Photograph Identification

Below are three photographs and one sketch relating to the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  I am requesting help in identifying the people in the photos.

The first photo, taken during the Dutch mobilization of 1939, shows Karst Smit, the third man to the right of the “Mobilisatie 1939” sign, wearing a white shirt and with his hands on his knees.  Can anyone identify any of the other men?  They probably were all members of the Jagers Regiment.  You can click on the photo to enlarge it.  Click a second time to enlarge it even further.

Karst Smit - Mobilization of 1939

The  next photo, taken at a jovial moment, shows a group of marechaussees who have all piled on their  single motorcycle, a BMW.  The photo most likely was taken in either Baarle-Nassau or Hilvarenbeek.  Karst Smit, wearing an overcoat, is shown in the driver’s seat.  I would like to be certain of the identity of the other men and would welcome assistance in identifying them.   The person labeled as #2 was identified as Albert Wisman by his nephew, Henk van den Elst, in September 2017.  (In a different photo of Wisman and Karst Smit, Wisman does appear to be the same person as #2 below.)  Tentative identifications of #’s 1, 4, and 6 were made by former marechaussee Oscar Lippens in an interview by Jos van Roozendaal.  Marechaussee #5 was confirmed by Lippens as Karst Smit.  Marechaussee #4 was identified as Albert Wisman by his son, Richard Wisman, on Jan. 17, 2021.  But Marechaussee #4 was tentatively identified as David Jonkers by his son.  They are as follows:

  • #1 – Van Gestel ( by Lippens)
  • #2 – Albert Wisman (by his nephew Henk van den Elst)
  • #3 – Unknown
  • #4 – Niessen (by Lippens), David Jonkers (by his son), or Albert Wisman (by his son, Richard Wisman)
  • #5 – Karst Smit (identification is certain–Lippens)
  • #6 – Gerard Schrier (Lippens)

Numbered Photo

The third photo, shown below, is reproduced from the book Een vlechtwerk van lijnen, p. 57, by Janine Marseille-Smit, sister of Karst Smit.  You can click on the photo to enlarge it.  Click a second time to enlarge it even further.

Group Photo at Landgoed de Utrecht with Students, Rommy Smit, and Others

The following sketch labels the people in the photo to the extent that I have been able to determine their identity as of August 2013.  A further discussion appears below the sketch.

Sketch of group photo from Janine's book with corrections

Janine Marseille-Smit, in her book, identifies #15, as Karst Smit’s brother, Rommy (Romke), who spent some time in the forest hideout at the Landgoed de Utrecht with the Dutch students.  I first thought that #3 might be Albert Wisman because of the marechaussee uniform and the fact that Wisman was assigned to the nearby village of Esbeek.  However the man shown does not look like the photo of Wisman that I have from the Dutch Ministry of Defense or a photo that I have of Wisman and Karst Smit.  Three other marechaussees also were assigned to Esbeek, Theo Backx, Gijsbertus Aarts, and Verbrugge (first name not known).  I now think #3 probably is Theo Backx or Verbrugge because the family of Gijs Aarts has identified #12 as Aarts and provided photos of him in the type of uniform he was wearing in the above photo. The identification of #6, Jan Wolterson; #7, Jan Kuitenbrouwer; #8, Jan van Dongen; #10, Dick Los; #13, Jan de Koning; and #14, Jan Oudemans, was provided by Jan Wolterson.  Note that Kuitenbrouwer was an assistant bookkeeper working at the office of the Landgoed de Utrecht and got to know the students. It seems likely that one or more of the other people in the photo are members of the family of Adrianus de Bruijn near whose farm the students were hiding in the summer of 1943.  Can anyone help me with further identification of the remaining people and confirmation of the ones identified so far?

4 responses to “Photograph Identification

  1. Henk van den Elst

    Op foto 2 is nr 4 over duidelijk Albert Wisman ,dus geen Niesen of Jonkers. In de familie Wisman werd altijd gezegd dat ik 100 procent op mijn oom Albert lijk

  2. hello
    are you able to give me some details of Albert Wisman in this article –his birthdate and parents and wife as i am hoping it is the one that i am looking for
    regards Judy Parlevliet

    • Dear Judy,

      If you use the search box on the website to search for the name “Wisman” you will find several references to him, some of which might be useful. In 2019 I donated all my research files to the McDermott Library at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. The library has posted an index, or finding aid, to the files at If you scroll down through the finding aid, on pg. 32 you will find listed “Box Forty-Five: Smit Organization” and in that box is “Folder 4: Smit Organization – Esbeek: Wisman”. There may be information in the folder of use to you. You will want to contact the following person about obtaining copies of documents in Folder 4:

      Joel Hebert, PhD
      Chief of Special Collections, McDermott Library
      Assistant Professor of Special Collections and Archives Research
      U.S. Air Force Academy
      (719) 333-6919

      Best wishes,
      Bruce Bolinger


      Dear Judy,

      My father on a motocrycle

      Dad just after de war

      A. Wisman born 17 januari 1918

      a. Married with Johanna Gerarda Bosch born 22 maart 1921 b. Father Albert Wisman c. Mother Elsje Pol

      With greetings

      Richard Wisman

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