Civilians in the Line

On this page I am listing  civilians who were connected to the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  Marechaussees are to be found on a separate page.  The civilian members are grouped by the community where they appear to have been active.  Some were active in more than one town or city and may appear more than once.  The list is incomplete and I will be adding names periodically.   Please note also that there will be many instances where people were active in escape lines in the same communities but were not connected to the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  Three examples would be Maria Cornelissen-Verhoeven of Baarle-Nassau, Coba Pulskens of Tilburg, and Paulus W.A. Landman of Hilvarenbeek (who was active in Maastricht).  I would like to correspond with the families of any of the people listed.  Cities and towns in Belgium will be marked with “(Belg.)”  All others will be in The Netherlands.  To see a map of The Netherlands during 1940-1945 showing the towns listed below, click here.


  • Drukker, Mrs. – Lived at Utrechtsche Weg 44, Amersfort.  “Mrs. Drukker” was listed by Karst Smit as one of his contacts in his file at the US National Archives.  She is now identified as Marretje Henriette Drukker-Lind, wife of Dr. Jan Drukker and sister of Nel Elisabeth Lind of the Fiat Libertas escape line.  Dr. and Mrs. Drukker aided some five or six Allied airmen before they had to go into hiding in November 1943.


  • Boissevain, Jan and Mies – In a letter to Yad Vashem, Eugene van der Heijden listed as one of their contacts,  “Boissevain, Corellistraat 6, Amsterdam.”  According to the Amsterdam Stadsarchief, Jan Boissevain and his wife  Adrienne Minette (Mies) Boissevain-van Lennep, and their children lived at that address.  Since Jan was arrested in 1941, it appears that Van der Heijden’s contact probably was with Mies and/or one of her sons, Janka and Gi.  Their address may have been the origin of the name of their Resistance group, CS-6.  The connection to the Boissevain family may have been through Elise Chabot and Charlotte Ambach.  According to Charlotte, the Boissevain family was related to friends of Chabot.  In the late 1930s two of the Chabot sons, John and Fred, stayed at the Double Arrow Ranch in Montana owned by the Boissevain family, first as guests, then as employees.  For more on Mies van Lennep, see

Anderlecht (Belg.)

  • Zwaan, Simon – Lived at Heyvaertstraat 213.  Simon was one of the  sons of Cornelis Zwaan of Mechelen.  Karst Smit and Christiaan Lindemans (King Kong) would sometimes spend the night there.


  • Bloem, Dr. Theo – Dr. Bloem provided Karst Smit with civilian clothes and buried his marechaussee uniform in his garden when Karst had to go into hiding.  He transported airmen across the border in the trunk of his car.
  • Brother Alexius
  • Brother Aloisius
  • Buteyn, W.A. – Served as a customs collector in Baarle-Nassau and, later, in Goirle.  Karst Smit included Buteyn in his 1945 list of people for a reunion in Baarle-Nassau and in a letter to David Jonkers in 1974.  In  his 1945 report Karst said that Buteyn helped distribute coupons to families with fathers in hiding.  Buteyn’s helper file says that he assisted at the border crossing by distracting the attention of the Germans.  He is also listed in the helper files of Maria Cornelissen-Verhoeven,  Meeuwisse, Gerritsen,and Van Iersel.
  • De Kerf, Kapelaan Jos
  • Diepstraten, Petrus – A coal merchant, he transported airmen in a hidden compartment in his coal truck across the border into Belgium.
  • Fick, Kapelaan Arnoldus
  • Geeraerts, Cornelia Michael – owner of the Het Wapen van Nassau restaurant
  • Govaerts, Dr.
  • Gulickx, Gerard
  • Slockers, Marcel and Joke – Marcel Slockers hid Karst Smit for three days after Karst went into hiding.
  • Van Beek – Marechaussees were quartered with this family.  They also provided meals for people crossing the border.  The family lived on Ordeelsestraat.
  • Van der Schoof – The family provided many meals for refugees.
  • Van Kuijk, Dré – Van Kuijk produced false identification for Karst Smit for use after he left Baarle-Nassau for a new hiding place in Breda.
  • Verheijen, Cees – owner of the cafe “Den Engel.”


  • Hennekens, Max and Rene – Two brothers who helped Ed Sobolewski and Harry Horton, Jr.   In their helper files, both list Alphonse Raaijmakers of Vught as a contact and Raaijmakers’ helper file lists Max Hennekens.


  • Hesselmans – Marechaussees Huub Meuwisse and David Jonkers went into hiding with the Hesselmans family.
  • Leermakers, Piet – A veterinarian in Biest-Houtakker, he was active in assisting Allied airmen.  He and Jan van Dongen, one of the students of the student hideout in the Landgoed de Utrecht (see under Esbeek) were shot down by the SD in a raid in September 1944.  Marechaussees Meeuwisse and Jonkers were at the nearby Hesselmans farm.


  • Rombout, Machiel Willem (“Rob Kooymans”) – Had contacts with Cor van der Hooft, Wim Schmidt, Leo Verkaik, Ton Hoogenraad, Eppo Boer, etc.
  • Van der Hooft, Cor – See under Chaam-Bavel.

Brussels (Belg.)

  • Ambach, Charlotte – The apartment of Ambach and her mother, Elise Chabot, became the reception center for arriving Allied airmen after Karst stopped using Marie Krauss.  To see an interview with Charlotte, click here.
  • Chabot, Elise – Mother of Charlotte Ambach and Madelon Frisque.
  • Frisque, Madelon – Sister of Charlotte Ambach and daughter of Elise Chabot.  She and her husband lived in the same apartment house as Ambach and Chabot.
  • Krauss, Marie – Karst Smit’s first contact in Brussels, she provided a safe house for arriving fugitives.
  • Maaskant, Jan – Dutch Calvinist minister who gave Karst Smit the name of Pleijte/Pleyte.
  • Neven, Pieter – Director of the Dutch school 19 rue d’Outremont, he hid Allied airmen and provided food.
  • Pleijte/Pleyte – A Dutchman living in Brussels, his name was provided to Karst Smit by Rev. Maaskant.  Pleijte provided Karst with the name of Elise Chabot.
  • Van Gellicum, Nel – Born in 1881 in The Hague, her full name was Petronella (Nel) Van Gellicum-Kamps.   Reportedly she was the widow of a Dutch general.  However, I have not been able to identify a general by the name of Van Gellicum.   Kamps was her maiden name.  Belgian records show that she was married to Jean Antoine Van Gellicum (born in Deil, The Netherlands,  Mar. 7, 1873) who died in Brussels Mar. 4, 1936.  Karst Smit reported that he assisted her to escape from The Netherlands.  But that must have been after she made a return trip to The Netherlands because Belgian records show her living in Brussels since at least 1935.    Until her arrest on 18 November 1943, she lived at 421 Ave. Brugmann, Brussels (in the canton of Uccle).  She made her apartment available to escaping Dutch patriots (Engelandvaarders) on their way to England.  German trial records list the Dutch couple, Alex van Doren and Elise van Langen, as among people she helped.  Another person was Eric Schiff, an Engelandvaarder, and a Yugoslav officer, Slobodan Ninchowitsj (sp?), who made it to England and joined the RAF.  She was also part of the Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas intelligence line.  It was she who introduced Jan Wannee, head of that line, to Elise Chabot and Charlotte Ambach.  When Willem Schmidt did not return from guiding Nello Malavasi to Brussels, Karst Smit went in search of him.  It was from Nel Van Gellicum that he learned that Chabot and Ambach had been arrested.  Mrs. Van Gellicum was imprisoned at St. Gilles Prison and, consequently, was on the Phantom Train.  After the war she was a member of the  Amicale des Rescapés du dernier convoi – 3 september 1944.


  • Van der Hooft, Cor – He was the customs border agent in Chaam but at the same time was the leader of the LO/LKP in West Brabant and had numerous connections to Karst Smit.


  • Van Ostade A farmer at Molenstraat 126, Diessen with whom Karst Smit hid an onderduiker by the name of J. Kunst.


  • Van Laanen, Cor – Worked with the Otten family of Erp and Father Woestenberg of Schijndel.  Guided some 40 airmen including George Duffee and Thomas Madsin.

Enschede (for a website on Enschede in the war, click here.)

  • Alberts, Piet – Contact of Cornelis Brasz.
  • Brasz, Cornelis – Brother-in-law of Bertram Brasz of Tilburg
  • Jannink, Hendrik (Henty) Egbert – Henty and his wife Mies were key contacts of the Smit-van der Heijden line in Enschede.
  • Jannink Bruyns,  Joanna (Mies) – Mies may have been more involved in Resistance activities than Henty.
  • Lotgerink, Dr. – Professor at the hospital.  Contact of Bertram Brasz of Tilburg.
  • Meerburg, Dick – A lawyer, he had connections to the Dutch-Paris Line.
  • Morsink, Jan
  • Overduijn, Pastor Leendert– He is the best-known member of the Resistance in Enschede, having helped numerous Jews.  For a website with more information on Paston Overduijn, click here.
  • Pekelharing, Cornelis
  • Prins, Dr. – Surgeon in Enschede.  Contact of Bertram Brasz of Tilburg.
  • Ter Horst, Johannes – Contact of Cornelis Brasz.
  • Van der Meer, Dirk
  • Velsing, Dr. Tjibbo Sjoerd
  • Wolterink, W.

Esbeek (includes the Landgoed de Utrecht)

  • Broeders, Mien – Did laundry for the students in hiding, did their shopping for groceries, shirts, and tobacco.  She also visited their parents and passed information back and forth between the students and their parents.
  • De Bruijn (De Bruyn), Adrianus – Owner of the “In den Bockenreijder” inn and the De Bruijn farm where the students moved into the chicken coop.  Karst Smit placed the onderduiker H. Tinnemeijer with the De Bruijns.
  • De Konink, Jan – One of the students at the hideout in the Landgoed de Utrecht.
  • Gielens, Piet – Hunting guard at the forest “de Utrecht.”  He worked with Hub van Dooren of Tilburg in assisting airmen who had bee shot down.
  • Kuitenbrouwer, Jan – Secretary to Wormgoor.  A fellow-student, he was a friend of the students in the hideout.
  • Los, Dick – One of the students at the hideout in the Landgoed de Utrecht.  He and Jan Wolterson were the only students of that group to survive the war.
  • Maillé, Geert – Forest ranger at the Landgoed de Utrecht
  • Oudemans, Jan (Johannes Theodorus) – One of the students at the hideout.
  • Schilders, Joke (Joke Husemeier-Schilders) – She mended their socks and did other repair work on the clothing of the students.  She also baked cookies and cakes for them.
  • Van Dongen, Jan – One of the students in the hideout.
  • Van Eijk – A farmer at the De Kieviet (Kievit) farm at the end of Prins Hendriklaan with whom Karst Smit hid the onderduiker J. Tinnemeijer.
  • Van der Lier, Dirk – A farmer in the vicinity of Esbeek with whom Karst hid an onderduiker by the name of Jan (last name unknown).
  • V.d.Biggelaar – A farmer at the De Koekoek farm just west of the Houtvesterij, the fire tower, south of Esbeek.  Kast Smit hid his brother Rommy Smit with the farmer.
  • Wolterson, Jan – One of the students in the hideout in the Landgoed de Utrecht.  He and Dick Los were the only students of that group to survive the war.
  • Wormgoor, Herman, Sr. – Superintendent of the Langoed de Utrecht, he let the students use lumber from the forest of “de Utrecht” to build their hideout.  He arranged for Dutch men to work as woodcutters in the forest, far more than would normally be used, to avoid being sent to Germany as forced labor.


  • Ausems, Dr. Egbert – Contacted Karst Smit about “the Canadian,” the German agent whose real name was Kopp and helped interrogate him.  The doctor was also connected to the Tilburg Medical Service.  Dr. Ausems was the brother of Andreas Ausems, the Dutch secret agent guided by Karst Smit across the border and to Brussels.
  • Buteyn, W. – See listed above under Baarle-Nassau.
  • De Kort, Dr. Willebrordus – Connected to Dr. Ausems and the Fathers at Nieuwkerk.
  • Heeren, Constant – Shipping agent and/or travel agent.  In addition, he owned a cafe on the Dutch side of the Dutch-Belgian border.   His sister-in-law, Octavie (Vieteke) Schoeters of Poppel, carried escape line mail across the border  into Belgium in order to mail it in Poppel.
  • Hoogers (Hogers), Nico – Listed as a contact of Kees van Hombergh, ter Haar, W.J. Martens of Alphen.  Hoogers is sometimes listed as being from Tilburg.  In the helper file of Van Hombergh, Hoogers is listed as being connected to the Paters Heilige Familie.
  • Smits, Henricus A.C. – Cafe restaurant Smits.  Provided lodging for airmen.
  • Smulders, Frans – Employed on the estate “Gorp en Roovert.”
  • Van Puijenbroek, Eduard – Director of the estate “Gorp en Roovert.”
  • Verkerk family – Provided civilian clothes to marechaussees Jonkers and Meeuwisse when they had to go into hiding.


  • Beerens, Helena
  • Bout, Nick – Border agent who helped Eugene van der Heijden.
  • Den Otter family – Marechaussee Albert Wisman went into hiding at their home.
  • Hendriks – Baker who provided bread for the students at the Landgoed de Utrecht without requiring coupons.
  • Naaijkens, Jan – Guided airman Tom Applewhite from near Moergestel to Hilvarenbeek.  Made false stamps for false ID.  For an article about him on the occasion of his death, click here.  For a video about his life and career, click here.
  • Putters, Jan and his brother – Tailors.  Would warn when German police arrived in Hilvarenbeek.
  • Rovers, J.
  • Simons, Ida– Fiancee of Marcel van der Heijden.
  • Soontjes (Soontiens, Zoontjes), Theo – Worked at the Hilvarenbeek city hall and was a member of Group André.  He was one of those Karst Smit listed in the letter of 26 Sept. 1945 regarding a reunion in Baarle-Nassau.
  • Teepen, Miss – Nurse
  • Van der Heijden family – This included the father, Josephus Cornelis, and the sons, Marcel, Eugene, Gustaf, Willij, and Jef.  See the separate pages about them.
  • Van Geel, Petrus – Dealer straw.  Provided German gasoline to the marechaussees for their motorcycle and straw to the students to insulate the chicken coop.
  • Van Halteren, Kees – Employed on the estate “Gorp en Roovert.”
  • Vogels, Theo (Theodorus) A.M. – Active member of the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  Arrested when the line was penetrated.  First sentenced to death but this was changed to 10 years hard labor.  Died of typhus a few days after liberation.  See also his half-brother , Bart de Kanter of Tilburg.
  • Vos family – They hid Gertrude Mann, one of the Dutch Jews.
  • Wolfs family – Had a farm at Biest-Houtakker where they hid marechaussees Jonkers and Meeuwisse.


  • Dekker, Hilda – Escorted airmen to Brabant.  Connected to the Van Aalderens.
  • Duiker, Douwe – Provided photos for airmen’s false ID.  Worked with Johannes van Aalderen.
  • Hemstede, Gerrit – A barber, he gave airmen haircuts and shaves.  Worked with the Van Aalderens.
  • Van Aalderen, Albert – Same as Johannes.
  • Van Aalderen, Johannes – Aided Allied airmen passed on to Willem Schmidt.


  • Boon, Eljse – Linked to the Smit-van der Heijden Line was the Leiden University escape line of students, sometimes called the BM Line, led by Elsje Boon and Pieter Wibbens.  After the Smit-van der Heijden Line was penetrated by the Germans and Karst Smit went into hiding, Elsje Boon recruited him into a new escape line.  Karst and Elsie were among the many betrayed by Christiaan Lindemans, also known as King Kong.  She escaped from the train taking her and other prisoners to the concentration camp at Vught.  In 1946, Elsie Boon and her future husband appeared in a film dramatization of their Resistance activities, which can be viewed at  For more on her, see

Mechelen (Malines) (Belg.)

  • De Keersmaeker – Referred to by Karst Smit as a leader of the Belgian Resistance.  Involved in sabotage along with Christiaan (Chris) Lindemans.
  • De Coninck (De Koninck), Joseph – Also referred to by Karst as a leader of the Belgian Resistance.  His address was Antwerpschesteegweg 344, Mechelen.  Karst delivered intelligence to him.
  • Zwaan, Cornelis – A wealthy seed merchant originally from Enkhuizen, he provided food and money to the escape line.  His address was Hof ter Linden, Battel, Mechelen.   Karst Smit spent several nights at his home while on missions.
  • Zwaan, Elly – Daughter of Cornelis.  Served as a courier for the Resistance.  Worked with Christiaan Lindemans before he went over to the Germans.
  • Zwaan, Simon – Son of Cornelis Zwaan.  Karst Smit and Lindemans sometimes stayed the night at Simon’s home.

Meppel & Staphorst

  • “Arie of Meppel” – Last name unknown.  According to the German arrest records, he worked closely with Willem Schmidt.  In an article written by Eugene van der Heijden, “Arie” was their contact in Hoogeveen.  He guided at least one airman.  An “Arie” of Meppel came to warn Jef van der Heijden of Hilvarenbeek that he was in danger of arrest and guided him to the Koenders family of Meppel.
  • Boldewijn, Jan – Identified, variously, as being from Meppel or Staphorst.  His contacts included the Van der Heijden family of Hilvarenbeek and W. Mink of Enschede.  He transported airmen and provided food ration cards.
  • Jagersma, Fokke – Of Meppel.  Delivered airman Art Cullum to Baarle-Nassau.
  • Jansen, Gerard – Of Meppel.   Involved in delivering Art Cullum to the Van der Heijden family of Hilvarenbeek.  Note overlap with Jagersma.
  • Koenders family of Meppel – Jef van der Heijden went into hiding with them.
  • Van den Hurk, Peter – Leader of the Meppel-Staphorst pilot line.
  • Van Oosten, Harm – He had contact with Karst Smit and the Van der Heijden family.  Eugene van der Heijden spoke of him in his article “The Students” for The Escape Nieuwsbulletin.


Several airmen helped by the Smit-van der Heijden Line passed through Moergestel, including Baker, Coleman, Davidson, Holmes, and Shetler.  The following names of helpers probably greatly understates the number of people in Moergestel connected to Smit-van der Heijden.

  • Lambertus, Father (Theo Vermeulen) – Member of the Assumptionist order at the Hoogenhuizen in Moergestel).  David Jonkers (see list of marechaussees), while in hiding in Moergestel, helped some airmen find hiding places, including the Assumptionists (which he mistakenly called the Redemptoristenklooster).
  • Lentink, Gerrit – A forester, he was listed as a contact by marechaussee David Jonkers.
  • Mulderij, Kees – A marechaussee assigned to Moergestel.
  • Schade, Carol – Owner of the tavern De Jonge Hertog (The Young Duke) near Moergestel, where Tom Applewhite was passed from two guides to a new guide,  Jan Naaijkens of Hilvarenbeek.
  • Van Kasteren, Jan – Manager of De Jonge Hertog tavern.


  • Van der Heyden, Alfons He was in touch with marechaussee Theo Backx of Esbeek and Hubert van Dooren of Tilburg.


  • Roelvink – In the first week of June 1943, a veterinarian from Oirschot by the name of Roelvink delivered the first airman to the Smit-van der Heijden Line, a Canadian by the name of R.F. Conroy.


  • Van der Klei, Simon (“Bim”) – He worked with the marechaussee Theo Backx of Esbeek and the Putters brothers in Hilvarenbeek.   (See “De Marechausee  en de Pilotenlijnen” by Jacob Jonker.)  Airmen helped by him were Lorne Shetler, Eli Baker, Derrick Colemen, Ernest Holmes, Robert Stobbs, John Christie, and Herbert Brown.  Van der Klei is also listed as a contact by Carol Schade of Moergestel and M.E Hoogenraad of Tilburg (in his 1983 report to the Tilburg Regional Archive).

Poppel (Belg.)

  • De Jong-v.d. Abeelen, Yvonne – Cafe owner in Poppel, probably the Kemph Café.  She helped American airmen Jack Justice and Art Horning.  She and Raymakers were the only persons from Poppel listed in the 1945 letter by Karst Smit regarding a reunion in Baarle-Nassau.  She is the first person on the list of prisoners of the Ghost (Phantom) Train.
  • Heijkants, Emile – With his farm situated on the Dutch-Belgian border, he was ideally situated to help escapees, some of whom were passed to him by Marechausee A.J. Van Broekhoeven of Goirle.  His farm is sometimes identified as being at Nieuwkerk.
  • Keysers, Jozef – Connected to Dr. Bloem of Baarle-Nassau.  Helped airman Art Horning.
  • Raymakers (Raeymaekers, Raeymackers), Henri – Helped airmen Horning and MacGillivray.  Raymakers and De Jong were the only persons from Poppel listed in the 1945 letter by Karst Smit regarding a reunion in Baarle-Nassau.
  • Smolders, Adriaan – Helped airman Art Horning.  Connected to Raymakers, De Jong, and Jeanne Willems of Weelde.
  • Van de Pol, Jozef (“Jef”) and Trientje Dierckx – The Claes sisters of Vorselaar guided escaped French prisoners of war to the Van de Pol family farm located in Mierdsedijk, Poppel where they all had a meal and spent the night before continuing on to Turnhout.  There were three sons, including Jan and Jaak.  After the war Jan was a p0liceman in Herenthout.  The family also helped fleeing Jews.
  • Van Tilborg-Schoeters, Oktavie (Vieteke) – She was the sister-in-law of Constant Heeren of Goirle (see above) who was married to Oktavie’s sister Marie-José Schoeters.  Oktavie worked at Heeren’s cafe on the Dutch side of the border and would carry escape line mail across the Dutch-Belgian border to mail it in Poppel where she lived.  That way the messages avoided inspection by the Germans as international mail.  After the war Oktavie married Henry van Tilborg.
  • Verhoeven, Ida – According to Marechaussee Huub Meeuwisse, Verhoeven was allowed to smuggle goods across the border in exchange for assisting in the escape line.  She received the Dutch agents Ubbink and Dourlein from Meeuwisse and Jonkers.


Located between Tilburg and Goirle, Riel sat astride the escape route for many of the airmen helped by the Smit-van der Heijden Line.

  • De Rooy – The youngest son was their lookout when members of the line were on the run because of the arrest and execution of Verhoeven, Gerritsen, and Van Gestel.  Listed by M.E. “Ton” Hoogenraad as a contact.
  • Van den Hout, Adrianus – He was linked to the Marechaussees Van Gestel, Gerritsen, Niessen, Selten, Van Broekhoven, and Backx, as well as Jan Putters of Hilvarenbeek and M.E. Hoogenraad and Eppo Boer of Tilburg.


  • Der Kinderen, Marinus (Martin, Martien) – He aided some five airmen, including George Duffee (RAF).  Karst Smit, in his “Tram Adventure” article about guiding Duffee to Antwerp, said Duffee “came in the capable hands of our member Martin der Kinderen from Rosmalen.” With Duffee, Der Kinderen wrote the book, 23 Juni 1943, Halifax EY-S Keerde Niet Terug (Never Returned,) about Duffee’s experiences.


  • Woestenberg, Frederick Joseph (Chaplain) – Worked with Marechaussee Theo. Backx of Esbeek, the Putters brothers of Hilvarenbeek, Bim Van der Klei of Oisterwijk, and Cor van Laanen of Dinther.


  • Van Wijlen, Adriaan – Leader of a very effective escape line, Group André. Among the airmen helped were Davidson, Coleman, Shetler, and Baker, all assisted by the Smit-van der Heijden Line as well.  However, there are some discrepancies as to dates when shot down that need to be resolved.   Persons linked to both groups included Theo Soontiens of Hilvarenbeek,  Cor van der Hooft of Breda, and Jan Franken of Tilburg.

The Hague

  • Van der Linden, Gerard – Connected to Group André of Sprang-Capelle.  Listed by M.E. “Ton” Hoogenraad of Tilburg as a contact.

Tervuren (Belg.)

  • Maaskant, Rev. J. – Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church who provided Karst Smit with the name of Pleijte.   Rev.  Maaskant was not truly a member of the line, but he was instrumental in helping Karst to find a new Brussels contact for arriving airmen, etc., because Pleijte provided Karst with the name of Elise Chabot.


  • Aarts, Gijs – Police detective
  • Brasz, Bertram H. and his wife Jo Brasz-Buisman – Key members of the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  Bertram Brasz helped Dries Hoek of Enschede, the first Dutch Jew who passed through the Smit-van der Heijden Line.
  • Capuchin convent (monastery?) in Tilburg.
  • De Boer, Berend (“Eppo Boer”) – Next-door-neighbor of Bertram Brasz.  Accompanied Brasz on dangerous missions.  Served as second-in-command to M.E. Hoogenraad in charge of the district of Tilburg for the L.O.  Born in 1910, he later lived in the village of Beetsterzwaag.
  • De Kanter, Bart – Half-brother of Theo Vogels and active guide of airmen.
  • Franken, Jan (“Jos”) – Connected to Jacques Raaijmakers of Den Bosch through the L.O.  Listed by M.E. “Ton” Hoogenraad in his report to the Tilburg Regional Archives as one of his contacts.
  • Hoogenraad, M.E. “Ton Steen” – Former commanding officer of Karst Smit in the Jagers.  District commander of the L.O. in Tilburg.  Served in the Dutch East Indies after WWII.  Afterwards moved to Australia.
  • Hoogers, Nico – Listed as a contact of Kees van Hombergh, ter Haar, W.J. Martens of Alphen.  Hoogers is sometimes listed as being from Goirle.  In the helper file of Van Hombergh, Hoogers is listed as being connected to the Paters Heilige Familie of Goirle.
  • Hornman, Peter (Petrus) – (Group Peter) An inspector of food distribution during the war, he aided escaped French and Belgian POWs.  Worked with the Pirottin sisters and Linhorst according to a 1947 Tilburg police report.  Listed by Hoogenraad as a contact.  Aided 11 Allied airmen.  Connections to Baarle-Nassau, Moergestel, Goirle.
  • Kox, Kees – Bus driver who delivered escapees from Tilburg, according to marechaussee Selten.
  • Pirotin, sisters – Connected to Padre Lambertus of Moergestel and Maria Cornelissen-Verhoeven of Baarle-Nassau.
  • Schoenmakers – Referred to in a report by the SD man P.J. Gerrits as being the person to provide a car for transport of French POWs.  Connected to Marcel van der Heijden.
  • “Uncle Frits” – A pastor at one of the schools in Tilburg who helped with robberies.  Listed by M.E. “Ton” Hoogenraad as a contact.
  • Van Bilsen, Frans – Former policeman who aided the Dutch secret agents Ubbink and Dourlein.  Later assassinated as a German agent, apparently on faulty information.
  • Van Bommel, Petrus – Linked to Piet Leermaker of Biest Houtakker and Adrianus Van Gestel of Baarle-Nassau.
  • Van de Loo, Dr. W. (“Wim”) – Listed by M.E. “Ton” Hoogenraad as a contact and, after the war, as a doctor at the Orthopedic Hospital in Apeldoorn.  V.d.Loo assisted with the birth of two of Hoogenraad’s children.
  • Van den Hout, Adrianus – Linked to Hoogenraad, Eppo Boer, and six of the marechaussees in Baarle-Nassau, Esbeek, and Goirle.
  • Van Dooren, HubertVan Dooren and Dams Textile Manufacturers of Tilburg.  Provided food and clothing to the students at the Landgoed de Utrecht.  His car was used to transport escaped French POWs.
  • Van Gorp, Jan – Bus driver who delivered escapees fromTilburg, according to the marechaussee Selten.
  • Van Harssel, Leonie – Credited with helping 12 airmen.  Survived concentration camp.  Connected to Piet Leermakers of Biest-Houtakker and Marechaussee Albert Wisman of Goirle.  Listed as a contact by Hoogenraad.  Her sister Elisabeth worked with her.
  • Van Vlught, Ton – Director of a textile plane, he was listed as a contact by M.E. “Ton” Hoogenraad in his 1983 report to the Tiburg Regional Archive.
  • Van Wanrooy, Johannes – Connected to Hoogenraad, Hornman, and Van Harssel sisters.  M.E. Hoogenraad (“Ton Steen”), district leader of the L.O. in Tilburg, in a 1983 report to the Tilburg Regional Archives, referred to J. van Wanrooy Pijnenburg and his wife Wiesje as being very familiar with his work.

Turnhout (Belg.)

  • Cafe Jos. Engels – Karst Smit identified the cafe as one of his contact addresses.  He described it as “opposite Rly. Station, Turnhout.”)  It is probably here that guide Willem Schmidt and airman Nello Malavasi were arrested on 15 Nov. 1943, leading to the destruction of the escape line.  It is also likely to be the place airman Lloyd A. Stanford referred to when he said in his escape and evasion report that on about 26 October 1943, “We stopped at a beer joint in TURNHOUT which seemed to be a post office for the underground organization.  Then our guide, a boy with thick lensed glasses [Willem Schmidt] took us to ANTWERP and on to BRUSSELS.”

Vorselaar (Belg.)

  • Claes family: The four daughters, Madelein, Gusta, Marie, and Julia – They acted as guides for escaping French prisoners of war, taking them first to the farm of the Van De Pol family in Poppel and then by tram to Antwerp.


  • Holla, Harrie (Harry) (H.B.S.) – A leader in the L.O., he had close cconnections to Fons and Jacques Raaijmakers, also of Vught.
  • Raaijmakers, Fons and Jacques – These two brothers were the guides of Tom Applewhite from Bokhoven on 13 Nov. 1943.  Among their contacts were Eugene van der Heijden, Jan Naaijkens, Harrie Otten of Erp, Nol van  Dijk of Boxtel, and Theo Vogels of Tilburg.  According to a list provided by Eugene van der Heijden to Paul Pouwels, Fons Raaijmakers guided airmen Sobolewski, Horton, Burch, and Stanford as well as Applewhite.


  • Police – In his article, “The Students,” Eugene van der Heijden listed some of their contacts in different communities.  For Waalwijk, he wrote, “The police of the place?”  One of the marechaussees who worked with Karst Smit in Baarle-Nassau, said in his helper file that on 1 March 1943, he went from Group Waalwyk to Baarle-Nassau.   In the helper file of C.G. de Gier, he lists among his contacts, Van Strien, Mounted Police, Waalwijk.

Weelde (Belg.)

  • Daems, Pierre Louis (Father) – He assisted several airmen and was in contact with Marechaussees Gerritsen, Van Gestel, and Van Broekhoven as well as Jeanne Willems, among others.
  • Hermans, Luis – According to his helper file, Hermans sheltered three airmen.  He is listed as being a member of “‘Intelligence Service’ S. MARC.”  Hermans was listed in the letter dated 26 Sept. 1945 from Karst Smit regarding a reunion in Baarle-Nassau.
  • Lenaerts, Albert – He is linked to Yvonne de Jong of Poppel and Jeanne Willems.
  • Segers-Ooms, Maria – Ran the Segers-Ooms Cafe in Weelde.  Escaping airmen and their guides stashed their bicycles in the animal pens behind the cafe.  They would wait at the cafe for the bus to Turnhout.  Karst Smit would change clothes there.  She was listed by Karst Smit in his letter of 26 Sep. 1945 for the reunion in Baarle-Nassau.
  • Willems, Jeanne – She was one of the three people from Weelde listed by Karst Smit in his letter of 26 Sep. 1945 for the reunion in Baarle-Nassau.  She was the postal connection between Karst’s organization in Baarle-Nassau and Hilvarenbeek in the Netherlands and the Madame Chabot in Brussels.  She is referred to by Art Horning in his book, Footsteps of a Flying Boot.  In her helper file her contacts include Chabot, Emile Frisque, Madelon Frisque (the Frisques lived on the floor above Chabot and Ambach in Brussels), Karst Smit, Eugene van der Heijden, and Willem Schmidt.  She aided the airmen Jack Justice and Art Horning.


  • Morsink, Gerrit – In Karst Smit’s helper file at the US National Archives he identifies Morsink as having been a source of airmen.  Morsink was district leader of “Trouw” in the province of Drenthe and the north of the province of Overijssel.


  • Coumou, Pieter – Coumou and Willem Schmidt distributed the illegal newspaper Trouw in the Mechelen, Belgium area.  Coumou assisted Schmidt when the latter became involved in helping airmen.  After Willem’s arrest, Coumou came into contact with Joke Folmer and Jet Roosenburg.
  • Lingemann – The German trial record of Petrus van Geel (see under Hilvarenbeek) refers to Lingemann as passing escapees to Van Geel to guide across the Belgian border.
  • Schmidt, Willem – He first distributed the Underground newspaper Trouw, then became a guide for the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  His arrest precipitated the destruction of the line.
  • Schmidt, W., Sr. – Father of Willem, he is listed as a contact of Coumou in the latter’s helper file.


  • de Weert, Jacques – The son of a doctor in Zundert, he used the pseudonym of “Gemert” and was a source for Karst Smit of coupons (ration?) for distribution to households where the father was in hiding.

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12 responses to “Civilians in the Line

  1. Hi, I was surprised founding the name of my grandfather and uncle and aunt on this site. My father was the eldest brother of Simon and Elly Zwaan
    and hof ter Linden has been a charished familyhome for a long time.

  2. Harry Putters

    The Vos Famely is the van der Heijden famely. Eugene has red hair just like a fox, vos in dutch.

  3. Do you have info on hide out ship ‘ De Zwaan’ from Grevenbicht/Born/NL were pilots and jews were hidden by owners Kees and Lisa Zwaans?

  4. Have a look on this site:

  5. Have a look on this site:

  6. Have a look on this site: Zwaan een hemel op aarde

  7. My Opa was Herman Wormgoor. Who lived in the house with the fire tower. The Germans took over the house and my mother’s family was moved to the basement. Opa would sneak out at night to help me escape across the border. Because he wore a uniform (he was the Forester (Ranger) ) and he spoke perfect German… the German officers treated them reasonably well.

  8. I was wondering if you can help find info on my great Aunt Henriette Velu ( m. Bloem) and great Uncle Rudy (not sure of spelling ) Bloem. We don’t know much about them apart from the worked in the Dutch underground and were later taken to concentration camps. They were married after they were released and later moved to Curcao. But other than that we don’t know much. I’d like to find out more information if you can help as I am extremely proud of them.
    Thank you

    Dear Ms. de Jong,

    Here are the sources I have checked in response to your request:

    1. The British Index to Dutch Helpers on my website ( listed two persons with the last name Bloem (H.W. of Maarheze and Gerard of Henderloo) and one with the last name of Bloeme (B.G. of Haarle). The same three names appear on the American list of Dutch Helpers of Grade 5, the most common category of helpers of Allied airmen shot down during WWII ( There was no Velu on the list, although there was an Albert van Veluw of Zwartenbroek. The British index lumps together all helpers, from the most important (Grade 1, heads of major escape lines) to those whose contributions were the most modest (Grades 5, 6, and Nil). I checked the Grade 5 ( but only found H.W., Gerard, and B.G. and did not find any listing of Velu. You will want to check the other Grades in case they are listed there.

    The above only suggests that they were not involved in helping Allied airmen evade capture. However, they could have been involved in other aspects of the Resistance. And if they did help airmen, it may be because they never completed a questionnaire for Allied Military Intelligence, because they chose not to or were not aware of that the Allies were seeking all people who helped airmen to complete the questionnaire about what they did.

    I also checked the list of Eisenhower certificates ( issued to people who aided American airmen but only found Gerard and H.W. and no Velu.

    2. I checked the list of persons who received the Resistance Memorial Cross ( but only found Hendrik Bloem and Theodorus A. Bloem. No listing of a Velu.

    3. I checked the list compiled by Yad Vashem of those who helped Jews. The list for people in The Netherlands ( did not show anyone by the name of Velu and only Hendrik and Lucia (Van de Koolwijk) Bloem.

    4. The main WWII archive for The Netherlands is the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies (NIOD) at I checked their index to newspaper articles (knipsels) that have appeared in Dutch newspapers at The only people by the name of Bloem referred to in the news stories were A.L., Arend, J.C., J.C.W., Marion, Roelf, and Stijntje Catharina.

    5. I checked the index to the newsletters of the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society (AFEES) website at but only found a Pieter Blom and no Velu.

    6. Since you said that they were sent to concentration camps, you will want to check the Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution, formerly known as the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany. It is the preeminent center for information on concentration camp inmates. See Their website provides a search form for a person to request a search on a name. With whatever information they provide you, will probably will have more precise information on the spelling of Rudy and Henriette’s names, when and where they were born, when and where they were arrested, to what concentration camps they were sent, etc.

    7. If you can identify where they were living, you may be able to get more information on them from a local historical society. Use the Dutch word for archive, heemkundikring, to help you find the right archive.

    8. Another valuable source of information is the Dutch Red Cross Archives. Formerly located at their headquarters in The Hague, I believe they are now located at NIOD ( Their records will include correspondence about people who disappeared after the war, often sent to concentration camps. Such records could include invaluable details about Rudy and Henriette.

    9. Yet another valuable source of information are the records of Stichting ’40-45, which provided pensions to people who were in the Resistance who had been injured by the Nazis (concentration camp incarceration, executions, etc.). See

    10. The Dutch National Archives is also likely to have information of value to you. Contact them at

    Best wishes,
    Bruce Bolinger

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