What Did My Father, Mother, etc. Do in the Resistance?

When someone asks me how they should go about learning more about the Resistance activity of a relative, I try to offer some suggestions.  These, of course, vary from one person to the next.   Nevertheless, below are some suggestions that may be useful.  Links will direct you to further information on other websites as well as other pages on this website.  I would welcome suggestions for additions to the list.

The National Archives has been scanning the files of helpers of Allied airmen. To view their files, click on the following links: Dutch: (https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5709392), Belgian (https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5701226), Czech (https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5708536), Danish (https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5708552), and Hungarian ( https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5701228). Belgian helper files may not have been scanned in full as of January 2023.

  • Danish, Dutch, Belgian, Hungarian, Luxembourg, French, or Yugoslavian Helper Lists. If the person helped Allied airmen, take a look at the lists of Danish, Dutch Belgian, Hungarian,  LuxemburgerFrench, or  Yugoslavian helpers posted on this website.  Not everyone who aided an airman is listed, but it is a good starting point. If you are researching French helpers, be sure to look at the French Helper Database  and the French Helpers by Geographical Location.   Note the Award Grade, which provides some idea of how Allied Military Intelligence ranked the person’s contribution (a #1 is the highest).  For a discussion of the meaning of the award grades in English, click here.  For it in French, click here.   On the lists there sometimes are notations of payments to helpers to recompense them for their losses.  Another source for an explanation of the Award  Grades is in the report on the History of the Holland Office, 6801 MIS-X Detachment, the second memo (dated 28 June 1946), pp. 7-11 on this website.  If you are researching Dutch names, be sure to also check out the page on this website about the Neerlandsch Verzetsmonument, or Netherlands Resistance Monument of Dimitri Gazan.
  • Another possible source of information may be the names of Dutch helpers in small towns. See Dimitri Gazan’s Excel File of Helpers of Allied Airmen at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/helpers-of-allied-airmen/dutch-helper-list/digitized-dutch-helper-list/. This tool allows a researcher to search the names of all Dutch helpers for the names of their towns. If a researcher has obtained, for example, the helper file of a person of interest but the information in his or her file does not give the names of other helpers or airmen, using Mr. Gazan’s Excel file may turn up other helpers in the same town or one nearby whose helper files do have the information sought by the researcher. For example, a researcher was seeking information on Allied airmen helped by his grandfather in the little town of Wehl, near the city of Doetinchem. A search of Dimitry Gazan’s Excel file turned up five more helpers also in Wehl.
  • National Archives Helper Files. If the person is on one of the lists of helpers of Allied airmen, both the British and American national archives may have a copy of the person’s helper file compiled by Allied Military Intelligence.   A file may contain a list of the person’s contacts in the Resistance, names of airmen helped, correspondence, etc.  A questionnaire, or vragenlijst in The Netherlands, typically was completed by the helper.  In the United States, National Archives II at College Park, Maryland has the WWII records, including the helper files.  Follow the links to get their address and request a copy from the Textual Research Room.  To see a list of the file boxes containing the helper files and the corresponding identifying information, for Dutch files click here and for Belgian files click here.  In late September 2019 it was learned that the Dutch helper files had been scanned and were to be posted on the Internet.  But as of late April 2020 the National Archives, responding to a request for digital copy said “The series of records, Dutch Helper Files within Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, United States Army (Record Group 498) Entry UD 183 is currently being digitized. Researchers are limited to requesting THREE files at a time and must wait until they have received the completed digitized files before requesting additional files.” For further information, contact the Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR) at  archives2reference@nara.gov.
  • Another useful tool is the Netherlands Grade V (Eisenhower Certificate) available on-line, courtesy of the National Archives.  It consists of 187 pages with 4,870 names and addresses of Dutch helpers compiled in late 1946  and early 1947.   If you need the help of a professional researcher, click here.  To see a discussion of the complications faced by Allied military intelligence after the Liberation in tracing who the helpers were of Allied airmen, click here.
  • Aid to Allied Airmen.  If the person aided an American airman and you know his name, there may be a file, called the escape and evasion (E&E) report on the airman, at National Archives II in College Park, Maryland.  Those reports are now available on-line.  The report may include the name of the relative you are researching and the names of his or her associates in the Resistance.  There is a special part of the escape and evasion report known as the Appendix C that is especially informative.  If it is not part of what is available on-line, you may be able to get a copy of it by writing the National Archives II.  The National Archives of the United Kingdom has similar records for members of the Royal Air Force who were shot down.
  • Concentration Camps in Germany, etc. If the person was arrested and sent to a concentration camp, try the Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution, formerly known as the International Tracing Service, in Bad Arolsen, Germany.  In 2018 it was announced that the ITS had placed 900,000 post-war documents online, bringing the total number of documents freely available online to over 2 million.  One can search by name.  The newly added documents contain approximately 405,000 names of Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates, and forced laborers.  They were under the care of the International Refugee Organization (IRO) in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and England after WWII.  See also any of the concentration camp memorials for records kept by the Germans on the prisoner.  Here is a website on concentration camps as a whole.
  • Concentration Camps in The Netherlands.  For prisoners in The Netherlands, check Amersfoort Concentration Camp Memorial (Stichting Nationaal Monument Kamp Amersfoort).  Also check the Vught Concentration Camp,  now the Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught.   An English description and history of Vught is available as are biographies of the prisoners.
  • Executions in The Netherlands.  Foundation Eerebegraafplaats Bloemendaal.  Located in the dunes west of the city of Haarlem near Overveen, Eerebegraafplaats Bloemendaal is a cemetery and memorial to Dutch Resistance fighters.  The remains of 347 Resistance fighters executed by the Germans are buried here.   In addition to the home page, there are biographies on the victims in the person registry.  War Victims Database.  A database of war victims is being digitized based upon the personal archive of Jack Kooistra of 180,000 names.  You can go directly to the database by clicking here.  For other websites, see the page on this website on executions and deportations.
  • Prisons in The Netherlands.  The Orange Hotel (Oranje Hotel).  The book by E.P. Weber, Gedenkboek van het Oranje Hotel, contains a list of prisoners at the “Orange Hotel.”   For a time the website,”Oranje Hotel, 1940-1945″ at: http://www.oranjehotel.org/, contained a PDF file of their names.     Try the link http://oranjehotel.nationaalarchief.nl/gevangenen/.  Then, to find a particular name, go tohttp://oranjehotel.nationaalarchief.nl/zoeken.asp?ComponentID=9917&SourcePageID=9328#1 To find a particular placego tohttp://oranjehotel.nationaalarchief.nl/zoeken.asp?ComponentID=9917&SourcePageID=9328#1. The Oranje Hotel was at Scheveningen, near The Hague.See also the Nationaal Archief website, “Gevangen in het Oranjehotel Verzetsstrijders, 1940-1945,” (“Resistance Fighters Imprisoned at the Orange Hotel”) at http://oranjehotel.nationaalarchief.nl/.
  • Prisons and Executions in Belgium: Breendonck et al.  A website devoted to Belgian heroes and martyrs in WWII , allows you to search for persons executed and provides a list of prisoners at Breendonck and and their fate. 
  • World War II Archives.  The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) in Amsterdam has a vast amount of material on WWII.  For English speakers, the website has an English version.  Their massive newspaper and magazine clippings (knipsels) file may have something about a person.  The index to the clippings is in the form of a 941-page PDF file which you can quickly access by entering https://www.niod.nl/sites/niod.nl/files/KnipselcollectieNIOD.pdf.  Use Control+F to search it for a specific name.   You probably will want to write to them directly not only for copies of clippings but also any other records they may have. Another valuable collection relating to aid to Allied airmen at NIOD are the files of WJM (Wim) Willemsen,  a board member of the Dutch Association of Pilot Helpers from the Second World War, “the Escape”.  They have to do with pilot aid in general and shot-down Allied war pilots in particular.  
  • Dutch Resistance Museum. Although not an archive, the Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) in Amsterdam has some interviews with members of the Resistance.
  • Dutch National Archives. The Nationaal Archief of The Netherlands, is located in The Hague and has extensive files on the Resistance. For their main page, click here. To see their website’s page on the best way to search for a person in the Resistance, click here.
  • Belgian National Archives. The Belgian WWII archive is CEGES-SOMA (Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society) in Brussels.  Their collection includes the WWII files of the Belgian Sûreté.   If their archivists find something in those files they will direct you to get permission from the Sûreté to view them.  A recent acquisition (September 2013) consists of the files of Frédéric Eickhoff, the attorney who defended some 2500 members of the Resistance.  Located in the same building with CEGES-SOMA is the Archives and Documentation Service of the Department of War Victims (Service Archives et Documentation du Service des Victimes de la Guerre), which houses the files of Belgians who filed claims with the Belgian government after the war for injuries they suffered at the hands of the Nazis.  Another Belgian archive, the Belgian State Archives (Algemeen Rijksarchief), also in Brussels, has records of foreigners living in Belgium during WWII.   If a member of the Resistance from The Netherlands, France, Poland, etc. was operating in Belgium, the State Archives may have records on him or her that were kept by the Belgian Foreigners (Etrangers) Police.   A French archive with WWII material that I have found helpful is the Institut d’ Histoire du Temps Présent (IHTP – Institute of History of Time Present).  The French National Archives (Archives Nationales) is another source.  To go directly to their index to files on Resistance groups, click here.
  • Pension Files. If the person had a pension after the war for injuries suffered  because of Resistance service in The Netherlands, Stichting ’40-’45 may have a file for him or her.  Stichting files that I have seen contained testimony by other members of the Resistance about what the person did in the Resistance.  Only family members are given access to the files.  In Brussels, the Belgian equivalent is the Service Archives et Documentation du Service des Victimes de la Guerre.  Here, too, only family members may see a file, but an archivist may be willing to answer specific questions about the content for non-family.   These records are in the same building as the CEGES-SOMA records.
  • Military Records. The Dutch Ministry of Defence has military service files.  If the person served in the Dutch Army during the German invasion there is likely to be a service file and it may contain useful correspondence.  But to get copies of such correspondence you will want to specify that it want them as well as the summary of the person’s military service.  The Belgian Defense Ministry, Staff Department, Intelligence and Security, Security Division, provided me with valuable information on the military service record and Resistance record of one of Karst Smit’s contacts.  See also the Belgian Centre de Documentation Historique des Forces Armées (Documentation Center History of the Armed Forces).
  • Red Cross Records.  The Dutch Red Cross (Nederlandse Rode Kruis) kept extensive files of correspondence about Dutch citizens who were in concentration camps or forced labor in Germany.  I have found a lot of valuable information here.  Those files as of 2018 were turned over to Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD)
  • Escaping Society Records — Royal Air Forces Escaping Society.  There was a point in my research where I reached a blank wall in trying to identify the helpers of 2nd Lt. Tom Applewhite in the south of France.  I learned that the membership records of the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society (RAFES) were at the Imperial War Museum in London.  Knowing that Sgt. Stan Munns, a member of the RAF, had been with Applewhite on that part of their evasion, I wrote to the IWM asking for copies of Munns’ RAFES membership.  They complied and provided a copy that listed all of Munns’ helpers, including the ones in the south of France which he shared with Tom Applewhite.  Once I had their names, I was able to get copies of their helper files from NAII which confirmed that they had helped Applewhite and Munns.
  • Escaping Society Records — Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society.  The American equivalent of RAFES is the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society (AFEES).  Unlike RAFES, however, AFEES is still active.   Two indexes to publications of AFEES may be helpful.  One is the index to the names of airmen and their helpers that appeared in articles in its newsletters .   The newsletters cover the period of 1964 to the present.  The index is still under construction.  AFEES also published a book about the organization and an index to it is under construction and will be added to the website page about the book.  Yet another source of information is the 523-page AFEES Member Stories Database, a collection of the escape and evasion stories of over 3000 airmen, not all of them members of AFEES.  A valuable source of information is a collection of 20 scrapbooks compiled over the course of 24 years by Scotty David, widow of Clayton C. David.  They contain correspondence, newspaper articles, personal accounts, etc.  representing her contact with over 600 evaders and 2000 helpers.  They can be seen on DVD at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia near Savannah.  In working with them note that the computer index to the contents counts the title pages.  This means a slight difference between the computer page number and the page number of the scrapbook.  Note also that AFEES is in touch with living evaders and helpers.  Contact the membership secretary for assistance.
  • Internal Searches of Escape and Evasion Websites.  Some websites have so much material on escape and evasion and mention so many different people who helped airmen that you might miss the name of a helper unless you knew the  name of the airman he or she helped at the outset.  A way around this problem is to use an internal search feature of the website.  For example, in the case of the website Le  Réseau Comèteafter clicking on “Enter,” click on “Recherche.”  That takes you to a page with a Site Service by Freefind feature where you can enter the name of the person you are seeking.   For example, when I entered the name “Karst” for Karst Smit, I got 26 listings of places in that website where his name was used.  For a website that doesn’t have that feature, hitting the “Control” and “F” (for “find”) keys may help.
  • Aid to Jews.  If the person helped Jews to escape in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, etc., look at the database of Righteous Among the Nations compiled by Yad Vashem.  In addition, look at the lists compiled by country for Belgium, The Netherlands, and France.  Particularly noteworthy was what the Danes did in the way of rescuing Danish Jews.  See links to that subject.
  • Museums.  The Verzets Museum (Dutch Resistance Museum) in Amsterdam has some interviews with members of the Resistance.  Elsewhere local museums will have connections to the local historical societies that probably will be especially interested in the Resistance in their areas.  See this website’s list of museums.
  • Military Police.  If the person was a marechaussee (member of the Dutch Royal Military Police), try the Marechaussee Museum in Buren, The Netherlands.
  • Books on WWII.  If you know the town where the person was active, look for a history of that town during the war, probably published on the 40th,  50th or 60th anniversary of the Liberation.   For example, I am particularly interested in Hilvarenbeek and Tilburg.  For the former I found the book, Hilvarenbeek 1940-1945 by Kees Van Kemenade published in 1983.  For Tilburg there is Tilburg 1940-1945 by Frans Janse published in 1984.  For an excellent book on Dutch aid to Allied airmen, you can read “Stepping Stones to Freedom: Help to Allied Airmen in the Netherlands During World War II” by Professor Bob de Graaff.
  • Historical Societies.  Try contacting the local historical society of the town.  In searching the Internet, in the case of The Netherlands or the Flemish part of Belgium, use “heemkundekring” (historical society) and the name of the town.  The actual name of the society may be that of some historical figure.
  • City Archives, Regional Archives.  Also contact the usual sources: city archives, regional archives, etc.  For example, I had an address of a contact of the Smit-van der Heijden Line in Amsterdam.  The Amsterdam City Archives was able to provide me with information on everyone who was living at that address during the war and even background on their Resistance activities.  Because much of the escape line’s activities were in Tilburg, I went to the Tilburg Regional Archives where the archivist located a great deal of valuable information for me, even arrest records.  The archive database, ARCHIEVEN.NL, allows you to search for particular words or persons in city archives in The Netherlands. There are 85 participating archives with information on 55 million people and 100 pieces of archived material.
  • Newspaper Databases.  Another potential source of information is the newspaper database of the National Library, Koninklijke Bibliothek Historische Kranten, which allows full text searches of newspapers from the 18th-20th centuries.  Included are WWII newspapers, including Resistance newspapers, as well as Nazi propaganda.
  • Telephone Databases.   I have found telephone databases to be a valuable tool for locating members of the family of someone who helped an airman because they include people’s street addresses making it possible to write to them.  A page on this website provides links to such databases organized by country.  On one occasion I was trying to locate a top lieutenant in the escape line of Karst Smit, or members of the family of the man.  I mistakenly thought he had emigrated to Canada after the war, and wrote to everyone by that name living there.  As it turned out, none of them were related to the man but one of them took an interest in my research, replied to my letter, made some inquiries for me, and put me in touch with the son of the man, living in The Netherlands.   The son loaned me his father’s WWII papers, which were an invaluable source of information.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): “How Do I Learn About an Allied Airman Who Was Shot Down?”  You also may want to look at the research tips listed in this other FAQ.
  • Genealogical Databases.   Be sure to search the Internet for any genealogical databases that might include your relative.  Some distant relative may have posted useful information that will be of help.  The Dutch genealogical website, Wie Was Wie, contains 200 million individual records from 80 million historical documents and includes 23 participating organizations.
  • Newspaper Stories About Your Research.  A local newspaper serving the area where an airman was hidden and otherwise helped may be willing to publish a story about your search for information on the people who helped him.  A good example is the help given to me by the Gazet van Antwerpen by printing a story about my search for the Claes sisters who aided escaped French prisoners of war.  Click here to see the story.  In searching the Internet for the names of newspapers in The Netherlands and the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, you may want to use the Dutch word for newspaper, krant.
  • Awards and Decorations.  Some websites have information on awards and decorations received by the citizens of a country.  The websites may include valuable background information on a person.  Click here to be directed to the page on this website that provides links to such websites.  In October 2016 a new page was added to this website listing some 15,000 recipients of the Dutch Verzetsherdenkingskruis (Resistance Memorial Cross) for their service in the Resistance in WWII.  To view the list, click here. For an explanation of the system of awards given by Allied Military Intelligence to the citizens of the occupied countries who helped Allied airmen and others, see (1) the Evasion Comete website explanation at https://www.evasioncomete.be/TxtAwards2.html and (2) the History of the Holland Office on this website at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/govt-reports/history-of-the-holland-office-6801-mis-x-det/ .
  • Preachers in the Resistance.  Another valuable source is Overzicht van Predikanten die Joden Hielpen (Overview of Pastors Who Helped Jews) by Drs. G.C. Hovingh.  It consists of 504 biographical sketches of Dutch pastors who, during WWII, aided Jews as well as, in some cases, Allied airmen, onderduikers, etc.  It includes a remarkably comprehensive 14-page bibliography of the author’s sources.  To view Predikanten die Joden Hielpen, click on the following pdf file: https://wwiinetherlandsescapelines.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/predikanten_v_tcm215-834902.pdfhttps://wwiinetherlandsescapelines.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/predikanten_v_tcm215-834902.pdf.  Note that some names of pastors featured in Overzicht van Predikanten die Joden Hielpen also appear in the British list of Dutch Helpers.  To view that list, click here.  For example, the tenth person in Mr. Hovingh’s compilation of biographies, Johannes Lodewijk van Apeldoorn, appears in the British list as Johannes L. v. Apeldoorn with serial number 22123 on pg. A5, ANTWERPEN to ASS.  To see a compilation of such pastors, click here.
  • Spanish Prison – Sort Prison.  An index to prisoners at the Spanish prison of Sort, located in Catalonia, Spain from August 1940 to October 5, 1944, became available on-line in June, 2019, thanks to researcher Keith Janes.  The index contains 2,662 names, including Dutch, Belgian, French, Polish, Canadian, American, etc. prisoners.  If a researcher is seeking information on someone crossing the Pyrenees into Spain during that period, it may be well worth checking.  Note that it is in chronological order in five parts, which may require checking each part.  It was originally compiled by Josep Calvet.  For further information on the prison, click here.
  • Papers of Jacques Vrij. Jacques Vrij (1916-2007) headed an escape line centered in Maastricht that from October 1943 to well into 1944 aided approximately 80 Allied airmen to cross into Belgium where they were turned over to other escape lines. For a more detailed account of his activity, see pp. 91-92 of Bob de Graaf’s book, Stepping Stones to Freedom, published in 2003 (or its Dutch-language predecessor, Schakels naar de vrijheid by SDU Publishers in The Hague in 1995). See also pp. 145-146 of Megan Koreman’s book, The Escape Line, published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Vrij was arrested in May 1944 but escaped from the Vught concentration camp the following August. Click here to view his obituary on the AFEES newsletter, pg. 30. For other articles about or references to him, see the AFEES Index to Helpers. Following the death of his wife, Letti, in 2019, his daughter, Anje, turned over to the Overloon War Museum in January 2020 his papers relating to his Resistance work. The Museum began registering and digitizing the material. However, the Museum was closed due to the virus and completion of the project has been delayed. The Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught has made a film documentary about him about his escape.
  • European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). EHRI was established to create an inventory of Holocaust-related archival institutions and collections in order to share this information with the research community.  Click here to view its website.
  • Professional Researchers.  You may want to contact a professional researcher who is familiar with the WWII records of a national archive.  For National Archives II in College Park, MD where the American WWII records are kept, see my page on hiring a professional researcher.  At the British National Archives, Lee Richards has been recommended to me.  See his website, Archive research and  document copying (http://www.arcre.com/).
  • Air Force Academy McDermott Library, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The McDermott Library at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs contains two extensive escape and evasion research collections open to the public.  One is the Bolinger Collection, described in the following pdf file: Finding Aid_MS 71-Bolinger, Bruce. The other is the Ralph Patton Collection, as described in the following pdf fie: Finding Aid MS 54-Ralph Patton Manuscript Record.  The Special Collections address is McDermott Library, 2354 Fairchild Dr., Suite 6A52, USAF Academy, Colorado, 80840.

11 responses to “What Did My Father, Mother, etc. Do in the Resistance?

  1. Brouckmans Nelly

    De naam van onze papa was Brouckmans Vincent, zijn moeder was afkomstig van Manchester en onze grootvader was Belg. Papa was 19 jaar en deed zijn legerdienst toen de oorlog uitbrak. Mijn grootouders moesten naar Engeland vluchten omdat mijn grootmoeder dreigbrieven kreeg van de Duitse medewerkers. Papa bleef hier alleen achter. Daar zijn moedertaal “Engels” was, werd hij aangeworven bij de “Intelligence Service” of zoiets. Hij heeft zo verschillende Engelse piloten geholpen om terug naar hun land over te vliegen. Hij heeft heel veel gedaan voor zijn land en ook voor de Engelsen. Ik als oudste van zeven en geboren op 30 oktober 1944 heb tijdens mijn jeugd heel veel verhalen gehoord van mijn vader maar hij heeft nooit gebluft over hetgeen hij gedaan heeft. Nu zou ik er heel graag meer van weten maar ik weet niet hoe. Dank bij voorbaat.

  2. Great site….but weren’t women involved in the Resistance as well? They certainly were in France. This should also include something about what mothers did in the war! My uncle was in the French resistance and before he died he spoke movingly on BBC Radio of the women who had hidden him in France and were sent to the death camps when they were discovered.
    In the UK women were left out of the narrative until the 1980’s when this was challenged. The many women at Bletchley Park never breathed a word about their involvement there until 40 years later. Lisa Vine

  3. What Did My Father Do In the Resistance?” could just as well have been worded “What Did My Father, Mother, etc. Do In the Resistance?” and I have changed it accordingly. To read some interviews with women members of the Resistance see https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/interviews/. For links to websites about women in the Resistance, see https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/links-to-other-escape-and-evasion-websites/world-war-ii-women-in-the-resistance/. I welcome suggestions for additions to the list. To see lists compiled by Allied Military Intelligence of helpers of Allied airmen, see https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/helpers-of-allied-airmen/. I have noticed what appears to be a male bias in the helper files where the person from Military Intelligence, when the family members have not survived the war, assumes that it was the husband who was the primary figure in helping the airmen when, in fact, it may have been the wife, etc.
    Bruce Bolinger

  4. I am looking for information about my uncle who was active in the Belgian Resistance from January 1944 to the end of May 1944. He was probably with the ‘Witte Brigade’ and was arrested in Béthomont at the Moulin de Rahimont on the 30th of May 1944. I write about him on http://mogromo.com/. Do you have any idea how I can try to get more information?

    I suggest that you contact CEGES-SOMA. the Belgian WWII archives, at http://www.cegesoma.be/cms/index_en.php. They may be able to help you.
    Bruce Bolinger

  5. Thank you very much! He was a Dutchman fighting in Belgium and died in a Flossenbürg subcamp as an NN-prisoner. This all makes it quite difficult to find traces of him. Thanks again for the tip.

  6. Both my Dutch parents have now passed on and never talked about their experiences in occupied Holland, but an old aunt just informed me both my parents we active in the Dutch resistance in Leiden during WW2. Is there a list of those active in the resistance where I can check for their names? In advance thank you for all this information.

    Reply by webmaster:

    Take a look at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/helpers-of-allied-airmen/dutch-helper-list/ on this website and see if their names appear on any of the lists of Dutch helpers. If they do, you may be able to obtain copies of their helper files compiled by Allied military intelligence after the Liberation. Go to https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/research/national-archives-research/ on this website for further information. If there are helper files for them, the files may contain the names of other members of the Resistance with whom they were associated and the names of airmen they helped. If there are names of airmen, then go to https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/research/national-archives-research/escape-evasion-reports-available-on-line/ on this website for information on how to access the escape and evasion reports of the airmen on-line.
    Bruce Bolinger

  7. Elizabeth Achatz (vandenBerg)

    Hello, My parents and brother we’re a part of the resitancence in Haarlem, they had a hiding room in their house @ 125 Spaarnalomer Rd. My mom told stories of my dad being part of moving people out of harms way (such as hiding downed British airmen, etc). She fed them at 1:00 am, such a horrible time for them with already seven children of their own, but they kept the underground movement going. My dad would make my brother Kees go through German lines on his bicycle with messages taped to his chest. He was only 10 years old, and to this day he breaks up from the thought if what he endured (he can’t even tell us what he went through).

  8. My mother’s name was Hermine Jeanne da Costa. According to her British naturalization file, she was actively engaged in the Netherlands Underground Movement and cam to the UK as a courier in December 1944. She went back to Holland and stayed there until October 1945. She then worked in the UK at the Dutch Embassy from 1945 to 1948. I can’t find her records. Any suggestions as to where I should look?

    Dear Mr. Lipko,

    I have passed on your request to an online group I belong to whose members are quite knowledgeable. If they have any information I will send it on to you.

    Best wishes,
    Bruce Bolinger, webmaster

  9. Annette Vogels

    My husband has just been given a medal that was for his father who was a member of the Dutch resistance. On the medal is written Oran Jevereniging 82. We are wondering is there any history of this group and where we would look to find more information. His dad has been dead for over 50 years and they say not much was spoken about his work but with the appearance of this medal the surviving children are interested in finding out more. Can you help us?
    Thank you for your time.

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