Dutch-Paris Line

Airmen Helped by the Dutch-Paris Line

The following list of Allied airmen helped by the Dutch-Paris Line was compiled by historian Megan Koreman.  See the link below, “How to Flee the Gestapo” for more information on her research.  For the latest on her new book on Dutch-Paris, see below under Books About the Dutch-Paris Line.  The link, “AFEES Index“, appearing after an airman’s name, is a notation that someone by that name, or a name very similar, appears in the Index to Evaders on the website of the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society.  There may be an article or obituary to the person in one of the newsletters in the AFEES newsletter archive on their website.  The AFEES index will identify which issue.

Useful Links:

Books About the Dutch-Paris Line

  • Ford, Herbert, Flee the Captor, Nashville, Tennessee: Southern Publishing Assn.,  1966.  (Story of John Weidner and the Dutch-Paris line.  Also available in a paperback edition published in 1994 by Review and Herald Publishing Assn. of Hagerstown, Md. )
  • Gerstner, Karl-Heinz, Sachlich, kritisch, optimistisch, Berlin: edition ost, 1999.  (In German.  The author was a contact of the Dutch-Paris Line in the German Embassy.)
  • Koreman, Megan, The Escape Line: How the Ordinary Heroes of Dutch-Paris Resisted the Nazi Occupation of Western Europe,  New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.   “In early summer 1942 a Dutch textile merchant living in Nazi-occupied France received a letter from a Jewish couple seeking his help in getting safe passage to Switzerland.  John Henry (‘Jean’) Weidner barely knew the couple and had no experience in clandestine activities or direct connection to any underground organizations.  Yet he and his wife, Elisabeth Cartier, decided to help, risking their lives to transport the couple from the French prison in which they were being held across the border to Switzerland.  So began what became known as the Dutch-Paris escape line.  Over the next three years it grew from a two-person border operation into one of the most extensive resistance organizations of World War II, running from the Netherlands through Belgium and France into both Switzerland and Spain, numbering 330 members and rescuing around 3000 persons….  Dutch-Paris largely improvised its operations–scrounging for food on the black market, forging documents, raising cash.  In addition to Jews, it helped resistance fighters, saved Allied airmen (at least 120) who had bailed out of their planes or crash-landed, and spirited out young men looking to get to London to enlist.  Dutch-Paris also acted as a messenger system for the Dutch government-in-exile, smuggling microfilm with news and information about the home front.  Hunted relentlessly by the Gestapo, many members were captured and sent to labor camps.  Yet Dutch-Paris continued to function until the war’s end.”

Originally published in Dutch, the English edition became available in May, 2018.  For further details, see her website at http://dutchparisblog.com/.)

2 responses to “Dutch-Paris Line

  1. Abraham Napoles

    In the mid to late 1960’s I heard Mr. John Weidner, one of the founders of Dutch Paris, who subsequently autographed my copy of the referenced book “Flee The Captor”. In college, I spent 1 year at the college in Haute Savoie, France where Mr. Weidner attended and then during the war, guided refugees across into Geneva, Switzerland. He and his associates are genuine heroes in my book.

  2. Robert Acherman

    My great uncle and great aunt hid American Airman James Newton for a day and a night in their home in 1944. This was a not a family story that was shared, but something I found in 2015 in Cornelius Ryan’s interview notes for his book, “A Bridge Too Far.” These relatives are mentioned in the book. Dr. Marinus Schulte, for whom I was named, was the Chief Pharmacist for the Arnhem Municipal Hospital. After years of searching, my wife and I met James Newton, now 101 years old! We live about 20 minutes drive apart in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Newton is mentioned in the “The Escape Line” (Dutch-Paris) book and I have corresponded with Megan Koreman.

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