Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas

This part of my website is on various escape lines, not all of which have any direct connection to the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  I have listed Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas first because it appears to have had the most direct contact with the Smit-van der Heijden Line.  (For more on that subject, click here and scroll down to the comments on Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas.)  Note that this line was first known as Luctor et Emergo, then changed its name to Fiat Libertas because another group emerged also using the Luctor et Emergo name.  I generally will refer to it as Fiat Libertas.  Often the initials LE/FL or just FL will be used in place of the full name.

To explain the organizational structure of Fiat Libertas, I have inserted two organization charts.  The first is one which I found at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) in Amsterdam.  It seems most likely to have been created by the SD (Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS) and I will often refer to it as the SD chart.   My thanks to Joke Folmer for alerting me that such a chart existed.  Note the German legend in the lower right corner with its system of symbols identifying which members of the organization were part of (1) the escape network for Allied airmen, (2) the espionage (intelligence) network) or (3) Dutch agents parachuted in by London, and (4) which had been arrested.     That chart is then followed by a computer-generated chart with the same information but with simplified lines, colors in place of symbols, and numbers in place of names.  My thanks to Louise Jones for creating it for me.  Using the two charts together may help in understanding the original.

The next item below the first chart is a list of the members of the organization in order by the numbers in their boxes on the computer-generated chart and with more information about each person to the extent that I have it.  To view an enlargement of this or any of the other charts, just click on it, from one to three times to get the ideal size.

The precise date of the SD chart of Fiat Libertas is unknown but probably can be determined approximately by the dates of arrest of those shown as having been arrested.  (Arrests are designated on the computer-generated chart by the vertical yellow bar in the person’s box.)    According to a report by Jan Wannee, Nel Lind was arrested on 27 Sept. 1943, with his own arrest coming two days later.  Herman Bosboom’s helper file states that he was arrested 23 Nov. 1943.  Joke Folmer’s arrest was in April 1944.  It would appear, then, that the chart dates to no earlier than April 1944.

Canadian researcher Michael LeBlanc and Dutch historian Sonja van ‘t Hof both examined the names and gave me the benefit of their knowledge, which I am incorporating in the comments.   My thanks to both of them.  I have also added information from J.W. Regenhardt’s book, Het gemaskerde leven van Eduard Veterman, published in 1990, Eduard Veterman’s book, Keizersgracht 763 published in 1946, and Bob de Graaff’s Stepping Stones to Freedom, Help to Allied Airmen in The Netherlands During World War II, published in 2003 as the English language version of his Schakels naar de vrijheid, published in 1995.

Following the SD organization chart of Fiat Libertas and the information on its members there is another organizational chart, this one by Piet Gerbrands, an agent of MI9, provided to me by Sonja van ‘t Hof who found it at the National Institute of Military History in The Hague.  Following it is a numbered listing of persons shown on the chart and some comments on them.  Lastly is a report by Jan Wannee, head of Fiat Libertas.  Scroll down to view them.

Subordinate to this page are two other pages, one a list of airmen helped by Fiat Libertas, the other a report by secret agent “Frans Halls” (Dignus “Dick” Kragt).

Original Organization Chart of Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas

Luctor et Emergo Fiat Libertas Organization Chart (jpg)

Explanation of Names

BoxNo. The names listed below in boldface are as they appear on the original  diagram (see above) as best I can determine them after talking with native Dutch- and German-speakers. German words are translated into English when possible.  References to “Stepping Stones” are to the book Stepping Stones to Freedom by Bob de Graaff, originally published as Schakels naar de vrijheid, 1995.  Note the circle in the upper right corner of both versions of the SD chart enclosing the initials “OD.”  This is probably a reference to the O.D., the Orde Dienst, or Order Service.  According to Warner Warmbrunn in his book, The Dutch Under German Occupation, 1940-1945, 1963, pp. 186-187, the O.D. was the “oldest important resistance group that managed to maintain an organization throughout the occupation.”  Organized along military lines, most of its members were commissioned or noncommissioned officers.  After some involvement in sabotage at the beginning of the war, it mainly engaged in military espionage for the remainder of the war, according to Warmbrunn.  Jan Wannee’s connection to the OD may have been related to the espionage network under Henriette Roosenburg.

Sonja van ‘t Hof notes that several names on the chart were not Fiat Libertas members but rather were intelligence agents sent by the Dutch government in collaboration with the British SOE.

1 Wannee, J.C. (According to Stepping Stones, p. 82, this would be Jan C. [“Jan Dijkstra”] Wannée from The Hague.  According to his helper file, he would meet with Karst Smit whenever crossing the border into Belgium.)
2 Guillard, Bob.  Now in England.  Sonja van ‘t Hof says that he was an acquaintance of Joke Folmer and his actual name was Gaillard.  A student from Delft, in the student Resistance, and in hiding with the Folmer family in Zeist.  He does not seem to have been a member of Fiat Libertas, according to Ms. van ‘t Hof, but Joke Folmer began doing Resistance work through him.
3 Heintje II [“Hein” is a Dutch first name and “Heintje” would be the diminutive form.  “Heintje”   is also a Prussian family name.  This simply may be a designation for a parachuted agent whose name they did not know or only knew as “Heintje.”]

However, Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the followng: “This was Dutch intelligence agent H. Letterboer, alias De Graaf (=The Count). Sent out with Heintje I (or De Meester=The Master). Did not belong to FL, but served as a marconist for Heintje I, who sent intelligence reports to the Dutch government in exile in London and in turn received instructions from the government. They worked with several intelligence groups.”

The Stepping Stones book, p. 85, notes that Letteboer was one of the Dutch secret agents whose identity papers were found by the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo) during a search of Nel Lind’s house.

4 Heintje I [Same as above.]  According to the Wikipedia article on the Dutch secret agent Garrelt van Borssum Buisman, this was one of his code names.

Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “Secret agent G.A. (Garrelt Andreas) Van Borssum Buisman, dropped in the night of 22-6-1943, together with Letteboer. Not a member of FL, sent out to contact the Orde Dienst and collect intelligence from various groups. Sent reports with the alias of De Meester=The Master. Was arrested shortly after Nel Lind and Jan Wannee because Nel carried several false identity papers with her during her arrest, amongst which those of Van Borssum Buisman. Was tried separately from the FL-members, together secret agent Heere Heere (5), and several other Dutch agents. Almost certainly stayed in the same prison in Utrecht as Jet Roosenburg (11) and others of the FL-group. She mentions ‘Heintje’ in her secret prison diary several times.”

5 heere heere [Is this a reference to military personnel or is it related to the Dutch word, “heer,” meaning “mister?”]

Sonja van ‘t Hof identifies him, instead, as follows: “Secret agent lt. Henk de Jonge – also not a member of FL. Another alias is ALBRECHT, found in FL-documents from the war. According to Piet Gerbrands, De Jonge prepared the ground for a possible landing of the allied forces in the neighborhood of Hoek van Holland (near Rotterdam). He sent messages through FL and asked Wannee to help him escape. Jet brought him to Belgium, but he was arrested in the Pyrenees (together with Van Lynden, 35)  Tried and sentenced to death in the same trial with Van Borssum Buisman.”

6 Gerbrands, Piet (According to Stepping Stones, pp. 84 and 86, Piet Gerbrands was the 2nd agent from Dutch Intelligence.  Also known as “Kees Verhoef.”)  According to Frans Kluiters Dutch Agents 1940-1945 at http://www.nisa-intelligence.nl/PDF-bestanden/KluitersDAG2foto.pdf , Gerbrands was an agent of MI6 (sic) sent in to organize an escape line.  Also see references to him in J.W. Regenhardt’s book, Het gemaskerde leven van Eduard Veterman, pp. 181-182.

Sonja van ‘t Hof offers the following:  “Gerbrands was an agent of MI9 sent to the Netherlands in March 1943 to organize an escape line for other secret agents and people who the Dutch government in exile wished to be brought to London; at the same time intelligence line. Another alias was St John, and this became the name of the escape route to the south of France.

“Gerbrands was an ‘indoloog’, a specialist on Indonesia (then still a colony of the Netherlands), as was his brother Adrie (10) and Bert Jonkers (12). They were student friends from Leiden.”

7 Carlier, Gerard.  Now in England. (Spelling confirmed from Stepping Stones.)

According to Sonja van ‘t Hof, he was a “professional military. He was in hiding and asked Nel Lind to help him escape to England. She escorted him in juli 1942 to Belgium. Carlier reached Suriname and there met with major Somer, head of Bureau Inlichtingen (BI) in London. Carlier compiled a report about his escape route and resistance contacts in the Netherlands. This seems to have formed the basis for the programme to drop secret agents in the Netherlands with the help of. S.O.E. and organize a regular escape route. When Piet Gerbrands was dropped in March 1943, he had Nel Lind’s name.

8 Hals, Frans  This was Dignus ‘Dick’ Kragt who operated in the area of Apeldoorn.  See also Frans Kluiters Dutch Agents 1940-1945 at http://www.nisa-intelligence.nl/PDF-bestanden/KluitersDAG2foto.pdf which says Kragt was “Frans Hals.”  Kragt was an MI9 agent sent in to organize an escape line.  For more on Hals/Kragt, see Stepping Stones, pp. 72-79.

Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “Confirmed by Airey Neave’s book, Saturday at M.I.9. I believe Neave also calls him Webster – but am confused as to which was his real name). He played an important role after Arnhem.  The contact between Nel and Frans Hals was Gerrit de Bruin/ Gerrit van den Born (17).”

9 Lind, Nel. (Nelly Elisabeth Lind.  She was a leader of the Scouting movement before the war and sister of Mrs. Drukker.)  Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following about her: “A leader of the Dutch Girl Scouts before the war and sister of Mrs. Drukker. Herman Bosboom (32) brought her in contact with the mayor of Deil, Kolff, and father Kloeg (13). These two people actually formed the basis of L&E/FL  – although they did not so much start an organization by that name, but it grew organically. Nel became the central figure of the escape line for pilots and organizing false identity papers, money and food stamps.  Arrested 27-9-1943 in Amsterdam. Sentenced to death on 4 juli 1944.”

Henriette Roosenburg’s book, The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1957, 2000), about several Dutch women who survive imprisonment in Germany and their struggle to return home, includes Lind.  For further information, see the Wikipedia article: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nel_Lind.

10 Gerbrands, Adrie (Stepping Stones, p. 84, confirms that his first name is Adrie and that he was the brother of Piet Gerbrands.  Note the line connecting them.)  Sonja van ‘t Hof says: “His alias was ‘Patineur’ (skater).  [See the “@” symbol used on the Gerbrands organization chart below with the “contacten Patineur” explanation.]  He was part of FL. Lived in Leiden, Hugo de Grootstraat 5. When Piet Gerbrands returned to England in September 1943, Adrie assumed responsibility for the escape route St John (afterwards also sometimes named line Patineur?)  Forms leadership with Wannee and Nel.”
11 Roosenburg, Henr, (Henriette) (Jet)  [After the war she wrote the book, The Walls Came Tumbling Down which originally appeared in The New Yorker magazine as “Annals of the Liberation–The Journey Home” on Nov. 17, 24, and Dec. 1, 1956.  Her earlier experiences in German prisons appeared in The New Yorker on Feb. 8, 1958 as “Annals of the Liberation–Word from a Sealed-Off Box.”]
12 Jonkers, Alb. (The “Alb.” probably stands for “Albert” or “Bert“.)

Sonja van ‘t Hof offers the following: “E.H.Jonkers, Albert or Bert was his alias. Responsible for maintaining and finding new crossing places between Holland and Belgium.  After the arrests of Wannee and Lind, when the escape route collapses, he forms a new group with Jet Roosenburg and en Adri Gerbrands called group BM (Bern Musketeers). Their new route is called Route B and leads to Switzerland.”

13 Kloeg, Peter (of Rotterdam).

(1) Researcher Michael LeBlanc asks if this was Father Kloeg, who was connected to the Weert Passage and helped Comete airman Angus McLean, RCAF?  Arrested April 1943.  Shot 15 March 1944 in Utrecht.  Associated with the name of David Renier.

(2) Regenhardt’s book on Veterman refers to a priest Kloeg who came into contact with Jan Wannee through Mayor Kolff and that Kloeg formed a passeurs group in Weert through which refugees were smuggled to Belgium.  Regenhardt also says that Herman Bosboom introduced mayor Kolff of Deil and priest Kloeg to Nel Lind.  The author also says that Kloeg was arrested in July 1942 by the Nazis and killed.

(3) National Archives II in College Park, MD has a helper file for Reinier Kloeg of Rotterdam who guided four airmen, was arrested in April 1943, and shot in Utrecht in June or July 1944.   He was known to Allied airmen as “Pater Kloeg” and was part of  “Luctor et al.”

(4) Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “His alias was Charles. He formed the basis of the earliest escape line, ‘the cloister route’, and the basis of L&E/FL. He did not want to be part of the leadership of FL.”

14 Bijl, Dr.

(1) Michael LeBlanc said this may be Dr. Frederick Bijl, aka ‘Maurice.”  

(2) Regenhardt, in his book on Veterman, mentions on p. 192 that Nel Lind was carrying a bag with 80 ration cards for “Dr. Bijl” of Leiden at the time she was arrested.

(3) Sonja van ‘t Hof offers the following:  “Lived in Leiden, but I have not yet found much information on him. After the war, Wannee presumed that he died in a concentration camp. Not yet confirmed.

She adds: “Interestingly, a French list of unknown origin found in the NIOD-archives (dossier FL 249-0424, inv. a3) names several FL-members, amongst whom a certain ‘Dr X, dit FREDERIC‘:

“‘Agents du Groupe Albert/Rolin/Mariette pour l’hebergement & l’evacuation” staat: “Dr X, dit FREDERIC. Du service neerlandais FIAT LIBERTAS II. Avec l’aide d’amis néerlandais a remis à Mlle Merjay les aviateurs HUTCHINSON, BRYANT, GHEEN, LOBBAN, SNIDERS plus 7 autres encore, soit 12 en tout, venant de Hollande, en juillet-aout 1943. Capturé peu apres.'”

“Rough translation: Agents of group Albert/Rolin/Mariette for hiding and evacuation. Dr X, alias FREDERIC. In service of Dutch FIAT LIBERTAS II. Transported with the help of Dutch friends to Mlle Merjay the pilots HUTCHINSON, BRYANT, GHEEN, LOBBAN, SNIDERS and 7 others, 12 in total, coming from Holland in July-August 1943. Arrested shortly afterwards.

“(The list also mentions “Roosenburg, Henriette (Yettie), dite ‘Gaby’”, “Gerhardt, Pierre” (probably Piet Gerbrands), “Boon, Lisbeth”, and “Vanhee”, who must be Wannee).”

15 Westhoff, Dr.  This may be Guus Westhoff.  See also item 44 below.

From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have the following: ”

Westhoff, Dr. C.H.A. (Guus).  Contact of the Gerbrand brothers from Leiden, and member of the physicist resistance group Medisch Contact. He brought Jet into contact with L&E/FL. He lived with his wife on the verge of the jewish quarters, a dangerous environment, but nonetheless served as an important contact address and source of information. He finds a crossing between Holland and Belgium and provides several Belgian contacts (Merjay, 47). Also, according to P. Gerbrands he personally checked a particular crossing between Belgium and France.  Does not seem to have been arrested, but I have not been able to find more information on him yet.”

16 Sonsberk (or Sonsbeck, Sansbeck, Sansbeek, or Sonsbeek, or Sonsbeeck, etc. or the aristocratic family Van Sonsbeeck.  If the Germans misunderstood the name, this might be “Sonsberg,” a Dutch family name.)

However, Ms. van ‘t Hof identifies this as Mrs. Van Sonsbeek, who acted as  a postal address and contact between Piet Gerbrands, De Meester (Van Borssum Buisman), Nel Lind, Bob de Graaf, and “Jo van Albrecht” (secret agent Henk de Jonge).  Lived at Olympiaplein 47-I, Amsterdam. Out of security reasons abstained from other resistance work.”

On the Gerbrands organization chart below, see van Sonsbeek at #A7.

17 De Bruin, Gerrit — Sonja van ‘t Hof says, “Alias of Gerrit van den Born. Good at organizing all kinds of necessities: identity papers, food stamp, but also allegedly a radio equipment for a secret agent. Contact between Nel Lind and Frans Hals (also KAY= Dick van Kragten).”
18 Drukker, Fyel? or Fhel? — This has to be Marretje Henriette Drukker-Lind, wife of Dr. Jan Drukker and sister of Nel Lind.  According to the helper file of Herman Bosboom, airmen were passed on to Bosboom by the Drukkers.  Mrs. Drukker also was a contact of guide Willem Schmidt of the Smit-van der Heijden Line and directed him to where he was to pick up Allied airmen.

Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following:   “According to the helper file of Herman Bosboom, airmen were passed on to Bosboom by the Drukkers. Lived at Utrechtsestraat 44B Amersfoort.”

19 Terwische (sic) v. Schottinga.  Sonja van ‘t Hof advises me that this should be Terwisga van Scheltinga and that it is the family name, first name still unknown. Lived in Weert.  Collected military intelligence according to Wannée, but no further information found.

As a result of an Internet search, could this person be Titus Jan TERWISGA van SCHELTINGA, a farmer born 23 May 1899 in Rauwerd and listed on the http://www.teunispats.nl/jack-edward-gibbs.htm website as a helper?

20 Piet.  Sonja van ‘t Hof notes that de Graaf’s Stepping Stones book cites Joke Folmer to the effect that “an important contact of hers for finding and hiding pilots was Peter (‘Piet’) van den Hurk in Meppel.”
21 Holder, Ten (?) [Judging from names in boxes 12, 19, and 43 , the first name here appears to begin with a “T” rather than a “J” as I originally thought.  Sonja van ‘t Hof provides the following: “Wannée mentions a Jonkheer Van Holthe, or Van Holte, who was arrested in connection with FL. No further information found.  (Jonkheer is an aristocratic title: junker or squireen.)”
22 v. d. Brandt [probably van den Brandt].  Sonja van ‘t Hof notes as follows: “Unknown, no mention of this person in any of the documents found.”
23 Brumans, Prof. (Stepping Stones, p. 84, refers to Prof. Ch. V. J. Brummans, a teacher at a college in Weert, who, at the request of BI, created an escape route named “St. John“, which ran from Weert to Andorra via Brussels, Paris, Orleans, and Toulouse.)  Sonja van ‘t Hof says that “Piet Gerbrands asks him to ‘repair’ the cloister route after the arrest of Father Kloeg.  An important passeur, but too talkative and imprudent. Gerbrands later orders him to stop working as a passeur.”  [See A16 on the Gerbrands organization chart.]
24 Bergmans, Toine (According to Stepping Stones, p. 85, this is probably L.F.J. “Twan” Bergmans from Bree, Belgium.  “Twan” would be an unfamiliar name to Germans, increasing the risk of their misspelling it.)  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have the following: “A passeur on the crossing Weert-Bree and to Brussels. Family of 25.”
25 Bergmans, Fonds (According to Stepping Stones, p. 85, this is “Alfons” [“Oom Fons”], uncle of “TwanBergmans. Sonja van ‘t Hof adds that “He ran a pastry bakery and café in Bree, Belgium.  In Aug. 1943, he went underground as “Alfons Mathijse” in Weert.)”
26 v.d. Meulen  This is probably Andries (“Kappie Marie”) van der Meulen of Zwaagwesteinde in Friesland.  He was a sergeant major in the National Police Department and is credited with helping some 60 airmen.  Along with Henriette Roosenburg, Nel Lind, and Jan Wannee, he was among those condemned to death in Utrecht in July 1944.  He survived imprisonment.  (See Stepping Stones, pp. 110-111, and Regenhardt’s book on Veterman, p. 210.
27 ten Zijthoff (Mrs. ten Zijthoff, Hengelo)  (According to Anouk van Vught-ten Zijthoff, this would be a reference to her grandparents, Gerrit-Jan ten Zijthoff and Antonia ten Zijthoff-Geelen, who hid RAF pilots from 1942-1944 when her grandfather was arrested.  According to Stepping Stones, p. 106, G.J. ten Zijthoff was in touch with H.A. “Fons” Gerard, co-leader of the escape line of Jules Haeck of Hengelo.)

Sonja van ‘t Hof comments: “This might be correct. Wannée after the war mentions a Ir. Ten Sijthof (sic, is probably Zijthoff) who could be reached via the Stork factory in Hengelo.

28 Hoogland.  Michael LeBlanc says that “There is a Hoogland near Amersfoort.”  Sonja van ‘t Hof says he is unknown and has no further information on him.
29 De Rijk,  Sonja van ‘t Hof says he is unknown and has no further information on him.
30 Graafhuis, Bob (of Amersfoort)  According to Stepping Stones, p. 84, this probably is Wubbo Graafhuis.  However, according to Heiner Graafhuis, stepson of Graafhuis, Bob and Wubbo were one and the same.

Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “There were a father and son Graafhuis. The son, Bob, closely collaborated with Nel, was a passeur from Weert to Belgium. The father was in hiding and met with Nel in Amsterdam to discuss the possibility of an escape to England. While they were drinking coffee, both were arrested on 27/9/1943.  Father and son are both imprisoned in Utrecht with the other members of FL, where they are tried and sentenced to death. Bob allegedly joined the American army after the liberation.”  According to Heiner Graafhuis, stepson of Bob Graafhuis, however, Bob definitely joined the American army and helped interrogate Germans.

31 Waller (H. Waller of Driebergen.)  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have the following: “H. Waller, Het Kleine Loo in Driebergen. Tried in the same trials as the other FL-members, but unclear whether he was condemned to death. No information on his activities.”
32 Bosboom, H. (According to Stepping Stones, p. 86, this is probably Herman Bosboom, a student in Delft from Bussum.  Bosboom’s helper file confirms his connection to Luctor et Emergo and shows him picking up airmen from the Drukker, Waller, and Folmer families.  He then passed them on to Jan Wannee, Twan Weert, and the Folmer family.  He was arrested in front of the house of Dr. and Mrs. Drukker.

According to Regenhardt’s book (pp. 168, 173, 175, 179, 210-211) Bosboom was someone known to Nel Lind before he joined Fiat Libertas.  He introduced Nel to Mayor Kolff and the priest Kloeg.  After joining, he acted as a courier, obtained materials needed for false ID and arranged connections with photographers, seal engravers, and type setters; became part of Nel Lind’s staff.  He distributed fake documents for Fiat Libertas and guided Allied airmen.  After his arrest, he was sentenced to death along with Lind, Wannee, etc.  He survived.

Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “He was a high school friend of Joke Folmer (33) from Zeist, and her other important contact with the resistance (after Bob Gaillard). Bosboom connected her with father Kloeg; he also connected Nel with father Kloeg and mayor Kolff from Deil.”

33 Volmer (sic), Joke (According to Joke Folmer, this is a reference to her with the Germans having misspelled her name.  According to Stepping Stones, p. 86, her full name is Johanna Maria ([“Joke,” “La petite”] Folmer.  She was arrested April 1944.)

Sonja van ‘t Hof provides the following: “Joke apparently did not know she formed part of L&E/FL until caught by the Germans. She knew the name Nel, but met her for the first time in prison. Was enlisted through Bosboom. Mentions as important contact for the escape routes J.J.Hendrix from Venlo (alias Ambrosius, leader in the Landelijke Organisatie voor Hulp aan Onderduikers), and Peter (‘Piet’) van der Hurk.  Also organized identity papers and food stamps; probably knew Veterman (51).

“Crossed according to her own statements in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, but also Roermond-Maastricht-Weert. Knew the name of Jean Weidner and met with Francoise Dissart (?)”

34 v. Hilten, Bob (van Hilten, Bob of Alkmaar).  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have: “There was a father, first name unclear, who lived in Alkmaar. He was a physician and a contact of Westhoff and Piet Gerbrands,. His son was Bob van Hilten, member of the student resistance and in hiding with the Drukker family in Amersfoort.  One of them was a passeur from Alkmaar to Weert – probably the father?  Sentenced to death July 4, 1944.”
35 v. Lijnden. According to Michael LeBlanc this may be Baron Van Lijnden who was connected to the Victor Swane Line.”  

Sonja van ‘t Hof provides the following: “Not yet identified correctly, since several members from this aristocratic family were active in the resistance.  Baron van Lynden was connected to ‘Route A’ to Switzerland.  H.M. Van Lynden (source: Jonkers) was arrested in the Pyrenees with a microfilm Nel Lind had given him to transport to London.  J.J.L. Baron van Lynden was also active, but how and where? “

36 De Jong, Kees.  Sonja van ‘t Hof has no further information on this person.
37 Messner, Jaq.  Belgian.  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have the following: Jet Roosenburg met a certain ‘Jacques’ through Susanne Reichert in Belgium (38). He claimed to be a courier of General Van Trigt in Bern (Switzerland, which proved to be correct. But his last name is not yet confirmed. One of Jacques’ replacements as a courier is Hauttecoeur (39)
38 Reichert, Sus (?).  Belgian. Michael LeBlanc thinks this may be Abbe Reichert.  Connected to the Franck-Deprez Line of Liege-Herstal.  Also connected to Group Blok and Maastricht’s Group Symons/Sijmons.

From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have the following: “Susanne Reichert, Rue de Comines 17 Brussels. Jet meets her in August 1943 through Wannée. Part of an escape route headed by a certain Lubsin. Tried and sentenced to death in the same trial as the other FL-members. Imprisoned with Jet and Nel in Haaren, Utrecht and possibly Germany.”

39 Houtecesur, G., Belgian.  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have the following: “This is Houttecoeur, courier. A business man who regularly travels between Brussels and Paris. But he is imprudent and despite a serious warning from Jet Roosenburg befriends a certain Bastin. Bastin betrays Houttecouer and Jet.”
40 Henri. Belgian.  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we learn: “This might be Henri Dubois, an alias of ‘Nys’. He is an important courier and passeur to Franc and Switzerland. He is mentioned several times by Piet Gerbrands.”  (See the entry B13 in Gerbrands‘ organization chart below.)

Historian and author Doeko Bosscher wonders if this “Henri” could be the journalist Henri (“Harry”) Jean Scharrer who was involved in a separate escape line that may or may not have had connections to the Dutch-Paris Line.  Scharrer had French nationality but was  reporter in The Netherlands.

41 Charles.  Belgian.  Sonja van ‘t Hof asks: “Might be an alias of Alphonse Escrinier of the escape group EVA?”  [An examination of Escrinier’s helper file finds quotes from several airmen helped who say Escrinier was introduced to them as “Charles.”]
42 Daniels, Dr. Pollak.  This may be A. Polak Daniels.  Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following:”He was an acquaintance of Jet in Switzerland, but not a member of FL.”
43 Drap (Drop), Joop.  Sonja van ‘t Hof provides this: “Probably Joop Drop, one of the ‘indologists’ who were transported to London via the route St John, at the request of the Dutch government. Arrested in the Pyrenees together with Baron van Lynden and secret agent De Jonge. Not a member of FL.”
44 Westhoff, Rein.  See also Dr. Westhoff at item 15 above.  This may be Guus Westhoff.  However, Sonja van ‘t Hof said: “Unknown, probably family member of Guus, but no mention found of him or his activities.”
45 De Vries, Bob.  From Sonja van ‘t Hof we have: “Misspelt, is Rob de Vries, jewish actor and artist, friend of Eduard Veterman (Necker, see #51). Various activities, went to Brussels with documents or people at least twice, according to Wannee. Tried in the same trial as the other FL-members, but acquitted.”
46 Kramer, Dick. Belgian. (Wannee lists Martine Kramer of Utrecht; related?)  What we have from Sonja van ‘t Hof is the following: “Arrested but released.  But here the Germans might been referring to Lt. H. Dekema Kramer from Den Haag, usually referred to in FL-documents as ‘Dekema Kramer’. He probably collected military intelligence. The Germans might have misunderstood ‘Dekema’ as Dick, therefore as a first name instead of part of the family name. Dekema Kramer was arrested and tried as a prisoner of war. Not clear what became of him.”
47 Mariette. Belgian. This is clearly Madeleine “Mariette,” Merjay.  In her helper file she lists the Bergmans, boulanger, at Bree, among her sources of airmen.  Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “Jet meets her in Aug. 1943 in Brussels, during a visit together with Wannée and Piet Gerbrands. Merjay’s alias would have been Voltaire.”
48 Charlotte. Belgian. (This is almost certainly Charlotte Ambach.)  Sonja van ‘t Hof adds the following: “Jet herself uses the name Lottie Chabot, because this was her mothers maiden name. Lottie Chabot’s address appears in the back of the diary kept by Jet, Nel and Joke in May-June 1945, when they traveled home after being released from the prison in Waldheim (this diary formed the basis for her book, The Walls Came Tumbling Down). The address she mentions is Rue Lejeune 4, Brussels.”
49 Bekkers, P. (Is this Felix Bekkers?, of Amsterdam?  It also could be a misspelling of “Bakkers.”)  Sonja van ‘t Hof suggests: “It probably is Mrs. Bekkers. Felix Bekkers is also mentioned in documents on FL, but according to Wannée, Mrs. Bekkers was tried in his trial and acquitted.
50 Riezebos (C. Riezebos, of Breda) – Sonja van ‘t Hof identifies this as “A former editor of a banned newspaper and director of printing house Broese en Peereboom in Breda. Collaborated with Veterman (51). Tried in the same trials as the other FL-members, died in the prison in Utrecht.”
51 Necker, F.  This is almost certainly “Eduard Necker,” the pseudonym of Eduard Veterman, playwright and theater director who specialized in creating false ID for Fiat Libertas.  Note that Rob de Vries is shown reporting to Necker.  According to J.W. Regenhardt’s book, Het gemaskerde leven van Eduard Veterman, p. 177, de Vries was one of Necker’s group of workers.  Note also that Necker is shown as reporting directly to Wannee and has a direct relationship to Nel Lind, which would make sense because of providing false IDs for airmen being helped by Lind.  According to Regenhardt, p. 168, Necker (Veterman) was recruited into Fiat Libertas by Jan Wannee.

Sonja van ‘t Hof has this to say: “Alias of Eduard Veterman (another alias was Oscar). Jewish artist who was a master at forging identity papers, better than those originally forged by the OD. He also started working for the OD. Much more important in FL than his place in this organization scheme suggests.  He worked at the house of a friend, Ans Ruygrok, at Keizersgracht 763 in Amsterdam. This for some time this was the headquarters of FL.  Sentenced to death in the same trial as the othe FL-members.

Legend
52 Arrested (color: yellow)
53 Parachuted Agents (color: blue)
54 Espionage (Intelligence) Network (color: red)
55 Escape Network for Airmen (color: green)

Gerbrands Organization Chart

The following Fiat Libertas organization chart, compiled by Dutch secret agent Piet Gerbrands, was located in the archives of the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) by Sonja van ‘t Hof and added to this website in June 2015.  My thanks to Ms. van ‘t Hof for making it available to me.   Click on the chart to enlarge it.  (I find that three clicks will get the image to a convenient size.)  Note the use of code names, “Dijkstra” for Jan Wannee, head of Fiat Libertas, and “Oom E.” for Eduard Veterman, head of the falsification department.  Following the Gerbrands chart is the same chart but with each box labeled with an identifying letter and number.  Next comes a listing of the entries on the chart with whatever information is available on each entry.

Piet Gerbrands Fiat Libertas org chart from NIMH

The following is the same chart but with annotations.  I have somewhat arbitrarily divided it into three sections, A, B, and C, in order to make it easier to discuss the individuals, places, and organizations listed.  The chart is followed by a listing of each of the items on it.  Click on the chart three times in order to enlarge it to a comfortable size.

Piet Gerbrands Fiat Libertas org chart with annotations darkene

  • A1 – Nel – This has to be Nel Lind, #9 on the SD chart.
  • A2 – Westhoff – See #’s 15 and 44 on the SD chart.
  • A3 – Jet – This must be HenrietteJet” Roosenburg, #11 on the SD chart.
  • A4 – E.H. Jonkers – This is probably Alb. Jonkers, #12 of the SD chart.
  • A5 – “Jo”.  Ms van ‘t Hof says that a Jo van Arkel worked with the intelligence group “Albrecht” and served as liaison with Fiat Libertas.  Note that the organization chart shows a connection betweenJoandAlbrecht.
  • A6 – Albrecht – See also A19.  On the SD chart see the comments in #5.
  • A7 – van Sonsbeek.  The SD organization chart shows aSonsberk, # 16.”  Ms. van ‘t Hof identifies this as Mrs. Van Sonsbeek, who acted as  a postal address and contact between Piet Gerbrands, De Meester (Van Borssum Buisman), Nel Lind, Bob de Graaf, and “Jo van Albrecht” (secret agent Henk de Jonge).
  • A8 – de Meester.  This name does not appear on the SD organization chart.
  • A9 – de Graaf.
  • A10 – Drukker (see also under B17) – On the SD chart see #18.
  • A11 – Bob
  • A12 – Twan – This may be Antoine “Toine” Bergmans of Weert.  See B20 below and #24 in the SD chart.
  • A13 – Karel –
  • A14 – v. Schuppe
  • A15 – Gerrit – Could this be Gerrit de Bruin alias of Gerrit van den Born?  See #17 in the SD chart.
  • A16 – Brummans – This may be Prof. Ch. V.J. Brummans.  See #23 on the SD chart.
  • A17 – Stempelcentrale.  Compare this with #C3, Stempels,  reporting to C1 (Eduard Veterman).  The word “stempels” has to do with postmarks, imprints, date stamps, seals, etc. and C1 is Veterman who was in charge of false IDs.  So A17 may have to do with distribution of false IDs .
  • A18 – O.D. – The O.D. was the “Orde Dienst”or “Order Service,” described by Warner Warmbrunn in his book, The Dutch under German Occupation, 1940-1945, p. 186 as “(t)he oldest important resistance group that managed to maintain an organization throughout the occupation.”
  • A19 – Albrecht – See also A6 and #5 on the SD chart
  • B1 – Dijkstra – Code name of Jan Wannee.  On the SD chart see #1.
  • B2 – Ernest (I.S.) – This is almost certainly Ernest van Moorleghem.  Although he is not listed on the SD chart, he was closely associated with Charlotte Ambach (see B3 on this chart and #48 on the SD chart).
  • B3 – Charlotte (I.S.) – This in undoubtedly Charlotte Ambach.  See #48 on the SD chart.
  • B4 – Merjay – This is most likely Mariette Merjay, listed as “Mariette, Belgian,” #47 in the SD chart.
  • B5 – v.d. Velde
  • B6 – “Susan” – Could this be Susanne Reichert (see #s 37 and 38 in the SD chart)?  See also below the list by Jan Wannee which includes “Suzanne Reichert, Brussels, general matters, route to Switzerland.”
  • B7 – Zwitserland
  • B8 – v. Goidenhoven – This seems likely to be the same person as the Van Goidsenhoven listed below by Jan Wannee as “Brussels, general matters, contact Switzerland.”
  • B9 – “Lenoir”
  • B10 – Dept. Six
  • B11 – “AC-AC”
  • B12 – O.D. – See A18 above.
  • B13 – Nys – Sonja van ‘t Hof points out that ‘Nys’ was an important courier and passeur to France and Switzerland who is mentioned several times by Piet Gerbrands.  See #40 above in the SD chart.
  • B14 – v. Klaveren
  • B 15 – Albrecht –  See also A6 above and #5 on the SD chart.
  • B16 – “Jo”  – (see A6) – Ms van ‘t Hof says that a Jo van Arkel worked with the intelligence group “Albrecht” and served as liaison with Fiat Libertas.  Note that the organization chart shows a connection between “Jo” and “Albrecht.”
  • B17 – Drukker  – See A10 above and #18 on the SD chart.
  • B18 – I.S. Holland ?
  • B19 – Karel
  • B20 – Twan – See A12 above.
  • C1 – Oom E – See #51, Necker, F. on the SD organization chart.  This is undoubtedly Eduard Veterman, well-known playwright, who was in charge of producing false ID.
  • C2 – Drukkerij – Dutch word for a printing office.  In his book Keizersgracht 763, Veterman refers to Jo van Weeren, “his trusty colleague who printed all sorts of forbidden things,” and to Van Velzen, who printed documents “in broad daylight right by a large window where everyone walking by could see what he did.”
  • C3 – Stempels – See A17 above.
  • C4 – Begeer – 

-.-.-.-

Below is a report by Jan Wannee which includes his list of members of Fiat Libertas, both in Dutch and English.  Immediately prior to it I have inserted a copy of the English version sorted alphabetically.  It is a pdf file.  Click on it to open.

Wannee’s list of helpers in alpha order

Note that the following names appear on Wannee’s list but not on the SD organization chart nor the Gerbrands chart, although some are mentioned in the comments about other members of the line.

  • Bannier, Dr., Indonesian affairs, intelligence.
  • Beelen, Matthieu, Tungelroy, passeur.
  • Brants, G., Amsterdam, executed, courier services.
  • Bruinier, Mr., The Hague, intelligence.
  • De Geus, Captain, Wassenaar, military intelligence, identity cards, books, etc.
  • De Granada, H., Amsterdam, intelligence, identity cards, general matters.
  • Dinger, D., Amsterdam, died in concentration camp, as correspondent with N.R.C. looked after general news.
  • Gravendiek, Stamproy, passeur services.
  • Kolff, Mr., mayor of Deil, see the text for further details.
  • Kramer, Martine, Utrecht, courier services.
  • Oudgenoeg, Gerda, The Hague, general matters.
  • Smit, K. (Karst), Baarle Nassau, border crossing.
  • Van Couben Piccardt Wierenga, A., Voorburg, intelligence.
  • Van Goelst Meyer (Meijer), Mr., mayor of Rossum, intelligence, pilots, identity cards and general matters.
  • Van Tijn, H., Amsterdam, assistance with falsification, printing, contact in Switzerland.
  • Van Velzen, Amsterdam, printer of identity cards.
  • Van Weeren, Amsterdam, assistance with printing identity cards, courier services.
  • Vandervelde, Madame Emiel, Brussels, general matters, identity cards.

– – – – –

Report by Jan Wannee Regarding Members of Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas  (From his Dutch Helper File at the US National Archives)

(An English-language translation appears following the Dutch version.)

Bijlage.

Tot de personen, die in losser of vaster verband hebben medegewerkt aan Luctor, behooren de hieronder genoteerden.  Het is uiteraard niet mogelijk allen te noemen: velen hebben indirect medegewerkt, en het feit dat een aantal op deze lijst weggelaten worden, moet niet opg evat worden als een mindere appreciatie van hetgeen allen gedaan hebben; indien er belangstelling Uwerzijds is voor deze gevallen, zal schrijver dezes gaarne een aanvullende lijst insturen.

  • Mr. Kolff, burgemeester van Deil, voor bijzonderheden zie de texst.
  • Pater Kloeg, Rotterdam, werkte mede aan inlichtingen persoonsbewijzen, piloten, algemeene zaken.
  • Mr. Van Goelst Meyer (Meijer), burgemeester van Rossum, inlichtingen, piloten, persoonsbewijzen, algemeene zaken.
  • Dr. Bannier, gecommitteerde voor Indische zaken, inlichtingen.
  • Nel Lind, Alkmaar, pilotenorganisatie, tevoren algemeene zaken.
  • C. Riezebos, Breda, persoonsbewijzen, algemeene zaken, inlichtingen.
  • A. van Couben Piccardt Wieringa, Voorburg, inlichtingen.
  • Mr. Bruinier, Den Haag, inlichtingen.
  • R. Dinger, Amsterdam, in concentratiekamp overleden, verzenden als correspondenti van de N.R.C. algemeen nieuws.
  • Kapitein De Geus, Wassenaar, militaire inlichtingen, persoonsbewijzen, boeken e.d.-
  • H. De Granada, Amsterdam, inlichtingen, persoonsbewijzen, algemeen zaken.
  • Ph. Bergmans, Bree (België), en zijn zoon, onderdak voor piloten en andere grensoverschrijders, couriersdiensten op Brussel.
  • Antoine Bergmans, Weert, passeur.
  • Matthieu Beelen, Tungelroy, passeur.
  • Gravendiek, Stamproy, passeursdiensten.
  • K. Smit, Baarle Nassau, grensovergang.
  • H. Van Tijn, Amsterdam, hulp bij vervalschingen, cliché’s, contact in Zwitserland.
  • Van Velzen, Amsterdam, drukker persoonsbewijzen.
  • Van Weeren, Amsterdam, assistentie drukken persoonsbewijzen, koeriersdiensten.
  • H. Bosboom, Bussum, geleide piloten, koeriersdiensten.
  • Mr. B. van Hilten, Alkmaar, idem.
  • B. Graafhuis, Amersfoort, idem en assistant Nel Lindt.
  • R. de Vries, Amsterdam, koeriersdiensten (o.a. twee keer naar Brussel), algemeene zaken.
  • G. Brants, Amsterdam, doodgeschoten, koeriersdiensten.
  • Gerda Oudgenoeg, Den Haag, algemeene zaken.
  • Felix Bekkers, Amsterdam, en zijn vrouw, algemeene zaken en koeriersdiensten.
  • Martine Kramer, Utrecht, koeriersdiensten.
  • Suzanne Reichert, Brussel, algemeene zaken, route Zwitserland.
  • Mme Emiel Vandervelde, Brussel, algemeene zaken, carte d’identité’s.
  • Van Goidsenhoven, Brussel, algemeene zaken, contact Zwitserland.
  • Eduard Veterman, Amsterdam, persoonsbewijzen en falsificaties.
  • Jet Roosenburg, Den Haag, koeriersdiensten en later voortzetting Fiat Libertas.

Van bovenstaande personen zijn Kolff, Kloege, Riezebos, Dinger en Brants overleden.  Over hun financiele positie kan ondergeteekende weinig inlichten.

Ten aanzien van Riezebos echter zou het in ieder geval wel zeer noodzakelijk zijn, dat, indien van Rijswege in het algemeen tegemoet gekomen wordt, zijn weduwe en beide kinderen hiervoor in aanmerking te laten komen.

Wat eventueele claims aangaat, verdient het aanbeveling zich met de betrokkenen zelf in verbinding te stellen.  Zoolang op dit punt geen maatstaven bekend zijn, kan ondergeteekende bezwaarlijk in dit rapport iets hierover opnemen.

Wel is de vraag gestelt, of bedragen, uitgegeven voor pogingen tot het invrijheid stellen van gevangen genomen, vergoed worden.  Zoo werd b.v. door de familie Bosboom destijds ƒ 50.000.+ betaald om hem vrij te koopen (zonder resultaat overigens).

-.-.-.-

Report by Jan Wannee Regarding Members of Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas  (From his Dutch Helper File at the US National Archives)

The individuals listed below worked with Luctor to a larger or smaller extent. It is of course not possible to mention everyone; many of them worked indirectly and the fact that a number were omitted from this list must not be interpreted as a lesser degree of appreciation for what they have done; in case you are interested in more names, the author of this list is prepared to send you a supplemental list.

  • Mr. Kolff, mayor of Deil, see the text for further details.
  • Pater Kloeg, Rotterdam, worked in connection with intelligence, identity card, pilots and general matters.
  • Mr. Van Goelst Meyer (Meijer), mayor of Rossum, intelligence, pilots, identity cards and general matters.
  • Dr. Bannier, Indonesian affairs, intelligence.
  • Nel Lindt (sic), Alkmaar, pilot organization, previously general matters.
  • C. Riezebos, Breda, identity cards, general matters, intelligence.
  • A. van Couben Piccardt Wieringa, Voorburg, intelligence.
  • Mr. Bruinier, The Hague, intelligence.
  • R. Dinger, Amsterdam, died in concentration camp, as correspondent with N.R.C. looked after general news.
  • Captain De Geus, Wassenaar, military intelligence, identity cards, books, etc.
  • H. De Granada, Amsterdam, intelligence, identity cards, general matters.
  • Ph. Bergmans, Bree (Belgium) and his son, shelter for pilots and other border crossers, courier service to Brussels.
  • Antoine Bergmans, Weert, passeur.
  • Matthieu Beelen, Tungelroy, passeur.
  • Gravendiek, Stamproy, passeur services.
  • K. Smit, Baarle Nassau, border crossing.
  • H. van Tijn, Amsterdam, assistance with falsification, printing, contact in Switzerland.
  • Van Velzen, Amsterdam, printer of identity cards.
  • Van Weeren, Amsterdam, assistance with printing identity cards, courier services.
  • H. Bosboom, Bussum, accompanied pilots, courier service.
  • Mr. B. van Hilten, Alkmaar, ditto.
  • B. Graafhuis, Amersfoort, ditto and assisting Nel Lindt (sic).
  • R. de Vries, Amsterdam, courier services (twice to Brussels), general matters.
  • G. Brants, Amsterdam, executed, courier services.
  • Gerda Oudgenoeg, The Hague, general matters.
  • Felix Bekkers, Amsterdam, and his wife, general matters and courier services.
  • Martine Kramer, Utrecht, courier services.
  • Suzanne Reichert, Brussels, general matters, route to Switzerland.
  • Madame Emiel Vandervelde, Brussels, general matters, identity cards.
  • Van Goidsenhoven, Brussels, general matters, contact Switzerland.
  • Eduard Veterman, Amsterdam, identity cards and falsifications.
  • Jet Roosenburg, The Hague, courier services, and later continuation of Fiat Libertas.

The following listed persons have died: Kolff, Kloeg, Riezebos, Dinger and Brants. The undersigned can say very little about their financial situation.

With respect to Riezebos it would quite necessary that if the Government makes funds available, his widow and children should be considered.

With respect to possible claims, it is recommended to communicate direct with the people involved. As nothing is known at the moment about a possible scale of compensation, the undersigned can not include anything on it in this report.

The question has arisen whether amounts spent in efforts to obtain release of prisoners can be reimbursed. As an example, the Bosboom family paid 50,000 guilders to try and obtain his release. (without any result).

-.-.-.-

10 responses to “Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas

  1. Anouk ten Zijthoff | May 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply | Edit
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I came across this website and it was unbelievable to see the information about Fiat Libertas/Luctor et Emergo. My grandfather was a part of it, Gerrit Jan ten Zijthoff (Hengelo), he was arrested and died in Neuengamme. For some years now I have been collecting information about him. Very interesting to see this website. I met someone from the resistance a couple of years ago, he remembered when my grandfather was arrested, he was there and so was a Jewish girl who was living with my grandparents and my father, she survived and she is a grandmother to me.

    Good work!

    Yours Truly,
    Anouk ten Zijthoff
    Netherlands

  2. Reg ten Zijthoff

    I saw my mothers name on the list (nr.27 – Mrs.ten Zijthoff – Hengelo) but my father Gerrit-Jan ten Zijthoff – arrested in february 1944 , died one year later in Concentrationcamp Neuengamme – was actually part of the “Pilot Line” (Piloten Lijn) as it was called in Holland. My mother was also part of the resistance. But my father was a member of a large marxist reseistance group. As a chief-engineer at Stork Industries he also organised sabotage and workes together with other people at Stork. I was intrigued by the name PIET (no familyname was mentioned. I remember that my mother told me about a PIET, a student from Utrecht who was a courier for the resistance. In 1960, when I was a student at Utrecht University I was called by a history professor dr. Piet Hugenholtz who told me about my parents during the war. I wonder if it is the same man.

  3. Anouk ten Zijthoff

    My grandfather was arrested february 1942, I have to look up the exact date. My grandmother’s name is Antonia ten Zijthoff-Geelen.

  4. I had the honour of meeting and interviewing Joke Folmer in 2010 at a Flightpath of Friendship Reconciliation reunion (Ex RAF and Ex Luftwaffe WWII aircrew). What a truly remarkable lady she was and still is. Her recollections of deeds even whilst a prisoner are told with a matter of fact air (some one had to do it)
    A real hourour to talk with her.

  5. My father and uncle , Toine Bergmans and Fonds Bergmans both died aboit 30 years ago
    The daughter of Twan Bergmans
    Ineke Lutters

  6. joost rethmeier

    Dear all, My grand-uncle Han Jordaan, aka Han Roessingh and Harry Jeffers, was an SOE agent from Haaksbergen, Overijssel, who was parachuted into Holland (near Holten, OV) on 28/29March 1942 and he remained undetected till 3. May 1942, when he was betrayed and the SD arrested him. Han was the W/T Operator for three Sabotage groups, operating in Overijssel (Hengelo), Utrecht and Brabant. On 19 April 1942, while still at large he sent a message to London in which he asked London how to get 6 RAF men out of of Holland and back to the UK. The UK asked for their registration number and said they were on their own. These RAF men presumably were kept under cover somewhere near Hengelo (Almelo? Enschede? Haaksbergen? Oldenzaal? etc…). I know it’s a needle in a haystack but perhaps someone knows who these pilots may have been? They are not necesarily from the same bomber nor do we know whether they were all staying in the same hiding place. I only know that the family who housed the Overijssel sabotage team were the family of ir. G.J.Schott. he was the Head of Engineering at the NKS in Hengelo (The Nederlandse Katoenspinnerij) and his address was Oelerweg 118, Hengelo. Has anyone perhaps any clue for me as to who these RAF men may have been and who kept them in hiding? That early in the war there were not so many fugitive aircrew member roaming about and the pilot lines had not been organised the way they were from 1944 onwards…I assume that these pilots may have been captured by the Germans after a while and never made it to the UK until after the war…Thanks for thinking with me. Regards, Joost Rethmeier

  7. Anouk van Vugt-ten Zijthoff

    Dear Joost Rethmeier, I know my grandparents had RAF pilots in hiding in my dad’s room there was a closet and no one was allowed to open the door. It was a deep closet and there were matrasses for the RAF pilots. I don’t know who these 6 RAF pilots where, but maybe you search in Kew London, they have many reports. My grandparents lived in Hengelo, Deldenerstraat. Anouk van Vugt-ten Zijthoff

  8. joost rethmeier

    Dear Anouk,

    First of all, thanks so much for contacting me and writing about your brave parents…! Do you have a telephone number so that I may be able to call you at some point?

    I did try Kew but there is not much and certainly not many details. Perhaps if I have the full names of your parents I can investigate further, since they were probably recommended for their help to pilots…!

    In which year do toy think that your parents had some RAF pilots in hiding? In 1942?

    Regards,

    Joost Rethmeier 06-50208432

  9. Anouk van Vugt-ten Zijthoff

    Dear Joost Rethmeier,

    They are my grandparents. Full names Gerrit-Jan ten Zijthoff and Antonia ten Zijthoff-Geelen. They had RAF pilots in hiding in 1942, 1943 and 1944 untill my grandfather was arrested. I know this , because the Jewish girl who was also in hiding there told me. They should be mentioned, especially my grandfather, because after the war there was a letter from England and they also received bikes and other things for their help, well my grandmother and my dad did, my grandfather died in Neuengamme.

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