jules Lejeune, 4.  The latter has most probably been shot in a German concentration camp in Bayreuth, in early 1945.

More information concerning that can be obtained at:

– “The American Military Intelligence Service”, rue Kindermans, 12, Brussels, where I sent a report as detailed as possible (with names)

– The Sûreté de l’Etat (State Safety) of Belgium, avenue Louise in Brussels

– Mr. DE CONINCK, commander of the secret Army in Malines, chaussée d’Anvers à Malines.

My helpers in those operations were the persons cited under nr. 4 as well as the students from the forest “of Utrecht” in Esbeek.  The line was called: BRAVERY.

Due to the arrest of a certain WILLEM SCHMIDT in Turnhout (Belg.) on November 15, 1943, most of the line members were caught by the G.F.P. in Anvers.  As to me, I managed to avoid being arrested.  Among the detained people were:

Death penalty:

 THEO VOGELS, Diessenscheweg, Hilvarenbeek, deceased in Germany.

CORN. VAN DER HEIJDEN, Diessenscheweg, Hilvarenbeek, probably transferred to Braniëbourg; still without news

MARCEL V. D. HEIJDEN,       same             same

GUSTAAF V. D. HEIJDEN,     same             same

Death penalty:

J. OUDEMANS, Schovenhorst, Putten (Gld). Probably in a concentration camp. Still without news.

Death penalty:

J. DE KONING, laan van Meerdervoort, ‘s-Gravenhage, probably in a concentration camp. Still without news.

10 years:

P. VAN GEEL, businessman Hilvarenbeek. Came back from Germany.

JEANNE WILLEMS, Overheide 30, Weelde (Belgium). Came back from Germany.

Death penalty:

Mme E. CHABOT, rue Jules Lejeune, 4, Brussels. Came back from Germany.

Mme L. AMBACH, rue Jules Lejeune, 4, Brussels. Came back from Germany.

Mr. E. VANMOORLEGHEM, rue Jules Lejeune, 4, see pg. 5.

3 years:

Mme M. FRISQUE, rue Jules Lejeune, 4, Brussels. Came back from Germany.

10 years:

Mme N. VAN GELLICUM? Av. Brugmann, 422, Brussels. Came back from Germany[21].

From November 1943 till February 1944 I hid in ‘s-Gravenhage while remaining in touch with the earlier mentioned ELSJE BOON and Mr. P. WIBBENS.  We were then asked to create a new line for the purpose of transferring to England important Dutch subjects.  BOON would take those people to Brussels, Mr. WIBBENS from Brussels to Paris, Mr. VAN HUGENPOTH from Paris to Bordeaux whereas the transfer in Spain would be secured by me. For that purpose Mr. F.W. BARON VAN HUGENPOTH[22] (attorney residing then in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Oude Dieze 2, deceased in a German concentration camp) and myself went to Paris escorted by CHRISTIAAN LINDEMANS, dubbed King-Kong.

Probably betrayed by the latter, we were arrested in March 1944 by the “Sicherheitsdienst” (Security Service) and transferred to the prison of the Deutsche Wehrmacht in Fresnes near Paris where I was kept captive for five months.

As the Allied troops were nearing, we were evacuated to Buchenwald, from Buchenwald I was transferred to Ellrich, from Ellrich to Dora (near Nordhausen) and from Dora to Ravensbrück.  On April 28, 1945 I escaped from Ravensbrück and was liberated last May in Putlitz (Mecklenburg) by the Russian troops.

‘s-Gravenhage, July 16, 1945.

[1] Translation by Kristine Eriksen, January 2006.  Sub-headings and footnotes added by Bruce Bolinger, February 2006.

[2] This is the farm family where the Dutch students hid.

[3] De kievet is at the end of Prins Hendriklaan on the way into the Landgoed de Utrecht.

[4] De Koekoek is just west of the fire tower.

[5] “De Hertgang” appears on the Map of the Landgoed de Utrecht just northeast of the

De Bruijn farm at “Dun.”  The hunting shelter used by Wormgoor was located in the “De Hertgang.”  See interviews with Jan Wolterson and Dick Los.  See more on Hoogenraad on p. 4.

[6] This is the street in Hilvarenbeek on which the VAN DER HEIJDENS lived.

[7]  According to Jacob Jonker, AOOI stands for “Adjudant-OnderOfficier-Instructeur,” and is called the “adjutant.”  It is the highest NCO rank.  The “Instructeur” means “instructor” and refers to his responsibility for training the young marechaussees.  Normally the commander of a district was an officer.  But as a result of the reorganization of the marechaussees by the Germans, there were not enough officers and, therefore, NCO’s did the job.

[8] See references to Linthorst Homan on pp. 11, 23-24 of interview with Charlotte Ambach.

[9] According to Jacob Jonker, there was a Dr. Aussems, a male medical doctor at Goirle who, during the war helped people on the run from the Germans and needed medical aid.  When necessary to fool the Germans, he would provide false medical declarations.  Is this the same person referred to by Karst in this report?  (Did the translation confuse the gender?)  In my interview with Karst, he said it was at Dr. Ausem’s house in Goirle where they interrogated the German agent Kopp.

[10] This would be Charles Ferdinand Pahud de Mortanges.  According to his nephew, Dr. C.F.W. Pahud de Mortanges, a professor at the University of Liege, his uncle was a famous Olympic equestrian, holding the Dutch record for Olympic medals for almost 80 years.  Sent to a German military prison camp, he escaped, reached England, and formed the Princess Irene Brigade that participated in the Normandy invasion.  The “Ritm” is an abbreviation for “Ritmeester,” a Dutch captain of cavalry.  According to Jacob Jonker, Pahud de Mortanges was the leader of a Resistance group.  When he learned that the Germans were after him, he fled to England.

[11] Sent e-mail to Vredestein Banden BV for info on Schiff which was acknowledged 2/20/06.  They replied 2/28/06 saying that my letter referred to the two retired former employees, Mr. Dijks and Mr. Nieuwenhuis, who run their museum for comment.

[12] A website for J.W. de Bruyn Kops, describes his escape to England and that of three friends, Govert van den Bosch, Frederik Trip, and Oscar de Brey.  The Trip is likely to be the person referred to on the next line in the report.

[13] His father would have been L.J.A. Trip, President, De Nederlandsche Bank, 12 Oct. 1931 to 19 March 1941 and May 1945 to 1 May 1946.   Secretary-General, Ministry of Finance, 25 May 1940 to 19 Mar. 1941.  According to Walter B. Maass, The Netherlands at War: 1940-1945, it was L.J.A.Trip who guaranteed reimbursement after the war to those who gave loans to the National Aid Fund (NSF), a large organization that aided people being persecuted.

[14] “Houthandel” means timber trade or wood trade.  Sent e-mail to the company on 2/23/06.  They replied they knew nothing about the matter.  On 2/24/06 wrote again requesting name of head of the company during WWII.  On 2/28/06 wrote the Rotterdam Central Library.

[15] See file on Elsje Boon.

[16] See also the Krol referred to on p. 3.  Jacob Jonker doesn’t know what “R.M.I.” stands for but he thinks the “R” stands for “Rijk,” i.e., governmental.

[17] See references to her on pp. 6, 11-12, and 19 of Ambach interview.  She lived down the street from Schrynemakers.

[18] Bureau Bijzondere Opdracten, literally Bureau for Special Missions.  See info on it in Kelso’s Errors of Judgment.  Also see Verkaik under item 5,Distribution of Coupons.

[19] See HOOGENRAAD also on p. 1.

[20] See also on p. 4.

[21] See also on p. 4.  See also references to her in the Ambach interview.

[22] Karst said that his full family name was Van Hugenpoth Totdau Beerenclauv, a lawyer in Den Bosch.  However, a website,

<; , refers to a “J.B. Baron van Hugenpoth tot den Beerenclauw, Advocaat-Generaal bij het Prov. Geregtshof van Noord-Brabant, te ‘s Hertogenbosch.”  Is it the same person or a relative?